The LHB Program has two goals. First, it provides PhD students with a working knowledge of the fundamentals of human biology and disease, primarily through a series of courses, to enrich their basic science training and broaden their research interests. Second, it demystifies the culture and practice of medicine, facilitating future collaborations with clinicians and physician-scientists, through activities designed to bring students into a hospital environment for direct contact with physicians, patients, medical students, and physician-scientists. The full program runs for one and one half years, beginning in Spring of the G1 Year, and it is interdigitated with a student’s other graduate program requirements. Students who successfully complete the LHB Program will receive a certificate in Human Biology and Translational Medicine with their PhDs. Students who do not enter the LHB program but wish to learn about human biology will have access to LHB courses on an ad hoc basis. After the formal LHB Program is completed, students are encouraged to continue to participate in Program activities and are provided with ongoing mentoring opportunities throughout their time at Harvard.
The Therapeutics Graduate Program focuses on pharmacology, toxicology and drug discovery, emphasizing research in both HMS labs and in real-world internships. Our goal is to train a new generation of investigators who embrace change and who view systems pharmacology as integral to all their work.
The certificate program offers rigorous, multidisciplinary training relevant to identifying and developing novel therapeutics, understanding and investigating mechanisms of drug action, analyzing the reasons for clinical failures, and developing new compounds and applying them in preclinical and clinical studies to improve the treatment of disease.
This program will provide students with the tool kit and skills necessary for these aims, including quantitative skills and modern cutting-edge techniques. This involves elucidating and understanding biological pathways and therapeutic mechanisms, understanding adverse effects to limit toxicity, identifying novel therapeutic targets, and characterizing the pharmacologic profiles (pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics) of new compounds. Students will understand the social implications and impact of these activities, and we therefore aim to link this training to industrial, clinical, and regulatory activities and to encourage students to consider their studies in a society-wide context.
The Paths Program allows students to self-navigate their individual paths of professional development with diverse opportunities for career education, preparation, and networking. The most formal of these opportunities is the Paths Certificate Program, although students make take advantage of many Paths-related activities without formal enrollment in the certificate program. The Ph.D. Pathfinder Course is an annually offered nanocourse in which industry leaders and experts share insights and guidance through reflections on their own career paths. The Paths Program also works closely with and supports many GSAS and HMS student organizations, including the Biotech Club, Science in the News, HPREP, JEI, and more. These student-run groups organize many formal and informal educational activities throughout the year, which can count towards obtaining a Paths Certificate. The DMS Paths program also works collaboratively with organizations and companies throughout the greater Boston area to create opportunities for internships, and to connect students with leading experts in various cutting-edge industries.
SEAL supplements the graduate training of students looking to apply their biological science Ph.D. to a career in teaching. Participation allows students to obtain teaching experience as a course lecturer, to reflect on and improve their teaching skills, to experiment with different pedagogical approaches and to build components of their teaching portfolio. Achieving this certification prepares students with the core skills and experiences required for education-related positions. This classroom-based nature of the training additionally distinguishes SEAL students in a competitive job market.
The Harvard/MIT MD-PhD Program at Harvard Medical School (HMS), sponsored primarily by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through its Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) since 1974, provides fellowship support for selected and highly qualified students who have elected to pursue both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The overall mission is to train the next generation of premier physician-scientists, with representation across a variety of clinical disciplines and research areas from basic and translational sciences to bioengineering to the social sciences.
The Division of Medical Sciences (DMS) Visiting Fellows Program is intended for students enrolled in research doctoral programs at universities outside of the United States who plan to conduct research in laboratories at Harvard Medical School (HMS). These students are eligible to apply to be Visiting Fellows, a non-degree student status in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) at Harvard University.