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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

Quantitative Biomedical Sciences

Director: Jennifer Doherty
Curriculum Director: Kristine A. Giffin


To view Quantitative Biomedical Sciences courses, click here.


Requirements for a Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences (QBS)

Modern biomedical research relies on both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. Multidisciplinary approaches bring several different scientific disciplines such as bioinformatics and genetics to bear on a research question. Interdisciplinary approaches synthesize knowledge and methods from other disciplines to provide an integrated framework for solving complex biomedical problems in new ways. The rapid advancement of high-throughput technologies such as DNA microarrays and mass spectrometry for measuring biological systems and their application as part of translational medicine has generated a significant demand for investigators doing cutting-edge research in quantitative disciplines such as bioinformatics, biostatistics and epidemiology. Those with the greatest impact are cross-trained in multiple disciplines giving them the ability to synthesize and integrate several disciplines to provide a truly interdisciplinary approach to solving complex biomedical problems.

The goal of the Graduate Program in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences (QBS) is to prepare Ph.D. students for careers at the intersection of biomedical research and quantitative sciences such as bioinformatics, biostatistics and epidemiology.

The requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Quantitative Biomedical Sciences are as follows:

  1. Satisfactory completion of a two-quarter course in Integrative Biomedical Sciences, two quarters of bioinformatics (Foundations to Bioinformatics I and II), two quarters of biostatistics (Foundations of Biostatistics I and II), two quarters of epidemiology (Foundations of Epidemiology I and II), and a course in Human Biology for Population Research.
  2. Three first year research rotations that will consist of three small research projects, conducted with different faculty members for periods of about three months each, and registered research until the completion of the PhD.
  3. Satisfactory completion of two approved graduate level elective courses.
  4. One quarter of supervised teaching in a QBS course.
  5. Participation in a weekly journal club for the first 3 years.
  6. Satisfactory completion of an oral qualifying examination.
  7. Satisfactory completion of a significant research project and preparation of a thesis describing this research.
  8. Successful defense of the thesis in an oral examination and presentation of the work in a public lecture.