Infectious Diseases, Immunology and Pathogenesis

Infectious Diseases, Immunology and Pathogenesis

About the Program

The objective of the PhD program in Infectious Diseases, Immunology and Pathogenesis (IDIP) is to educate investigators to develop strategies to translate and implement knowledge from cellular, molecular and genetic advances into studies of normal human organ system function and dysfunction in health and disease and how to reverse dysfunction by medical treatment. Animal disease models, as well as clinical trials in patients, are frequently used to advance this field. The program applies multidisciplinary approaches to understanding the human organism as a whole. Breadth of medically-related interests and training are major features of this track, and the faculty is characterized by having wide and varied skills in many research areas. To facilitate application of multidisciplinary approaches, close and regular contact between participating faculty and students is a major theme of this PhD program.

The IDIP program caters to MD/PhD students, clinician scientists and Programs in Biomedical and Biological Sciences (PIBBS) students interested in but not limited to the following fields: Immunology (including Cancer Immunology), Virology (including Cancer Virology), Microbiology, Physiology and Pathology. (Examples include diabetes, obesity, autoimmunity, infectious diseases, gastrointestinal and liver diseases, heart and lung diseases, hypertension, central nervous system diseases, etc.)

Graduate Program Information Request Form

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W. Martin Kast, PhD

W. Martin Kast, PhD
Program Chair

IDIP Program Requirements

Degree Unit Requirement: 60 units

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

Required IDIP Courses:

  • INTD 574 – Systems Biology and Disease Seminar (1 unit) – every fall and spring semester
  • INTD577 – Writing for the Biomedical and Biological Sciences (1 unit) – year 2; Fall semester
  • MEDB 790 – Research (varies)
  • MEDB 794a/b – Doctoral Dissertation (at least 4 units)

Complete 8 units from the following:

  • INTD 504 – Molecular Biology of Cancer (4 units)
  • INTD 522 – Infection and Host Responses (4 units)
  • INTD 549 – Protein Chemistry Structure and Function (4 units)
  • INTD 550 – Introduction to Pathology (4 units)
  • INTD 551 – Pathobiology of Disease (4 units)
  • INTD 572 – Systems Physiology and Disease I (4 units)
  • INTD 573 – Systems Physiology and Disease II (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 a National Institutes of Health (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.

IDIP Program Learning Objectives