PhD in Medical Sciences Concentrations

Molecular Medicine

The Molecular Medicine concentration in the PhD Program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences is focused on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the molecular basis of disease, providing you with a fundamental understanding of biochemical and genetic principles basic to pathophysiological processes. In this program, you will examine molecular mechanisms that underlie the cellular aberrations in clinical disorders and incorporate fundamental principles learned in coursework to medical research. The mission of the Department of Molecular Medicine is four-fold: 1) to discover, apply and disseminate knowledge of the basis of health and disease, 2) to translate this knowledge into innovative tools for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease, 3) to train and mentor future scientists and health care professionals, and 4) provide a collegial and scholarly environment where students, faculty, and staff thrive. 


The curriculum for the PhD in Medical Sciences can be found in the Graduate Catalog. A sample of courses offered within the Molecular Medicine concentration is listed below. 

  • Molecular Basis of Disease
  • Structural Biology
  • Fundamentals of Structural Bioinformatics
  • Basic Medical Neuroscience
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Cancer Biology I

Graduate Catalog

Faculty & Research

Current research interests include: 

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cellular Immunology
  • Protein Intrinsic Disorder
  • Signal Transduction/Cancer Tumor Virology

Learn more about our faculty and their research here

Affiliated Institutes & Facilities

Children’s Research Institute
Neuroscience Institute
Center for Drug Discovery & Innovation
James A Haley Veteran's Hospital

Concentration Spotlights


PhD student, Roukiah Khalil2020 - Roukiah Khalil was selected for the USF Signature Research Doctoral Fellowship as well as the Edith Wright Hartley scholarship. She also received the USF Federal Credit Union Best Cancer Biology Poster Award at USF Health Research Day. 









Karthick Mayilsamy2020 - Karthick Mayilsamy received the Chih Foundation Research and Publication Award; his research focus is drugs that treat brain inflammation and significantly increase the efficacy of the stem cell therapy in traumatic brain injury.










Michael Sacco2020 - Michael Sacco received the Chih Foundation Research and Publication Award. His research focuses on main protease (Mpro) and the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 replication and was featured in Science Magazine.




2019 - Ashley Lui received the award for Molecular and Cellular Biology Research at USF Health Research Day

2019 - Michael Kemp received the Department of Energy Science Graduate Student Research Fellowship for Argonne National Lab.

Recent Publications

  • Vander Velde R, Yoon N, Marusyk V, Durmaz A, Dhawan A, Miroshnychenko D, Lozano-Peral D, Desai B, Balynska O, Poleszhuk J, Kenian L, Teng M, Abazeed M, Mian O, Tan AC, Haura E, Scott J, Marusyk A. Resistance to targeted therapies as a multifactorial, gradual adaptation to inhibitor specific selective pressures. Nat Commun. 2020 May 14;11(1):2393. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16212-w. PMID: 32409712; PMCID: PMC7224215.
  • Das M, Mayilsamy K, Mohapatra SS, Mohapatra S. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for the treatment of traumatic brain injury: progress and prospects. Rev Neurosci. 2019 Nov 26;30(8):839-855. doi: 10.1515/revneuro-2019-0002. PMID: 31203262.
  • Ma C, Sacco MD, Hurst B, Townsend JA, Hu Y, Szeto T, Zhang X, Tarbet B, Marty MT, Chen Y, Wang J. Boceprevir, GC-376, and calpain inhibitors II, XII inhibit SARS-CoV-2 viral replication by targeting the viral main protease. Cell Res. 2020 Aug;30(8):678-692. doi: 10.1038/s41422-020-0356-z. Epub 2020 Jun 15. PMID: 32541865; PMCID: PMC7294525.

More Information

For information about the PhD Program in Integrated Biomedical Sciences, contact 813-974-2836 or

Apply Now

Please note, students do not apply directly to a concentration. Interested students should submit an application for the PhD in Medical Sciences. Concentrations are typically selected during the first year of study.