About the Program
The Molecular Carcinogenesis Graduate Program is a Ph.D. program for students seeking advanced training in the Molecular Biology of Cancer; Cancer Cell Biology; Genetics and Genomics; and Epigenetics. The program provides an outstanding environment for students pursuing biomedical research careers in academia and biotechnology – from cutting-edge research and first-rate facilities to courses and program activities that foster faculty-student interactions and collaborations in an intellectually stimulating atmosphere. The Molecular Carcinogenesis Graduate Program is part of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) and is located at the Science Park campus near Smithville, just 45 miles from Austin. Most participating faculty members have their primary appointments at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis.
Students interested in the Molecular Carcinogenesis Graduate Program must first apply and be admitted to the GSBS. The Molecular Carcinogenesis Graduate Program does not accept graduate school applications directly. Graduate school admissions information, deadlines, and online applications are available on the GSBS website.
Requirements for the Ph.D. degree include a broad knowledge of cancer biology. This knowledge is acquired through coursework, three laboratory rotations during the first year, a dissertation research project and participation in research seminars and journal clubs. The rotations expose students to a variety of experimental approaches and help them select their research advisors. Most coursework is completed during the first two years of study. Students advance to Ph.D. candidacy after satisfactorily completing a written and oral candidacy exam by the end of the first semester of their third year. After advancing to candidacy, students concentrate on completing their dissertation research. More information can be found on the GSBS website.
The program sponsors numerous activities that foster a highly collaborative environment and support our commitment to educate and train graduate students for successful careers in academics, biotechnology and other biomedical fields. Through these activities, students work together with classmates and faculty to develop their experimental, reasoning and communications abilities. Program activities include:
- The Mike Hogg Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series, a formalized seminar program that features 10 outstanding scientists per year
- The Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis Seminar Series, which hosts an average of 12 seminars per year focusing on faculty research interests
- The Science Park Faculty Seminar Series, which features a faculty member each month, September through May, to present current research in their laboratories
- Postdoctoral Seminar Series
- Molecular Carcinogenesis Graduate Student Seminar Series
- Invited Speaker Seminar Series
- Molecular Carcinogenesis Graduate Student Journal Club
- Annual Molecular Carcinogenesis Retreat
- GSBS Career Development Seminar via videoconference
All students are fully supported throughout their training with graduate stipends or fellowships that cover living costs, tuition, required fees and health benefits. The program also offers annual competitive awards for outstanding research projects and supports student travel to scientific meetings. Visit the GSBS Financial Assistance webpage for stipend levels and other information about fellowships and scholarships. The stipend level for 2012-2013 is $29,000 per annum, which is very competitive considering the low cost of living in Texas and absence of state income tax.