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Program & Admission

Doctoral Program

The graduate program of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology emphasizes training through research leader to the award of a Ph.D. and provides a broad education in Neuroscience research and teaching. Students enroll in the departmental graduate program from any one of three graduate training programs at UIC. These are the Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS), the campus-wide Graduate Program in Neuroscience (GPN), and the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP). Applicants are expected to have a clear desire to enter a research career, and would preferably have had some experience in a research laboratory. Here you will receive comprehensive instruction in Neuroscience as well as Cell Biology and Biochemistry through lecture, small group laboratory sessions and intensive advanced training in small seminar courses. The department's weekly Journal Club gives students the opportunity to interact in discussions on "hot" research topics, hone their presentation skills in a non-threatening environment, and meet/interact with seminar speakers and other investigators over lunch.

However, the most important element of the program is research. Laboratories in Anatomy and Cell Biology are small, giving the student the special advantage of working closely with their thesis advisor in a mentor/apprentice relationship. Research interests of the faculty focus on specific problems in cellular and systems neuroscience (including development, aging, control of behavior, glial cell function, sensory systems and mechanisms of synaptic and ion channel functions) and cell biology (including cytoskeleton, synapse, neuron, and endothelium). Graduates of our program have gone on to excellent postdoctoral appointments, and subsequently entered academic careers at institutions around the country and the world.

Graduate Education in Medical Sciences

The Graduate Education in Medical Sciences Program (GEMS) is an umbrella-training program in the College of Medicine which offer students integrated training leading to the PhD degree. During the first year students will study a core curriculum emphasizing fundamental concepts in biomedicine and key electives in Neuroscience. They will also complete three research rotation in order to select a mentor and laboratory to join for their PhD research project.

Admission Requirements
Application: Please see GEMS website for application instructions. The application will ask you to select categories of biomedical research of interest to you. Faculty in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology principally specialize in Neurobiology and Neurodegeneration, but also specialize in Cell and Developmental Biology, Stem Cell Biology and Cancer Biology. If you are interested in the research of particular faculty in our department, you may also list those faculty members.

Graduate Program in Neuroscience

The Graduate Program in Neuroscience (GPN) is a training program that provides interdisciplinary training to PhD students in neuroscience laboratories throughout the colleges of UIC. GPN students train in laboratories representing numerous departments in the UIC Colleges of Medicine, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Applied Health Sciences, Engineering, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Nursing. The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology is a key member of this interdisciplinary group and many students have joined the department through this program. During the first year, students study a core curriculum that focuses on the Nervous System as well as key concepts in Cell Biology. They will also complete three research rotations to choose a mentor and PhD research project.

Admission Requirements

Medical Scientist Training Program

The University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Scientist Training Program educates exceptional students for careers as physician-scientists. The objective of the Program is to train students for careers in academic medicine and research. The Program integrates the medical curriculum with graduate studies. The first two years of the Program are used to complete years 1 and 2 of the medical curriculum. Selection of a permanent thesis advisor and commitment to a graduate department take place by the end of the second year of study. Students in the Anatomy and Cell Biology department are required to complete the departmental requirements for the PhD degree before returning to the medical school curriculum. During the PhD phase, the students keep their clinical skills sharp by participating in the Program's required Clinical Connections.

Admission Requirements and Application

For any additional questions about graduate education in the Anatomy & Cell Biology department, please contact:
Dr. Kamal Sharma
Director of Graduate Studies