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Interdisciplinary PhD in Medical Sciences


Our Ph.D. program in Medical Sciences provides advanced training with the goal of preparing students for research-based careers. Areas of in-depth study are driven by faculty research and encompass clinically related fields such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, immunology and infectious disease, oncology and other chronic health conditions.

The programmatic emphasis is on the pathogenesis of disease, biomarkers that can aid in diagnosis and treatment, evidence-based practice, and the underlying mechanisms of chronic illness.


Our students have access to state-of-the-art labs in the College of Health Sciences, as well as other labs and facilities in affiliated programs at the University of Delaware, the Delaware Biotechnology Institute and the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance.

They gain valuable research experience through involvement in federally funded research projects and interaction with a variety of interdisciplinary research groups.


Our researchers are faculty from across the university who have training and interest in the broad field of medical sciences. New knowledge on health, aging and chronic disease is continuously being generated and disseminated. Examples of current faculty research include the following:

  • Development of new vaccines against bioterrorism organisms
  • Assessment of biomarkers for complications of diabetes mellitus
  • Interventions to improve function and physical activity in neurologically compromised adults
  • The relationship between diet and chronic diseases
  • Improved methods for non-invasive cardiovascular assessment
  • Neural control of circulation, particularly during perturbations such as acute exercise
  • Preventing and/or reducing adult obesity
  • Influence of diet, environment, and psychosocial issues on brain function and behavior
  • Mapping the connection between immunity and cancer
  • Accuracy of blood pressure measurement procedures and devices
  • Epidemiologic analysis of the social determinants of health

Along with in-depth, laboratory-based immersion, we provide our students with high-quality classroom-based instruction through a core curriculum, electives and seminars.


The Ph.D. in Medical Sciences requires a minimum of 47 credits including 9 credits of dissertation. The program is designed to be completed in four to five years. The 47 required credits are specified in the student’s plan of study and normally include the following requirements:

  • Medical Physiology (3 credits)
  • Cellular and Molecular Immunology (4 credits)
  • Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • Data Analysis and Interpretation (3 credits)
  • Research (12 credits)
  • Seminar (4 credits)
  • Dissertation (9 credits)
  • Electives (6 credits)

To download the current Student Handbook for the program, please click here.

To indicate your interest in our program, please visit the website.

To begin the application process, visit the website.


An applicant must have an advisor before being admitted. To review the research focus for each faculty member affiliated with this program, and then indicate in your Personal Statement why you think this advisor would be the best for your proposed studies.

College of Health Sciences Faculty Affiliated
with the PhD in Medical Sciences Program

Medical Laboratory Sciences

Associate Professor Maser: Assessment of biomarkers for complications of diabetes mellitus

Professor McLane: Connection between immunity and cancer; evidence-based medicine

Assistant Professor Parent: Development of new vaccines against bioterrorism organisms

Assistant Professor Kumar: Nanotechnology in health and disease; tissue engineering

Associate Professor Lin: Epigenetics and tumor microenvironments

School of Nursing

Associate Professor Schell: Acuracy of blood pressure measurement procedures and devices

Associate Professor Brewer-Smyth: Dietary and environmental influences on brain and behavior

Assistant Professor Pretzer-Aboff: Independent functioning of neuro-compromised adults

Behavioral Health & Nutrition

Assistant Professor Papas: Dietary Intakes and Obesity Across the Lifespan

Professor Kuczmarski: Relationship between obesity and chronic disease

Assistant Professor Trabulsi: Nutrition and growth in healthy children and in children with chronic disease

Sheau Ching Chai: Foods preventing chronic diseases/condition; Nutritional lifestyle interventions

Kinesiology & Applied Physiology

Associate Professor Provost-Craig: Interests include physical activity and health outcomes for healthy and diseased populations.

Assistant Professor Rose: Control of blood pressure and flow; mathematical modeling of circulation

Associate Professor Modlesky: Exercise, nutrition and bone/muscle/adipose development

Associate Professor Farquhar: Cardiovascular physiology; Exercise physiology

Professor Matt, Dean, CHS: Development of new biomarkers for health and chronic disease

Rhonda Prisby: Vascular physiology, microcirculation, bone vascularization, bone biology

Thomas Buckley: Concussions/Mild traumatic brain injury

Physical Therapy

David Tulsky: Center on Assessment and Outcomes Research

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