Biomedical Sciences, PhD

Biomedical Sciences, PhD

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Take your research from the bench to the bedside with your Doctor of Biomedical Sciences.

Your work can create change

Research in biomedical sciences has the power to change the world. Biomedical Sciences Program Director Maggie Morris, PhD, is researching the theory that a virus may play a role in type 1 diabetes.

Why choose EVMS?

Explore the causes of disease and search for future breakthroughs in medicine.

Go above and beyond

Jessica Burket – a Biomedical Sciences PhD student – was recently chosen as one of only 16 people worldwide to take part in the NASA Space Radiation Summer School in New York. 

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Take the next step in your career

Monicah Njogu Bwayi, PhD, graduated from EVMS in 2016. She’s now a postdoctoral research fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the chemical biology and therapeutics department.

Meet Our Faculty


Xiaoli Zhao, PhD

Associate Professor, Physiological Sciences

Dr. Zhao was trained as a physician in pediatrics at ShanXi Medical University in China. She completed her doctorate in physiology and integrative biology at Rutgers University in 2006 and continued her postdoctoral education in muscle physiology. She started her independent research program in lung physiology and pathophysiology as an assistant professor at Ohio State University in 2012 and relocated to EVMS in 2015 to continue her National Institutes of Health and Virginia state funded research.

Full Bio

Areas of expertise

  • Acute lung injury
  • Cell injury and repair
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary fibrosis

Richard Britten, PhD

Professor, Radiation Oncology and Biophysics

Dr. Britten is well-known for his state-of-the-art research on radiobiology, radiation oncology and cancer biology. He has received multiple grants from NASA to study the effects of space radiation exposure on the central nervous system. Dr. Britten is an Associate Editor for Radiation Research, the official journal of the Radiation Research Society, and is on the editorial board for Oncology Reports.

Full Bio

Areas of expertise

  • Cancer research
  • Radiology
  • Cell biology
  • Molecular biology

Maggie Morris, PhD

Director, Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs, Associate Professor, Internal Medicine

Dr. Morris is testing the theory that a virus causes type 1 diabetes as part of a worldwide research consortium. She has received funding for her research from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the American Diabetes Association and the Helmsley Charitable Trust. Dr. Morris teaches several courses for graduate and medical students and works one-on-one with them as they conduct their own research. She also leads the EVMS Summer Program for Undergraduate Research, which provides full-time research experience for undergraduate students.

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Areas of expertise

  • Immunology
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Natural killer cells

Larry Sanford, PhD

Professor, Pathology and Anatomy

Dr. Sanford is a highly regarded expert on the neurophysiology of sleep and stress. His primary research focuses on the brain mechanisms linking sleep, stress and learning in anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. Dr. Sanford has been awarded over $5 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health since 2007. He was an Associate Editor of the medical journal SLEEP from 2006 to 2016.

Full Bio

Areas of expertise

  • Neurobiology
  • Sleep research
  • Physiology
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder