Graduate Research Opportunities
The Research Team Leaders at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute also serve as thesis mentors to Ph.D.-level graduate students at Virginia Tech. Candidates interested in carrying out thesis research with investigators at the institute should consider applying to Virginia Tech's Master's and Ph.D.-level program in Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health, or one of Virginia Tech's departmental-based graduate programs.
Master's of Science Degree Program
Students pursuing a M.S. must earn a minimum of 38 credit hours beyond the B.S. degree. Students will engage in research throughout both years in the program, while completing most of their core coursework by the end of year 1. Students will take an intensive “Gateway” course in semester 1, where they will learn the fundamentals of biomedicine, physiological systems, and translational science. They will then select a focus area in semester 2 and take two intensive “Fundamentals” courses (4 credits each) covering in depth the fundamentals of that focus area, with heavy emphasis on translational exemplars and case studies. Students will continue a core curriculum in parallel with their focus-area-specific coursework, which includes professional development, ethics, and statistics, as well as program retreats and presentations. In total, students will take 24 credits of core coursework, 3 credits quantitative requirement, and a minimum of 11 credits of thesis research. Learn More
Doctoral Degree Program
Students pursuing a Ph.D. will earn a minimum of 100 credit hours beyond the B.S. degree. Students will engage in research rotations in year 1, while completing most of their core coursework, and will commit to a thesis research lab at the end of year 1. Students will take an intensive “Gateway” course in semester 1, where they will learn the fundamentals of biomedicine, physiological systems, and translational science. They will then select a focus area in semester 2 and take two intensive “Fundamentals” courses (4 credits each) covering in depth the fundamentals of that focus area, with heavy emphasis on translational exemplars and case studies. Students will continue a core curriculum in parallel with their focus-area-specific coursework, which includes professional development, ethics, seminars and scientific analysis, as well as program retreats and presentations. In total, students will take 31 credits of core coursework, 3 credits quantitative requirement, 3 credits of free electives, and 63 credits of dissertation research. Learn More
Many students enrolled in the Virginia Tech Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health doctoral degree program complete research rotations and research assistantships under the mentorship of Fralin Biomedical Research Institute faculty.
In addition, many graduate students who train with us are enrolled in Virginia Tech doctoral degree programs offered through other departments, including, but not limited to:
- Biological Sciences
- Biomedical Engineering
- Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences
- Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
- Human Development
- Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Public Health
- Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine offers students a variety of advanced degree opportunities. VTCSOM students may now enroll in the Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health M.S. and Ph.D.-level training programs.
Students with questions directly related to the Translational Biology, Medicine and Health programs are encouraged to contact Veronica Van Montfrans, Ph.D. Students considering a transition out of the medical doctorate program of study are encouraged to talk with Aubrey Knight, M.D. about other potential degree options available.
The Integrated Virginia Research Training Centers in Kidney, Urology and Hematology (IGNITE KUH) is designed to address the increase in disease burden in the areas of kidney, urology, and hematology, where there is a shortage of the workforce to advance scientific discoveries and technology. This program provides tuition, stipend and travel support for first and second year PhD students, and for postdoctoral fellows.
Graduate Student Research Spotlight
Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Laboratories
Home ItemBickel Lab , home
The Bickel Lab studies dysfunctional decision-making and interventions to help people battling addiction make healthier choices.
Home ItemChappell Lab , home
The Chappell Lab studies how the blood vasculature develops during early organ formation and during certain diseases such as tumor progression and neurological disorders.
Home ItemChiu Lab , home
The Chiu Laboratory examines the neuroscience of human motivation and social decision-making.
Home ItemDeLuca Lab , home
The DeLuca lab has examined the impact of intensive neurorehabilitation treatments on children and adults with neuromotor impairments for more than 25 years.
Home ItemFarris Lab , home
The Farris Lab studies how neurons respond during learning and how those responses differ between genetically distinct cell types thought to be required for storing memories.
Home ItemFinkielstein Lab , home
The Finkielstein lab studies how disruption of the body's circadian rhythm influences cancer initiation and progression.
Home ItemFox Lab , home
The Fox Laboratory studies the mechanisms underlying synaptic targeting and synaptic differentiation, focusing on the visual system.
Home ItemFriedlander Lab , home
The Friedlander Lab uses quantitative single neuron patch clamp electrophysiological methods and imaging to see structural changes in the calcium signals that underlie synaptic function.
Home ItemGourdie Lab , home
The Gourdie Lab studies subunit proteins called connexins, which are located in gap junctions that enable direct communication between cells.
Home ItemHorn Lab , home
Kimberly Horn studies methods to prevent drug use to help address tobacco use and, more recently, the opioid crisis in central Appalachia.
Home ItemHowell Lab , home
The Howell Lab studies ways to improve mother-infant health outcomes by exploring the factors that influence healthy infant brain and behavioral development.
Home ItemJohnstone Lab , home
The Johnstone Lab focuses on understanding how healthy blood vessels are altered in disease and defining effective pathways to therapeutically target vascular disease.
Home ItemKing-Casas Lab , home
The King-Casas Lab addresses two broad areas of inquiry: (1) neural underpinnings of valuation and learning in social settings, and (2) how social and economic preferences influence valuation and learning.
Home ItemLaConte Lab , home
Research in the LaConte lab is devoted to advanced neuroimaging acquisition and data analysis approaches, aimed at basic scientific discovery as well as understanding and rehabilitating neurological and psychiatric diseases.
Home ItemLaMantia Lab , home
The LaMantia Lab studies the genetics underlying neural development to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for a broad range of disorders that compromise brain and organ system development.
Home ItemLegon Lab , home
The Legon Lab studies modulation of the human brain via focused ultrasound.
Home ItemMontague Lab , home
The Montague Lab's work focuses on computational neuroscience – the connection between physical mechanisms present in real neural tissue and the computational functions that these mechanisms embody.
Home ItemMorozov Lab , home
The Morozov Lab studies the neuronal circuits associated with empathy and examines how these circuits become altered in pathological conditions related to post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, psychopathy, autism, and schizophrenia.
Home ItemMukherjee Lab , home
The Mukherjee Lab studies the role of MAGUK (Membrane Associated Guanylate Kinase) proteins in neurodevelopment.
Home ItemMunson Lab , home
The Munson Lab studies the tumor microenvironment in cancers, including glioblastoma, the deadliest form of brain cancer. Our research focuses on the emerging research area of fluid flow.
Home ItemPan Lab , home
The Pan Lab aims to elucidate the general principles of vertebrate development and uncover the genetic and developmental causes of human neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Home ItemParker Lab , home
The Parker Lab conducts basic and translational research into the performance of health care teams in numerous clinical domains, including the ICU, operating room, and outpatient clinical practice.
Home ItemPfleger Lab , home
The Pfleger Lab studies the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease.
Home ItemPoelzing Lab , home
The Poelzing Lab studies the electrical activity of the heart through cardiac myocytes and proteins and how abnormalities are linked to sudden cardiac death.
Home ItemC. Ramey Lab , home
The Ramey Lab's program of research centers on the role of experience – across the human lifespan - in the development of competence and robust health.
Home ItemS.L. Ramey Lab , home
The Landesman Ramey Lab addresses the contribution of early experience from before conception to later health and development and the development and testing of highly promising treatments for children with disabilities and at-risk conditions.
Home ItemSassi Lab , home
The Sassi Lab focuses on studying the role of non-coding RNAs, coding RNAs and cyclic nucleotides pathways in cardiac health and disease, pulmonary arterial hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis.
Home ItemSheng Lab , home
Researchers in the Sheng Laboratory are particularly interested in glioblastoma multiforme.
Home ItemShin Lab , home
The Shin Lab aims to understand the role of brain circuit-specific mechanisms using translationally relevant animal models of stress-induced psychiatric diseases.
Home ItemSmyth Lab , home
The Smyth Laboratory studies cardiomyopathy at a subcellular level, searching for potential targets for therapeutic interventions to help restore normal cardiac function to diseased hearts.
Home ItemSwanger Lab , home
The Swanger Lab studies subtypes within a glutamate receptor family, called N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDAR), located in the brain's thalamus to understand the origins of seizures.
Home ItemWarren Lab , home
The Warren Lab studies the mechanisms underlying metabolic reprogramming in the failing heart.
Home ItemWeston Lab , home
The Weston Lab studies gene variants that cause human childhood epilepsies and seeks to understand how they alter neuronal physiology to cause network hyperexcitability and seizures.