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Graduate Program In Life Sciences (GPILS)

The Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS) offers cutting-edge translational research training in basic, biomedical, clinical, and population sciences. We offer seven PhD granting graduate programs and three MS-level programs.

Our graduate programs cover the entire range of biomedical research and life sciences including the basics of protein structure and molecular biology, integrative systems physiology, virology, vaccine development, behavior, cognition, population-based genetics, and the impact of the environment on human health.

PhD Granting Programs

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research areas include structural biology (crystallography and NMR spectroscopy), gene expression and regulation, cardiac muscle biology, DNA repair and cancer cell biology,  fluorescence spectroscopy, and viral DNA packaging.

Epidemiology and Human Genetics

Epidemiology and Human Genetics

Students admitted to the program choose one of three different research tracks: EpidemiologyMolecular Epidemiology, or Human Genetics.

Research areas in the Human Genetics track include complex disease genetics, biochemical genetics, gene mapping and function, infectious disease genetics, psychiatric genetics, pharmacogenetics, DNA instability, and cancer cytogenetics.

Research areas in the Epidemiology and Molecular Epidemiology tracks include vaccine evaluation, hospital epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance, issues in long-term care, disability in older adults, complementary and alternative therapies, global health and health disparities, veterinary epidemiology, injury epidemiology, cancer epidemiology, and genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular and other diseases.



The program provides an interdisciplinary and integrative perspective on the process of human aging and the experiences of growing old. The approach acknowledges the complex, dynamic, and bi-directional relationships among individuals and the historical, political, economic, environmental, psychological, social, cultural, and biological contexts in which aging occurs.

Molecular Medicine

Molecular Medicine

Students admitted to the program choose one of three different research tracks: Cancer Biology, Genome Biology, or Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Pharmacology.

Research areas in the Cancer Biology track include the identification of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, pathways of DNA damage and repair, cell cycle regulation, growth regulatory factors and cytokines, technological advancements in genomics, proteomics, and tissue arrays, and the development of successful cancer chemotherapies and immunotherapies based on the knowledge of specific molecular targets.

Research areas in the Genome Biology track include cancer genomics, human genomics, microbial genomics, model organism genomics, evolutionary and comparative genomics, and molecular processes surrounding gene and genome function.

Research areas in the Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Pharmacology track include brain development and behavior, cardiac biology, ion channels, GI and mucosal biology, gene regulation, synaptic transmission, molecular modeling, muscle biology, intercellular calcium signaling, membrane biology, and many other fundamental physiological processes at the cell and molecular level.

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Research areas include microbial pathogenesis, immune cell function, inflammation, receptor signaling, prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene regulation, genetic manipulation of cell functions, tumor immunology and immunotherapy, vaccine development, functional genomics, gene delivery, and derivation of transgenic animals.



Research areas include addiction, synaptic and neural circuit form and function, neurodevelopment, neuroendocrinology, pain, schizophrenia, depression, neurodegeneration, stroke recovery, TBI, and cognition.

Physical Rehabilitation Science

Physical Rehabilitation Science

Research areas include neuromotor control, rehabilitation, musculoskeletal performance, rehabilitation epidemiology, and rehabilitation engineering and robotics.

MS Granting Programs

Cellular and Molecular Biomedical Science

Cellular and Molecular Biomedical Science

This program is designed to develop scientists for the post-genomic era by combining traditional areas of biomedical study, including molecular and cell biology, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, cancer biology, and genomics into a unique interdisciplinary graduate training program.

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research areas include structural biology (crystallography and NMR spectroscopy), gene expression and regulation, cardiac muscle biology, DNA repair and cancer cell biology,  fluorescence spectroscopy, and viral DNA packaging.

Epidemiology and Clinical Research (Epidemiology Track)

Epidemiology and Clinical Research (Epidemiology Track)

This track is only for internal applicants. Please reach out Jonathan Shinnick for more information.

Epidemiology and Clinical Research (Clinical Research Track)

Epidemiology and Clinical Research (Clinical Research Track)

This track is designed specifically to meet the needs of the clinician or clinician-in-training by providing a combination of coursework and research experiences needed for a successful career in clinical investigation. Students may select from multiple concentration areas: epidemiologic research, patient-oriented research, outcomes/health services research, human genetics, and research ethics.

Human Genetics and Genomic Medicine

Human Genetics and Genomic Medicine

This program is designed for students contemplating careers in human genetics, especially as it relates to health and disease. This track includes coursework, seminars, and supervised research culminating in a thesis. The MS in Human Genetics and Genomic Medicine follows a similar curriculum as the PhD Track in Human Genetics but with the second year devoted largely towards a master's thesis.



August 20, 2023

Research Discovers Less Toxic Therapy Against Multiple Myeloma

July 21, 2023

Scientists Identify New Cause of Heart Failure Condition in Children – And Successfully Reverse Its Effects

July 19, 2023

Systematic single amino acid affinity tuning of CD229 CAR T cells retains efficacy against multiple myeloma and eliminates on-target off-tumor toxicity

April 26, 2023

First-generation doctoral student shares his amazing STEM journey

March 31, 2023

Traumatic Brain Injury Interferes with Immune System Cells’ Recycling Process in Brain Cells

February 22, 2023

The Molecular Mechanism Behind Abdominal Aneurysms

January 24, 2023

Special Vascular Cells Adjust Blood Flow in Brain Capillaries Based on Local Energy Needs

January 6, 2023

UM School of Medicine Scientists Create First Extensive Brain Cell Data Repository

December 22, 2022

A Three-Dose Malaria Vaccine Shows Safety, Efficacy in West African Adults

December 12, 2022

University of Maryland School of Medicine Launches New Maryland Institute for Neuroscience Discovery (UM-MIND)

November 14, 2002

Brain Area Thought to Impart Consciousness, Behaves Instead Like an Internet Router

October 31, 2022

NCI Grants Awarded to IHV to Prevent Cancer and Improve Screening in Sub-Saharan Africa

August 30, 2022

Effects of Drugs in Mice can Depend on the Sex of the Human Experimenter

August 2, 2022

Gene Mutations from Patients with Debilitating Seizure and Movement Disorder Created in Mice

July 28, 2022

Researchers Discover One of the Largest Known Bacteria-to-Animal Gene Transfer Inside a Fruit Fly

June 23, 2022

New Research Shows Mothers’ HIV Status, Breastfeeding, and the Infant Gut Microbiome Can Have Long-Term Impact on Infant Health

May 31, 2022

Most Doctors Still Believe in Prescribing Unnecessary Antibiotics to Treat Asymptomatic Infections, UM School of Medicine Study Suggests

Student Publications

Student Awards and Honors

Other Resources

Contact Us

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Graduate Program in Life Sciences
655 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

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How To Apply

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging

Office of International Services

Dissertation Defenses

More to come this summer!

Led by Jessica A. Mong, PhD

Jessica Mong, PhD is wearing a green blazer with a white blouse under it. She has shoulder length blonde hair and is smiling.

Assistant Dean for Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholars
Professor, Department of Pharmacology
685 West Baltimore St, HSF I 580-I
Baltimore, MD 21201

Student Spotlight

Meet Kanwal Mahmood Hameed

Kanwal Mahmood Hameed holding a certificate that says

Kanwal was recognized with the 2023 Graduate Translational Research Award for her discovery of exploiting serine metabolism for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.

Kanwal is a fifth-year Molecular Medicine student in Dr. Ashkan Emadi's lab and plans to work in the biopharmaceutical industry when she graduates, hopefully later this year.

Learn more about Kanwal's achievements in The Elm.