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Department Overview

C516 Health Sciences

Pathology, the study of disease: its causes, mechanisms, and effects on the body, is both a basic biological science and a specialty of medicine. As a medical specialty, practiced by MDs, it includes the laboratory evaluation of organs, tissues, and fluids to assist other physicians in reaching a diagnosis. As a basic science, practiced by PhDs, pathology focuses on the experimental investigation of the molecular processes of disease, using techniques of cell and organ culture, biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics.

The department offers graduate training in experimental pathology, with emphasis on the cellular and molecular biological basis of disease. The program trains individuals for careers as practicing scientists in biomedical research, investigating basic disease mechanisms. Emphasis is on developing skills in hypothesis generation and testing, including the design, accomplishment, and critical interpretation of experiments. Experimental pathology uses the full range of biomedical research techniques (including biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, animal modeling) to elucidate the mechanisms underlying human disease. Graduates usually continue research careers at biotechnology companies or universities/research institutes.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Adviser
C516 Health Sciences, Box 357470
(206) 616-7551

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

  1. Copy of the Graduate School Application
  2. Official transcripts
  3. Official GRE scores. Subject test in biology or related area recommended.
  4. Statement of purpose and research interests
  5. Three or more letters of recommendation
  6. Personal statement that addresses the relationship between personal background and aspirations

Special Requirements

Undergraduate courses in the sciences. Acceptable scores on the GRE, including advanced biology or chemistry. Some experience in a research laboratory strongly recommended. Those wishing to matriculate toward both the MD and PhD degrees must gain admission to both the Graduate School and the School of Medicine.

Degree Requirements

90 credits

  1. Required coursework: PATH 500, PATH 501, PATH 507, PATH 512), PATH 513, PATH 515, PATH 516, PATH 551; BIOST 511; CONJ 538, CONJ 539
  2. Research before the general examination: PATH 600
  3. Research after the general examination: PATH 800
  4. Recommended courses: CONJ 531, CONJ 532
  5. General examination
  6. Dissertation
  7. Final examination

Financial Aid

Funding is provided from departmental and University funds, training grants, a variety of institutional fellowships, and research grants of individual faculty members.

Research Facilities

The department emphasizes the cellular and molecular approach to the investigation of the pathogenesis of disease in mammalian species. Special facilities exist for training in electron microscopy; cell, tissue, and organ culture; recombinant DNA techniques; histochemistry and cytochemistry; analytical biochemistry; immunology; and molecular and cell biology.

Residency Training Program

The department supervises a residency-training program in anatomic pathology and, jointly with the Department of Laboratory Medicine, in clinical pathology for qualified medical doctors. Subspecialty training is also available through clinical fellowships. Persons who complete the residency program are eligible for certification by the American Board of Pathology. For additional information, contact the Resident Program Director, Department of Pathology, Box 356100, or visit the residency program website.