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Houston, Texas

CMB research is conducted at Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center, Houston.
Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program
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Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

What's Unique about the Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program (IMBS)?

The IMBS Graduate Program (formerly known as the Interdepartmental Program in Cell and Molecular Biology or CMB) offers a multidisciplinary environment that provides the brightest and most ambitious students with skills needed to become leaders in diverse scientific disciplines.

We ensure that the IMBS program excels by offering:

  • Challenging coursework during the first year
  • Great labs from which to choose your thesis lab
  • Supervision and support throughout your thesis research.

IMBS Graduate Program Brochure


  • Competitive stipend of $29,000; tuition scholarship; health insurance; Dean's Award for Excellence provides an additional $3,000 to students who obtain a nationally competitive fellowship.
  • $500 awards given to top performing students each year.
  • Students regularly win awards including the Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award and nationally competitive fellowships from the National Institutes of Health, Ford Foundation, Department of Defense and National Science Foundation.
  • Small class size allows one-on-one interactions with some of the nation’s top scientists.
  • The program has more than 110 internationally recognized faculty, including members of the National Academy of Sciences, investigators in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and recipients of a variety of other prestigious awards. Program faculty have made seminal discoveries, including the molecular basis for one of the most common forms of mental retardation, crystallization of an ABC transporter and a pioneering link between p53 and aging.
  • IMBS students can join a Cancer Biology Track or a Biology of Aging Track, which provide opportunities to integrate basic research findings with a clinical perspective.

Major Research Interests

  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Disease
  • Cancer, Cell Cycle and Growth Control
  • The Human Microbiome Project
  • Functional Genomics/Proteomics
  • Gene Expression and Regulation
  • Developmental Biology
  • Signal Transduction and Membrane Biology
  • Structural and Computational Biology
  • Human Gene Therapy
  • Biology of Aging
  • The Human Genome Project
  • Infectious Disease

IMBS Faculty

We are very selective in who becomes an IMBS faculty member, only choosing those faculty who have strong research programs and who are committed to mentoring and educating graduate students. And, we are lucky to be able to partake of the graduate school's excellent first-year core curriculum while at the same time allowing you flexibility to pursue your interests with our flexible required courses.

Emphasis on Faculty-Student Interaction

A class size of only 14 to 17 first-year students ensures a level of interaction between faculty and students that cannot always be achieved in larger graduate programs. This small class size provides students with individual attention from faculty during their first year, even before they join thesis labs. Two IMBS co-directors serve as academic advisors, meeting individually with students to recommend courses based on your interests and past courses and help you find and evaluate lab rotations. Co-directors teach in the directors' course involving only the first-year class. Other IMBS faculty members are often involved in team teaching in the course providing ample opportunity to interact closely with individual faculty.

This attention doesn't end once students join a laboratory. The five co-directors closely follow the progress of each student throughout the program. This means that if you encounter some difficulties during your thesis research, you will have a variety of folks interested in providing advice and guidance in addition to your thesis advisor.

Student Activities

Plus, it's not just the IMBS co-directors that stay involved. The students themselves are incredibly interactive. Students get a chance to talk to each other during the cookies-and-apples get-together right before the weekly IMBS Seminar. We're also a pretty social group: parties to celebrate incoming students, holidays, and of course, the retreat.

Program Administration

The program administrator is the organizational "glue" of IMBS ensuring that a program with more than 70 students and 110 faculty runs smoothly on a day to day basis. The administrator interacts with students on a daily basis providing advice ranging from the correct forms to fill out to the resources available.

Since its inception, the IMBS program has always been more than just a collection of faculty who are looking to get a student into their labs. It is a collegial group of both students and faculty who are excited about science, sharing that excitement, and, for faculty, mentoring the next generation of scientists.