Graduate Programs

The Center for Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics (CBSD) is a nexus for faculty carrying out research with graduate students in several Ph.D. programs that train students in the Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis on physical biochemistry and structural biology. Foremost among these is the Ph.D. program in Biochemistry and Biophysics. However, graduate students in the Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology (CMMB), Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences and Medicinal Chemistry graduate programs are also engaged in research supported by the CBSD.

Graduate Programs

Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Umbrella

The Molecular and Biomedical Sciences (MBS) umbrella is a single point of entry for Masters and doctoral degree programs in:

To understand cellular processes at the level of atomic structure, chemical mechanism, and energetics is the focus of research in the Biochemistry and Biophysics (B & B). B & B faculty apply biochemical methods and a variety of spectroscopic and diffraction methods to investigate the structure and dynamics of macromolecules and their complexes in a range of biological contexts, including cellular signal transduction, neurobiology, virology, enzymology and the cryptic messages hidden in DNA sequences.
The Cellular, Molecular and Microbial Biology (CMMB) program is diverse in scope, but its faculty members are unified in their focus to understand the organizing principles of biology and engage innovative research that addresses fundamental processes. The CMMB program features four graduate degree options, each with a distinctive curriculum. The Cellular and Developmental Biology track emphasizes research in signal transduction, cellular trafficking and early development. Faculty mentors in the Microbiology and Immunology track focus on viral and microbial physiology and the molecular biology of host-microbial interactions as well as the vertebrate immune system. The evolving interaction of microbes with the environment and their hosts is the focus of the Microbial Evolution and Ecology track. The Molecular Biology and Biochemistry track emphasizes mechanistic aspects of cellular processes, particularly RNA regulation, signal transduction through kinases and G proteins, viral recognition of host cells.
Faculty available to mentor students come from a number of different UM Colleges and Departments and specialize in a variety of perspectives and approaches, including: neurochemistry, neuromolecular dynamics and drug design, structural biology of neuro-receptors and transporters, cellular neurobiology and physiology, behavioral neuroscience, biophysics, and the neurobiology of disease.
The faculty of the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Design (PSDD) program design effective new drug therapies while minimizing adverse effects. Research in the program includes a diverse range of therapeutic areas including cancer, cardiovascular, dermatological, immune-mediated, and neurological diseases. Students receive didactic and laboratory training in the design and development of pharmacological compounds including the disciplines of molecular and cellular pharmacology and pharmacodynamics (drug target and biomarker discovery), medicinal chemistry (drug design and synthesis), pharmacokinetics (drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination), pharmaceutics (drug delivery and formulation), toxicology (drug-induced toxicity) and immunotherapeutics. A unique focus of the PSDD program is the intersection of pharmacogenomics and community health.
The Toxicology program brings together faculty associated with the Center for Environmental Health Sciences that address the common biomedical theme to improve human health through a better understanding of the impacts of environmental agents in causing or exacerbating diseases. A focal point of interaction for investigators is on acute and chronic inflammation as the driver for most human diseases. Research also encompasses the immune system in the modulation of inflammatory responses to environmental toxins, including nanoparticles and epigenetic factors in toxicology.

Department of Chemistry

The graduate degree program offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry provides diverse research opportunities in any of the following areas: environmental, organic, organometallic, analytical or physical chemistry in addition to chemical education.