Ph.D. Programs

Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics (BIG)

BIG is an inter-departmental Ph.D. program that trains future leaders in the field of bioinformatics and genomics. Our mission is to provide our graduate students with the tools to conduct original research in the development of novel approaches and new technologies to address fundamental biological questions.


Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)

BBS is an interdepartmental graduate training program in cellular and molecular biology. BBS faculty members are drawn from all of the basic science departments of Harvard Medical School –Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (BCMP), Cell Biology, Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Genetics, Microbiology and Immunobiology, Neurobiology and Systems Biology – and from many of Harvard’s affiliated teaching hospitals. BBS has also incorporated faculty from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) as part of its effort to build new initiatives in graduate training.

The BBS graduate research training is interdisciplinary, with a concentration in one or more of the following areas: biochemistry and proteomics, cell and molecular biology, computational biology, developmental biology, genetics and genomics, human biology and disease, immunobiology, microbial biology and pathogenesis, molecular neurosciences, physiology, pharmacology, regenerative biology and structural biology. The methods and experimental approaches used to address questions within these areas range from the techniques of molecular biology, protein chemistry, cell biology and biophysics to those of molecular and developmental genetics.



The purpose of the Program is to provide education leading to a Ph.D. in Immunology. This Program is under the responsibility of the Committee on Immunology at Harvard. The Committee includes 85 faculty representing the main immunology laboratories. The Committee includes 105 faculty representing a broad area of research interests including transplantation, neuro-immunology, autoimmunity, stem cell biology, infection and immunity, human translational immunology, tumor immunology, immunobiology and mucosal immunity. Our goal is to educate scientists in investigative and academic medicine, preparing them to contribute to immunological research with a full awareness of the potential impact of immunology. Our program combines an education in basic biology, a sophisticated training in immunology, and exposure to the immunological and non-immunological problems of disease.



The Program in Neuroscience is an inter-departmental Ph.D. program for training in neuroscience. Our mission is to provide students with the instruction, research experience, and mentoring they need to become leaders in research and education.


The Program in Neuroscience draws together neuroscientists from across Harvard. The physical home base of the program is located at the Longwood Campus of Harvard Medical School, in the Department of Neurobiology. Most coursework occurs at this campus, and all the first-year students receive advising here. But in the decades since the Program was founded, it has expanded to offer students options for thesis research in many research departments throughout Harvard, including labs at the Cambridge campus and Harvard-affiliated hospitals. The enormous number and diversity of labs affiliated with the Program means that students have a wide range of options in choosing research experiences.


Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology (SHBT)

SHBT is a tight-knit research community dedicated to multidisciplinary training in basic, clinical and applied approaches to the study of all aspects of human communication and the treatment of its disorders.


SHBT includes more than 65 faculty members and roughly 50 students at various stages in their doctoral work, operating out of more than 30 different labs at Harvard, MIT, Boston University and the Harvard teaching hospitals.



It is an exciting time to study virology!  In the last decade, we've seen new viruses—MERS and SARS coronaviruses, H1N1 influenza, and Nipah viruses among them—emerging around the world; Ebola Chikungunya, and West Nile viruses have re-emerged; and the AIDS epidemic continues to sweep across sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia.  New vaccines for HIV, smallpox, avian influenza and genital herpes are sorely needed.  New antivirals for Dengue, hepatitis C and HIV viruses are also desperately needed.  The role of such viruses as Merkel cell polyoma, papilloma, Kaposi’s sarcoma and Epstein-Barr virus in human cancer highlight challenges to prevent and treat these diseases. 

Researchers at Harvard University are working on all these biomedical problems.  They conduct basic research defining new molecular structures of viruses and virus-encoded enzymes, new mechanisms within cells for molecular and organelle trafficking and function, and new mechanisms that control cell growth.  Harvard researchers are among the world leaders in the design and testing of AIDS, genital herpes, and smallpox vaccines. The Harvard Program in Virology provides extraordinary opportunities to conduct graduate study for the Ph.D. degree in these exciting areas of biomedical science.




Division of Medical Sciences

Harvard Medical School

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