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Molecular Medicine

Molecular Medicine

An interdisciplinary program providing in-depth training and research in the biomedical sciences, with a focus on the molecular and cellular basis of human and animal disease and identifying molecular targets for disease prevention and therapy

Application Deadline: December 31, 2013


Program overview

Molecular Medicine offers rigorous training and research opportunities focused on mechanisms and treatment of disease.  As a Molecular Medicine graduate student you will:

  • Rotate in 3 research labs chosen from a world class faculty your first semester before choosing a research mentor.
  • Take Core Courses that focus on basic biochemistry and molecular biology of the cell, pathobiology of human disease, and molecular concepts in the analysis of diseases.
  • Choose from a substantial number of Elective Courses in conjunction with research mentor that allow you to develop your own curricula based on research focus.
  • Be exposed to multiple research areas through invited speaker seminars and research presentations as well as on campus research symposia, conferences and workshops.
  • Have access to Penn State's state-of-the-art microscopy, mouse, metabolomics, proteomics and bioinformatics facilities.
  • Have the necessary training and research experience for jobs in research, teaching and regulatory positions in academia, government, private research institutions and pharmaceutical companies.

Faculty research interests include:

  • Cancer Biology and Therapeutics: research focus on critical signaling pathways and molecules in cancer development, metastasis and treatment using cutting edge molecular and genomic methods and animalmodels of cancer.
  • Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disease: research focus on allergic asthma and other autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory bowel disease at the cellular and molecular level.
  • Neurological and Neuropsychiatric Disorders: study of the molecular cellular and system wide function of the nervous system with emphasis on understanding mechanisms of disorders such as Alzheimer's, autism, epilepsy, depression and schizophrenia.
    Bernhard Luscher Gong Chen Santhosh Girirajan Yingwei Mao
  • Diabetes and Metabolic Disease
  • Infectious Disease: research focus on the mechanisms of infection, transmission and therapy of viral, bacterial and parasitic pathogens, and the response of the host to infection.

Recent publications from Molecular Medicine faculty:

Faculty Spotlight
Professor and Head of Biology
Huck Institutes faculty researchers Ottar Bjørnstad, Margherita Cantorna, and Joan Richtsmeier are among the eight Penn State faculty members recently named distinguished professors. Three Huck Institutes faculty among eight named distinguished professors - Full article
Penn State researchers – including Huck Institutes faculty member Gong Chen and graduate students Ziyuan Guo, Yuchen Chen, and Fan Wang – have developed an innovative technology to regenerate functional neurons after brain injury and also in model systems used for research on Alzheimer's disease. Breakthrough could one day help sufferers of brain injury, Alzheimer's disease - Full article
A research team led by Huck Institutes affiliates Sarah Assmann and Philip Bevilacqua has developed a molecular technique that will help the scientific community to analyze – on a scale previously impossible – molecules that play a critical role in regulating gene expression. New tool developed for profiling critical regulatory structures of RNA molecules - Full article
A drug that appears to target specific intestinal bacteria in the guts of mice may create a chain reaction that could eventually lead to new treatments for obesity and diabetes in humans, according to a team of researchers that includes Huck Institutes affiliate Andrew Patterson. Adjusting bacteria in intestines may lead to obesity treatments - Full article
The Huck Institutes are pleased to announce a new fund to provide research support for students in our graduate programs. Announcing the Huck Institutes Graduate Enrichment Fund - Full article