PBMM Theme Curriculum

In your first year, the PBMM curriculum consists of a set of GBS core classes (Fall semester) and PBMM Module courses (Spring semester) in combination with lab rotations . After the first year, there are a limited number of curriculum requirements, with most courses being determined by yourself, mentor, and thesis committee.

Year One

During the Fall, you will take a core curriculum covering biochemistry and metabolism, genetics and molecular biology, and biological organization, as well as any remedial work recommended by the PBMM curriculum committee. 

Starting in January through April, students take four course modules. We recommend the four PBMM modules; however, you can choose from an assortment of other modules taught by other themes. This is an example of Spring PBMM module options; please note that it is subject to change for future spring terms:

  • GBS 750: Nerves, Muscles, and Bones
  • GBS 751: Heart, Lung & Kidney
  • GBS 752: GI, Endocrine & Immune System
  • GBS 753: Pharmacology & Molecular Medicine

Students are also required to register and attaend GBS 703: Res Analysis & Presentation (Theme Meeting) during the first year, if the 9 hour limit allows. 

All GBS students are required to register for GBSC 731: Intro to Biostatistics and a May module. PBMM recommends the following May module: 

  • GBSC 726: Scientific Communication & Review

Year Two and Beyond

You must complete a total of three advanced courses in areas relevant to your area of interest. We encourage you to take these courses as early as possible in order to achieve the most benefit in your training. You must also enroll in at least four journal clubs related to your specific area of interest. Journal club participation enchances your ability to critically read the literature and to stay abreast of current findings. Three of the four journal clubs must be different in course title and content.

By year three, you will have formed a dissertation committee whose expertise will be beneficial in helping direct your research and course of study. This committee conducts the qualifying examination (QE) that assesses your general knowledge, ability to read the literature, and ability to formulate and defend testable hypotheses. It involves a written proposal and oral defense of the proposal. After passing the QE, you will continue research under the guidance of your mentor and dissertation committee. The Ph.D. is awarded upon completion of the academic requirements and defense of the dissertation.