Dept. Code:  BMB

The aim of graduate education in this department is to prepare students for careers in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. This training provides the student with a broad knowledge in the various aspects of Modern Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Independent laboratory research is emphasized at all stages of the student’s career.

Some of the Biochemistry faculty are affiliated with: other departments in the University, the VA hospital, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Research Center, and the Brahman Breast Cancer Institute. Thus, research facilities for a large variety of specialties are available to our students. Some of the graduate students participate in the combined M.D.-Ph.D. Program.


All students are admitted through the Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) for the PhD programs in: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Human Genetics & Genomics, Microbiology & Immunology, Molecular Cell & Developmental Biology, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology, Neuroscience, and Physiology & Biophysics. The PIBS Admissions Committee will review and make decisions on applications after December 15th.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in a biological or related discipline (e.g., psychology, chemistry, engineering, physics). Although there are no absolute prerequisites, courses in general biology, cell/molecular biology, calculus, general physics, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry are encouraged.

Strong candidates will have research experience in a laboratory setting (including publications of abstracts and/or papers), an excellent academic record and GRE scores, excellent letters of recommendation from scientists who know the candidate well, and the motivation to pursue state-of-the-art biomedical research.

In the first year all students take a common curriculum to build a solid foundation in biomedical science. The core coursework in the fall ranges from molecules to cells to systems of human physiology. Lectures are balanced by breakout sessions, in which faculty members discuss the primary literature with students in small groups. The core curriculum also offers critical learning opportunities in biostatistics and in using genomic and other databases, as well as education in ethics. Students also meet several times in small groups with experienced faculty mentors to discuss important issues of faculty development. Specific coursework relating to the individual graduate programs is done largely in the second and third semesters of study.

The first year is also focused on choosing a program and a dissertation mentor. All students are initially mentored by a senior student and a faculty member to facilitate this process. In the 1st year, students rotate through at least 3 laboratories chosen from any of the biomedical sciences graduate faculty. At the end of the 1st year, students choose mentors and formally enter individual graduate programs.

• Students should apply online at:


All incoming students will be advised by the Operating Committee. This committee will assist and mentor students prior to their selection of a thesis advisor. In addition students will be provided guidance concerning choices of courses and research programs. The student should choose a thesis mentor from the program faculty by the beginning of the second year of graduate study. The program operating Committee, in consultation with the mentor, will appoint a thesis committee and set up a tentative schedule for the remainder of the student’s graduate studies.


Completion of the Ph.D. degree requires the completion of 36 credits of coursework at the graduate level (including specific required courses), 24 credits of thesis research, passing a qualifying exam, and submitting and successfully defending a dissertation showing results obtained on a research problem. The degree earned will be Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Inquiries should be directed to:
Dr. Zafar Nawaz
Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
P. O. Box 016129
Miami, FL 33101
Tel. 305/243-6261


The Department participates in the School of Medicine’s M.D.-Ph.D. Program in which students may obtain both degrees.

The curriculum will be tailored to the needs of the individual student.