Graduate Program in Molecular and Translational Medicine

Cruikshank Portrait
William Cruikshank, Ph.D.
Program Director, Professor of Medicine

The Graduate Program in Molecular and Translational Medicine at Boston University is an interdepartmental, interdisciplinary program based in the Department of Medicine. The mission of the Molecular and Translational Medicine Program is to provide state-of-the-art didactic and research training that produces PhD and MD/PhD scientists who will become leaders in the field of clinically based research. The program strives to create research opportunities that take full advantage of the wealth of resources available through clinical reagents,clinical expertise, and diverse patient populations at the Boston University Medical Center. The program encourages the students to think creatively and globally when designing their research project with the particular emphasis on translational and interdisciplinary applications. At completion of the program each student will have the training and understanding of biomedical systems required to successfully conduct integrative translational research.

Applications to the Graduate Program in Molecular and Translational Medicine are submitted through the Boston University School of Medicine Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (http://www.bumc.bu.edu/gms/admissions/). Applicants should forward an undergraduate transcript, a medical school transcript (post-MD candidates only), and GRE, MCAT, or TOEFL scores, if applicable. Candidates being considered for the program are asked to interview on campus with the admissions committee. Admission to the program is based upon objective evidence of academic excellence, research background and interest, and interviews.

The first year curriculum consists of a series of basic science courses offered through the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences designated to provide the foundations of biological concepts. The first year will also afford first year PhD students with the time to conduct laboratory rotations in a wide spectrum of laboratories within the Department of Medicine leading to identification of the laboratory where they will complete their dissertation research. The second year is comprised of elective courses and an innovative Molecular and Translational Medicine Core Curriculum. This Core Curriculum includes courses in Genetics and Epidemiology of Disease; Cancer Biology; Immunity and Infection; Molecular Basis of Organ System Diseases; Molecules to Molecular Therapeutics and Biological Core Technologies. Students will take a Tier 1 exam during their second year. This written exam entails critical analysis of a chosen research paper. At the completion of all coursework students write and orally defend their Tier 2 Qualifying exam, which consists of a mock research grant proposal based on their topic of research.

All PhD students are also expected to actively participate in journal/data clubs, seminars and other Department of Medicine affiliated activities such as ARCs(http://www.bumc.bu.edu/evanscenteribr/the-arcs/), The Annual Evans Medical Research Days and the Henry I. Russek Student Achievement Day (http://www.bumc.bu.edu/gms/gateway/students/phd/henry-i-russek-student-achievement-day-2013/).

The Graduate Program in Molecular and Translational Medicine avails itself of the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research (http://www.bumc.bu.edu/evanscenteribr/). The purpose of this center is to promote growth and discovery in emerging interdisciplinary biomedical research and educational areas by providing faculty affiliated with the Department of Medicine and with various schools, departments and centers at Boston University a dynamic, interdisciplinary organizational structure, which allows investigators with different areas of expertise to collectively address mechanisms of disease, and to facilitate new training opportunities.

Students can matriculate into the Graduate Program in Molecular and Translational Medicine after completing a bachelor’s degree or Master’s program or through the combined M.D./Ph.D. program at Boston University School of Medicine. In addition, M.D.s who desire to pursue rigorous scientific training in preparation for a career in academic medicine and research are encouraged to apply. Students admitted to the program are offered full tuition support and an annual stipend.

The Department of Medicine occupies modern research laboratories on the Boston University Medical Center campus in the Center for Advanced Biomedical Research and the Evans Biomedical Research Center. These buildings provide state-of-the-art research space in an open, spacious environment that is fully supported by research core facilities for computing, animals and transgenic mice, sequencing, microarrays, and others.

Boston University’s Medical Campus (BUMC), encompassing  Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, BU School of Public Health and BU’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine, is located in the city’s historic South End, approximately one mile south of downtown. The South End is a vibrant and renewed urban community. With three medical schools and many major universities, Boston has a rich and interactive biomedical community and is the center of the biotechnology industry. Boston is a cosmopolitan city with a rich academic and intellectual environment and panoply of cultural, recreational, and sports activities.

Boston University is a private institution founded in 1839. It is among the top twenty institutions in the country in NIH-derived research support. The faculty of the Evans Department of Medicine of the Boston University School of Medicine conducts research programs in basic biomedical sciences, translational medicine, and clinical outcomes and epidemiology.