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University of Cincinnati

Program in Molecular and Developmental Biology

Cincinnati, OH


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University of Cincinnati


Molecular and Developmental Biology Program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the Molecular and Developmental Biology (MDB) program at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center offers students the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research. The PhD degree is granted by the University of Cincinnati. In addition to its rigorous and innovative curriculum, the program provides the following benefits: - Tuition remission and stipend support for up to six years
- Expert faculty members
- Student-centered activities
- Annual Graduate Student Symposium
- Science Careers Workshops
- Distinguished Scholar Award

PhD in Molecular and Developmental Biology curriculum

The 90-credit hour PhD in Molecular and Developmental Biology develops students' competence in professional performance, research, scholarship, and teaching. Students create individual courses of study that include the following basic requirements: - One semester of biochemistry and/or one semester of molecular and cellular biology
- One semester of development and disease
- One semester of ethics in research
- One semester of gene regulation
- Two semesters of developmental biology
- Attendance at required seminars
- At least two laboratory rotations
- A candidacy-qualifying exam
- A doctoral dissertation and defense
- Participation in the Journal Club

Financial aid at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Molecular and Developmental Biology PhD students receive full financial support, which consists of the following resources: - $27,250 stipend per year (before passing the qualifier exam)
- $29,250 stipend per year (after passing the qualifier exam)
- Full tuition
- Health insurance
- Up to $400 in relocation expenses
- Training grants Students are also encouraged to pursue national and international fellowships such as the National Institutes of Health Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (F31), National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, and Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowship.

Future employment opportunities

The PhD in Molecular and Developmental Biology enables students to acquire expertise in their specific field of research. It also allows them to develop and strengthen transferable skills like hypothesis generation, integration of diverse information, problem solving, project management, time management, and written and oral communication skills. This comprehensive education prepares them for successful careers in a wide-array of areas such as academic research, industrial/government research, administration, clinical medicine, scientific writing, scientific law, technology commercialization, and teaching. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics expects demand for the following occupations related to this discipline to grow from 2014 to 2024. - Medical scientists: 8% (as fast as the average for all occupations)
- Postsecondary education administrators: 9% (faster than the average for all occupations)
- Postsecondary teachers: 13% (faster than the average for all occupations)
- Technical writers: 10% (faster than the average for all occupations)

Faculty members

Biomedical research faculty members are dedicated teachers and highly skilled researchers who train the next generation of scientists and improve health care. Dr. Jeffery Molkentin, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, researches how intracellular signaling pathways and transcriptional regulatory circuits affect cell growth in mammals. His research has furthered the understanding of events that take place on a molecular level that lead to heart disease and muscular dystrophy. He earned the prestigious distinction of Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 2008. Dr. Samantha Brugmann, an Assistant Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery and Developmental Biology, studies craniofacial development and disease. The Brugmann lab uses a host of in vivo and in vitro models to understand the cellular and molecular basis for diseases that impact the development of the craniofacial complex. The lab has a particular focus on how disruptions in cellular organelles impact the migration and differentiation of cells destined to contribute to the developing face.

Student research

PhD students in molecular and developmental biology strengthen their research skills and gain expertise in their areas of interests. They make new discoveries and advance scientific knowledge in many areas including genetics/genomics, genome editing, congenital malformations, digestive health, cardiovascular biology, pediatric and adult cancers, disease modeling, drug development, neurobiology, and stem cell biology.

Faculty research

Molecular and developmental biology faculty members engage in pioneering research in the following areas to help improve health care and train new scientists. - Cancer Biology
- Cardiovascular Biology
- Developmental Therapeutics
- Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics
- Immunology
- Neurobiology
- Organogenesis and Developmental Disorders
- Pulmonary Biology
- Reproductive Biology
- Stem Cell Biology

Guest speakers

Several institutes, divisions, and centers within Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center offer speaker series to enhance student learning and provide networking opportunities. For example, CCRF hosts a weekly seminar with internationally known speakers at the forefront of biomedical research, the Digestive Health Center hosts guest speakers with interests in the digestive system, the Immunology seminar series hosts eminent researchers studying the immune system, the Translational Cancer Research seminars bring in leaders in drug, device and diagnostics development from both academia and industry, the Division of Biomedical Informatics hosts a weekly speaker series to discuss current research in biomedical and clinical informatics.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has also heavily invested in world class core facilities which give students unsurpassed access to cutting edge techniques and equipment. These include the Nikon Center of Excellence for Microscopy, Genome Editing and Transgenic Core, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Core and the DNA Sequencing Core.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is located in Cincinnati, Ohio in the Midwestern region of the United States. Cincinnati is one of the most affordable and accessible city in the country. In fact, a $50,000 salary in Cincinnati has the purchasing power of a $117,946 salary in New York City. Additionally, it offers cultural, dining, entertainment, and recreational options comparable to larger cities. Attractions like the Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Zoo, Cincy Blues Fest, multiple annual food and drink street festivals, Ohio Riverfront parks, Music Hall, Cincinnati Recreation Commission, many city and county parks and Washington Park are just some of what this family-friendly metropolis has to offer.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 2
Doctoral Degrees 3

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Thesis Required
Qualifying exam


Acceptance Rate



applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline February 1st February 1st Yes

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE General Test
Doctoral Degree Requirements Minimum GPA of 3.2

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 520

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Types of financial support available Fellowships
Research Assistantships
Health Care Benefits
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 1.96%
Black or African American 1.96%
White or Caucasian 39%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1.96%
Asian 3.92%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races Not Reported
Unknown 9.8%


Male (41%)
Female (58%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 64
Part-time - 0
Male (49)
Female (15)


Focus of faculty research: Cancer biology, cardiovascular biology, developmental biology, human genetics, gene therapy, genomics and bioinformatics, immunobiology, molecular medicine, neuroscience, pulmonary biology, reproductive biology, stem cell biology
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address PO Box 210063
Cincinnati, OH  45221
United States
Contact Dr. Christopher Wylie
Phone: 513-556-6000