Biomedical Sciences PhD

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Biomedical Sciences PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy in the Biomedical Sciences program is intended to educate and train the next generation of biomedical researchers. The interdisciplinary program will emphasize specific training in one of three tracts: biomedical materials science, biomedical imaging and bioengineering, or pathology. The plan of study begins with core coursework, followed by a combination of elective coursework and laboratory research, and finishes with mentored research on an independent dissertation project in the laboratory of one of the program faculty. Students will be educated through didactic instruction, laboratory practicums, and involvement in active research projects.

Successful graduates of the program will be expected to possess the necessary skills for careers in academic teaching and scholarly independent research at universities, junior colleges, or undergraduate institutions, industry or government service.

Biomedical Materials Science track

  • Amol Janorkar, PhD, Director

The Biomedical Sciences PhD program offers a track in Biomedical Materials Science that gives students a solid background in materials science and biomaterials through a structured course work and a hands-on research project. Graduates will possess the necessary skills for research careers in academia as well as industry. Entering students must have an undergraduate degree in engineering, science, or healthcare.

The education of the student focuses on the fundamental understanding of materials science and the biological principles that govern the response to biomedical materials and devices when implanted in the body. Students are educated through didactic instruction, laboratories, and involvement in active research projects. Areas of research include mechanical design optimization of dental implants; synthesis and modification of polymeric biomaterials; tissue engineering; investigation of cellular biology (obesity, liver diseases); drug delivery systems; three dimensional computer modelling and validation of dental restorations and oral-maxillofacial implants; fatigue, fracture, and failure analysis of implant materials and ceramics; bioactive, antimicrobial, and osseointegrative implant coatings; and others.

Depending on a student’s educational background (biological sciences, engineering), additional didactic instruction is provided. Students are educated in various ways to prepare them as well-rounded researchers. For example, students are trained to be competent in using the multiple biomedical materials analysis techniques available within the department. Students are coached to critically evaluate the published scientific literature and present the results of their own scientific investigations, both orally and in writing, cogently, with appropriate statistical analysis. The graduate program facilitates rotations for the students in research labs that are outside of their mentor’s lab to broaden their exposure to different scientific disciplines. Students are also provided opportunities to participate in various community outreach activities such as K-12 education, community events to demonstrate science related information, and judging at science fairs. All students actively mentor high school, undergraduate, and dental students in their research.

For more information about Biomedical Materials Science, please visit https://umc.edu/sod/Departments/Biomedical-Materials-Science/Biomedical-Materials-Science.html  

Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering track

  • Candace M. Howard-Claudio, MD, PhD, Director

This program is designed for highly qualified candidates with a bachelor’s, MS, or MD degree with a particular interest in biomedical imaging science, specifically, how it relates to its applications of image analysis and biotechnology employed in biomedical research. The focus of the program is how physical and mechanistic principles manifest through bio-imaging in an effort to establish links into clinical sciences through didactic and elective coursework in addition to laboratory research. Each student will conduct mentored research with the goal of continuing his or her work in a career in biotechnology, clinical research, translational or basic science research.

Students enrolled in the program have the opportunity to develop a broad base of understanding of general and systemic human pathology and physiology, biomedical imaging, and medical imaging physics that fosters the ability to synthesize emergent information with current knowledge and translate it to biomedical and biotechnological research applicable to a variety of fields of medicine. In addition, students will develop an understanding of the clinical imaging in order to gain an appreciation of the range of possibilities in biomedical applications of biomedical imaging and how basic science and clinically applied radiology research findings contribute to patient care. Examples include providing students the underlying principles of biomedical imaging including the basic physics and mathematics associated with each modality including X-ray, CT, SPECT, PET, US and MRI. Additionally, students will be introduced to the methods currently being used for biomedical image processing and analysis, concepts of digital imaging and image enhancement, and advanced image analysis technologies such as image segmentation, registration and morphological analysis.

An important and unique opportunity in the program is the opportunity to perform independent research, strive to obtain grant funding, and have the opportunity to publish in the emerging field of medical health services focused on biotechnology, epidemiology, and clinical imaging.

Pathology track

  • Michael Ryan, PhD, Interim Director

Highly qualified candidates with a bachelor's, MS, or MD degree may be admitted. The program begins with didactic coursework, followed by a combination of elective coursework and laboratory research and finishes with mentored research performing an independent project in the laboratory of one of the program faculty. Students enrolled in the program will be able to develop a broad base of understanding of general and systemic human pathology that fosters the ability to synthesize emergent information with current knowledge. In addition, students will be able to develop an introductory understanding of the clinical practice of pathology in order to gain an appreciation of how basic science and clinically applied pathology research findings contribute to pathology medical practice and patient care. An important and unique opportunity in the program is the opportunity to perform independent research in the area of laboratory medicine health services focused on quality improvement and patient safety.

For more information

If you have additional questions that are not answered above, contact Dr. Amol Janorkar:

  • Amol V. Janorkar, PhD
    Professor and Graduate Program Director
    Biomedical Materials Science
    School of Dentistry
    University of Mississippi Medical Center
    2500 N. State St., Room D 528
    Jackson, MS 39216
    (601) 984-6170
    Fax: (601) 984-6087