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About the Program


Students interested in the Molecular Carcinogenesis Graduate Program must 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.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Ph.D. degree include a broad knowledge of molecular and cellular biology, with an emphasis on 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.

Program Activities

Beyond traditional laboratory-based training, the Molecular Carcinogenesis program provides additional opportunities that foster a highly collaborative environment and prepare students for successful careers in science. Program activities include a range of seminar series, journal clubs, conferences, student retreats, and other opportunities for networking and career development.

Financial Support and Stipends

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.

About Science Park

Research Highlight

Researchers in Dr. Xuetong Shen’s lab are using the INO80 chromatin remodeling complex in yeast as a model system to study the function of actin in the nucleus. They recently showed that actin monomers in the INO80 complex play a role in the process of chromatin remodeling – challenging the dogma that actin functions through polymerization, and revealing a novel mechanism for nuclear actin.

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Learn more about the Shen lab

© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center