University's new Integrative Biology doctoral program designed to strengthen region’s life science research

First students expected to start this fall
Jun 21, 2017

The Massachusetts Board of Higher Education approved the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s new Integrative Biology PhD program on June 20. The program is designed to complement the South Coast's economy and position the region to capitalize on the state’s life science industry strengths, said university officials.

Massachusetts leads the nation in the number of people employed in biological sciences and biotechnology jobs, and is one of the national leaders in job growth in this field, said university officials via press release.

“Our aim is to assist the South Coast region in sharing in some of this prosperity by fueling the local science industry and research with graduates invested in the region,” said Dr. Mohammad Karim, provost and chief academic officer.

The program’s structure will be distinguished by providing students depth in their specialty, but also broadening students’ education in other advanced biological fields, officials said.

“Our intention is to produce graduates who are capable of thinking beyond the traditional boundaries,” said Karim. “These scientists will be prepared to enter an increasingly collaborative scientific world where solving problems requires integrative thinking.”

Several students are expected to start the program this fall.

The program is underpinned by a distinguished faculty that has grown the Biology Department annual grant funding from $1 million to more than $3 million over the last decade. The department currently has 380 undergraduate students whose education will be enhanced by the new research activity that will be generated by the PhD students, university officials said.

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