Disease Mechanisms and Therapeutics Program


The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences offers a PhD degree in Biomedical Sciences in several training areas, including Pharmacology and Therapeutics Discovery.

Our program features:

  • Integrated training in structural biology, protein biochemistry, chemical biology, pharmacology, and systems biology
  • Quantitative reasoning and computational approaches integrated throughout the curriculum
  • Research projects focused on mechanisms underlying human diseases, drug discovery, and drug action

Program Overview

We train graduate students in research that aims to understand the complex interactions underlying human disease and how drugs can be used to treat these diseases. Knowledge of the healthy and diseased states of a cell, tissue, or organism requires an understanding of networks of molecular interactions within and between cells. Read more about our core courses.

Our curriculum emphasizes the integration of concepts from multiple disciplines: genomics, molecular biology and biochemistry, physiology, and pharmacology. Important approaches for this integration are quantitative reasoning and computational biology. Our program, set within an environment where the School of Medicine is integrated into the Mount Sinai Health System, provides specific opportunities to study systems from genomes and proteins, from cells to animal models to humans, at both the bench and the bedside.

We integrate quantitative reasoning and computational approaches into the curriculum at all levels. Mathematics and statistics provide a common language for understanding biomedical processes across scales of organization and those used by many of the faculty in their research programs. Faculty members investigate complex disease processes and drug actions in many cell types, tissues, and organs, with the shared underlying philosophy that systems approaches are required for transformative advances. Many faculty members employ high-throughput technologies such as genomics, proteomics, or transcriptomics to gain global pictures of the cellular system being studied. Analysis of these large datasets requires quantitative approaches.

An Interactive Program

Our doctoral program offers a bi-weekly luncheon-journal club, seminars, works-in-progress and an annual retreat. All of these forums provide extensive opportunities to interact with our faculty. The core courses, journal clubs, lab rotations, and works-in-progress presentations give our students an understanding of how to use diverse data sets and computational approaches to delineate biological networks, how to translate this information into new therapeutic and preventive strategies, and how to apply this paradigm to their own research.

During the annual retreat, graduate students give presentations that feature question/answer sessions, faculty feedback, and open discussion. The retreat concludes with an awards ceremony for the best student presentation.