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Graduate Program in Pathology

grad_school_logo_gold.jpgThe postgraduate program in Pathology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center bridges both basic scientific and clinical research.

Pathology is a specialty of medical practice which incorporates the information provided by basic scientific research into day-to-day clinical practice that provides critical diagnostic information for patient care. Therefore, postgraduate study in pathology is unique, because it is by nature multidisciplinary and may include study in any one of multiple basic scientific disciplines (e.g. biochemistry, neuroscience, etc.), clinical research or health services research.


The Department of Pathology offers a four- to five-year program of study leading to the PhD degree in Pathology. The program starts in the fall with required pathology program course work. However, since a student's laboratory experience underpins his/her success as a potential independent researcher, students begin laboratory rotations in the spring semester of their first year in order to identify their dissertation laboratory and advisor as soon as possible.

The program continues with a combination of course and laboratory work, and finishes with independent research conducted in the laboratory of one of the faculty in the Pathology graduate PhD program. These faculty have primary appointments in other basic and clinical sciences departments, broadening the scope and opportunities for multidisciplinary research.

The student's dissertation and advisor is decided based on input from the student, potential advisor, pathology graduate program director and the dean of the graduate school. Course work in later years of the program of study are elective courses pertinent to the student's specific dissertation discipline and project and are identified by the student and his/her advisor.

Professional pathways

The PhD degree in Pathology allows the student to work in different pathways, such as:

Research / academia

  • Biomarkers identification
  • Cancer and tumor biology
  • Infectious disease
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Mechanisms of addiction
  • Pathology of bariatric surgery
  • Mechanisms controlling clinically serious pediatric diarrhea
  • Teaching in higher education

Clinical best practice

  • Management of specimens submitted for pathologic diagnosis and ancillary studies
  • Quality improvement of pathology practice
  • HLA typing for organ transplantation success optimization

Extra-departmental interests

  • Bio banking
  • Bioinformatics

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