College of Medicine

The College of Medicine has an Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBS) program with an undifferentiated first-year core curriculum that serves as the entry point for eight doctoral programs housed in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Students in the MD/PhD Program receive credit for successful completion of the first two years of medical school that satisfies the requirements of first year of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Program curriculum.

Anatomy and Neurobiology

An energetic faculty and flexible curriculum are directed toward giving the graduate competitive research and teaching credentials. Research in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology is focused on range of disciplines related to the nervous system. State-of-the-art approaches to the structure and function of neural, neuroendocrine and reproductive systems, as well as a research on neurodegeneration, regeneration, and imaging represent particular strengths of the department.

Director of Graduate Studies: Wayne Cass, PhD

Interdisciplinary PhD in Clinical and Translational Science

The primary emphasis of the program will be mentored training in the conduct of research leading to well-reasoned original contributions to knowledge in health and treatment of disease. The program will support the development of the next generation of academically innovative, productive, and transformative researchers and leaders in CTS and support the development of the academic discipline of CTS at the University of Kentucky.

Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics

There are more than 30 faculty in the Microbiology graduate program with research activities focused in six areas: molecular biology, immunology, tumor biology, cell biology, microbial pathogenesis, and virology. The training program is flexible and blends an appropriate mixture of didactic courses, seminars, research and independent study for each student. Emphasis is placed on training students to become successful independent researchers and our laboratories provide excellent training opportunities in state-of-the-art research in basic science and medically related areas.

Director of Graduate Studies: Charlotte Kaetzel, PhD

Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology

The graduate program emphasizes training in state-of-the-art laboratory methods in Molecular and Biomedical Pharmacology. Opportunities are available to work with enthusiastic faculty in intriguing research fields such as Alzheimer's disease; brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases; calcium signaling and ion channels; cancer and metastasis; cardiovascular disease; memory and cognition; regulation of gene expression by growth factors, nuclear receptors, and transcription factors.

Director of Graduate Studies: Robert W. Hadley, PhD

Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

The Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry is composed of faculty dedicated to the elucidation of fundamental mechanisms of living organisms with special strengths in molecular structure, transcription, signal transduction, membrane biogenesis and function, cell division and development with applications to aging, heart disease, cancer, infectious diseases, and diabetes. As biochemistry is a core scientific component of all modern biomedical science, the training obtained in this department gives the student a flexibility that enhances competitiveness in many fields.

Director of Graduate Studies: Michael Mendenhall, PhD

Nutritional Sciences

The multidisciplinary Ph.D. program in Nutritional Sciences emphasizes the molecular regulation of disease and nutritional intervention in the treatment and prevention of disease. The diverse research areas of the 60 faculty members in the program encompass research from food sources to the impact of nutrition on the genome and metabolomic regulation. The primary research areas of the faculty are diabetes, obesity, cancer, inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

Director of Graduate Studies: Howard Glauert, PhD


The Department of Physiology is a large, diverse community with 32 primary faculty. Our faculty investigate mechanisms of physiological function and dysfunction at the molecular, cellular, organ system and behavioral levels. Our scientific expertise provides outstanding research training opportunities in neurophysiology, cardiovascular biology, endocrinology, muscle biology, sensory physiology, and renal biology. Recent MD/PhD students have focused on the clinically relevant areas of aging, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and spinal cord injury.

Director of Graduate Studies: Bret Smith, PhD


The Graduate Center for Toxicology prepares scientists for careers in research on the molecular mechanisms of toxicity. The program’s areas of research strength are: DNA damage and its repair and their relationship to cancer, the roles of oxidative stress in toxic injury, transport and metabolism of toxicants, toxic effects on the cardiovascular system, neurotoxicology, and immunotoxicology. Several faculty are physician scientists who translate their basic research interests into appropriate therapeutic modalities

Director of Graduate Studies: Liya Gu, PhD