PhD Curriculum

All first-year PhD students complete three, eight-week rotations (GRDM-G718). During these rotations students have the opportunity to explore research areas in the IU School of Medicine’s world-class research laboratories and the school’s many research centers and institutes.

Before choosing the first rotation laboratory, students learn about research opportunities available through a variety of programs, including the mandatory Nuts & Bolts series during the fall semester and interactions with the PhD program directors and graduate research faculty in meetings, laboratory visits. Program research retreats and open days also provide insight to specific labs.

First Year

All IBMG students complete the following required courses

GRDM-G715 Biomedical Science I. Biochemical Basis of Biological Processes (3 credits)
GRDM-G716 Biomedical Science II. Molecular Biology and Genetics (3 credits)
GRDM-G717 Biomedical Science III. Cellular Basis of Systems Biology (3 credits)
GRDM-G718 Research in Biomedical Science (first rotation) (2 credits). Course is held in the last eight weeks of the fall semester.

GRDM-G655 Skills – Research Communications Seminar (1 credit)
GRDM-G718 Research in Biomedical Science (2nd and 3rd rotations; 2 credits each) (4 credits)

As part of the second semester, students select courses consistent with their likely PhD program(s) from a modular curriculum.

First third of semester
(first five weeks)

Second third of semester
(second five weeks)

Last third of semester
(third five weeks)

GRDM-G724 Molecular Cancer GeneticsGRDM-G852 Concepts of Cancer Biology (2 cr)
GRDM-G749 Introduction to Structural Biology
GRDM-G807 Structural and Chemical Biology (2 cr)GRDM-G725 Gene Therapy
GRDM-G817 Molecular Basis of Cell Structure and Function (2 cr)
GRDM-G729 Introduction to Immunological SystemsGRDM-G728 Fundamental Concepts of Infection and Pathogenesis
GRDM-G726 Developmental GeneticsGRDM-G727 Animal Models of Human DiseaseGRDM-G751 Advanced Concepts in Cytosolic and Nuclear Signal Transduction (2 cr)
GRDM-G737 Introduction to HistologyGRDM-G733 Introduction to Biological Microscopy (2 cr)
GRDM-G736 Endocrine and
Gastrointestinal Function
in Health and Disease
GRDM-G735 Cardiovascular, Renal and Respiratory Function
in Health and Disease
 (2 cr)
GRDM-G720 Stem Cell Biology (2cr)
GRDM-G743 Fundamentals of Electrical Signaling and Ion Channel Biology (2 cr)GRDM-G745 Fundamentals of Intracellular Signal Transduction in Neurons (2 cr)GRDM-G744 Neuropharmacology of Synaptic Transmission: Receptors and Ligands (2 cr)

Choosing a Lab and Program

At the end of the first year, laboratory assignments are made and PhD students choose a lab and program offered by the biomedical program. Students complete a research project along with the requirements of the selected degree program. View the current list of open labs.

Second Year

After joining a program, all PhD students are required to complete two additional courses as part of the IBMG program. In the fall of the second year, all IBMG students take a research ethics course and an experimental design/biostatistics course: GRDM-G855 Experimental Design and Biostatistics (1 credit) and GRDM-G505 Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit). All courses that begin with “G” are in the GRDM department code (Graduate Medicine.

PhD Minors

Complementing a student’s major, PhD Minors are an additional requirement for graduate students pursuing their doctorate.

A bioinformatics minor through the School of Informatics and Computing provides interdisciplinary training for doctoral students to conduct cutting-edge research in biomedical disciplines. The minor imparts knowledge of bioinformatics methods for solving genomic, proteomic and other biomedical and health-related problems.

Enhancing analytic and data-based management skills, the biostatistics minor addresses the growing discipline of biostatistics.

The Business of Biomedical Science minor allows students to gain a highly competitive outlook in the modern biomedical workforce. This minor program provides students the opportunity to utilize existing courses in the schools of Business, Law and Medicine. View the Business of Biomedical Science description sheet for information on this minor and how to apply.

The Cancer/Cancer Biology minor is available through the IU Simon Cancer Center and joins credits outside a student’s major department.

Giving students with a comprehensive background in integrative cardiac, vascular, renal and pulmonary (patho)biology, the Cardiovascular Sciences PhD minor is offered by the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology.

Providing students with an overview of clinical research by introducing them to core research concepts and skills, the Clinical Research PhD minor is offered by the Indiana CTSI.

Connecting scientists and health professionals to policy makers, funders, students, professionals and the public, the Communicating Science PhD minor is a program of the IUPUI Department of Communication Studies.

The Diabetes and Obesity PhD minor was developed to increase the number of scientists conducting basic research relevant to diabetes and obesity in order to address the severe and growing impact of diabetes in the United States. This education program is offered by

the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The Health Informatics PhD minor is offered through the School of Informatics and Computing to enable doctoral students in other disciplines to learn and use health informatics approaches to solve problems that arise in their academic careers.

The Life Sciences PhD minor requires 12 credits of advanced graduate-level courses taken outside a student’s major department; six of these credits must be in a single department. Interested students should speak with advisory committee for information on this minor.

This minor is designed to explore the fundamentals of policy analysis for those pursuing a career in science policy. The program blends classroom learning and a practicum. View the Policy Analysis for Biomedical Sciences description sheet for information on this minor and how to apply.

The Translational Science PhD minor is a 12-credit program for current PhD students at IUPUI.