Biomedical Science

The following programs leading to the Ph.D. degree in the various areas of the biomedical sciences are offered at the University of Connecticut Health Center at Farmington. Further information about these programs may be obtained from: The Graduate Admissions Office, PhD in Biomedical Science Program, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Ave, MC3906, Farmington, Connecticut 06030-3906.

Cell Analysis and Modeling

Program Director

Professor John Carson

Associate Program Directors

Assistant Professor Michael Blinov

Associate Professor Ji Yu

Professors

Carson, Cowan, Laubenbacher, Loew, Mayer, Moraru, and Rodionov

Associate Professors

Mohler, Slepchenko and J. Yu

Assistant Professors

Blinov, Vera-Licona and Y. Wu

The Cell Analysis and Modeling (CAM) area of concentration (AoC) at UConn Health is focused on quantitative cell biological research. Multidisciplinary CAM students and faculty explore complex biological systems using advanced tools of computational cell biology, optical imaging and other quantitative experimental approaches to analyze processes in living cells. The CAM program is designed to train students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds in cutting-edge theoretical and experimental techniques required for interdisciplinary quantitative cell biological research. Students are provided with rigorous cross training in areas of mathematical, physical, and computational sciences and biology. CAM students take courses, attend seminars and perform research that combines theoretical experimental approaches. Graduate training in the CAM program is multi- mentor and student-centric, as opposed to the more conventional mentor-centric training in other programs. CAM students pursue independent research projects supervised by multiple mentors in different disciplines, which provides unique training in multi-disciplinary biomedical research.

The Cell Analysis and Modeling area of concentration is based in the Richard D. Berlin Center for Cell Analysis and Modeling (CCAM) at UConn Health, located in the new state-of-the-art Cell and Genome Sciences building at 400 Farmington Ave., which also houses the Genetics and Developmental Biology Department, the Stem Cell Institute and the Technology Incubation Program. Established in 1994, CCAM has emerged as a world-class center that promotes the application of physics, chemistry and computation to cell biology. The environment of CCAM is designed to promote interdisciplinary interactions and its cadre of computer scientists, chemists, mathematicians and physicists are supported and valued in a way that is unique for a medical school.

The CAM program consists of the following research areas: cellular modeling (analysis and simulation, data integration, modeling movies boundaries, modularity and multistate complexes, molecular flux in crowded spaces, stochastic modeling and discrete particles), optical imaging (florescent correlation spectroscopy, optical probe development, second harmonic generation, single molecule imaging), biophysics (biological signaling platforms, in vivo nanofabrication), and cell biology (cellular tissue and development, cytoskeleton dynamics, RNA trafficking, signal transduction, molecular medicine).

Cell Biology

Program Director

Professor Guo-Hua Fong

Associate Program Director

Assistant Professor Lisa Mehlmann

Professors

Arnold, Claffey, Clark, Cowan, A. Fein, Ferrer, Fong, Hand, Hansen, Hurley, Jaffe, King, Levine, Liang, Loew, Maulik, Pachter, Peluso, Pilbeam,Rodionov, Rosenberg, Rowe, White, and C. Wu.

Associate Professors

Brocke, Delany, Dodge-Kafka, Dorsky, Epstein, Han, Shapiro, Smilowitz, Terasaki, Wang, Watras, and Yue

Assistant Professors

Mehlmann, Vera-Licona, and Yee.

The Cell Biology area of concentration offers a program of study for the Ph.D. degree with comprehensive training in the modern molecular and cellular research. The program is composed of UConn Health faculty from basic as well as clinical departments, all of whom are conducting state-of
-the-art research. The fundamental philosophy of the Cell Biology program is to advance knowledge in basic and clinical problems from the cellular and molecular perspective.

The program is particularly strong in the following areas of research: angiogenesis; bone biology; cancer biology; cardiac and cardiovascular biology; cellular organelle structure and function; gene expression; molecular medicine; quantitative proteomics; reproductive biology; sensory transduction; signal transduction; tumor immunology; and vascular biology.

Genetics and Developmental Biology

Program Director

Associate Professor Blanka Rogina

Associate Program Director

Assistant Professor Stormy Chamberlain

Professors

Arnold, Benn, Carmichael, Claffey, Covault, Das, Fong, Graveley, Gunzl, Hansen, Haynes, Jaffe, Kream, Kuchel, Lalande, Liu, Mayer, Mina, Peluso, Pilbeam, Radolf, Rosenberg, Rossomando, Rowe, Ruan, Sarfarazi,Weinstock, White, and G. Wu

Associate Professors

Aguila, Chuang, Dadras, Dealy, Epstein, Lichtler, Mohler, Rogina. and J. Yu

Assistant Professors

Blinov, Chamberlain, Cotney, Ouyang, Sanjay, Stitzel, Ucar, Williams, Y. Wu, and Young.

The Ph.D. program in the area of concentration of Genetics and Developmental Biology provides qualified students with fundamental interdisciplinary training in modern molecular genetics and developmental biology, emphasizing cellular and molecular aspects as well as tissue interactions. Primary emphasis is placed upon regulation of gene expression and molecular events in development. Areas of emphasis include the mapping and cloning of human genes responsible for disease, RNA processing (including RNA editing, alternative splicing, antisense regulation, and RNA interference), the molecular mechanisms of aging, signal transduction pathways, microbial pathogenesis, developmental neurobiology, cell differentiation, musculoskeletal development, morphogenesis and pattern formation, reproductive biology and endocrinology. Faculty members are from several basic science, clinical departments and the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine and study a wide range of organisms including yeast, worms, fruit flies, mice, and humans.

Immunology

Program Director

Associate Professor H. Leonardo Aguila

Associate Program Director

Assistant Professor Linda Cauley

Professors

Adler, Clark, Haynes, Lorenzo, Radolf, Salazar, Srivastava, Vella, and Zeff

Associate Professors

Aguila, Medvedev,and Puddington

Assistant Professors

Cauley, Khanna and Rathinam

The Ph.D. program in the area of concentration of Immunology is focused on the cellular and molecular aspects of immune system structure and function in animal models and in humans.

The immunology graduate program emphasizes several areas, including: -Molecular immunology; mechanisms of antigen presentation; T cell receptor genetics, major histocompatibility complex genetics and function; cytokines and cytokine receptors, tumor antigens.

-Cellular immunology; biochemical mechanisms and biological aspects of signal transduction of lymphocytes and granulocytes; requirements for thymic and extrathymic T cell development; cytokines in B and T cell development; immunotherapy of tumors and infectious disease; immunoparasitology including parasite genetics and immune recognition of parasite antigens; mechanisms of inflammation.

-Organ-based immunology; immune effector mechanisms of the intestine; lymphocyte interactions in the lung; immune regulation of the eye.

-Autoimmunity; animal models of autoimmune disease, effector mechanisms in human autoimmunity.

In addition to basic and advanced immunology courses, the student is given a strong foundation in basic biomedical sciences through the “core curriculum” in genetics, molecular biology and cell biology. Research laboratory training aims to provide a foundation in modern laboratory technique and concentrates on hypothesis-based analysis of projects.

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Program Director

Associate Professor Kimberly Dodge-Kafka

Associate Program Director

Assistant Professor Bing Hao

Professors

Carmichael, Carson, Cowan, Das, Eipper, Hoch, King, Klobutcher, Radolf, Setlow, Torti, and Weller

Associate Professors

Dodge-Kafka, Gryk Hao, Heinen, and Maciejewski

Assistant Professors

Bezsonova, Korzhnev, Schuyler, and Tagbalout

Students interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie human disease will find a home in the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MBB) Graduate Program. From cancer to host-pathogen interactions, our students study the proteins and pathways involved with an eye toward improving disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment.

MBB students are affiliated with the Department of Molecular Biology and Biophysics (http://mbb.uchc.edu/index.html), which provides a rigorous, yet supportive community of faculty, students and staff to guide them through the Ph.D. degree process.

The primary goal of the MBB Graduate Program is to train students for the broad range of careers available in biomedical science. Whether the graduate pursues a career in academic research, biomedical industry, teaching, government or any of the other careers now available to Ph.D.s in biomedical science, we have attempted to prepare them with a solid base of knowledge, critical thinking skills and the confidence in their abilities to be successful. Graduates are expected to have demonstrated a high degree of competence in research, as judged by publications in first-rank journals. They will have developed essential skills in identifying important research problems, planning appropriate experimental approaches, and effectively communicating their research results and their significance both orally and in written form. The success of our students in these areas is exemplified by the number of first-author publications in quality scientific journals and awards received both internally at UConn Health and from national and international conferences and societies.

Categories of faculty research: Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Structural Biology and Biophysics, Computational and Modeling, Cellular Pathways, and Cancer Biology.

Neuroscience

Program Director

Associate Professor Royce Mohan

Associate Program Director

Assistant Professor Stephen Crocker

Professors

Bansal, Barbarese, Bernstein, Carson, Covault, Eipper, Frank, Kim, Kuchel, Kuwada, Levine, Loew, Ma, Mains, Maxwell, Oliver, Pachter, and Zecevic

Associate Professors

Antic, Y. Li, Mohan, Wang, and Ji Yu and L. Yue

Assistant Professors

Baumbauer, Chamberlain, Crocker, Xue-Jun Li and Young

The Neuroscience area of concentration at the University of Connecticut Health Center is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental Ph.D. program. The goal of this program is to educate young people to become future academic, industrial or public health leaders. Molecular, electrophysiological, behavioral, genetic, confocal imaging, and stem cell approaches are employed to understand the development, function, and dysfunction of the nervous system at the molecular, cellular, systems, and whole animal levels. The program offers students with a rich neuroscience curriculum and research opportunities covering a broad spectrum of modern neuroscience. For additional information, see: http://neuroscience.uchc.edu.

Skeletal Biology and Regeneration

Program Director

Associate Professor Caroline Dealy

Associate Program Director

Associate Professor Anne Delany

Professors

Arnold, Cannalis, Dongari-Bagtoglou, Drissi, Frank, Goldberg, Hand, Hansen, Hurley, Kream, Lalande,Laurencin, Lurie, Mina, Pilbeam, and Rowe

Associate Professors

Bayarsaihan, Dealy, Delany, P. Epstein, Kalajzic, Kuhn, S-K Lee, Lichtler, Reichenberger, Rogina and Y.H. Wang

Assistant Professors

Chen, Cotney, Diaz, Guzzo, Khan, Kumbar, Maye, Nair, Nukavarapu, and Sanjay

The Skeletal Biology and Regeneration Program is focused on the study of the basic biological properties of skeletal, craniofacial and oral tissues and regeneration of connective tissues. Research in Skeletal Biology and Regeneration is problem oriented and multidisciplinary, incorporating contemporary research techniques of cellular and molecular biology, and biochemistry. The faculty in the program represent a number of schools, departments, institutes and centers. This interdisciplinary group of scientists is engaged in advancing understanding of the biology of bone, cartilage, teeth, oral tissues and skin and exploring development, maintenance, disease, and the potential for regeneration of these tissues.

Trainees participate in regular events including an annual retreat and seminar series. A federally funded institutional training grant is associated with the program.

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