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5.4 - Cell Biology

Updated: 7/23/2024

College of Medicine

Cell Biology

940 Stanton L. Young Blvd.
 Oklahoma City, OK 73190
 (405) 271-2377

Leonidas Tsiokas, PhD, Program Chair

Shannon Conley, PhD, Program Director


For a complete listing of the departmental graduate faculty visit this web site

Doctor of Philosophy

Developmental biology, retinal biochemistry; gene regulation, neurobiology of sensory systems, autonomic and cardiovascular pharmacology, nerve regeneration, cell cycle, cancer biology, and cell signaling mechanisms

The graduate program is designed to prepare individuals for academic and research careers in cell biology. Students are encouraged to obtain a broad background in the various disciplines and develop and pursue a research project in one of the areas of scientific investigation currently available in the department.

All degree candidates are encouraged to participate in teaching courses offered by the department. Each student will work with a departmental faculty advisor and a committee composed primarily of departmental faculty members. To fulfill students' specialized needs and interests, the department offers advanced courses taught by faculty whose expertise is closely related to the contents of the course work. Students may also choose curricula that emphasize anatomical or pharmacological studies. Related biomedical courses taught by other departments in the University also are available.

Graduate assistantships and fellowships are available to qualified students on a competitive basis.

The department of Cell Biology is a participant in the new interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences (GPiBS), which combines the expertise of the six programs at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Microbiology & Immunology, Neuroscience, Pathology and Physiology. Students wishing to enter the Cell Biology graduate program apply to GPiBS as described in the GPiBS section of the Bulletin. An application is filed with the Office of Recruitment and Admissions and is accompanied by official transcripts and results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and TOEFL for foreign applicants. Three letters of recommendation, from individuals who can address the candidate’s research potential and suitability for graduate school, are also required.

Candidates for the PhD degree must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. 90 credit hours acceptable to the student's graduate committee;
  2. obtain at least a B average in the required graduate courses (Integrated Core Curriculum, Cellular and Molecular Developmental Biology, Statistics);
  3. attendance and participation in departmental seminar activity and Journal Club;
  4. successful completion of a comprehensive qualifying examination;
  5. a research proposal, original investigation, written dissertation, and general dissertation defense (A maximum of 60 credit hours is allowed for dissertation research.)

At the discretion of the Graduate Education Committee, equivalent courses from other accredited institutions may be substituted for any of the requirements.

The interdisciplinary nature of the Cell Biology Graduate program provides students with the breadth of knowledge and technical acumen that is highly sought in today's competitive job market. Graduates from the Cell Biology program have numerous exciting career opportunities in academia, industry, the government, and the private sector. Graduates can devote their careers to full-time research at government-sponsored laboratories or the pharmaceutical industry. Alternatively, a graduate can choose a career in academia, which includes teaching and/or performing basic science research at universities and medical schools.

Current Courses:  Search Cell Biology prefix courses found online at

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