Program Director's Message

Jason DeBruyne, PhDThe Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences program provides a broad foundation in biomedical sciences and advanced training in specific sub-disciplines including cancer, cardiovascular, infectious disease, and neuroscience research. The goal is for our graduates to become scientists conversant in many aspects of human biology and disease. This approach prepares them to contribute to, and lead, collaborative teams of biomedical scientists. NIH has acknowledged a particular need for collaborative research emphasizing health disparities. Our graduates are well equipped to meet that need.

Jason DeBruyne, PhD
Program Director, 
Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences

Faculty Spotlight

 dr rao



Veena Rao, Ph.D.

Unraveling the mysteries of the BRCA1 gene and its role in breast and ovarian cancer in diverse populations has  guided the research of Dr. Veena N. Rao for 20 years. Her  other passion is training diverse scholars in cancer health disparities research.  She has been especially interested in the inner workings  of this gene in triple negative breast cancers (TNBC), which are more aggressive and more prevalent in African American  women. Her team was the first to show that BRCA1a induces cell death in breast cancer cells and the first to block tumors in mice by introducing BRCA1a into triple negative  breast cancer by gene therapy. Dr. Rao  has been awarded five U.S. patents for her research including a recent  patent for BRCA1 function based assays to develop targeted therapy for TNBC.