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Graduate Program

Academic Experience  
 The Integrative Cell Biology track in the graduate program currently has 20 students and a diverse collection of faculty members. The graduate program offers programs leading to M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, and a dual degree of M.D.-Ph.D. is also offered to students who are accepted into the Stritch School of Medicine and the Graduate School. Full tuition remission and stipend awards are available for accepted Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. students. All applications are accepted for fall admission only. The application deadline for the PhD program is March 1st and deadline for the MS program is April 1st.
The basic curriculum includes Cell Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Systems Biology, Methods Biology, Immunology, Neuroanatomy, Histology, Bioethics, Biostatistics & Gross Anatomy. Students have the opportunity to take other more specialized courses during their second year of study. In addition to class work, students also participate in both journal club and a seminar series.
In Journal Club,  students closely interact with each other and a faculty member. Students present recent journal articles and participate in stimulating research discussions. During the spring semester, in addition to journal article presentations, students are also given the opportunity to practice short talks in an atmosphere similar to that which they will experience at national and international meetings. Journal club is intended to facilitate and assist in the development of student’s presentation and critical reading skills, in addition to adding to their scientific knowledge.
Seminar is a weekly gathering of faculty and students. Visiting speakers present either a topic of personal interest or a report of their current research. These gatherings are intended  for both stimulating discussion and as an educational supplement to departmental research activity.  In late May/early June, the Departmental Graduate Program hosts a Research in Progress retreat at a local venue.  The day is dedicated to short oral presentations by CBN & Anatomy graduate students from 2nd- final year, including a few minutes of questions at the end of each presentation.
Beginning the second semester, during the first year of the graduate program, doctoral students perform rotations through the laboratories of their choice. While visiting the laboratories, students closely interact with the faculty member and other members of the laboratory. They also learn a diverse set of laboratory techniques. Students are exposed to a variety of research areas, which they may choose to pursue as a thesis or dissertation.
After successful completion of the first three semesters, doctoral students begin preparing for the comprehensive exams. During the comprehensive examination, students are challenged in their critical thinking, problem solving, and their ability to design experiments to investigate a hypothesis. After submitting the research aims and design of their project, students defend their work and academic progress in front of a panel of faculty members.
For the most part, M.S. students complete their course requirements (24 Credit hours) during their  first year. There is the option of withholding a few credit hours for the third semester in order to take a course only offered every other year or one which couldn't be taken during the first semester due to the Core Curriculum.
The remainder of the student's experience in the program is dedicated to their own dissertation (Ph.D.) or thesis (M.S.) research. Students choose a mentor and lab to perform their research and begin progress towards successful completion of a dissertation. A dissertation project is developed and approved with the help of the student's thesis supervision committee. While working on the dissertation, students continue to participate in both journal club and the departmental seminar series. The average Ph.D. student successfully completes their dissertation in a total of 5-6 years and thesis (M.S.) work is typically completed in 2 years.
Graduate Placement Information

Graduates from our MS and Ph.D programs are competitive in further pursuing their career in biological science. Our Ph.D. graduates continue their academic career as postdoctoral scientists in strong academic institutions such as Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, University of Arkansas, University of Connecticut; for the last 20 years, we have generated Ph.D.s who are currently faculty in well know research institutions such as Harvard, University of Texas at MD Anderson, Millikin University, Loyola University Chicago, and Bridgewater College.

Research Environment Top

The Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy graduate program offers the students a stimulating and exciting research atmosphere. Many faculty members share a common research interest and have ongoing collaborative research projects.

 

Research collaborative efforts are also ongoing with the faculty of other departments at Loyola. The strong interaction among the faculty at the Medical Center promotes and fosters a communication channel through which the students can also interact to enhance their educational growth 

The rich research environment of Loyola University Medical Center is nationally and internationally recognized due to such programs as the Neuroscience and Aging Institute, the Burn-Shock Trauma Institute, the Cardiovascular Research Institute, the Parmly Hearing Research Institute, and the Oncology Institute, as well as the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center.  The adjacent Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital, which shares a strong affiliation with Loyola University Medical Center, offers many other opportunities for research collaboration.
As a Loyola University Chicago graduate student, you may access more than one million volumes maintained by the six university libraries. The Medical Center Health Sciences Library is a designated resource for the eight-state Greater Midwest Regional Medical Library Network and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, which link health-science libraries throughout the United States. Through this sophisticated on-line network, computerized literature searches through thousands of health science databases are available. Additionally, the Loyola Medical Library Information System provides faculty, students and staff the capability of searching full medical and health databases from personal computers in the library, their offices, or their homes.
The Medical Center offers modern research facilities equipped with state-of-the-art equipment necessary for modern biomedical research. Such facilities include:
Molecular Core Resource Facility: A Collaboration of the Department of Pathology and the Conservation Medicine Center of Chicago.  Services include: DNA Sequencing Facility, Functional Genomics Core Facility, Image Analysis Facility, Recombinant DNA Facility, Tissue Culture Laboratory, and Tissue Repository
Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorter (FACS) Facility: The facility, housed in the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, is under the direction of  Pat Simms. Equipped with a FacStar Plus cell sorter and another flow cytometry, the facility provides state-of-the-art technology for researchers at the Medical Center to analyze and isolate cells.
Core Imaging Facility: The facility, under the supervision of Dr. John McNulty, provides access to both scanning and transmission electron microscopy, as well as a wealth of photography and imaging knowledge and assistance. A three color confocal facility is also available under the direction of Linda Fox.
On-Campus Environment Top
 
The newest addition to the Medical Center Campus is the Center for Health and Fitness.  The modern 62,000 square foot facility is equipped with free weights, variable resistance equipment, elevated running track, basketball courts, racquetball courts, lap pool, a wide variety of cardiovascular equipment, saunas, and hot tubs. In addition to the facilities, the heath center also offers a wide variety of aerobic classes, nutrition programs, massage therapy, and personal trainers if desired.  All students are automatically given membership upon matriculation and are charged at a very low student rate.
  TGIF's are a favorite event of graduate students and provide a social environment for students to interact. The event is organized by the student government, which is also responsible for many other things such as intramural programs, dances, sports outings, and other events including those held in cooperation with the medical students. In addition, various other social activities are scheduled during the year to encourage faculty, student, and staff interactions. They include departmental and graduate school picnics, a holiday party, and a dinner-dance (St. Albert's Day) held in November organized by Graduate Council. This day includes poster presentations and short research-in-progress talks by one graduate student per Basic Science Department, box lunches, with the dinner-dance held at a local banquet facility in the evening.
Housing Opportunities Top
Most graduate students find suitable housing in neighboring apartments or houses located within 15 minutes of the Medical Center. Popular communities with medical center students include Oak Park, Berwyn, LaGrange, and Riverside and Brookfield. Other students prefer to live in downtown Chicago, which is an easy commute via public transportation or expressways.

 

Last Reviewed: March 2010

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