The Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (PMCB) is the portal to PhD thesis research in seven basic science programs at OHSU. Under the PMCB umbrella, students complete core first-year coursework ranging from biochemistry to ethics, and rotate through three different labs to find a best-fit. After joining a lab and passing the qualifying exam students advance to candidacy in their chosen academic program, but stick around for the PMCB Seminar Series, recruitment, and the annual retreat.
The average time to completion of the PhD degree in PMCB is 5.5 years. Our completion rate over the past five years has been 90%. Our graduating students enter a diversity of careers, but the majority go on to do postdoctoral fellowships. Additional information on OHSU PhD Career Outcomes is available through the Office of Graduate Studies.
Our internationally-acclaimed PhD and MD faculty have primary appointments in the six participating basic science departments, and also include faculty from The Vollum Institute, Heart Research Center, Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, Oregon National Primate Center, Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology, Knight Cancer Institute,Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Casey Eye Institute, Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, Oregon Hearing Research Institute, U.S. Veteran's Affairs Medical Institute, Advanced Imaging Research Center, and the Center for Weight Regulation.
We admit between 12-25 students a year into our program. Our graduate students are a diverse and interactive group who come from all over the United States and the world. They carry out PhD thesis research in a wide range of laboratories, from those that focus on basic biological questions to those labs that focus on disease processes and translational research. PMCB students pursue interdisciplinary interests across departmental boundaries in areas including the autonomic nervous system, cancer biology, chemical biology, developmental biology, endocrinology, gene regulation, immunology, inflammatory processes, metabolism, microbial pathogenesis, signal transduction, structural biology, virology and quantitative biosciences and biomedical engineering.
Our graduate students have won scholarships, fellowships and awards from the National Science Foundation, American Heart Association, The National Institutes of Health, The OHSU Brain Institute, and the ARCS Foundation. PMCB students publish papers in major scientific journals and present their data at national and international scientific conferences.
PMCB is committed to promoting a diverse student population that is inclusive of all students. Underrepresented minority students and students with disabilities enrich our program and we are dedicated to recruitment and retention of all students from diverse backgrounds and physical abilities. We work closely with the OHSU Center for Diversity & Inclusion to identify qualified diversity students and recruit them into our program.
Sometimes students need special accommodations to help them succeed in graduate school. The OHSU Office for Student Access provides disability services for qualified students. By providing access and accommodations for students with physical, sensory, chronic health, or psychological and learning impairments, we "level the playing field" for all of our PhD candidates so that all of our students are positioned for success.
PMCB is directed by Dr. Cheryl Maslen and is run by a steering committee comprised of faculty from across the university.