PhD Program

Program of Study

The Graduate Program in Pathobiology, within the Graduate School and Division of Biology and Medicine at Brown University, offers advanced education leading to the Ph.D.  Entering students typically have strong undergraduate qualifications in biology and biochemistry and have had prior research experience as undergraduates or in summer projects.

There are four major research and concentration themes within the Pathobiology Program:

  1. Toxicology and Environmental Pathology
  2. Infection and Immunity
  3. Cancer Biology
  4. Aging

Programs of study and research are developed individually in consultation with the student's faculty advisory committees and are designed to ensure expertise in the student's principal research field and minimize redundant course work. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged with other graduate programs in the Division as well as other University departments.

Program Activities

The major Program activity is a weekly seminar series featuring top researchers from all aspects of Pathobiology, including the fall Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Seminar Series. This weekly forum provides a platform for learning and discussion by trainees and faculty alike and an opportunity for interaction among program members. Also included is the annual Program Retreat. The Retreat features outside keynote speakers and program reviewers, research talks by advanced students and fellows, and posters from all Program laboratories in an informal day-long setting. Students also participate in a weekly student-run journal club, serve on a variety of Program Committees and are active as peer mentors to first-year Pathobiology students.


Preparation for placement in both academia and more diverse settings including industry and regulatory agencies are considered in the Pathobiology Graduate Program.  Strong emphasis is placed on developing communication and presentation skills, team-working skills and problem-solving abilities in addition to a research focus. Enrichment activities such as workshops and student dinners with invited speakers form part of the training environment in Pathobiology to better prepare graduates for diverse employment opportunities.