Graduate Program

The PhD program in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics is designed to prepare candidates for research careers in academics, industry, and government laboratories. The program has, at its heart, a close student-mentor relationship that allows for the maximum flexibility in the development of independent and creative scientists.

Students will have the opportunity to join faculty research programs across a spectrum of topics including: pathogenic microbiology, virology, cancer cell and molecular biology, and cellular and molecular immunology. Specific research areas include microbial physiology, bacterial pathogenicity, cellular and molecular immunology, tumor immunology, lymphocyte differentiation, membrane biology, molecular virology, molecular genetics, and gene regulation. Students will utilize the techniques of molecular biology, genetic engineering, genomics, array technology, transgenic technology, hybridoma technology, and fluorescence-activated cell sorting.

The program of study is tailored to the individual background and career goals of the student and stresses an interdepartmental approach both in the selection of courses and in the pursuit of research. The most important aspect of the doctoral program is an independent research thesis under the direction of the student's mentor. Students are expected to participate in graduate seminars, journal clubs, and research seminars, to interact with visiting scholars and to present the results of their research at local and national meetings. Financial aid is available for qualified students.

Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBS)

All students pursuing degrees in the biomedical sciences at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine are admitted through the integrated biomedical sciences (IBS). This first-year core curriculum provides broad-based exposure to biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, cell signaling, and integrated physiology and flexibility in selecting a research emphasis among 175 faculty in the six participating departments: microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; neuroscience; molecular and cellular biochemistry; physiology; pharmacology and nutritional sciences; and toxicology and cancer biology. Students select their doctoral program among the six participating departments at the completion of the first year core curriculum. The doctoral degree is awarded in the program chosen, for example, in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics.

All full-time students in good standing are provided tuition and stipend support, health insurance, and payment of fees. The integrated biomedical sciences website has a Frequently Asked Questions page that lists the current yearly stipend.

Information regarding the microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics program and admission through the integrated biomedical sciences may be obtained from:

Brett Spear, PhD,
Director of Graduate Studies
UK Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics
210 Combs Building
800 Rose Street, Lexington, KY 40536-0298