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Graduate Research Opportunities

Graduate student
Gabriella Carrillo is a Ph.D. Candidate working in the Fox Lab. She was among the first research team to describe how the common Toxoplasma gondii parasite prompts the loss of inhibitory signaling in the brain by altering the behavior of nearby cells called microglia.

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

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.  

Graduate Student Research Spotlight

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Fralin Biomedical Research Institute Laboratories

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    Bickel Lab , home

    The Bickel Lab studies dysfunctional decision-making and interventions to help people battling addiction make healthier choices.

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    Chappell 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.

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    Chiu Lab , home

    The Chiu Laboratory examines the neuroscience of human motivation and social decision-making.

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    DeLuca 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.

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    DiFeliceantonio Lab , home

    Dr. DiFeliceantonio's laboratory uses multimodal imaging and metabolic measures to study how the brain integrates peripheral signals to guide food motivation, choice, and eating behavior.

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    Farris 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.

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    Finkielstein Lab , home

    The Finkielstein Lab studies how the molecules that dictate a cell's life cycle influence cancer initiation and progression.

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    Fox Lab , home

    The Fox Laboratory studies the mechanisms underlying synaptic targeting and synaptic differentiation, focusing on the visual system.

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    Friedlander 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.

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    Gourdie Lab , home

    The Gourdie Lab studies subunit proteins called connexins, which are located in gap junctions that enable direct communication between cells.

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    Horn Lab , home

    Kimberly Horn studies methods to prevent drug use to help address tobacco use and, more recently, the opioid crisis in central Appalachia.

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    Howell 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.

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    Johnstone 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.

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    King-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.

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    LaConte 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.

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    LaMantia 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.

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    Lamouille Lab , home

    The Lamouille Lab studies ways to deregulate cancer cell communication and is developing new therapeutic strategies to stall cancer stem cell proliferation and metastases.

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    Montague 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.

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    Morozov 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.

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    Mukherjee Lab , home

    The Mukherjee Lab studies the role of MAGUK (Membrane Associated Guanylate Kinase) proteins in neurodevelopment.

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    Munson 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.

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    Pan 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.

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    Parker 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.

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    Poelzing 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.

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    C. 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.

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    S.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.

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    Robel Lab , home

    The Robel Lab's research interest is in the role of astrocytes, star-shaped glial cells, in the development and progression of CNS diseases.

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    Sheng Lab , home

    Researchers in the Sheng Laboratory are particularly interested in glioblastoma multiforme.

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    Shin 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.

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    Smyth 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.

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    Sontheimer Lab , home

    The Sontheimer Lab researches the biology of glial cells, the brain's most abundant cell type. Harald Sontheimer is credited with making foundational discoveries on the functional properties of glial cells in the brain.

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    Stein Lab , home

    The Stein Lab's research interests include behavioral economics, neuroeconomics, addiction, obesity, and health behavior.

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    Swanger 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.

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    Warren Lab , home

    The Warren Lab focuses on xxxxx xxxxxx xxxx x xxxxxx xxxxxx xx xxxxxxxx xx xxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxx xxxxx xxx.

Contacts