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Cell and Molecular Biology

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Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology


School of Medicine

Graduate Programs

The School of Medicine offers the MS and/or PhD degrees in biomedical sciences with concentrations in cell and molecular biology, clinical research, epidemiology, physiology, and tropical medicine. Master degree programs in public health and speech pathology and audiology are also offered.

Refer to the specific departments for further information on areas of concentration. General inquiries regarding the School of Medicine’s graduate programs may be addressed to the chair of the biomedical sciences field of study, Dr. Sandra Chang, at sandrac@hawaii.edu. Additional information is also available on the school’s website at hawaiimed.hawaii.edu.

MD/PhD Program

The JABSOM MD/PhD joint degree program is designed to train aspiring medical scientists who wish to prepare for careers as faculty at an academic medical center. The program combines rigorous scientific research preparation for the PhD degree with a full MD curriculum.

Successful candidates will have an orientation towards pursuing a career in academic medicine. A strong background and prior experience in biomedical research is essential. Applicants must be highly motivated and possess an outstanding academic record. It is highly desirable that candidates have a mature focus of scientific interest.

All candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree and take both the Graduate Record Exam and the Medical College Admission Test. Students will apply separately to the graduate program of their choice and the JABSOM MD program. Candidates must fulfill all prerequisites and satisfy all admission requirements of each individual program and be accepted by both programs in order to gain admission to the MD/PhD program.

Contact person for the MD program:

Satoru Izutsu, PhD, Senior Associate Dean
John A. Burns School of Medicine
Kaka‘ako Waterfront Campus
651 Ilalo Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 692-1220
Email: sizutsu@hawaii.edu

Contact persons for participating PhD programs:

Cell and Molecular Biology
David Haymer, PhD
Phone: (808) 956-5517
Email: dhaymer@hawaii.edu

F. DeWolfe Miller, PhD
Phone: (808) 956-8267
Email: dewolfe@hawaii.edu

Tropical Medicine
Sandra Chang, PhD
Phone: (808)732-1477
Email: sandrac@hawaii.edu

Students will pay tuition during the MD portion of the program and may apply for all scholarships and loans offered by JABSOM to conventional MD students. During the PhD curriculum, the students will be funded through grants or fellowships, which include tuition waivers, and students may be eligible for funding through the NIH National Research Service Awards program.

The curriculum will be structured in a two-three-two model. Typically, the first two years of the program would be spent completing the first two years of the MD curriculum. During this time, students may take elective course work in the graduate program to which they have been accepted by arrangement with their adviser and the JABSOM Office of Student Affairs.

Following the first two years of the MD curriculum, a three-year block of PhD study, resulting in the completion of all core courses and all research work for the PhD dissertation, will be completed. Typically, students will take a qualifying examination at the end of year one of this three-year continuum. At the conclusion of year two, they will complete a comprehensive examination and the third year will be devoted to work on their dissertation.

The program will conclude with the final two years of the medical school curriculum. Some concurrent credit for research taken during elective time in the fourth year of the medical school curriculum may be available for students to complete all requirements relating to the dissertation. The curriculum will include a one credit journal/seminar for all MD/PhD students, which will run each semester. This seminar will allow all MD/PhD students to have a common core experience that will promote collegiality and provide support. Students will receive both the MD and PhD degrees during their graduation at the end of the seventh year of the program.

Postgraduate Programs

Postgraduate medical education programs in Honolulu hospitals in family practice, sports medicine, geriatric medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pathology, pediatrics, neonatal-perinatal pediatrics, psychiatry (adult, child & adolescent, geriatric, addiction and forensic), surgery, surgical-critical care, orthopedic surgery, and a transitional year are conducted by faculty and accredited as UH School of Medicine residency programs. Approximately 240 physicians are involved in training, which lasts one to seven years. These physicians serve as members of the house staff in the hospitals while studying their chosen specialty.

The school conducts a postgraduate medical education program at Chubu Hospital in Okinawa for graduates of Japanese medical schools.