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Umbrella Programs

A large number of laboratories in the Department participate in interdepartmental / umbrella graduate programs. In each case the student would earn their degree in the Physiology and Biophysics department, just the mechanism of entry and courses are different. Umbrella programs have the advantage that students can decide later which department to join, but at the same time rotations are may be shorter (typically only in the fall semester) and the student would not be a “citizen” of the Department until selecting an advisor’s laboratory.


Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)

This interdepartmental program is for students who are admitted to Case Western Res. Univ. School of Medicine in order to obtain dual MD/PhD degrees with the aim to become a physician scientist. After 2 years of medical and basic science graduate education these students typically take between 2-4 years for their thesis research before returning to medical and clinical training. The details of the program are described on the website Many members of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics are trainers in the MSTP program and the students can rotate / carry out the PhD research requirements in their laboratories. Graduate courses and electives are tailored to these students, allowing wide flexibility through elective courses.

Biomedical Science Training Program (BSTP)

The umbrella BSTP program is designed to provide students who are interested in earning a Ph.D. in a biomedical field an opportunity to explore various areas of research interest through laboratory rotations, while participating in a coordinated curriculum in cell and molecular biology. This program is especially suited to students with prior background in the life sciences. Students select an advisor and specific Ph.D. program as a result of their research rotations and then become a member of that Ph.D. program. Students enrolled in the BSTP program have a choice of eleven different Ph.D. programs to enter including the Cell and Molecular Physiology, Structural Biology and Biophysics, and Organ Systems Physiology tracks in the Physiology and Biophysics graduate program. {links to other pages} For more information see the website of the BSTP program

Interdepartmental Structural Biology and Biophysics Training Program (SBB-TP)

The Structural Biology and Biophysics Training Program emphasizes quantitative methods and equips students to study cell and protein structure and function using state-of-the-art and high end instrumentation and computers. It especially attracts students with backgrounds in mathematical biology, chemistry, physics and quantitative biochemistry/biophysics. The program allows a wide choice of rotations in the laboratories of program associated faculty in the departments of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology and Biophysics and in the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics. Particular excellence exists in the areas of structural biology and cellular ion channels, receptors as well as transporters. For more information see the Interdepartmental Structural Biology and Biophysics Training Program website