Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP)

The BSGP includes both MS and PhD degrees and offers an exciting opportunity to gain a broad understanding of the biomedical sciences in a spectacular southwestern setting of unsurpassed beauty, rich cultural heritage and geographic diversity.The broad-based, one year core curriculum is followed by focused course work and thesis/dissertation research in faculty laboratories in basic science departments. In addition to School of Medicine faculty, the BSGP is complemented by affiliated faculty in the College of Pharmacy, School of Engineering, National Labs, and other entities who may direct graduate student research. BSGP students often work with animals in their research.

About UNM and New Mexico

Check out The Lobo Life page for a selection of the adventures that await you in and around UNM!

Graduate Resource Center Workshops: Calendar

Workshops on a variety of topics for graduate students including; Wellness, Reading Skills and Strategies, Financial Literacy, Time Management, and more.

Optional Concentrations

Cancer Biology – 21 credit hours

The Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences Cancer Biology concentration provides trainees with focused and individualized training in cancer-relevant disciplines. There are over 50 graduate faculty members constituting the University of New Mexico Cancer Center, which is an NIH-funded P30 Center with emphases on basic research, clinical translation and community studies. These faculty are extramurally funded and internationally recognized leaders in their fields and their trainees represent the next generation of cancer researchers charged with making cutting edge technological advances in genomics, imaging, molecular and drug discovery. The complexity of such medical advances also requires culturally sensitive community outreach and integration to assure that the dissemination of these advances will be effective and accepted by patients, caregivers and health care providers. In recognition of the need for greater interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary graduate training, the Cancer Biology concentration addresses new, national graduate training guidelines that require students to articulate individualized training goals and plans for targeted career development. The flexible curriculum will enable students to choose from a menu of courses that offer training relevant to each of the four Cancer Center research programs: 1) Cancer Control and Disparities; 2) Cancer Genetics, Epigenetics and Genomics; 3) Translational Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling; 4) Cancer Biotechnology, Drug Discovery and Targeted Delivery. The concentration is designed to offer required and elective courses as well as professional career development that is relevant to all four programs, yet with sufficient flexibility to enable trainees to focus on selected areas of interest. Professional and development activities afford training in grantwriting, effective communication and presentation skills, entrepreneurship, and more. Trainees have opportunities to attend national conferences, be appointed to training grants, engage in teaching and mentoring others, and will be well prepared to assume jobs in diverse cancer research job sectors.

Required Coursework

To earn a Concentration in Cancer Biology graduate students are required to take the following:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

BIOM 515

Cancer Biology

3

 

 

 

 

Select 2 of the following:

 

BIOM 509

Principles of Neurobiology

3

BIOM 510

Physiology

3

BIOM 514

Immunobiology

3

PHRM 576

Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology

3


Following successful completion of the Qualifying Exam and remaining in Good Academic Standing (as defined by the BSGP), graduate training will mainly focus on laboratory research supervised by the student's mentor, and supplemented with the following advanced courses:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

BIOM 583 or
BIOM 605 or
BIOM 615 or
PHRM 593
Seminar: Pathology
Membrane Trafficking Seminar
Seminar: Signal Transduction and Cell Adhesion
Pharmaceutical Sciences and Toxicology Seminar
4

 

 

 

 

Select 1 of the following:

 

BIOM 505

ST: Biostatistics

2

STAT 527

Advanced Data Analysis

3

 

 

 

Select at least 6 credit hours of the following:

BIOM 505 or
PHRM 598 

ST: with a Cancer Focus
T: Cancer Focus
variable

BIOM 510

Physiology 3

BIOM 540

University Teacher Training 2

BIOM 616

Molecular Virology 3

BIOL 547

Advanced Techniques in Light Microscopy 4

PH 502

Epidemiologic Methods I 3

PH 532

Cancer Epidemiology 2

PHRM 536

Introduction to Pharmacogenomics 2

PHRM 576

Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology 1

PHRM 580

General Toxicology 2

Cardiovascular Physiology - 20 credit hours

The Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences Cardiovascular Physiology concentration provides an individualized program of upper-level courses and scientific research in the laboratory of a faculty member within the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease (CVMD) Signature Research Program. The mission of the CVMD Signature program is to support and enhance the research activity of investigators at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center who are pursuing important, clinically relevant research questions focusing on Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease. The training program is currently supported by an NHLBI-funded Cardiovascular training grant and is designed to ensure broad training in physiology with major research interests in vascular biology, hypertension, sleep apnea, pulmonary hypertension, hypoxia, diabetes, aging, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and stroke.

Required Coursework

To earn a Concentration in Cardiovascular Physiology graduate students are required to take the following:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

BIOM 510

Physiology

3

 

 

 

 

Select 2 of the following:

 

BIOM 509

Principles of Neurobiology

3

BIOM 514

Immunobiology

3

BIOM 515

Cancer Biology

3

PHRM 576

Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology

3



Following successful completion of the Qualifying Exam and remaining in Good Academic Standing (as defined by the BSGP), graduate training will mainly focus on laboratory research supervised by the student's mentor, and supplemented with the following advanced courses:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

BIOM 505

ST: Biostatistics

2

BIOM 657

Advanced Topics in Cellular and Systems Physiology

3

BIOM 659

Cardiovascular Physiology Journal Club/Seminar (1 presentation/semester)

6


Vascular Physiology Research

The Vascular Physiology Group (VPG) was founded by Dr. Benjimen R. Walker. Researchers in this group include faculty members from the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology. All investigators in the group have a track record of national-level extramural support and there is a great deal of collaboration between laboratories. The VPG has a journal club/seminar series and holds weekly joint lab meetings during which ideas are exchanged, data are presented, and planned grant applications are discussed. The VPG holds a NHLBI-funded Cardiovascular Training Grant, and maintains an excellent record of training both graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. As a group, we have the unique ability to approach our investigation from multiple levels including conscious animal hemodynamic analysis, isolated perfused organ, isolated-pressurized small arteries, electrophysiology, molecular imaging, and molecular biology. The primary research focus for faculty members of the Vascular Physiology Group is summarized below with links to faculty web pages.

Laura Gonzalez Bosc, PhD

1) Role of the adaptive immune system in chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension, 2) Role of smooth muscle NFATc3 in chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension, 3) Effectiveness of endothelin antagonists to prevent kidney disease in an animal model of sleep apnea.

Nikki Jernigan, PhD

The long term goal of this research program is to understand the physiological and pathophysiological function of acid sensing ion channels in the cardiovascular system. More specifically we are examining the role of these channels in 1) altered pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell calcium homeostasis in the hypertensive pulmonary circulation, 2) endothelial dysfunction in the systemic circulation in response to ischemic injury, 3) vascular fibrosis, and 4) airway smooth muscle hyperresponsiveness in asthma.

Nancy Kanagy, PhD

1) Effect of sleep apnea on progression of chronic kidney disease; 2) Hydrogen sulfide in sleep apnea induced hypertension; 3) Effectiveness of endothelin antagonists to prevent kidney disease in an animal model of sleep apnea; 4) Development of a non-invasive screening device for peripheral vascular disease.

Jay Naik, PhD

1) Membrane cholesterol regulation of vascular ion channels 2) regulation of vascular tone by smooth muscle and endothelial [Ca2+]i events 3) effects of impaired oxygenation (hypoxia) on vascular regulation both in systemic and pulmonary circulations.

Tom Resta, PhD

1) Mechanisms of chronic hypoxia- and intermittent hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension; 2) Pulmonary vasoreactivity; 3) Endothelial regulation of vascular tone; 4) Regulation of vascular smooth muscle contraction by reactive oxygen species, nitric oxide, RhoA and PKC signaling; 5) Regulation of endothelial and vascular smooth muscle

Infectious Disease & Immunology - 24 credit hours

The Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences Infectious Disease and Immunology concentration provides an individualized program of upper-level courses and scientific research in the laboratory of a faculty member within the Infectious Diseases and Immunity Signature Research Program. The goal in this Research Program is to develop and enhance collaborative programs among researchers, physicians and businesses in New Mexico to address the threat of infectious and immunologically-mediated inflammatory diseases in New Mexican populations and the world by characterizing epidemiologic issues, studying basic host-pathogen mechanisms, developing new vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, and testing the preventive, therapeutic and diagnostic efficacy of these discoveries in clinical trials.

Required Coursework

To earn a Concentration in Infectious Disease & Immunology graduate students are required to take the following:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

BIOM 514

Immunobiology

3

 

 

 

 

Select 2 of the following:

 

BIOM 509

Principles of Neurobiology

3

BIOM 510

Physiology

3

BIOM 515

Cancer Biology

3

PHRM 576

Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology

3

Following successful completion of the Qualifying Exam and remaining in Good Academic Standing (as defined by the BSGP), graduate training will mainly focus on laboratory research supervised by the student's mentor, and supplemented with the following advanced courses:


Course No. Course title Credit hrs


REQUIRED

BIOM 616 Molecular Virology 3
BIOM 620 Seminar: Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (1 hr/semester) 6
BIOM 625 Advanced Topics in Immunology and Microbiology (1 hr/semester) 6


Infectious Disease & Inflammation (IDI) Research

Numerous faculty members in a various departments have active research programs related to IDI, providing abundant opportunities for training in areas as diverse as bacterial, viral, and fungal diseases, cancer immunology, fundamental immunology, autoimmunity, neuro-immunology and immune-related pathogenesis, as well as vaccine technology. A list of participating programs and departments is given below (but see also the CIDI Webpage). Students may affiliate with faculty in UNM’s Center for Infectious Diseases & Immunity (CIDI) Signature program, the Center for Global Health (Department of Internal Medicine), the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology (Department of Pediatrics), Microbial Ecology, Microglial Pathogenesis and Microbiology (UNM Department of Biology), the Environmental Health Signature Program (College of Pharmacy) and the Center for Digestive Diseases.

Finally, all BSGP students are supported with a stipend, but IDI participants have a competitive advantage in applying for support from the NIH funded Infectious Disease & Inflammation Program (IDIP) Training Grant (T32 mechanism). Recipients of the training grant receive a stipend and a modest budget for supplies and travel, as well as the added distinction of having won a competitive independent fellowship.

Participating Departments/Divisions/Signature programs in the IDI Concentration

  1. Center for Infectious Diseases & Immunity (CIDI) Signature program
  2. Center for Global Health
  3. Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology
  4. Environmental Health Signature Program
  5. Center for Digestive Diseases
  6. Molecular Genetics & Microbiology
  7. College of Pharmacy
  8. Department of Pathology
  9. Department of Biology
  10. Division of Nephrology
  11. Department of Internal Medicine
  12. Department of Pediatrics
  13. Department of Emergency Medicine
  14. Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute
  15. Department of Otolaryngology
  16. Cancer Center
  17. Department of Biomedical Engineering – Dr. Jeff Brinker
  18. Genomics Labs
  19. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Medical Imaging– 30 credit hours

The Concentration in Medical Imaging (MI) Program will comprise one division of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP).  The program will lead to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree, with the majority of students obtaining a Ph.D.  Pre-doctoral requisites of the program are one year of BSGP core curriculum followed by an individualized program of upper level courses and scientific research in the laboratory of a BSGP-approved faculty mentor.

Students in the MI Concentration conduct research studies under the mentorship of a faculty member or an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Radiology, an academic unit of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. The Department of Radiology is dedicated to providing excellent patient care to the people of New Mexico and the Southwest as well as to the comprehensive education and training of radiologists, medical physicists, technologists, and research scientists in diagnostic imaging. To this end, Radiology strives to improve patient care by optimizing image acquisition techniques and developing new imaging methods that increase sensitivity and specificity for disease detection and progression, and the Department is focused on innovating, collaborating, and translating research from bench to bedside. Research laboratories of faculty members and affiliated faculty members of Radiology encompass all modalities of medical imaging with a specific focus on cancer imaging, neurological imaging, substance abuse and cognition/learning, and quantitative imaging techniques in preclinical and clinical disease models.

Required Coursework

To earn a Concentration in Medical Imaging graduate students are required to take the following:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

MPHY 516

Fundamentals of Medical Imaging

3

 

 

 

 

Select 2 of the following:

 

BIOM 509

Principles of Neurobiology

3

BIOM 510

Physiology

3

BIOM 514

Immunobiology

3

BIOM 515

Cancer Biology

3

BIOM 576

Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology

3

 

Following successful completion of the Qualifying Exam and remaining in Good Academic Standing (as defined by the BSGP), graduate training will mainly focus on laboratory research supervised by the student's mentor, and supplemented with the following advanced courses:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

MPHY 518

Advanced Medical Imagin

3

RADS 480

Human Cross-sectional Anatomy (radiological)

3

MPHY 527

Radiation Biology for Engineers and Scientists

3

MPHY 505

Selected Topics in Medical Imaging

(1 hr/semester), Each term beginning 2nd year

3

 

 

 

 

Complete 9 credits from the following:

 

ECE 510 Medical Imaging 3
ECE 511 Analysis Methods in Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging 3
ECE 533 Digital Image Processing 3
ECE 539 Digital Signal Processing 3

Neuroscience – 24 credit hours

The Neuroscience concentration curriculum leads to the M.S. or Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences degree, with the majority of students obtaining a Ph.D. Pre-doctoral requirements of the program are one year of BSGP core curriculum followed by an individualized program of upper level courses and scientific research in the laboratory of a BSGP-approved faculty mentor. Students in the Neuroscience concentration will conduct their research studies under the mentorship of a faculty member or an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Neurosciences, an academic unit of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the nervous system and to the comprehensive education and training of students in the neurosciences. Research laboratories of faculty members and affiliated faculty members of the Department of Neurosciences conduct investigations in the fundamental areas of neuroscience, focusing on four main areas of study:

  1. Nervous system development
  2. Learning, memory, and substance abuse
  3. Brain injury, repair, and diseases of the nervous system
  4. Behavioral health disorders

The Department of Neurosciences has a history of training M.S. and Ph.D. students (please see supplementary information) using requirements that were essentially the same as detailed below for the proposed concentration.

Required Coursework

To earn a Concentration in Neuroscience graduate students are required to take the following:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

BIOM 509

Principles of Neurobiology

3

 

 

 

 

Select 2 of the following:

 

BIOM 510

Physiology

3

BIOM 514

Immunobiology

3

BIOM 515

Cancer Biology

3

BIOM 576

Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology

3

Following successful completion of the Qualifying Exam and remaining in Good Academic Standing (as defined by the BSGP), graduate training will mainly focus on laboratory research supervised by the student's mentor, and supplemented with the following advanced courses:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

BIOM 535

Seminar: Neuroscience (1 hr/semester)

6

BIOM 536

Journal Club: Neuroscience (1 hr/semester)

6

 

 

 

 

Select at least 3 credit hours of the following:

 

BIOM 505

ST: Special topics in Neurosciences (Spring, Even Years)
EX: Stem Cells, Developmental Neurotoxicology

1

BIOM 531

Neurophysiology (Fall, Odd Years

1

BIOM 532

Neurochemistry (Spring, Odd Years)

1

BIOM 533

Functional Neuroanatomy (Fall, Even Years) 1

BIOM 534

Neuropharmacology (Spring, Odd Years) 1

BIOM 538

Neurobiology of Alchoholism (Fall, Even Years) 1

BIOM 539

Molecular Neurobiology (Fall, Odd Years) 1

Pharmaceutical Sciences – 30 credit hours

The concentration in Pharmaceutical Sciences conforms to the basic requirements of the BSGP degree programs. Students in this concentration will conduct research studies under the mentorship of a faculty member, or an affiliated faculty member, of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, an academic department of the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy. The department is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of pharmacology, toxicology, and the pharmaceutical sciences and to the comprehensive education and training of students in the pharmaceutical sciences. In recognition of the need for greater interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary graduate training, the Pharmaceutical Sciences concentration has been developed to allow students to articulate individualized training goals and plans for targeted career development. The flexible curriculum will enable students to conduct investigations in the fundamental areas of pharmaceutical sciences, focusing on two main areas of study; 1) Pharmaceutics and 2) Pharmacology/Toxicology. The concentration is designed to offer required and elective courses as well as professional career development that is relevant to all programs, yet with sufficient flexibility to enable trainees to focus on selected areas of interest.

Note that not all courses are offered every semester. Students should contact the Instructor of Record (IOR) of electives in advance to determine which semester a course will be offered. BSGP graduate students studying with faculty in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences but not interested in pursuing the concentrations are expected to enroll in the PHRM 593 seminar course a minimum of two semesters.

Required Coursework

To earn a Concentration in Pharmaceutical Sciences graduate students are required to take the following:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

PHRM 576

Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology

3

 

 

 

 

Select 2 of the following:

 

BIOM 509

Principles of Neurobiology

3

BIOM 510

Physiology

3

BIOM 514

Immunobiology

3

BIOM 515

Cancer Biology

3

Following successful completion of the Qualifying Exam and remaining in Good Academic Standing (as defined by the BSGP), graduate training will mainly focus on laboratory research supervised by the student's mentor, and supplemented with the following advanced courses:

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED

 

PHRM 593

Pharmaceutical Sciences and Toxicology Seminar

6

 

 

 

 

Select at least 15 credit hours of the following:

 

PHRM 528 Pharmacoepidemiology and Biomedical Literature Evaluation

3

PHRM 536

Introduction to Pharmacogenomics

2

PHRM 549

Regulatory Issues in Clinical Trials

2

PHRM 580

General Toxicology 3

PHRM 594

T: Environmental Disease 1-3

PHRM 597

Research Problems in Pharmaceutical Sciences 1-12

PHRM 598

T: Pharmaceutical Sciences 1-4
PHRM 598 T: Host-Pathogen Journal Club 1-4
Other graduate courses relevant to the student's area of study recommended by the Committee on Studies.

Professional Science and Technology Management – 12 credit hours

The Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (BSGP), in partnership with UNM’s Anderson School of Management (ASM), is offering the Professional Science and Technology Management Concentration (PSTM) for both the M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences programs. Our goal is to prepare students for jobs in industry, government, non-profits, etc., without compromising our commitment to the intensive laboratory training normally expected of every recipient of BSGP degrees. The employment landscape in all sciences, not just Biomedical Science, has undergone dramatic change in recent decades. No longer restricted to faculty positions in research universities, today’s graduate encounters abundant opportunities outside the conventional boundaries of academic science. The intellectual and experimental skills of traditional graduate training are still essential but it is now widely understood that management and business skills enhance a trainee’s preparation for the jobs of today, whether within or outside academia. Students may enroll in PSTM studies after successful completion of BSGP’s first year core curriculum.

For more information, or to enroll in PSTM, contact the School of Medicine - Research Education Office at SOMREO@salud.unm.edu.

Any outside student wishing to take Anderson courses will need to submit a Course Override Request here: https://forms.unm.edu/forms/course_override_form.

Required Coursework

Following successful completion of the the BSGP core curriculum and remaining in Good Academic Standing (as defined by the BSGP), students may begin working toward the Management components of the Concentration.

Course No.

Course title

Credit hrs

 

REQUIRED: Management Core

 

MGMT 504

Managerial Economics

3

MGMT 506

Manging People in Organizations

3

 

 

 

 

Management Selectives: Select at least 6 credit hours from the following

 

MGMT 501 Data Driven Decision Making

3

MGMT 502 Accounting and Management Information Systems

3

MGMT 511 Technology, Commercialization, & Global Environment

3

MGMT 512 Strategic Management of Technology

3

MGMT 513 Technological Forecasting and Assessment

3

MGMT 514 Technological Entrepreneurship

3

MGMT 516 Entrepreneurial Finance in High Technology

3

MGMT 518 Technology Management & Economic Development

3

 

NOTE: Not all courses are offered every semester. Students should contact the IOR of electives in advance to determine which semester a course will be offered. BSGP graduate students studying with faculty in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences but not interested in pursuing the concentrations are expected to enroll in the PHRM 593 seminar course a minimum of two semesters.