Cancer Biology (Ph.D.)

Historically, researchers involved in cancer biology research have focused on a particular field in biology or medicine relating to alterations in fundamental biological processes that result in malignancy, progression to fatal metastatic disease, or success or failure of therapy. However, continued advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment require scientists to have a greater specialization in the biology of cancer while, at the same time, exposure to a host of disciplines, ranging from biochemistry to cell biology and immunology, and to state-of-the-art cell biology and molecular biology methods. The Cancer Biology Graduate Program at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is dedicated to providing an outstanding training experience in the rapidly evolving field of cancer research. Our philosophy is that to train the next generation of cancer researchers requires a strong interdisciplinary graduate curriculum with a major focus on the biology of cancer, and opportunities to regularly interact with clinicians engaged in cancer diagnosis and treatment. The goal is to develop scientists with capacities for critical scientific thinking needed to conduct original research as independent cancer investigators. The Ph.D. program consists of formal course work which provides a comprehensive education in the basic concepts, along with solid training in the core disciplines, that serve contemporary cancer research. Graduates gain a broad understanding of the fundamental principles that underlie this diverse and dynamic field with in-depth knowledge in their dissertation discipline. An integral part of the training experience involves opportunities to develop written and oral communication skills essential to future success as a cancer researcher.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School and the graduate programs in the School of Medicine. Applicants to this program should have a background in one of the chemical or biological sciences; applicants with other backgrounds will be considered for admission depending on their competence related to specific areas of interest within the program. Admission is based on previous academic accomplishments, as documented by a transcript of a degree in-progress or a posted official transcript of a completed degree. A minimum 3.0 grade point average is required although students typically have averages well in excess of this minimum. Graduate Record Examination scores, a statement of purpose, recommendations and a personal interview are required for admission. Applicants with previous research experience are strongly encouraged to apply and a description of their research experience should be provided. International students must be proficient in English, as determined by satisfactory performance on the TOEFL English proficiency examination.