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Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in Pathology

The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine offers a research-based PhD program in pathology. The Indiana BioMedical Gateway (IBMG) Program is the expected route for entry into the PhD program in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Admitted students take a common curriculum of didactic courses and rotate in various research laboratories. Selection of a research laboratory at the end of the first academic year determines the student’s degree department.


Applications for PhD programs in pathology are processed through the IU School of Medicine BioMedical Gateway (IBMG) program online application system.

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Sample Curriculum

The curriculum includes the IBMG core courses electives as described below:

Fall Semester 1 Spring Semester 1
• GRDM-G505: Responsible Conduct of Research (1 cr.)
• GRDM-G700: Translating Foundational Science to Contemporary Knowledge (1 cr.)
• GRDM-G702: Entering Biomedical Science Research (1 cr.)
• GRDM-G715: Biomedical Science 1 (2 cr.)
• GRDM-G716: Biomedical Science 2 (2 cr.)
• GRDM-G717: Biomedical Science 3 (2 cr.)
• GRDM-G718: Biomedical Science Research Rotations (2 cr.)
• GRDM-G507: Reagent Validation as a Means for Enhanced Research Reproducibility (1 cr.)
• Research Communication
(choose one from the list below, 1 cr. Each)


o COMM-C534: Distilling Your Message
o COMM-C533: Improvisation for Scientists
o ENG-W533: Science Writing for Public Readers

• GRDM-G718: Biomedical Science Research Rotations (2 cr.)
• GRDM-G718: Biomedical Science Research Rotations (2 cr.)

Fall Semester 2 Spring Semester 2
• GRDM-G855: Experimental Design
• Major and/or minor program requirements
• Major and/or minor program requirements

Major program requirements

  • C963 General and Clinical Pathology (4 cr) (must have prior histology and microbiology background in order to take this course)
  • C808 Graduate Student Seminar (2 – 4 cr)
  • C859 Research in Pathology (45 cr. minimum)

Minor program requirements: 12 credits in a related discipline; 6 of which must be obtained from a single department or program.

A total of 90 credits are needed for degree completion; this total includes at least 35 credits of didactic course work and at least 45 credits of C859 Research in Pathology. Electives chosen from other IU School of Medicine basic science departments and other IUPUI basic science departments vary depending on the research interests of the individual student.

PhD Experimental Pathology Track

The PhD Experimental Pathology program provides the basis for a career of teaching and performing pathology research in academic medicine or in science-related industries.

Academic Advising

An IBMG adviser guides each student to make decisions about course work to ensure that he or she is familiar with the department, the faculty, and the research opportunities available. The student, with the adviser and with involved faculty members, selects a major adviser based on the premise that the student will complete the PhD research project under the guidance of that adviser. The major adviser assists the student in selecting additional faculty as needed to make up the PhD advisory committee.

The advisory committee is responsible for preparing and administering the doctoral qualifying examination. After the doctoral qualifying examination has been completed, the research committee is selected. The research committee guides the student to completion of the PhD.

The research project is the focus of the PhD program; research opportunities are available in many areas of pathology. The Graduate Faculty of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine works to match students with projects that are appropriate to their individual areas of interest and expertise.

Recent Thesis and Dissertation Titles

  • Clinical Chemistry
    Determination of Pseudocholinesterase Phenotype using the Kodak Ektachem: Comparison Phenotype using the DuPont ACA and Genotype by Dot-Blot Following Polymerase Chain Reaction.
  • Hematopathology/Immunohematology/Flow Cytometry

    • Effect of Ultraviolet B Light on Antibody Production to the Hapten Dinitrophenyl in a Murine Model
    • Flow Cytometric Evaluation of P-Glycoprotein Associated Multi-drug Resistance in Acute Leukemia Patients at Diagnosis Using Monoclonal Antibody 4E3
    • Flow Cytometric DNA Analysis of Mantle Cell Lymphoma: Clinicopathologic and Immunophenotypic Correlates
    • Flow Cytometric Determination of P-Glycoprotein Expression on Blast Cells from Pediatric Leukemia Patients
    • Factor VIIa as a Predictor of Thromboembolic Events

  • Microbiology/Immunology

    • Interactions of Streptococcus mutans Fimbriae Binding with Salivary Components Characterization of the Colonization Factor Antigen 1 (CFA/1) Operon Encoding CFA/1 Fimbriae of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli.
    • Candida and Cryptococcus Semi-automated Antifungal Susceptibility Testing Utilizing the Bactec 9240J
    • The Effect of IL-2 in HIV-infected Individuals Vaccinated with Tetanus Toxoid, using CD69 and BvdU Uptake to measure Lymphocyte Responsiveness
    • Enhanced Detection of Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus in Pediatric Blood Cultures
    • Characterization of Polyclonal Anti-peptidoglycan Antibodies that Differentiate Between Cell Wall Fragments of Gram-Negative Bacteria and Gram-Positive Bacteria by Enzyme Inhibition Assay
    • Immunology of Murine Pneumocystis carinii Infection
    • RAPD PCR DNA Fingerprinting on Sequential Isolates of Histoplasma capsulatum from AIDS Patients Failing Fluconazole Therapy
    • Typing of Pneumocystis carinii f. sp. hominis Isolates and Effects of Pneumocystis carinii Infection on Host Gene Expression
    • Effects of Pneumocystis carinii on Alveolar Macrophage Function during Infection
    • Serum and Secretory IgA Immunity in HIV-1 Infection
    • The Pneumocystis carinii Cyst: Infectivity and Role in Damage in a Rat Mode of Infection
    • Diagnosis of Trichomonas vaginalis: a Comparison of Existing and Experimental Diagnostic Tests for Routine Clinical Use

  • Cytopathology/Anatomic Pathology

    • Biochemical Pattern-Targeted Anticancer Drug Treatment
    • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis: A Genotype – Phenotype Correlation
    • Flow Cytometric Analysis of DNA Ploidy Correlated with 14q Allelic Imbalance in Renal Cell Carcinoma
    • A Study of Reproductive Tissue of pcd Mutant Mice
    • Evaluation of Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation and Apoptosis after Intramural Heparin Delivery with Hydrogel-coated Balloons
    • Molecular Evidence for the Independent Origin of Extra-Ovarian Tumors in Advanced Stage Ovarian *Papillary Serous Tumors of Low Malignant Potential
    • Characterization of Antibodies Produced to the Novel Carboxyl-terminus of the Inv Protein
    • FHIT Expression in Prostatic Tumors

Program Requirements

To earn a PhD in experimental pathology, students must complete a minimum of 90 credits hours, of which at least 35 are course credits and at least 45 are research credits. Other requirements include a PhD minor consisting of the IBMG core curriculum or at least 12 course credits in a related discipline or life science; Pathology C693 or equivalent (grade of B or higher); and Graduate Student Seminar C808 (1- 4 credits). Students must successfully complete the doctoral qualifying examination as well as a research project resulting in a doctoral dissertation.