University of Pittsburgh Department of Cell Biology

Program Description

The program in Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology has a rich tradition of scientific training and discovery. Graduates of the Ph.D. program are now chairs of departments at six major U.S. medical schools. Today, the department brings together basic and clinical research faculty who are dedicated to their research programs and to the training of students. Among the medical school departments, this faculty is uniquely focused on integrative biology; that is, using the tools of genetics and molecular biology to understand the integrated functions of cells and organisms in the era following description of the human genome.

Our program offers the opportunity to interact with multiple, well-supported faculty with international reputations. Students receive stipends throughout their training, which is a rich experience going far beyond formal classroom training, including numerous journal clubs, research conferences and the opportunity to attend national and international meetings. The central theme of integrative biology in our program plays out in research projects that are focused on important diseases, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as inherited disorders of developmental and reproductive function.

Graduate Teaching

The Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology Graduate Program is closely associated with the Department of Cell Biology as part of the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Graduate Program. Graduate faculty participate in teaching students in the Foundations of Biomedical Research course, as well as advanced courses in multiple graduate disciplines.

Graduate training

The Cell Biology faculty is actively engaged in training students in the fundamentals of modern biomedical research. Students may be associated with one of many graduate programs on campus, including the:

Postdoctoral training

Postdoctoral training is an integral part of the development of the modern scientific career. The Department of Cell Biology is committed to training high caliber postdoctoral researchers for careers in all aspects of science. Postdoctoral associates are actively mentored throughout their tenure in the department and are encouraged to participate in the Departmental Postdoc Seminar Series, as well as other data and literature clubs across campus. The resources and expertise at the University of Pittsburgh provide for a robust and diverse postdoctoral training experience.

Undergraduate training

In addition to training PhD and MD/PhD students, the graduate faculty are actively involved in mentoring undergraduate students through the Summer Undergraduate Research Program. This highly competitive programs provides opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in cutting edge biomedical research over a summer break.