Kristen Clements, an MD/PhD student in the Biomedical Science PhD Program at Penn State College of Medicine is seen in one of the laboratories of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in July 2016. Clements is pictured with her hands at the level of her shoulders, with a small laboratory tube in one hand and some laboratory equipment in the other. Clements works in the lab of George Lucian Moldovan, PhD.

Biomedical Sciences PhD

Message From the Chair

Welcome and thanks for your interest in our integrated Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program at the Penn State College of Medicine.

Unique aspects of the BMS Graduate Program include the large number of faculty members available to students as research advisers, numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary research, extensive curricular flexibility, and opportunities to enhance your graduate education with additional opportunities in business, clinical and translational science, teaching, and intellectual property development.

The program offers incoming graduate students access to more than 150 faculty members from 20 basic science and clinical departments in the College of Medicine. Take time to acquaint yourself with the diverse research interests of our faculty in our directory.

Our innovative and flexible curriculum has been featured in the journal Cell.

The four curricular tracks of the program provide students a wide range of courses taught by faculty with extensive expertise in the areas covered in each course. In addition to required courses, the curricular tracks include elective courses chosen by the student based on their specific research interests.

Ralph Keil, PhD, is Chair of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at Penn State College of Medicine.
Ralph Keil, PhD, is Chair of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program at Penn State College of Medicine.

In addition to providing students the skills necessary to be leaders in biomedical research, the BMS Graduate Program provides opportunities for students to obtain training that will allow them to also excel in business, education, translational science, or management of intellectual property.

Beyond our integrated BMS Graduate Program and its innovative curriculum, this is an exciting time for research and graduate education at Penn State College of Medicine. Our research programs and infrastructure have dramatically expanded in the last few years. This includes opening of the Institute for Personalized Medicine in 2013, receipt of a prestigious Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health in 2011, dedication of a new Cancer Institute building in 2009 that includes extensive new laboratory facilities, and opening of the Hershey Center for Applied Research building in 2007 that provides additional laboratory space for researchers at the College of Medicine as well as "greenhouse" space for biotech companies, some of which were started by College faculty.

In addition, new chairs for the Department of Cellular & Molecular Physiology, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, and the Department of Microbiology & Immunology joined the College of Medicine in the last few years. These new chairs, Drs. Don Gill, Jim Broach, and Aron Lukacher, respectively, are actively recruiting new faculty members into their departments. Plans for continued expansion of the research facilities and efforts have already been formulated.

Please explore this website to learn more about our integrated program. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Kristen E. Smith, MS, Director of Graduate Admissions, at

Ralph L. Keil, PhD
Associate Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Chair, Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program