Ph.D. in Integrative Cell Biology

Emphasis

The Ph.D. program in Integrative Cell Biology provides an enriched research environment for students to pursue their studies in contemporary topics in cell biology, crossing various disciplines from normal hematopoietic through inflammation, microbiota, and cancer. Our student will be exposed to and familiarized with cellular and molecular methodologies. We emphasize strongly on developing critical thinking, problem-solving and presentation skills in our graduate students.

Ph.D. students will be first accepted in the IPBS program and then request to matriculate in the ICB tract at the end of their third semester. MD/Ph. D. students will matriculate after finishing the second year in their medical school curriculum.

 

Financial Support

Students accepted into the ICB Ph.D. program are provided complete tuition remission for 48 credit hours, including Dissertation Supervision. The current stipend is $30,000 per year paid in monthly installments. All students are required to have medical insurance coverage, and we are pleased to announce that Loyola now pays the health insurance premium for eligible Ph.D. students.  Out of pocket expenses include student activity fee and the Health and Fitness Center membership. There is no on-campus student housing. For more information regarding Tuition and Fees for the Graduate Programs at Loyola University Medical Center, please click here.

 

Curriculum

The primary core curriculum includes Cell Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Systems Biology, Methods in Biology, Bioethics, Biostatistics, and Presentation skill.  Secondary courses are available during their second year of study. Histology course is a required course; however, students also have the options to take other elective courses such as Immunology, signal transduction, molecular oncology, gross anatomy, and neuroscience.

In addition to coursework, students also participate in both ICB journal club and seminar. In Journal Club, students closely interact with their peers and a facilitating faculty member. Students present selected journal articles and participate in stimulating research discussions amongst their peers. Journal club is intended to facilitate and assist in developing student’s presentation and critical reading skills, broaden their scientific knowledge and sharpen their critical data analysis.

The seminars are scheduled throughout the academic year with guest speakers invited by student and faculty, allowing the students to start their networking with scientists from other institutions.  The seminar is also a platform for students to present their annual research in progress.

 

Progression

Beginning in the mid-first semester Ph.D. students select their choices of rotations through interested laboratories. The rotations will provide the students the opportunity to experience the day-to-day operation of each laboratory as well as direct interaction with the potential mentor and peers.  Through this mechanism, students will also be exposed to a variety of research topics, helping them to narrow down their choice of laboratories for their dissertation work.

At the end of their third semester, students with good academic standing will proceed to prepare and take the qualifying examination. The process will begin in the fourth semester with the selection of the qualifying examination committee and research topic. The students will begin and complete their examination from June through August. The examination format is the grant proposal including both the written document and oral defense.

The students will select the topic of the grant, providing it is different from the dissertation topic. During the comprehensive examination, students are challenged in assessing current literature to identify the gap-of-knowledge and developing a new and testable hypothesis. Students will be challenged in their critical thinking, problem-solving, and their ability to design experiments to interrogate the proposed hypothesis.

Students who successfully defend their proposal will pass the qualifying examination and advance into Ph.D. candidacy. On the average, a Ph.D. student completes their dissertation within 5-6 years.