The Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Portal (BSDP) at VCU is an entry point for students interested in doctoral training leading to careers in academic research, biotechnology, scientific policymaking, higher education and many other areas.

The BSDP oversees admissions for and recruits students into six Ph.D. programs within the School of Medicine.

BSDP Programs

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Research areas

  • Bioactive lipids, metabolism in health and diseases
  • Cancer biology
  • Neuroscience

Program contact

Tomasz Kordula, Ph.D.
Program Director
tomasz.kordula@vcuhealth.org 

Start your application

Department of Human and Molecular Genetics

Research areas

  • Complex Disorders
  • Tumor biology and metastasis
  • Cancer gene therapy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Epigenetics

Program contact

Rita Shiang, Ph.D.
Program Director
rita.shiang@vcuhealth.org
804-628-4083

Start your application

Interdepartmental

Research areas

  • Drug abuse and mental illness
  • Glial cell biology
  • Injury, repair and degeneration
  • Plasticity and development
  • Channels, receptors and transporters

Program contact

John Bigbee, Ph.D.
Program Director
john.bigbee@vcuhealth.org

Start your application

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Research areas

  • Microbial Pathogenisis
  • Immune mechanisms
  • Molecular cell biology and cancer

Program contact

Lisa Shock, Ph.D.
Program Director
lisa.shock@vcuhealth.org
804-628-2289

Start your application

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Research areas

  • Drugs of abuse and alcohol
  • Neuroscience
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular
  • Gastrointestinal pharmacology

Program contact

Keith Shelton, Ph.D.
Program Director
keith.shelton@vcuhealth.org 
804-827-2104

Start your application

Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Research areas

  • Molecular biophysics
  • Cardiovascular
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Chemical senses
  • Neuroscience

Program contact

Christina Kyrus
Program Coordinator
804-828-3221
cikyrus@vcu.edu

Start your application

How it Works




How to Apply

Prospective BSDP students must apply online through the VCU Office of Graduate Admissions, using the following steps:

  • Create an account in the application system
  • Select School of Medicine – Doctoral
  • Select Biomedical Sciences – Undifferentiated – Doctoral portal
  • Complete the application

Alternatively, applicants can apply to one or more of the component programs of the BSDP by selecting any number of the six programs.

Applicants should submit only one application regardless of areas of interest. All doctoral portal applications are reviewed by the same committee. Selection of a component program (e.g., Biochemistry – Doctoral portal) is not binding, but does help us ensure your application is reviewed by the appropriate committee members.

Applications to the BSDP should be completed (i.e., receipt of all forms, letters, transcripts, etc.) by January 1 of the anticipated enrollment year. Applications completed after this date will be reviewed only as remaining spaces permit.

Financial Support, Tuition and Fees

Full-time Ph.D. students typically receive financial support that includes a stipend (currently $30,000 per year) and health insurance, plus tuition and fees for the duration of their training as long as they are making satisfactory academic progress. U.S. citizens and permanent residents should contact the VCU School of Medicine Financial Aid Office for information on financial aid.

VCU School of Medicine Financial Aid Office

Contact Us

Roxann Roberson-Nay, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean for Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
roxann.roberson@vcuhealth.org
804-828-0273

Mary Rosenthal

Mary Rosenthal, M.S.

Program Coordinator
mary.rosenthal@vcuhealth.org

For more information about specific programs, please fill out our graduate education contact form.