Graduate Department of
College of Medicine
Chair: Richard Nowakowski; Professors: Arbeitman, Blaber, Delp, Diaz, Galasko, Hajcak, Joyce, Kabbaj, Laywell, C. Lee, Levenson, Megraw. Nowakowski, Olcese, Ostrander, Overton, Ren, Stefanovic, Suo, Y. Wang, Zhou; Associate Professors: Bienkiewicz, Gunjan, Kumar, Pinto, Stanwood, Tomko, Y. Wang; Assistant Professors: Chelko, Crofts, Irianto, Rizkallah, Y. Wang; Eminent Scholar: Bhide; Research Faculty I: Duclot, Graham, Kao, Nemec, Pritchard, Rodriguez; Research Faculty II: McCarthy, X. Wang; Assistants in Medicine: Bradley, Connolly, Wu; Associates in Research: Foster, Singh, Vied, Y. Yang; Senior Research Associate: Mercer
The Department of Biomedical Sciences is a community of scholars dedicated to educating future physicians and scientists and advancing knowledge through discovery.
The PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the Florida State University College of Medicine is designed to train modern biomedical scientists who use genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and other contemporary approaches to address questions of developmental, cell, and molecular biology related to human health. The program is appropriate for students with majors in biochemistry, biology, or other health-related fields. We educate graduate students in scholarly, interdisciplinary approaches to conducting research from the molecular basis to systems-level approaches for the study of human disease, as well as the function of the human genome in aging, development, neuropathology, cancer, and other diseases. Research rotations during the first year allow students to make an informed choice regarding the research area and major professor with whom they will conduct their PhD work. A core curriculum of the fundamentals, the choice of electives from other departments, and intellectual interaction with faculty and postdoctoral fellows encourage graduate students to mature into independent scientists.
To apply for the PhD in Biomedical Sciences Program, students should contact the College of Medicine's Office of Research and Graduate Programs at (850) 645-6420 or visit the program's Website (https://med.fsu.edu/phd/home) for other contact information. A prospective candidate must 1) have or be a candidate for a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university and be in good standing at the last institution attended, 2) have a minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale), and 3) submit Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores. Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received a degree from an English language institution are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), receiving a minimum score of 80 on the Internet based (IB) test or 550 for the paper test. Special admission consideration may be requested for students with disabilities. Applicants must also send all required material to the University Admission Office at https://admissions.fsu.edu/gradapp.
The College of Medicine grants the PhD in Biomedical Sciences through an interdisciplinary program with the goal of training students to conduct research in the broad area of the molecular basis of human disease, including the function of the human genome in development, neurobiology, aging, cancer, and other diseases.
The curriculum for the Biomedical Sciences degree includes specialized biomedical coursework, laboratory research, and courses in biostatistics and ethics in research. The direction and supervision of graduate work at the doctoral level resides primarily with the major professor and supervisory committee, which is typically comprised of four faculty members. Laboratory rotation in at least three laboratories during the first year is a degree requirement, designed to assist students in making informed choices regarding their courses of study.
To be considered for graduation from the College of Medicine with the PhD in Biomedical Sciences, the student must successfully complete all course requirements within five calendar years from the time the student gains admittance to candidacy by passing the preliminary exam. Other requirements for graduation include attending the Health Science Seminar Series; successfully completing the preliminary doctoral examination; submitting a doctoral research proposal approved by the major professor and the supervisory committee after admission to doctoral candidacy; registering for a minimum of twenty-four semester hours of dissertation credit; and submitting, publicly presenting, and successfully defending a doctoral dissertation.
Additional details are available at https://med.fsu.edu/phd/home. Also, for complete details of degree requirements, plus a description of the college, its facilities, opportunities, and available financial assistance, refer to the "College of Medicine" chapter of this Graduate Bulletin.
Other Graduate Programs Related to Biomedical Sciences
The Program in Neuroscience is an independent research and graduate training program which includes faculty from the departments of Biological Science, Biomedical Sciences, Mathematics, and Psychology. Its objective is to promote interdisciplinary basic research into neural processes, including the biological mechanisms underlying behavior, and to provide advanced graduate training leading to the PhD degree in Neuroscience.
The Molecular Biophysics Graduate Program (MOB) at FSU is an interdisciplinary program that unites nine departments and institutes (Biological Science; Biomedical Sciences; Chemical and Biomedical Engineering; Chemistry and Biochemistry; Computational Sciences; Materials Research and Technology; Mathematics; Physics; and Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences) across four Colleges (Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Human Sciences, and Medicine). The MOB program provides graduate training for a small number of highly motivated biology, physics, engineering, and chemistry students who are eager to take advantage of the interdisciplinary research environment provided by the Institute of Molecular Biophysics. The mission is to train students at all levels in a multi-disciplinary environment with the primary unifying theme being the use of biophysical, biochemical, and computational tools to study macromolecules and their assemblies.
Definition of Prefixes
BMS—Basic Medical Sciences
GMS—Graduate Medical Sciences
IHS—Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
BMS 5081. Introduction to Clinical Ethics (2). This course explores the relationship between the respective views of moral significance, fundamental moral notions, and the resulting moral principles of several prominent ethical theories. The course discusses the relevance of these theories to the two primary ethical guidelines for clinicians: respect for autonomy and beneficence. Particular topics of ethical significance relevant to physicians in clinical practice, including the nature of the physician-patient relationship, shared decision making and informed consent, decision-making capacity, decisions by proxy/surrogate, advanced directives and DNARs, and end-of-life medical care are discussed.
BMS 5082. Ethics in the Clinical Setting (4–6). Prerequisite: BMS 5081. This course covers issues relevant to end-of-life care, offers a survey of the various forms of limited consciousness/interaction, and addresses issues involving the physician-patient relationship, issues related to healthcare delivery, as well as ethical issues relevant to specific medical specialties.
BMS 5122. Insights into Human Congenital and Development Disorders (3). Prerequisite: PCB 5595 or BMS 5525. This course is an advanced biomedical sciences course for graduate students to introduce the molecular basis of human congenital and developmental disorders. This course consists of three topics which cover genomic instability and cancer development, stem cells and their application in disease treatment, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
BMS 5185r. Research Opportunities in Biomedical Sciences (1–4). (S/U grade only). Prerequisite: Admission to the Biomedical Sciences graduate program. This course provides entering students in the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences opportunities to be informed of and receive training in research by rotating through the laboratories of several individual faculty members in the department. Students must complete three laboratory rotations. Students should register for two credit hours for each seven week rotation. May be repeated to a maximum of eight credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
BMS 5186C. Research Techniques in Biomedical Sciences (2–4). This is an advanced laboratory course for students in the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences, providing training in laboratory techniques and experimental approaches essential to contemporary molecular biology and biochemistry research.
BMS 5525. Bioregulation (4). Prerequisite: PCB 5595. This course is an advanced, lecture-based course emphasizing the molecular basis of regulation in biological systems. An important component is the study of the design and interpretation of experiments leading to understanding of regulation of gene expression. The course relies on contemporary research literature and focuses on specific model organisms and current problems that illustrate experimental approaches used to investigate different aspects of the control of gene expression.
BMS 5905r. Directed Independent Study in Biomedical Sciences (1–12). (S/U grade only). Prerequisite: Admission to the Biomedical Sciences graduate program. This is an individualized research course intended for students in the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences prior to passing the Preliminary Doctoral Examination. May be repeated to a maximum of fifty-four credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
BMS 5931. Graduate Tutorial in Biomedical Sciences (1). (S/U grade only). This course involves selected topics in contemporary Biomedical Sciences along with reading and analysis of primary literature. May be repeated for a total of fifteen semester hours within the same term. Topics to be covered will address questions of developmental, cell and molecular biology related to human health.
BMS 5935r. Advanced Topics in Biomedical Sciences (1–2). (S/U grade only). Prerequisite: Admission to the Biomedical Sciences graduate program. This is a seminar-based course in which students in the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences present seminars on current research from the literature on topics developed under the guidance of faculty members. Students critically read, analyze, and present current research. May be repeated to a maximum of eight credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
BMS 6900r. Directed Individual Study in Biomedical and Clinical Sciences (2–9). (S/U grade only). This course involves supervised individual study on selected topics. May be repeated to a maximum of eighteen semester hours. May be repeated within the same term.
BMS 6936r. Seminar in Biomedical Sciences (1–2). (S/U grade only). This course is a seminar series in current topics in biomedical sciences. May be repeated to a maximum of sixteen credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
ENT 5626. Biomedical Entrepreneurism (3). This course is an advanced biomedical sciences course for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to introduce the concepts of taking a scientific finding and creating a business model for healthcare advancements in one of the following areas: pharmaceuticals, medical devices, or laboratory services.
GMS 5095r. Modeling Human Disease (3). This is an advanced biomedical sciences course for PhD students or for upper-level undergraduate students. This course involves lectures and student-driven presentation and discussion. Students learn how to critically evaluate the scientific literature and how to use model systems for experimental research. May be repeated to a maximum of six credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
GMS 5098. Critical Review of the Scientific Literature (1–2). (S/U grade only). This course is an advanced biomedical sciences course for PhD students. This course revolves around student-driven presentations and discussions of the primary research literature. Students learn how to evaluate the scientific literature in their own field. Issues such as authorship, funding sources, citation index, journal quality, etc. are introduced as criteria for judgment.
GMS 5222r. Chromatin Structure, Epigenetics, and Human Health (3). Prerequisites: PCB 5137, PCB 5595, or BMS 5525. This course is an advanced biomedical sciences course for graduate students to introduce the recent developments in chromatin and epigenetics research in the context of human health. The course involves lectures and student-driven presentation and discussion. May be repeated to a maximum of six credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
GMS 5303. Molecular Mechanism of Common Human Diseases (3). This course introduces modern biomedical research to the graduate students. The students gain general knowledge of the most common human diseases and their molecular pathology. In addition, the attempts to find the cure and the challenges that lay ahead are discussed.
GMS 5304. RNA Silencing and Disease (3). This course explores mechanisms of RNA silencing by the different classes of small RNAs. Topics discussed include how small RNAs are generated, the proteins involved, how small RNAs regulate chromatin formation, gene expression and how they are involved in cancer and disease.
GMS 6001r. Special Topics in Biomedical Sciences (1–3). This course focuses on recent advances and outlooks in biomedical sciences research. Course offerings include but are not limited to such topics as aging, biotechnology, bioinformatics, developmental biology, genomics and proteomics, molecular signaling, neuroscience, and physiology. The general emphasis is on the molecular, genetic and cell biology aspects of these topics. May be repeated to a maximum of sixteen credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
GMS 6003. Professional and Career Development for the Biomedical Sciences (3). Prerequisite: admission to the graduate program. This career development course is designed to equip students with the professional skills they will need to complement their ongoing laboratory training and to prepare them for the transition to the next phase of their careers. Students are exposed to different aspects of research-related topics, which will benefit their thesis studies as well as their career development following graduation.
GMS 6083. Microscopy Image Processing and Qualification (2). The course is designed for students with projects that involve microscopy and are required to do image processing, as well as students with image processing problems who may join the class to troubleshoot their problem. The course is biologically oriented but can be adapted to other applications in the course's goal of understanding the basic principle of microscopy images and image processing.
GMS 6097Cr. Biomedical Sciences Research (3). This laboratory course is designed to provide students with individualized instruction in specific experimental strategies and methods important to their chosen specialty area of biomedical research training. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
GMS 6230. Bioinformatics 101 for Next Generation Sequencing (3). This workshop-based course is designed for students with biological background and limited programming experience to start bioinformatic analysis of next generation sequencing and for students with computational background to gain exposure to biological systems. Students are introduced to next generation sequencing, cluster computing, basic command line tools, and R for analyzing sequencing data.
GMS 6241. Proteomics and Metabolomics (3). The primary objective of this course is to familiarize participants with principles and current best practices in mass spectrometry-based proteomics and metabolomics workflows with an emphasis on analysis and interpretation of mass spectrometric data.
GMS 6955. Presentation Skills in Biomedical Sciences (2). (S/U grade only). Prerequisite: Admission to a graduate program at Florida State University. This is a seminar-based course in which graduate students present multiple short seminars on current research on topics developed under the guidance of faculty members. Students develop strong presentation skills while presenting their scientific work to various audiences.
IHS 5503. Qualifying Exam Part 2 - Proposal Defense (1). (S/U grade only). This course is individualized instruction for graduate students in the College of Medicine in the development of a dissertation proposal or other proposals, including the strategies, process and requirements that meet the standards for written project proposals in medical research.
IHS 5515. Ethics and Professional Integrity in Research (1). (S/U grade only). This is a required course for students in the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences. This course provides a survey of three broad areas of research ethics: issues raised by using animals in research, using people in research, and by the scientific method itself. The course presents examples of ethical decisions faced in medical research, including ascribing credit for contributions in publications, consequences of plagiarism and fraudulent data, access to genetic data, confidentiality, institutional review boards and considerations in research involving animal or human subjects.
IHS 5905r. Directed Individual Study in Health Sciences (1–12). (S/U grade only). This is a course for graduate students who desire an individualized research experience in Biomedical Sciences, Medical Humanities and Social Sciences, Public Health or other fields represented in the College of Medicine. Students receive laboratory or other training in research methods and improve their readiness for and appreciation of research in health-related science. May be repeated to a maximum of thirty-six credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
IHS 5933. Seminar on Medical Science Education (1). (S/U grade only). This seminar is preparation for supervised teaching and education outreach experiences. Topics include approaches to conduct of classes and laboratories, exam construction, ethics in teaching, legal and safety issues for instructors, and effective written and oral communication.
IHS 5935r. Health Sciences Seminar (1). (S/U grade only). This is a seminar program for students in the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences and other health-related programs. Biomedical Sciences students are required to enroll each Fall and Spring semester. May be repeated to a maximum of twelve credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
IHS 5945r. Supervised Teaching (1–5). (S/U grade only). For this course, students in the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences are required to register for a minimum of two semester hours before graduation. May be repeated to a maximum of five credit hours. May be repeated within the same term.
IHS 6980r. Dissertation Research (1–12). (S/U grade only). Prerequisite: Admission to doctoral candidacy. PhD candidates in Biomedical Sciences should register for this course after passing the Preliminary Examination. A minimum of twenty-four dissertation hours is required for graduation. May be repeated within the same term.
IHS 8960r. Qualifying Exam Part 1 - Preliminary Exam (0). (P/F grade only.) This course is the first of two qualifying exams required for admission to candidacy in the Biomedical Sciences PhD program. Exam format is left to the discretion of the supervisory committee, though traditionally there is a written section and an oral section, both composed of multiple questions provided by different members of the committee. May be repeated within the same term.
IHS 8970r. Dissertation Defense (0). (P/F grade only.) This course is the oral defense of dissertation research. One-time registration during the term in which the student expects to defend their PhD dissertation. May be repeated within the same term.
PSB 5347. Molecular Neuropharmacology (3). This course provides an in-depth description of basic principles in pharmacology and the cellular and molecular bases of drug effects in the central nervous system.