The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Program Directors: Dr. William Theurkauf and Dr. Craig Peterson
Program Faculty
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Homepage

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program is characterized by:

  • a streamlined and flexible graduate curriculum tailored to the specific needs of individual students;
  • participation from more than 130 UMMS labs; and
  • encouragement of students’ rapid initiation into full-time thesis research. 

The Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) was established to support interdisciplinary approaches to graduate training in biomedical research. The more than 130 laboratories that participate in the program are directed by a distinguished group of faculty affiliated with 13 basic science and clinical departments at the Medical School. Program investigators employ a wide range of instrumentation and experimental approaches to their research including: classical and molecular genetics; proteomics and genomics; X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance; and digital imaging and laser confocal microscopy of single cells and tissues. Specialized core facilities in gene chip analysis, mass spectroscopy, transgenics, DNA sequencing, analytical ultracentrifugation and biomedical imaging enhance the research capabilities of individual labs.

Characterized by a streamlined and flexible graduate curriculum that is tailored to the specific needs of individual students, the IGP encourages rapid initiation of full-time thesis research. A weekly seminar series, sponsored by the Program in Molecular Medicine, features distinguished lecturers from around the world. IGP students also host one or two of these seminars each semester, and faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows participate in weekly journal clubs and research forums.

Program Requirements 

The IGP curriculum allows students the opportunity to become fully engaged in thesis research as early as the end of their first year. Students are encouraged to perform two laboratory rotations per semester in order to ensure that they are exposed to a variety of experimental approaches and laboratory environments. Optimally, rotations will be completed and a thesis laboratory selected by the summer of a student’s first year. Advanced coursework, journal clubs and other enrichment activities beyond the graduate core course are tailored to the requirements of each student and are determined after discussion between the faculty advisor and student. In general, a minimum of two Advanced Topics courses are required.