Biomedical Sciences, PhD Program

The curriculum of the Biomedical Sciences PhD and Research Master’s Programs is currently under review. A revised curriculum is planned for 2016-2017, with the following goals:  (1) Less dependence on the medical school curriculum (M.D. program); (2) Completion of most or all courses by December of Year 2; (3) Streamlining to eliminate duplication and integrate learning across disciplines.

‌The Biomedical Sciences PhD Program plans to increase the stipend for all PhD students to $26,500 in 2016-2017

Since 1980, the Biomedical Sciences, PhD Program at Eastern Virginia Medical School has provided students with a foundation of biomedical science knowledge and intensive laboratory research training.

Key advantages of this program:Research focus areas include:
  • Broad, interdisciplinary curriculum
  • Personalized program of study
  • Close interaction with the faculty
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Biology
  • Diabetes
  • Infectious Disease
  • Neuroscience
  • Reproductive Biology


Meet Matthew Butcher, Biomedical Sciences, PhD Graduate

‌‌Biomedical Sciences, PhD studentMatt, a Biomedical Sciences PhD graduate, joined Dr. Elena Galkina’s laboratory in 2009 within the department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology to work on the dynamics of leukocytes in atherosclerosis. Since then, through hard work and multiple rewarding collaborations with Dr. Nadler, Dr. Imai, Dr. Dobrian, Dr. Dobrydneva, and Dr. Han, Matt is now actively involved with projects on major health concerns in the Hampton Roads area - including type two diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, obesity, and chronic rhinosinusitis. As a result of his efforts, Matt’s tenure in the biomedical science PhD program has been productive and immensely rewarding. Matt has successfully co-authored four papers and is the primary author of three papers, two reviews, two book chapters, and an editorial article. Additionally, Matt has been invited to give several talks at national scientific meetings, including the American Association of Immunologists, Atherosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, and Gordon Atherosclerosis research conferences. He was also a Health Professions Scholar and a American Heart Association mid-atlantic pre-doctoral scholar. In the future, Matt plans on continuing to pursue a career in academia, focusing primarily on bioinformatics and auto-inflammation in atherosclerosis.  Matt received his PhD in February 2015 and is currently working as postdoctoral fellow in the lab of his mentor, Dr. Elena Galkina.

Kim Nguyen, Biomedical Sciences, PhD Graduate

As a Ph.D. student in the Biomedical Sciences Program, Kim worked in the lab of Dr. Patric Lundberg in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology, where she investigated the role of sex hormones in Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) pathogenesis. She has discovered a novel mechanism in which the virus is regulated by sex hormones produced within the host. In our program, she has been the primary author of two manuscripts and has co-authored one manuscript in addition to two previous articles published from work on her M.S. at VCU. She has also shared her novel findings at several local and international research conferences, including the Virginia Regional Herpes Symposium, ISBiotech Conference, and the International Herpesvirus Workshop. A former Health Professions Scholar as well as Biomedical Sciences Student Organization President, she has successfully jump-started several key events including our “Faculty Presentations of Abstracts” to inform new incoming graduate students of research in EVMS labs, and a “Graduate Student Research Conference” to showcase the basic science research conducted by our students. In the future, Kim wants to continue pursue a career in academic science, with a focus on the sexual dimorphism of infectious diseases.  Kim received her PhD in July 2014 and is a postdoctoral fellow in cancer research at the University of California, Irvine.

Program News


Dr. Kim receives $3.2 million grant for HIV cure study

Woong-Ki Kim, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology and a faculty member in the Leroy T. Canoles Jr. Cancer Research Center, received notice of a $3.2 million award from the National Institutes of Health for an R01 project titled “Targeting Brain Macrophage Reservoirs of SIV during HAART.” The grant will fund his study to evaluate the effect of macrophage-depleting drugs on viral reservoirs for a cure of HIV, especially in the brain.

Research discovery could improve heart disease treatments

Anca Dobrian, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiological Sciences; Margaret Hatcher, former Research Assistant in Physiological Sciences; Joshua Brotman, MD (MD ’13); Elena Galkina, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology; Bronson Haynes, PhD candidate; Paresa Taghavie-Moghadam, PhD candidate ; and  Jerry Nadler, MD, Chair and Professor of Internal Medicine and Vice Dean for Research, co-authored the study “STAT4 contributes to adipose tissue inflammation and atherosclerosis,” which appears in the Journal of Endocrinology.

New understanding of a key protein that powers the heart may lead to the establishment of more effective treatments for heart disease. Eva Forgacs, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiological Sciences, worked with colleagues from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School on the research that was published in Nature Communications. Read more.

Dr. Julius O Nyalwidhe published an article called Comparative Metabolomic and Lipidomic Analysis of Phenotype Stratified Prostate Cells
Tanya C Burch, Giorgis Isaac, Christiana L Booher, ...Julius O. Nyalwidhe
In the journal PLoS ONE August, 2015

 This website reflects current program information, including admissions criteria and curricula.  Information is subject to change.