Integrated Biomedical Sciences

The Integrated Biomedical Sciences (IBS) is an undifferentiated first-year core curriculum that serves as the entry point for six doctoral programs housed in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Students are admitted to IBS and, at the end of the IBS year, select their doctoral programs to pursue their dissertation research in one of these basic science departments:


The following are all participating departments:

The field of Neuroscience is at the precipice of an unprecedented age of discovery. Recent advances in genetics and cellular and molecular biology have provided stunning insights into the mechanisms underlying many diseases and disorders of the nervous system. The advent of new tools and technologies has allowed neuroscientists to probe neural function at the molecular, cellular, systems, and behavioral levels. The parallel development of scientific and technological advances has positioned us to translate basic science findings to relevant clinical outcomes. The multidisciplinary nature of Neuroscience scholarship and research is one of the greatest strengths and most attractive aspects of the discipline. 

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The Graduate Program in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology reflects the exciting advances which have occurred in microbiology, molecular genetics, cancer biology, and immunology over the last decade. The Ph.D. training program is flexible and attempts to blend an appropriate mixture to didactic courses, seminar, research and independent study for each student. Our graduate students and postdoctoral fellows enjoy success in competing for positions in the academic, governmental and industrial sectors. Our funding base for research and graduate education has expanded and currently exceeds $5 million per year.

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The Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences faculty are trained in the individual disciplines of pharmacology and/or nutritional sciences, with research emphases in the areas of brain cognition and aging, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases (e.g., obesity, diabetes). This multidisciplinary and collaborative research environment focuses on the development of nutritionally-based concepts and pharmacologic entities for the treatment of chronic diseases. Since nearly every chronic disease is prevented and/or treated by a combination of lifestyle (e.g., nutrition) and pharmacologically-based therapies, the department's unique combination of research capabilities and expertise in these disciplines promises to have an immense impact on addressing chronic disease processes.

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Our education mission is to provide students with an education in Toxicology that is based on an understanding of biochemistry, physiology, molecular/cell biology and metabolomics, coupled with in-depth research experience on the mechanisms by which specific agents induce toxicity, and/or the basic cellular processes upon which environmental agents impact to cause disease.

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Researchers in our highly interactive department utilize cutting-edge approaches to understand the molecular basis of disease, including work focused on cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious disease, aging and neurodegenerative disorders. 

The collaborative nature of the department and the wide array of scientific approaches, from structural biology and biophysical methods to cell biological and organismal studies, also contribute to the exciting research environment.

Our Ph.D. program combines excellent coursework designed to give students a solid foundation in biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology with high quality mentored research experiences which train our students to be successful scientists and independent thinkers prepared to go on to a variety of careers. Students from our programs have gone on to positions in a range of scientific areas, including academic research and teaching positions, industry positions, government positions and careers in science policy.

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The Department of Physiology is a diverse community of basic science researchers. Our areas of research include cardiovascular, neuroscience, metabolic disease and aging. Within those areas of research are 37 primary faculty members, 8 joint faculty members, 16 trainees, and numerous laboratory staff. With over $6.2M in extramural support in FY16, our award-winning investigators are making major advances in biomedical research. Our training programs are preparing scientists for successful careers in academia, industry, and government. Our education faculty touches the lives of over 2,000 undergraduate, professional and graduate students each academic year.

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About IBS
IBS provides exposure to cellular and molecular concepts in the biomedical sciences, development of interdisciplinary approaches necessary for innovative research, and flexibility in choosing a research emphasis among 186 faculty members in six departments. As part of IBS, students complete coursework, engage in biomedical research through laboratory rotations that facilitate selection of a dissertation mentor and participate in research seminars. 

The IBS curriculum is designed for students beginning graduate studies in the fall semester.
Contact Us
For specific questions or any information not available on the IBS website, please contact us by either using the Contact Form, e-mailing us at or by calling us at: 
(859) 218-6745 
or toll-free at: 
(866) 239-0004. 
We look forward to hearing from you!