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Graduate Student Training Opportunities

Graduate Admissions Programs

Financial Support

Research Interests

Student Associations

Chemical Biology Curriculum

Graduate Admissions Programs

Students with interests in Chemical Biology have multiple options for PhD training. There are four graduate admission programs to choose from that are designed to complement a student’s interests and undergraduate background. These are:

Chemistry Department Graduate Program
College of Arts and Science
This multidisciplinary Ph.D. program trains chemists in a number of areas including Chemical Biology.

Quantitative & Chemical Biology Graduate Program
College of Arts and Science and the School of Medicine
A program that allows students who have earned undergraduate or masters degrees in the quantitative sciences (e.g. chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, or physics) to pursue graduate studies at the interface of these disciplines with the biological sciences.

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program
School of Medicine
Individuals pursuing a Ph.D. in the basic biomedical or biological science departments at Vanderbilt University join participating departments through the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in the Biomedical Sciences (IGP).

Medical Scientist Training Program
School of Medicine
The program provides students with an integrated curriculum that features a strong core education in medicine and intensive training in scientific inquiry. Successful completion of the program leads to both the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The Vanderbilt MSTP builds on the existing strengths of Vanderbilt University to meet national needs for well-trained basic and clinical biomedical investigators.

Financial Support

Graduate study in Chemical Biology is funded through multiple sources including departmental research or teaching assistantships, university fellowships, and extra-institutional fellowships. In addition, students in Chemical Biology may apply for support from the specialized Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program.

Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Program
The Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) Training Program at Vanderbilt University is an NIH-sponsored training program that supports graduate students studying at the interface of chemistry and biology.

Research Interests

VICB members represent 18 different departments in Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Sciences and School of Medicine. Thus, their research interests are diverse. Prospective students should explore the VICB Members page to search for VICB investigators who are pursuing research of interest to them.

Student Associations

CBAS (Chemical Biology Association of Students) is a student organization created to promote professional and social relationships between graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty in the Chemical Biology discipline. For more information, click here.

Chemical Biology Curriculum

The Certificate Program in Chemical Biology
This is a unique program which provides an exciting research and learning environment for students in the basic sciences who are conducting research at the interface of chemistry and biology. Click here for more information.

Although students in Chemical Biology will pursue a diverse range of academic programs designed to meet their needs and department requirements, the VICB offers courses that should be taken by all students interested in this field.

CPB 310 Chemical and Physical Biology Seminar - Course Overview
CPB 320 Fundamentals of Chemical Biology - Course Overview
CPB 320 Fundamentals of Chemical Biology - Presentations

On this foundation, students will design a program of additional courses that will meet their own needs and interests. Courses that students should consider to pursue a career in Chemical Biology include:

BCHM 300 Introduction to Structural Biology
BCHM 301 Molecular Structure and Function
BCHM 303 Biomolecular X-ray Crystallography
BCHM 343 Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy
BCHM 353 Analytical Proteomics

BSCI 201 Introduction to Cell Biology
BSCI 220 Biochemistry I
BSCI 274 Protein Design

CHEM 202 Introduction to Bio-inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 220c Organic Chemistry Structure and Mechanisms
CHEM 223 Advanced Organic Reactions
CHEM 224 Bio-organic Chemistry
CHEM 226 Medicinal Chemistry
CHEM 233 Molecular Modeling Methods
CHEM 234 Spectroscopy
CHEM 336 Biochemical Toxicology and Carcinogenesis

IGP 300A Bioregulation

MATH 297 Fourier and Wavelet Analysis

MP&B 325 Physical Measurements on Biological Systems
MP&B 330 Human Physiology & Molecular Medicine

PHAR 320 Pharmacological Targets and Mechanisms
PHAR 324 Receptor Theory and Signal Transduction
PHAR 327 Modern Drug Discovery
PHAR 345 Cell & Molecular Neuroscience




Graduate Students Benefit from the Collaborative Interdisciplinary Approach of VICB Laboratories


Student videos


Video Tom Bridges
Interdisciplinary research opportunities.
Video Julie Field
Collaboration impacts scientific outcomes.
Video Jonas Perez
Lab rotations and contemporary science.
Video Stephen Chau &
Aleksandra Baranczak

Interdisciplinary courses and seminars.
Video Emily Rubinson
The importance of collaboration.
Video Ralf Muller
The impact of having state-of-the-art technology.



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The Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology 896 Preston Building, Nashville, TN 37232-6304 866.303 VICB (8422) fax 615 936 3884
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