Cancer Biology and Genomics

About the Program

The PhD program in Cancer Biology and Genomics (CBG) focuses on training investigators in strategies to understand the mechanisms of cancer development and progression which includes cell biological and genomic approaches. The ultimate objective is to translate basic findings into diagnostics, treatments and ultimate cures. The program applies a multidisciplinary approach toward these goals, with the full realization that cancers in different organs represent different diseases. However all cancers relate to uncontrolled cell proliferation with many cancers having a strong genetic predisposition. Consequently, major features of this program include the breadth of medically related interests and training and faculty characterized by wide and varied skills in many cancer-related research areas. To facilitate the application of multidisciplinary approaches to make cancer a disease of the past, close and regular contact between participating faculty of different disciplines and students is a major theme of this PhD program.

Graduate Program Information Request Form

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Josh Neman, PhD

Josh Neman, PhD
Program Director

CBG Course Requirements

Degree Unit Requirement: 60 units

PIBBS Requirement: Completion of PIBBS required core curriculum (29 units)

Required CBG Courses:

  • CBG 580 – Topics in Cancer (Epi) Genomics (2 units)
  • INTD 504 – Molecular Biology of Cancer (4 units)
  • INTD577 – Writing for the Biomedical and Biological Sciences (1 unit) – year 2; Fall semester
  • CBG574 – Cancer Biology and Genomics Research Seminar Series (1 unit) – every Fall and Spring semester
  • CBG 790 – Research (varies)
  • CBG 794a/b – Doctoral Dissertation (at least 4 units)

Complete 4 units from the following:

  • INTD 685 – Bioinformatics in Genome Analysis (4 unit)
  • PM 512 – Principles of Epidemiology (4 units)
  • PM 517ab – Research Methods in Epidemiology (3 units)
  • PM 533 – Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology (3 units)
  • PM 534 – Statistical Genetics (4 units)
  • PM 570 – Statistical Methods in Human Genetics (4 units)
  • PM 579 – Statistical Analysis of High-Dimensional Data (4 units)
  • MPTX 500 – Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology I (4 units)
  • TRGN 510 – Basic Foundations in Translational Biomedical Informatics (4 units)
  • TRGN 514 – Introduction to Human Genomic Analysis Methods (4 units)
  • TRGN 515- Advanced Human Genomic Analysis Methods ( 4 units)
  • Other courses may be allowed with consultation from the Director if they benefit the student’s research project

Qualifying Exam:
Students must pass both the written and oral portions of the qualifying exam during the second year of study. The written portion will require students to write a research grant proposal, in a format modeled after an NIH F31 fellowship application. The oral defense portion will include both a formal presentation of the grant proposal, as well as an open forum in which the guidance committee asks general questions related to the student’s research.

Each student’s research is reported in a dissertation written under the guidance of the student’s mentor and the dissertation committee. The dissertation must demonstrate the student’s capacity for independent research, scholarly achievement and technical mastery of a specific field.

CBG Program Learning Objectives