Pathobiology Track


Track Leader: Dr. Thomas Kelly (

To view a list of faculty associated with this track, click here.

Program Overview:

Pathobiology is an interdisciplinary field that strives to understand the mechanisms of disease at fundamental levels. Basic and translational research approaches are used to understand the structural, functional, and physiologic changes occurring at organ, tissue, cellular and molecular levels. In addition to pathologic disease mechanisms, age-dependent changes and the contribution of these changes to disease are also studied. Knowledge acquired at this basic level is then systematically integrated to improve understanding of underlying disease processes, and to improve disease management in the clinical setting.

Program of Study:

The Pathobiology Track is a Ph.D. program within the GPIBS program at UAMS. The Pathobiology Track offers students a flexible program of advanced study and research in experimental pathobiology, and the opportunity to be mentored by a wide range of basic science and clinical faculty who share a common interest in understanding the molecular basis of human disease. The Pathobiology Track offers flexibility in its program to permit each student to pursue the most effective course of study and research. In addition to the GPIBS core courses, instruction includes required courses in biostatistics, physiology, histology, and the pathologic basis of disease. In consultation with their graduate student advisory committee, students also choose among advanced courses that are generally completed within the first two years of study. They then take the qualifying examination and, if successful, present a dissertation research proposal to their faculty committee and proceed with their research.


Year 1 Fall (12 credit hours)

GPIBS Core Curriculum

Year 1 Spring (10 credit hours)

1 credit hour GPIBS Seminar (IBSD 5102)
1 credit hour Scientific Communication and Ethics II (PCOL 5119)
3 credit hours General Physiology (PHYO 5103)
3 credit hours Histology and Investigative Pathology (new course)
3 credit hours Histology and Laboratory Screening (PATH 5150)
3 credit hours Biostatistics (BIOS 5013) or Biometrical methods
1 credit hour Research

Each summer until graduation

1 credit hour Research

Year 2 Fall (10 -12 credit hours)

1 credit hour GPIBS Seminar (IBSD 5102)
1 credit hour Scientific Communication and Ethics III (PCOL 5120)
3 credit hours Pathologic Basis of Disease (PATH 5101)
3-6 credit hours Electives*
2-4 credit hours Research

Year 2 Spring (10-11 credit hours)

1 credit hour GPIBS Seminar (IBSD 5102)
1 credit hour Scientific Communications and Ethics IV (PCOL 5121)
3-6 credit hours Electives*
5-6 credit hours Research

*Electives are chosen at the discretion of the mentor and the student’s advisory committee. Possible courses include but are not limited to:
Biology of Cancer (BIOC 6103), Basic Biology of Aging (PHYO 6102), Immunology (MBIM 5101), Molecular Epidemiology (EPID 5335), Cellular Endocrinology (PHYO 5104), Human Development (NBDS 5124), Molecular Cell Biology (MBIM 6103), Systems Therapeutics (PCOL 6101), Introduction to Oncology (INTX 5082-old number), Cancer Epidemiology (EPID 5332), Epi of Chronic Diseases (EPID 5326), and Basic Neuroscience (NBDS 5106)

Year 2 Summer

Candidacy Exam (research proposal submitted to committee followed by oral defense)

Years 3- Until Degree Completion

Students will enroll in 1 credit hour Seminar (IBSD 5102) for each of the remaining semesters and 9 credit hours of Dissertation Research (until reach 18) and/or Research.

Students must meet with their advisory committee semiannually, demonstrate continuous progress, and successfully defend their research project in written and oral format prior to completion of the degree.