Message from the Dean

The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences of the Icahn School of Medicine is one of several free-standing medical schools in the country that has developed independent high level graduate programs leading to the PhD or MD/PhD degrees, as well as several MS programs.

Mount Sinai  provides an extraordinary environment for basic science education in a translational context.

The Strategic Plan of Mount Sinai outlines the development of twelve new interdisciplinary Institutes designed to facilitate movement from basic science discovery to clinical innovation. The new Institutes are described in detail in a recent publication from Mount Sinai entitled Accelerating Science-Advancing Medicine (PDF available upon request from Our graduate school programs are perfectly aligned with the scientific themes of the new Institutes, positioning both our students and faculty to take full advantage of the extraordinary growth in basic and translational research that is underway at Mount Sinai.

The mission of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences is to provide rigorous training in basic science as well as patient-based research that will prepare our students for leadership roles in the scientific challenge that will dominate the 21st century: the translation of scientific discovery to clinical innovation. The school’s educational approach combines discipline-based specialization with a broad perspective for mastering new knowledge in a period of rapid change. Innovative programs and courses; full access to Mount Sinai’s institutional strengths in research, education, and patient care; and the highest-caliber faculty all serve to attract an exceptional student population. The Graduate School’s programs foster students’ development into imaginative, independent basic scientists and research-oriented physician-scientists, who are prepared to lead the interdisciplinary efforts that will be required for advancing medical biology in the current era.

In the last two years, we have made important adjustments in our PhD training areas that are already having a major impact on the choices current graduate students as well as our pool of applicants.

Graduate training is available in nine Training Areas:

  • Cancer Biology (CAB)
  • Developmental and Stem Cell Biology (DSCB)
  • Design, Technology and Entrepreneurship (DTE)
  • Genetics and Genomic Sciences (GGS)
  • Immunology (IMM)
  • Microbiology (MIC)
  • Neurosciences (NEU)
  • Systems Biology of Disease and Therapeutics (SBDT)
  • Structural/Chemical Biology and Molecular Design (SMD)

Multiple departments participate in each Training Area, and all nine Training Areas are thematically aligned with an Institute being launched in the context of the Strategic Plan, which allows for seamless coordination between PhD education and our institutional priorities and plans for faculty recruitment. In addition, several high quality patient- and population-based Masters programs and a PhD program in Clinical Research have been successfully integrated into the Graduate School, which has significantly broadened our scope and ability to move across the translational continuum.

We are confident that the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is uniquely well-positioned to produce the rigorously trained basic scientists and physician/scientists that possess the skills, knowledge, and leadership to form the essential bridges from discovery to clinical innovation as we enter the next phase of modern biology.


John H. Morrison, Ph.D.
Dean of Basic Sciences and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences


"Science and Medicine in the Service of Society," a commentary by Dr. John Morrison. Published on September 22, 2010 in the New York Times
View the PDF