PhD in Pathobiology


As a discipline, Pathobiology integrates fundamental concepts in biology, medicine, and public health, particularly as applied to infectious diseases of Global Health importance. The program applies a multidisciplinary approach as well as the latest research technologies to the study of public health disease, including viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases, as well as other disease processes. Investigating the mechanisms underlying multifactorial diseases emphasizes the preventive as well as the curative, and a broader view of disease etiology. The program applies the research tools of immunology, molecular biology, pathology and genetics to the detection and characterization of cancer, sexually transmitted diseases and respiratory and parasitic infections.

Likely Careers

Graduates are employed as research scientists in the biotechnology industry or in research institutes, or pursue academic careers.


When reviewing applications, several criteria are considered such as, but not limited to, grade point average, coursework, GRE, recommendation letters, previous work in biomedical research and fit with the program based on research interests. Applicants should have knowledge of molecular biology and lab experience.

Concurrent Option:   PhD/MD

Application Deadline:  Dec. 1 for Autumn Quarter entry


Upon satisfactory completion of the PhD in Pathobiology, graduates will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate their understanding of the biochemistry and genetics of pathogens and their hosts;
  • Demonstrate their understanding of the cell biology of pathogens, disease, and public health;
  • Identify examples of current research in pathobiology and critically evaluate the results;
  • Identify opportunities to translate scientific discoveries into improved clinical and public health practices; 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of, and ability to, collect, analyze, interpret, and use data for solving complex problems in Pathobiology;
  • Demonstrate basic research skills and an understanding of the scientific method;
  • Demonstrate skills in communicating research findings through oral and written presentations;
  • Develop advanced knowledge, research skills, and expertise in the area of his/her research concentration; and 
  • Demonstrate proficiency in teaching classes under the mentorship of a faculty member for that class.