Doctoral programs in cancer biology focus on biological and cellular processes relevant to cancer as well as therapeutic approaches to cancer. This field incorporates disciplines including biochemistry, molecular biology, and pharmacology. In Florida, degree programs are available both in cancer biology and in biomedical sciences with a concentration in cancer biology.
Florida Schools Offering Cancer Biology Ph.D. Programs
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida offers Ph.D. programs in cancer biology through the Moffitt Cancer Center. Admitted students can choose from four areas of focus within the program. In the cancer biology major, students prepare to become cancer researchers by studying biological factors that contribute to cancer's onset and progression. Specific areas of research include epigenetics, immunology, and imaging. The cancer chemical biology major incorporates both chemistry and biology and focuses on pharmacological concerns, including drug discovery. Students can also choose to major in immunology and immunotherapy or mathematical oncology. In addition to conducting independent research, students take courses in oncology, immunology, biostatistics, bioethics, and genetics.
University of Florida
The Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Florida College of Medicine offers a Ph.D. concentration in cancer biology. With an aim of equipping researchers to discover methods of preventing, detecting and treating cancer, the program draws from fields including biochemistry, anatomy, and epidemiology. During their first year of study, graduate students complete at least 24 credit hours in biology and biomedical research, including laboratory components. After this, students begin to focus on an individual research area and complete relevant electives. Potential areas for research in the program include gene regulation, bioinformatics, and tumor biology.
University of Miami
The University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine offers an interdisciplinary cancer biology graduate program. Students gain a strong background in disciplines relevant to cancer biology research, such as molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, and pharmacology, among other fields. The program can be completed in approximately five years, and admitted students begin by taking preliminary classes in ethics and reasoning along with courses in biomedical sciences. By the second year, the focus shifts to more specific topics in cancer biology and the development of a particular research interest. Students work with a dissertation advisor to guide their independent research endeavors and a mentor to gain clinical experience.
Florida Cancer Biology Ph.D. Program Admissions
Admission to cancer biology Ph.D. programs is competitive, and Florida programs prefer candidates who exceed the minimum standards. Applicants should submit transcripts reflecting at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Florida programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a major in a field related to biomedical disciplines or at least a strong background in science fields including biology and chemistry. Prospective students should also have strong GRE scores and a resume reflecting at least one year of academic research experience in a laboratory setting. Cancer biology programs also require letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose outlining an applicant's professional goals and prior academic preparation.
A few doctoral programs in cancer biology are available at Florida universities. Applicants with a strong background in fields related to biomedicine can expect coursework and research opportunities in areas including biochemistry, genetics, immunology, and molecular biology.