Graduate Programs in MD/PhD
MD/PhD students officially begin their PhD coursework after successful completion of their USMLE Step 1 exams and the MD program's TTCE 2-week course. Students interested in a particular graduate program should meet with that program's director early in their first year of medical school to begin preliminary planning of rotations and coursework, and consult regularly with their Scientific Oversight Committee (SOC).
Learn more about the graduate programs available to MD/PhD students below.
Behavioral Neuroscience Graduate Program (BEHN)
Behavioral neuroscience explores the interplay between what happens inside the brain and what the brain does, how genetic and environmental factors influence the physiological, anatomical, and epigenetic processes inside the brain that manifest in organismal behavior. Students joining this graduate program gain outstanding training and mentorship across these boundaries of biology and behavior through studies of a variety of vertebrate species, including humans, rodents, and non-human primates. BEHN faculty offer expertise in the neurobiology of substance abuse, cognitive and affective neuroscience, behavioral genetics, animal communication, learning and memory, social neuroscience, and impulsivity.
MD/PhD students in Behavioral Neuroscience complete core courses and electives tailored to meet their qualifications and interests. Medical school courses are substituted for the departmental basic science core requirement. MD/PhD students in Behavioral Neuroscience must achieve the same programmatic milestones as PhD students, but their timetable may be accelerated.
Contact the Behavioral Neuroscience graduate program to schedule a one on one meeting with the Graduate Program Director and for more information on required courses, waivable courses, and anticipated timelines.
Biomedical Informatics Graduate Program (DMICE)
The Biomedical Informatics Graduate Program in the Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE) offers a PhD in two majors: Health & Clinical Informatics and Bioinformatics & Computational Biomedicine. Core coursework makes up an important part of the PhD curriculum.
In addition to work on the dissertation, students obtain an in-depth understanding of the field through specialized coursework in biomedical informatics, advanced research methods and design, and a focused cognate area. The cognate area allows tailoring of the educational experience to one's research interests. Past cognate areas have included Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Science Engineering, Public Health, Nursing, Systems Science, Anthropology, Education, and Management.
Contact the Biomedical Informatics graduate program to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the Graduate Program Coordinator for more information on required courses, waivable courses, and anticipated timelines.
Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP)
The Neuroscience Graduate Program (NGP) at the OHSU Vollum Institute has a strong background in cellular and molecular neuroscience, glial biology, gene regulation, biophysics of channels and transporters, sensory system, neuroendocrinology, developmental neuroscience, and disease-oriented neuroscience research.
Entering MD/PhD students interested in neuroscience are strongly encouraged to meet with the NGP director early in Year 1 to begin immediate planning for the research component of their dual-degree program and to learn how they can participate in NGP activities as soon as they arrive at OHSU. MD/PhD students complete 3 research rotations between February and August of their 2nd year after they have completed their USMLE Step 1 exam and TTCE course. If a summer research rotation was taken before starting the MD program, that may count as one rotation toward the required three with the NGP program director's approval. Students are also expected to complete coursework prior to entering a lab full time.
Contact the Neuroscience Graduate Program to schedule a one on one meeting with the Graduate Program Director and for more information on NGP activities, required courses, waivable courses, and anticipated timelines.
Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (PMCB)
Please note that on July 1, 2019 the Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences will be changing to the Program in Biomedical Sciences.
Check back for more information this summer. You may email the new program if you have additional questions before then.
The Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (PMCB) at OHSU is an umbrella program that serves as a portal to PhD training with focus areas in biochemistry, cancer and cell biology, developmental biology, genetics/genomics, immunology and microbiology, physiology and pharmacology, quantitative biology and biomedical engineering, and vision science.
All students who enter the PMCB graduate program select a home department as their academic base during their graduate training. Students may choose their thesis mentor from any of the PMCB faculty members. MD/PhD students in the PMCB program are expected to complete 3 laboratory rotations prior to settling on one specific program. If a summer research rotation was taken before starting the MD program, that may count as one rotation toward the required three. If a mentor is identified in an early rotation, students may also be able to opt-out of following rotations.
The graduate programs under the PMCB umbrella include:
- Biomedical Engineering
- Cancer Biology
- Cell and Developmental Biology
- Molecular and Medical Genetics
- Molecular Microbiology and Immunology
- Physiology & Pharmacology
Contact PMCB to schedule a one on one meeting with the Graduate Program Director and for more information on required courses, waivable courses, and anticipated timelines. More information on individual graduate programs under PMCB can be found by clicking on the links above. If interested in a particular program, students are encouraged to reach out to the respective programs for more information as well.