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NIH Institutional Training Grants/Other Training Grants
  • Please contact the Senior Grant Specialist for specific DBBS data requests.
  • Three months advance contact is needed for Insitutional Grant or other award application/renewals in order to allow adequate time to meet all internal and external requirements.
Grants Management


See your student coordinator at least THREE - SIX months prior to thesis examination (defense).

If you are an International student, YOU MUST see the International Office prior to setting up a defense date to discuss your Visa status and its implication.

Intent to Graduate Form - The Office of Student Records requires that you complete the Intent to Graduate Form on-line through WebSTAC, see below for graduation deadlines. If you have any problems locating or completing the form in WebSTAC, please contact the Office of Student Records at (314) 935-5959.
Read through the Doctoral Dissertatio​n Guide for formatting guidelines and other important information (found at
One Month Before Thesis Examination:
  • Ask your coordinator for the Dissertation Committee Form, have your program director sign the form and return form to your coordinator.
  • Submit your CV and the dissertation abstract.  (Be sure to follow the guidelines in the Doctoral Dissertation Guide booklet). Each should be initialed by the thesis advisor.
  • Email your coordinator the dissertation title, defense date, time and location of thesis examination. It is the student’s responsibility to reserve a room for the thesis examination.  (Thesis Examination information will be published in the DBBS seminar calendar online.)
  • Submit Defense Payroll Health Form​ to your coordinator.

Two Weeks Before Thesis Examination:
  • Distribute copies of dissertation and a copy of your CV to committee members electronically.  If your PDF file is too large to send by email, we advise you to use the Washington University Large File Transfer System,​.  It is a secure and encrypted tool for transferring large files between people and works in a similar manner to Dropbox.  Members of the Wash U community can access this system with their WUSTL Key.
    Note: Your thesis advisor should be listed as the chairperson on your title page and the date would be your degree date (May, August or December are the only options). If you have questions about permission to use published papers in your thesis, you may wish to visit for help with this topic or you may wish to consult your subject librarian, or email
After Defense:
  • Submit your Thesis Examination Approval form to your coordinator.
  • Submit your finalized dissertation online.  Log on to to create an account. Once your dissertation has been successfully submitted you will receive an email informing you that everything has been received. Final submission must be completed by the deadline, indicated in deadline section below.  Plan to submit your dissertation and paperwork a few days before the deadline. You may need to make corrections to your formatting or fill out additional paperwork.
  • Fill out the Post-Graduation Job​ Survey a​
  • Fill out the Survey of Earned Docto​rates Form at
  • Check in with your coordinator to make sure you have submitted everything you need to submit. 
Binding Dissertation
  • If you would like to have your dissertation bound, visit  to upload your thesis and order bound copies. No copies should be ordered until after the electronic submission of a dissertation to ProQuest has been approved by the Graduate School; the pdf uploaded at should be identical to the approved pdf previously submitted to ProQuest.
  • Should your PI want a copy of your thesis, they can also use the Thesis on Demand site at their own expense. You will need to provide them with an electronic copy of your thesis to utilize this site-
  • Questions regarding dissertation binding should be directed to Andrew Richards, DBBS Director of Information Systems at​.
Getting Ready to Graduate
Defense Packet

Below are all the forms that need to be completed. You still must see your Coordinator for additional items and forms.

MSTP students - please see the MSTP office for instructions.

  1. Visit to access:
    1. Dissertation and Thesis Template
    2. Doctoral Dissert​ation Guide
  2. Visit to access:
    1. Dissertation Defense Committee Form​
    2. ​Survey of Earned Doctorates Form
    3. Job Survey
  3. Intent to Graduate Form - filed via WEBSTAC
  4. Defense Payroll Health Form​
  5. Graduating Student Survey

Getting Ready to Graduate
Application, Procedures and Criteria for PROGRAM Membership in the DBBS
Faculty on the Investigator/Tenure track from any Department of Washington University may be nominated for DBBS Program membership by their Department Head/Chair. 
Candidates for new Program membership in the DBBS will be evaluated using the following criteria, reflecting the importance of continued excellence in postgraduate training and mentoring. It is expected that DBBS faculty members will have strong credentials in many/most of the following areas:
  • A high quality, independent research program in an area of biological or biomedical research that is congruent with existing DBBS programs, and evidence of sustainable research funding or (in the case of new investigators) a strong prognosis for securing funding.
  • A strong record of training and mentoring students (graduate, medical, and/or undergraduate) and/or postdoctoral fellows, or (for new investigators) a clear interest and potential to do so. Examples include a record of past trainees and their current professional status and achievements, a list of publications authored by trainees, formal recognition/awards for teaching or mentoring, and any other evidence of a positive impact on the professional development of mentees.
  • Past and ongoing teaching contributions to graduate and/or medical education. A list should be provided of course titles with a brief summary of the subject matter taught and the number of contact hours in the classroom.
  • For recently appointed junior faculty who have not had the opportunity to meet these criteria, the basis for a positive prognosis should be addressed in the nomination letter from the Department Head/Chair.
The process for evaluating candidates will include the following steps.
  • The DBBS Faculty Membership Committee will screen all candidates for DBBS Program membership andl convey their recommendation on the candidate's membership application to the Director(s) of the primary program which the candidate wishes to join.
  • The Program Director(s) will evaluate the suitability of the candidate as a DBBS mentor associated with their program and decide whether to admit the candidate to DBBS Program membership, recommend a re-evaluation for General membership or deny the application. If admission is thoroughly declined, there is a period of one year before a new request will be considered.
Completed applications must include the six components described below and must be attached to the DBBS membership application form, which can be downloaded below. Applications must provide evidence of mentoring experience and skills as well as evidence of ability to fully support graduate students that affiliate with faculty member/mentor, inclusive of stipend and fees. The following documents are required when a faculty member applies for membership to the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences:

Recommendation Letter or Supporting Statement from Applicant’s Department Head/Chair or Division Chief, whoever is financially responsible in the event of a lapse of funding by the faculty member (1-2 pages)
Biographical Sketch of Applicant
Current and Pending Support (include information regarding start-up funds, if applicable (1-2 pages)
Research Statement (1-2 pages)
List of Current and Past Trainees, if applicable, and other evidence of mentoring experience and skills (Past 5 Years – 1-2 pages)
Do students have access to monies/support for career, training, and professional development?

The Division provides up to $600 toward career, training, and professional development expenses for DBBS students during their graduate training (research meeting, conference or career, training and development). Unallowable expenses are: computer, computer accessories, Wi-Fi charges, software, etc.  Students may request use of the Division funds after the thesis proposal has been approved by the Thesis Advisory Committee.  Students are to complete the Career, Training, and Professional Development Funds Form then submit to the Graduate Student Coordinator for signature, and to confirm available balance. Reimbursements are based on actual expenses incurred and an original, detailed receipt for each expense must be provided. 

Automobile expenses will be reimbursed at current IRS mileage rate; gas receipts cannot be reimbursed. If mileage reimbursement exceeds the cost of airfare, the amount of the reimbursement will be the lesser expense Students must provide a simulation for airfare expense, to be included with corresponding financial documents, if requesting mileage reimbursement. If the cost is greater than $600, the additional expense must be paid by a source other than DBBS. Travel on United States Flag carriers should be used to the maximum extent possible and is required for all international travel. Alcoholic beverages will NOT be reimbursed. 

FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS: When traveling internationally, DBBS asks students to review the WashingtonUniversity International Travel Policy and strongly encourages the completion of the International Travel Registry​. Both documents can be found on the Washington University Global Opportunities website:

PLEASE NOTE: Expense request is to be entered directly into Workday by student or mentor’s administration (will depend on individual dept accounting protocol).​

DBBS Finance Group
  • Coordinates Executive Council approval of annual stipend level for students and communication to students and faculty of exact levels of financial support for each fiscal year
  • Manages initial payroll appointment and processes student payroll for first 16 months of support for PhD students, in addition to all Medical School years and GR1 level for MSTP students
  • Processes all tuition, resident candidate and student health fees for DBBS students
  • Ensures that all internal and external funds are managed in compliance with institutional and agency regulations
  • Handles all reporting and analysis of historical and projected financial support data for DBBS and University management purposes
  • Manages all aspects of DBBS Training Grant administration and reporting, in addition to providing support for individual student fellowship/award applications and other departmental training grants
Financial Support

Under normal circumstances, the mentor will attend the meeting but allow the student to take the lead in the discussion. Under exceptional circumstance, the chair may call a meeting of the thesis committee absent the student, the research mentor, or both.  However, the principal role of the committee is to facilitate discussion and provide constructive criticism to the student and the mentor.  A quorum of 4 faculty is necessary for a meeting to take place.  The chair is responsible for:

  • Facilitating thesis update meetings every 6 - 12 months
  • Submitting the Thesis Committee Report electronically after each meeting to
  • Confirm that the IDP prepared by the student, including career exploration, has been reviewed.
  • Inquiring whether the student is engaged in research subject to a confidentiality agreement and, if appropriate, the chair will direct the thesis mentor to submit a Conflict of Interest Statement: 
      • Research funding from sources that have intellectual property interests in the research, or in which the PI has personal financial interest, may create a real or perceived conflict of interest, given the dual roles of the principal investigator in obtaining funding for the lab and as a mentor for graduate students. Issues of paramount importance are (i) the ability to publish results in a timely fashion; (ii) the ability to communicate research results openly, especially to members of the thesis committee; and (iii) academic rights to publish and speak freely, especially as related to a graduate student’s thesis and defense. 

Every semester you are required (as a PI/Mentor) to evaluate DBBS students rotating, or doing thesis work in your lab. You will receive an email requesting an evaluation to be completed in the DBBS Portal​.

Test Scores

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test is no longer required by DBBS Programs. Please refer to the individual program web page ( to see if submission GRE scores is optional.  If so, scores must be from tests taken in the last five years. The Subject test is not required. Applicants who need to submit scores are strongly encouraged to schedule the exam early so the official scores will reach DBBS before the December 1st deadline.

ETS Institution Code - 6929

Proficiency in English is required of all applicants. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide an official score report verifying such.

For the 2021-2022 Admissions season accepted ELP tests are:

1) TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL ITP Plus and iBT Home will not be accepted)

2) International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

3) Doulingo English Test

Only scores from tests taken within the last two years will be accepted. To be eligible for an automatic (no request needed) English language proficiency waiver the applicant must have completed a full-time bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited university located in the United States or an institution where English is the primary language of instruction.  PLEASE NOTE: The US Immigration service may require a English language proficiency exam score if the entire program of study is less than 3 years in duration.

ETS Institution Code - 6929

Outstanding recommendations and higher quality research experience may make up for lower test scores, so do not let lower scores discourage you from applying.

Admissions- What Makes An App Strong?
I am an international student, how do I know if I am exempt from the TOEFL or IELTS test?

The English proficiency testing requirement may be waived for applicants who meet any of the below criteria:

 •    You have completed an undergraduate or master’s degree in the U.S. and completed the entire program while in the U.S.

•    Is a citizen of Australia, Cameroon, Commonwealth Caribbean nations, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, Uganda, the United Kingdom, or Zimbabwe.

•    Has completed a minimum of three years of documented study in a university-level academic program in the United States or one of the countries listed above.

•    Has completed a minimum of three years of documented study in an English-medium academic program in Canada, Hong Kong, or South Africa.


Please note that the English proficiency testing requirement is only waived for immigration if criteria in bullets above are met.

Test Scores

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test is no longer required by DBBS Programs, however it is optional for some. Please refer to the individual program web page ( to see if GRE scores may be optionally submitted.  If so, scores must be from tests taken in the last five years.

ETS Institution Code - 6929

English Language Proficiency Exams:

Proficiency in English is required of all applicants. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide an official score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Duolingo. Only scores from tests taken within the last two years will be accepted.  If you have not taken the test, please enter the date you plan to take the test.  Your application can be reviewed with your self-reported scores. Scores must be from tests taken within the last two years. Request TOEFL score reports to be sent to Institution code 6929. IELTS or Duolingo scores will need to be mailed to DBBS PhD Admissions, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, MSC 8226-04-13, St. Louis, MO 63110.

The English proficiency testing requirement may be waived for applicants who meet any of the below criteria: 

•    You have completed an undergraduate or master’s degree in the U.S. and completed the entire program while in the U.S.

•    Is a citizen of Australia, Cameroon, Commonwealth Caribbean nations, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, Uganda, the United Kingdom, or Zimbabwe.

•    Has completed a minimum of three years of documented study in a university-level academic program in the United States or one of the countries listed above.

•    Has completed a minimum of three years of documented study in an English-medium academic program in Canada, Hong Kong, or South Africa.

Please note that the English proficiency testing requirement is only waived for immigration if criteria in bullets above are met.

PhD Application Instructions
Faculty Mentors


Dixit, Ram: Dr. Dixit focuses on understanding on how the microtubule cytoskeleton regulates plant cell shape. His lab uses transgenic plants and follow fluorescently tagged proteins in living cells using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to study dynamics and function of proteins at the single molecule level. In addition, by combining mutational analysis with live imaging of new two-color marker lines generated in the Dixit lab, they examine the way in which microtubule severing proteins are responsible for pruning unaligned cortical microtubules at crossover sites and how this activity is involved in creating ordered arrays. Collaborators: Herzog, Piston.

Herzog, Erik: Dr. Herzog studies the cellular and molecular basis for circadian rhythms, focusing on the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. By combining electrophysiological and molecular imaging techniques, his lab is identifying pacemaking cells and how these cells coordinate their activities to drive behavior. The lab compares the circadian rhythms expressed behaviorally and by cells and tissues using a variety of techniques including behavioral monitoring and imaging with multielectrode recordings, bioluminescence and fluorescence from animals carrying transgenic reporters. Trainees in the Herzog lab pursue optical and digital imaging of low-light bioluminescence, fluorescence, and bright-field preparations. Dr. Herzog received an Outstanding Mentor Award in 2008. Collaborators: Holy, Culver, Taghert.


An, Hongyu: Dr. An has extensive experience in MR and PET/MR imaging and is the associate director of the Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR). Her expertise includes MRI physics, MR sequence design and programming, image reconstruction, image and data analysis, PET/MR attenuation correction, and motion correction. Simultaneously acquired anatomical, physiological and metabolic MR imaging and physiological and molecular PET imaging provide unprecedented diagnostic and prognostic values in many diseases. A specialty of Dr. An’s group has been developing novel MR based PET attenuation methods. An application area is the important MR imaging challenge of quantifying cerebral oxygenation. Collaborators: Ackerman, Hershey, Woodard. 

Chen, Hong:  Dr. Chen’s research is focused on developing image-guided ultrasound drug delivery (IGUDD) techniques. A new assistant professor, Dr. Chen has a joint appointment with Radiation oncology. Her laboratory is setting up two experimental systems: an ultrasound-image-guided focused ultrasound system and an MRI-guided focused ultrasound system. The goal is to translate basic research advances in imaging and ultrasound therapy into image-guided therapy devices that can impact cancer patient care. Collaborators: Anastasio, Hallahan, Parikh. 

Raman, Barani: Dr. Raman’s research focuses on examining the spatio-temporal signals in neural systems to understand the design and computing principles of biological sensory systems using relatively simple invertebrate models (e.g., Drosophila melanogaster). His lab employ’s a variety of multi-dimensional electrophysiological recording techniques and computational modeling approaches to investigate how dynamic odor signals are encoded as neural representations (odor coding). Recent work from Dr. Raman’s lab, published in Nature Communications and Nature Neuroscience, has revealed the behavioral relevance of combinations of neurons activated by an odorant (i.e., ‘the combinatorial code’) and in the temporal structure of the neural activity (i.e., ‘the temporal code’). Collaborators: Gruev, Holy, Petersen. 


Cooper, John: The laboratory uses a variety of light and electron microscopy techniques to address questions of how cells control their shape and movement. Those techniques might include low-light level fluorescence microscopy of living cell preparations, including spinning-disk confocal and total internal reflection microscopy. Collaborators: Bayly, Piston. 

Mecham, Robert: Dr. Mecham studies the extracellular matrix, the critical material that helps bind together and support the structures and tissues of the human body. He is a well-known leader in uncovering the structure of elastic fiber and understanding the complex process involved in producing it. His laboratory focuses on learning how cells produce elastic fibers, a major component of the extracellular matrix. His work includes live-cell imaging of extracellular matrix assembly. Collaborators: Holtzman, Taber 

Piston, David:  The main research focus of the Piston lab is the understanding of glucose-regulated hormone secretion from islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. To perform live cell measurements in situ and in vivo, his lab develops unique, state-of-the-art fluorescence imaging methods to assay responses along critical signaling pathways in both glucagon-secreting α-cells and insulin-secreting β-cells. These quantitative microscopy measurements are combined with standard biochemical and molecular biological techniques to obtain valuable information that bridges the gap between the known details of the signaling pathways in individual cells and the overall response of a whole islet. Experimental work involves 5D live cell imaging and high-content screening. Collaborators: Nichols, Urano, Gross, Lawson. 


Ackerman, Joseph: Trainees perform research in the development and application of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and imaging (MRI) for study of intact biological systems, from cultured cells to mice to man. A major area of research is the development of MR techniques that will provide a more complete understanding of the complex structure and operating organization of mammalian tissues in the intact, functioning state. Collaborators: Bayly, Culver, Weilbaecher. 

Mirica, Liviu: Dr. Mirica uses inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and biological chemistry to address metal-mediated processes with energy, biological, and medical relevance. One of his projects involves investigation of the interaction of transition metal ions with Aβ peptides and study of the role of metal ions in amyloid plaque and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation in patients with AD — whose plaques exhibit unusually high concentrations of copper, iron, and zinc. He is developing Cu-64 complexes that can be employed for PET imaging and early diagnosis of AD. Collaborators: Rath, Tai. 


Gruev, Victor:  Dr. Gruev’s research focuses on borrowing key concepts from nature to develop ultra-sensitive, compact, lightweight and conformal imaging sensors capable of recording spectral and polarization properties with high spatial resolution and to bring these new sensory devices to clinical settings. Gruev’s lab has been able to successfully mimic both the optics and underlying neural circuitry from the visual system of both Morpho butterflies and mantis shrimp by using various nanomaterials and nanofabrication techniques and monolithically integrate them with circuits fabricated with advanced CMOS technologies. The compact realization of these bio-inspired spectral-polarization imaging sensors combined with wearable goggle devices and real-time image processing implemented on FPGA platform, were recently used to translate this technology into the operating room to provide instant visual feedback to physicians. Collaborators: Achilefu, Culver, Raman. 

Pless, Robert:  Dr. Pless works on developing tools for the fundamental mathematical modeling and analysis of motion in video sequences. He co-founded the Media and Machines Laboratory, which now includes five full time faculty and is a focal point for research on Computer Vision, Robotics, Graphics, Medical Imaging and Human Computer Interaction. Driven by biological imaging applications, the primary mathematical tools are data-driven, non-parametric statistical models that represent scene-specific or patient-specific models of common motions and behaviors. These models are ignore distracting motions (e.g., breathing artifacts in CT). Collaborators: Bayly, Leuthardt, Miller, O’Sullivan, Taber. 

Ju, Tau:  Dr. Tau’ works on computer graphics and image analysis with application to biological imaging. His early works pioneered the cage-based deformation paradigm which is now widely used in both entertainment industry and academics. In collaboration with a group of image processing specialists and neuroscientists, his lab used geometric atlases to map the gene expression patterns in the mouse brain. While the prototype of the mapped database (see was initially done in 2D, his lab recently completed a 3D version (hosted on the same website) with the support of an NSF grant. His lab also is working on theoretical foundations and practical algorithms to quantify how “tubular” or “plate-like” an object (or one of its part) is. This work is mostly motivated by the analysis of biological structures in biomedical images with applications to optical and electron microscopy. Collaborators: Dacey, Zipfel, Prior. 


Lew, Mathew:  Dr. Lew, a new faculty recruit, is interested in developing imaging platforms for visualizing biomolecules in living organisms across length scales, from subcellular to whole subjects. He trained in the lab of W.E. Morner (Noble prize 2014). His work primarily focuses on super-resolution microscopy. For example he developed method simultaneous accurate measurement of the 3D position and 2D orientation of single molecules and solutions for mitigating localization errors through modified labeling or optical strategies. On the applications side, he works on labeling and imaging internal cellular structures and external cell surfaces, in 3D, with resolution beyond the diffraction limit. These techniques will enabled the mapping of protein locations and interactions in studies of developmental cell biology. Collaborator: Achilefu. 

Nehorai, AryeDr. Nehorai’s research deals with analysis of space-time data in a number of biomedical areas. In biomedicine, he is developing methods for locating electrical sources in the brain using arrays of electrodes (EEG) or magnetometers (MEG) placed around the head. His solutions are important for clinical applications such as finding origins of seizures, or in neuroscience for mapping the brain functions. He is also developing procedures that find the stiffness of the heart wall using MRI. In microscopy imaging, he is working on algorithms to quantify targets (e.g., antigens, proteins etc.) from 3D microarray-based images, and quantum-dot (q-dot) barcoded microparticle ensembles. Collaborators: Achilefu, Garbow, Song. 

O’Sullivan, Jody:  Dr. O'Sullivan was the director of the Electronic Systems and Signals Research Laboratory (ESSRL) from 1998-2007, and is now dean of the new joint engineering program between University of Missouri-St. Louis and WU. He conducts research in a wide range of science and technology for security applications, including borders, target and object recognition theory, information hiding for secure and clandestine communication, and spectral analysis for biochemical agent detection. Current imaging research includes spiral CT imaging in the presence high-density attenuators and microPET. Collaborators: Tai, Culver. 


Bayly, Phillip:  Dr. Bayly, Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering, uses MRI to study deformation and to infer mechanical properties of soft tissue, particularly in the brain and spinal cord. The changes in shape and mechanical properties are important both in rapid events such as brain trauma, and very slow events, such as brain morphogenesis. His students employ MR tagging and analysis of tagged images to study the deformation of the brain during linear angular acceleration of the skull. Dr. Bayly collaborates with other researchers who use MRI measurement of water diffusion to characterize the effects of trauma on the brain and spinal cord, in vivo, in animal models. Collaborators: Ackerman, Carlsson, Cooper, Garbow, Pham. 

Lake, Spence:   Dr. Lake’s research focuses on multiscale structure-function relationships of musculoskeletal soft tissues and joints. He uses various imaging techniques (e.g., quantitative polarized light imaging, two-photo microscopy, x-ray microscopy) to quantify structural organization of tissues at various length scales and correlate with region-specific compositional and mechanical properties. His work seeks to understand fundamental principles that govern how soft tissues function in healthy conditions, how these relationships change in injury/disease, and how connective tissue damage can be better prevented, treated, or replaced.


Weilbaecher, Katherine:  Dr. Weilbaecher’s laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms of tumor metastasis to bone. They utilize luciferase/GFP labeled osteolytic cancer cell lines and evaluate tumor metastasis and bone tumor growth using in vivo bioluminescence in genetically targeted osteoclast and platelet defective mice. They also utilize MRI and PET imaging to evaluate bone tumor growth and metastasis in spontaneous metastasis tumor mouse models. Trainees gain experience in metastasis biology and host cell/tumor cell interactions using an array of in vivo imaging techniques, including PET, bioluminescence and MRI. Collaborators: Achilefu, Ackerman, Garbow, Lanza. 


Petersen, Steven:  Dr. Peterson pioneered the use of brain imaging (PET and fMRI) to identify brain regions that contribute to attention, learning, memory and language. He also investigates the effects of disease and brain damage on these cognitive processes. Currently, he has two main areas of interest. The first focus is the development of neural mechanisms underlying cognition. Methods have been developed that allow direct statistical comparison of child and adult imaging data. The second focus is identifying and characterizing fMRI signals related to task organization and executive control. Recently his lab developed a series of seminal papers on functional connectivity mapping with MRI related to the management of motion artifacts, the applications of graph theory and the mapping of network hubs. Collaborators: Barch, Culver, Hershey, Raman. 


Holy, Timothy:  Dr. Holy’s research in imaging focuses on developing new optical methods for imaging neuronal activity. He has devised a new method, called objective-couple planar illumination microscopy, for imaging neuronal activity simultaneously in large neuronal populations. This approach uses a sheet of light to provide three-dimensional resolution without point-scanning. The principal advantage of this technique is that hundreds or thousands of neurons can be imaged at high speed and high signal-to-noise ratio. Current work on this technology includes optical and algorithmic methods for enhancing resolution deeper into tissue. Collaborators: Herzog, Raman, Taghert. 

Taghert, Pau:  Dr. Taghert’s research focuses on (i) how peptidergic neurons differentiate and (ii) how neural circuits are controlled by the circadian clock to generate rhythmic behaviors. Both areas of study rely heavily on imaging methods, including standard epifluorescent and confocal microscopy, low light level imaging methods, and use of bioluminesent reporters to interrogate pacemaker neuron function and peptidergic cell secretion mechanisms. Collaborators: Hanson, Herzog, Holy. 


Barch, Deanna:  Dr. Barch’s research program is focused on developing and using a variety of neuroimaging techniques to understand the developmental interplay among cognition, emotion, and brain function to better understand the deficits in behavior and cognition found in illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression and substance abuse. She has a long history of mentoring graduate, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty in psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience who have gone on to productive research careers. She was the Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology 2004 to 2014 (now Chair of Psychology) and is a co-Investigator on the Human Connectome Project. Cofounder of our Cognitive, Computational and Systems Neuroscience integrative training pathway, Dr. Barch and has been actively involved in training students in cross-disciplinary neuroimaging research. Collaborators: Petersen, Hershey. 


Hershey, TamaraDr. Hershey’s research is in the fields of neuroimaging and cognitive and clinical neuroscience. Her lab uses a range of neuroimaging, pharmacological and cognitive techniques to understand the impact of metabolic and neurodegenerative conditions on the brain, particularly during development. For example, her lab explores the neural underpinnings of cognitive and mood dysfunction in disorders relevant to dopamine and the basal ganglia (e.g., Parkinson disease, Tourette syndrome), the effects of diabetes and obesity on the brain, particularly within development, and the neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative impact of a rare monogenic diabetes. Dr. Hershey is deputy lab chief of the WUSM Neuroimaging Labs, and has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty and co-directs a WU Peer Mentoring Program. Collaborators: Barch, Culver, Raichle. 


Zhang, Tiezhi:  Dr. Zhang’s primary research interests include the development of multi-pixel x-ray source, tetrahedron x-ray imaging systems based on scanning x-ray sources. Almost all modern x-ray imaging systems including x-ray radiography, fluoroscopy, mammography and cone beam CT, to name only a few, utilize a single x-ray source and a 2D detector to acquire 2D images. Dr. Zhang’s lab develops new linear scan x-ray sources and tetrahedron beam imaging systems that can overcome the problems in traditional x-ray imaging, including excessive x-ray scattering, suboptimal detector performance and limited detector dimension. The novel imaging system may find important uses in many medical procedures such as image guided radiotherapy (IGRT), image guided intervention, and office-based point-of-care diagnostic imaging. Besides x-ray imaging, Dr. Zhang’s lab also develops novel technologies for precise radiation (x-ray and proton) treatment of cancers.


Achilefu, Samuel:  Dr. Achilefu is interested in molecular optical imaging, the design and development of new molecular probes and nanomaterials, specific delivery of imaging agents and drugs to target cells or tissues, development of tissue-specific multi-modal imaging molecules, and tumor-specific photodynamic therapy agents. He is co-leader of the oncologic imaging program for the NCI-designated Siteman Cancer Center, and Director of WU molecular imaging center. His Optical Radiology Lab provides a multidisciplinary environment for students in a variety of disciplines, including the chemistry, physics, and biology of optical imaging of diseases. The lab is equipped with state-of-the-art instruments to train the student in all aspects of optical imaging, depending on the expressed interest level of the student. Collaborators: Culver, Gruev, Lew, Shokeen, Weilbaecher, Woodard. 

Benzinger, Tammie:  Dr. Benzinger`s research focuses on translating advanced neuromagnetic resonance imaging techniques from small animal research in the Department of Radiology, to translational research in the Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR), and into clinical practice. In particular, her current research focuses on using directional diffusivity measurements derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to measure axonal and myelin damage in pediatric and adult demyelination, dysmyelinating diseases, in traumatic brain injury (TBI), and as a function of aging. Diseases under study in Dr. Benzinger`s laboratory include multiple sclerosis (MS), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), adrenoleukodystrophy, Krabbe`s disease, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher`s disease, and head trauma. In addition, Dr. Benzinger combines advanced neuromagnetic resonance techniques, such as DTI and spectroscopy, and positron emission tomography (PET) to study interactions between normal aging, Alzherimer`s disease, depression, and delirium in older adults.  Collaborators: Achilefu, Ackerman, Hershey, Culver, Woodard

Culver, Joseph:  Dr. Culver’s Lab develops neurophotonic technology for mapping brain function in humans and animal models. With the goal of producing high-performance portable brain imaging in humans, his group has been developing a series of innovations for diffuse optical tomography (DOT) instrumentation and algorithms. Recently they presented the first DOT system capable of mapping distributed brain function and networks (Nature Photonics). Applied projects include mapping brain function in infants in the neonatal ICU, and in stroke patients in the Adult ICU. In parallel with human imaging efforts, the Culver lab is also developing mouse equivalent measurements of functional connectivity using optical intrinsic signal imaging (fcOIS) - so as to link human fcMRI with mouse models of disease (e.g., amyloid-beta models of Alzheimer’s, stroke, brain tumors, autism). Recently, to work with faster physiological signals, they have extend fcOIS to mice with genetically encoded calcium indicators and are exploring transitions between awake/sleep and anesthesia. Collaborators: Achilefu, Ackerman, Anastasio, Bruchas, Hershey, O’Sullivan, Petersen, Shokeen. 

Eggebrecht, Adam:  Dr. Eggebrecht’s lab is focused on developing new hardware and software tools for mapping human brain function beyond the reach of current technology. Current projects include optimizing and applying high density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to understand how brain function underlies behavior during early childhood development and how it is altered in children with autism spectrum disorder. Additional projects include optimizing HD-DOT for bedside neuromonitoring applications in infants in acute care settings. The Eggebrecht lab also develops computational software suites for modeling, data registration, and analysis of next generation HD-DOT systems. Collaborators: Constantino, Culver, Hershey, Marrus, Said, Smyser.

Shokeen, Monica:  Dr. Shokeen’s lab has expertise in the development and evaluation of molecularly targeted small molecule and multi-functional macromolecular bio-conjugates for nuclear and optical imaging of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Her group aspires to utilize the translational capabilities of quantitative imaging modalities (PET, SPECT, FMT and MRI) to bring the bench side discoveries into patient care. Working on the chemistry of imaging, the Shokeen lab has been evaluating high-affinity 64Cu labeled-Very Late Antigen-4 (VLA-4) targeted PET radiopharmaceuticals to assess disease progression and response to treatment in pre-clinical mouse and human models of multiple myeloma by quantitative receptor measurements. The ultimate goal of these studies is successful clinical translation. Her group is also investigating the unique metabolic pathways and metabolite fate tracking in multiple myeloma tissues by using 13C edited 1H NMR and 11C-Acetate/PET-CT imaging. Additionally, as part of a multi-PI team, the Schokeen lab is developing a high-throughput optical in vivo imaging platform for the detection of unstable plaque in carotid arteries using a novel custom built Fluorescence Molecular Tomography (FMT) system. Collaborators: Woodard, Achilefu, Culver. 

Tai, Yuan-Chuan:  Dr. Tai’s team conceived and demonstrated the feasibility of the virtual-pinhole PET insert technology for improving the image resolution of existing human and animal PET scanners. This technology is currently being evaluated for whole-body cancer staging to improve the sensitivity of metastatic cancer detection. Additionally, Tai’s lab has developed several high resolution PET and multimodality imaging systems for preclinical, clinical, and functional plant imaging applications. The plant PET imager is now used routinely for molecular plant imaging research and has brought the in vivo imaging technology to plant scientists and triggered new interdisciplinary researches across multiple universities and institutions. Collaborators: O’Sullivan, Laforest. 

Woodard, Pamela:  Dr. Woodard’s expertise is in translational imaging and clinical trials, particularly in cardiovascular MRI, CT and PET. She is Radiology’s Vice Chair of Clinical Translational Research, has an appointment in Biomedical Engineering and is the Director of the Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR). She has been principal investigator (PI) or co-investigator on numerous NIH grants and subcontracts, including the PIOPED II and III Trials. Most recently, her lab has developed a receptor-targeted nanoparticle PET imaging agent for assessment of atherosclerosis, brought it through preclinical safety testing, applied for and received an FDA eIND for testing in human subjects, and have begun testing in normal volunteers and patients. New extensions of the same receptor targeted nanoparticle include optical labelling for imaging with fluorescence molecular tomography. Collaborators: Shokeen, Achilefu, Culver. 

Module 2 - High Risk Pregnancy
Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course
Module 3 - Pain Management
Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course
Module 1 - Sickle Cell Disease

Module Leader:
Melanie Fields, MD, MSCI, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology and Oncology





Tue: August 31


Room 204

Monica Hulbert, MD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Hematology and Oncology Division

Physiology/primary disease modification/Patient interview

Thu: September 2


Room 204

Allison King, MD, MPH, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics,

Hematology and Oncology Division

Cognitive impact of SCD with socioeconomic interventions to improve cognitive outcomes

Tue: September 7


Room 204

Shalini Shenoy, MD

Professor of Pediatrics,

Hematology and Oncology Division 

Stem cell transplant

Thu: September 9


Room 204

Jaehyung (Gus) Cho, PhD

Professor, Department of Medicine, Hematology Division

Basic science physiology with application to drug development

Tue: September 14


Room 204

Julie Kanter, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine

Gene Therapy

Thu: September 16


Room 204

Melanie Fields, MD, MSCI

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Hematology and Oncology Division

Development of CNS biomarkers for use in risk prediction algorithms/measurement of drug efficacy (CNS research) 

Tue: September 21


Room 204

Ron Jackups, MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Pathology and Immunology

SCD diagnostics, transfusion med, blood bank tour

Thu: September 23 (Wrap-up)


Room 204

ALL (if avail)

Wrap-up Discussion

Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course
Past Course Modules
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. Malaria​
3. Diabetes
1. Cystic Fibrosis
2. Coronary Artery Disease
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. Emphysema
3. Acute Leukemia 
1. Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia
2. Undue Susceptibility to Infection
3. Alzheimer’s Disease
1. Sickle Cell Disease
2. Multiple Sclerosis
3. Epstein Barr Virus
1. Osteoporosis
2. Thrombophilia
3. Congenital Malformations
1. Sickle Cell Disease
2. Hepatitis C
3. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
3. Prostate Cancer
1. Sickle Cell Disease
2. Epstein Barr Virus
3. Heart Failure
1. Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
3. SLE (Lupus)
1. Heart Failure
2. Diabetes Mellitus
3. Preeclampsia
1. SLE/Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
3. Asthma
2. Heart Failure
3. Preeclampsia
1. Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Breast Cancer
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
2. Congestion Heart Failure
3. High Risk Pregnancy
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
3. Alzheimer’s Disease
1. Cardio Disease/Heart Failure
2. Diabetes & Metabolism
3. Osteoporosis/Other Bone Disorders
1. Sickle Cell Anemia
3. Major Depressive Disorders
1. Alzheimer’s Disease
2. Cardio Disease/Heart Failure
3. Diabetes
1. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
2. Cystic Fibrosis
3. High Risk Pregnancy
1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
2. Cardiovascular Disease
3. Malaria
1. Diabetes
2. High Risk Pregnancy
3. Depression
1. Translating Global Health
2. Cardiovascular Disease
3. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
1. Immunotherapy
2. High Risk Pregnancy
3. Alzheimer’s Disease
1. Evidence Based Medicine/Sickle Cell Disease
2. Diabetes
3. Cardiovascular Disease
​2017 ​​1. Immunotherapy
2. Alzheimer's Disease
3. Cardiovascular Disease
​2018 ​​1. High Risk Pregnancy
2. Pain Management
3. Cardiovascular Disease
​2019 ​​1. Immunotherapy
2. Diabetes
3. Retina
​2020 ​​1. Alzheimer's Disease
2. Hearing Loss
3. Cardiovascular Disease
Pathobiology of Human Disease States Course
William H. Danforth Fellowship in Plant Sciences

Natasha Bilkey - Plant and Microbial Biosciences

​Jordan Brock - Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology

Ryan Calcutt - Plant and Microbial Biosciences

Ryan Emenecker​​ - Plant and Microbial Biosciences

Emma FrawleyEvolution, Ecology and Population Biology

Wen-Hsi KuoEvolution, Ecology and Population Biology

Erin Mattoon​ - Plant and Microbial Biosciences

Kari MillerPlant and Microbial Biosciences

Angela Schlegel - Plant and Microbial Biosciences

Jennette Shoots - Plant and Microbial Biosciences

External Fellowship Awardees
National Science Foundation

Maliayah Adkins-Threats​Developmental, Regenerative & Stem Cell Biology

Mandy Chan - Immunology

Melissa Cook - Immunology

Emily Coonrod - Human & Statistical Genetics

Sophia DeGeorgia - Molecular Cell Biology

Kiona Elliott - Plant and Microbial Biosciences

Vincent FasanelloEvolution, Ecology and Population Biology

Sarah Gebken - Molecular Genetics & Genomics

Paula Godoy - Computational & Systems Biology

Daniel Griffith - Computational & Systems Biology

Gregory Harriso​n​ - Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Christy Hoffman - Human & Statistical Genetics

Eric Keen - Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Elizabeth Kennedy - Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Abigail Kimball Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Jennifer Lawrence - Neurosciences

Kari Miller - Plant and Microbial Biosciences

Kayla Nygaard - Molecular Genetics and Genomics

Sarah PyeMolecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Ananda RankinMolecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Ryan Raut - Neurosciences

India Reiss - Neurosciences

Nicole Rivera-EspinalMolecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

Jennette ShootsPlant and Microbial Biosciences

Maria Sorkin - Plant and Microbial Biosciences

Celine St. Pierre - Human & Statistical Genetics

Michael Strickland - Neurosciences

Daniel Veronese Paniagua​ Developmental, Regenerative & Stem Cell Biology

Hung Vuong​ - Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis

James Weagley - Molecular Genetics and Genomics

Marshall WedgerEvolution, Ecology and Population Biology

External Fellowship Awardees
National Institute of Health

Chinwendu Amazu - Molecular Cell Biology

David Anderson - Immunology

John Baer​ - Molecular Cell Biology

Keenan​ Bates Developmental, Regenerative & Stem Cell Biology

Zach BellerComputational & Systems Biology

Jay Bowman-Kirigin - Immunology

Rebecca Brenner - Neurosciences

Lindsey Brier - Neurosciences

Cat Camacho - Neurosciences

Robert Chen - Computational & Systems Biology

Christopher Chermside-Scabbo - Computational & Systems Biology

Samantha Chin - Molecular Cell Biology

Diana Christian - Neurosciences

Celia Cubitt​ - Immunology

Peppar Cyr - Neurosciences

Anna Damato - Neurosciences

Jared Elenbaas​ - Molecular Genetics & Genomics

Ryan FriedmanComputational & Systems Biology

Ariel Hernandez-Leyva - Computational & Systems Biology

Graham Hogg - Immunology

Alexandra Houston-Ludlam - Human and Statistical Genetics

Po wei 'Billy' Kang - Biomedical Engineering

Joseph Krambs - Molecular Genetics & Genomics

Varintra Krisnawan - Immunology

Peter Lambert - Neurosciences

Joseph Lin - Neurosciences

Marissa Locke - Immunology

Manasi Malik - Molecular Cell Biology

Sindhu Manivasagam - Neurosciences

Liza Miller​ Molecular Microbiology & Microbial Pathogenesis

Mario MirandaDevelopmental, Regenerative & Stem Cell Biology

James "Russell" Moore - Neurosciences

Arnav Moudgil - Computational & Systems Biology

Bernard Mulvey​ - Neurosciences

Dillan Newbold​ - Neurosciences

Takihiro Ohara - Immunology

Vincent Peng - Immunology

Justin Porter - Computational & Systems Biology

Suelynn Ren - Neurosciences

Arthur Sletten - Molecular Cell Biology

Anna Trier - Immunology

Brett Tort​elli​- Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis​

Brittany Townley - Molecular Cell Biology

Leonardo Velazco-CruzDevelopmental, Regenerative & Stem Cell Biology

Jace Webster​ - Human & Statistical Genetics

Emma Winkler - Immunology

Renee Wu -Immunology

Annie Zheng - Neurosciences

External Fellowship Awardees
Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Fellowship for Women in Graduate Study

Emma Frawley - Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology

Alexandra Scott​ - Molecular Genetics and Genomics

External Fellowship Awardees
Monsanto Excellence Fund for Graduate Fellowships in Life Sciences

Gervette Penny - Molecular Genetics & Genomics

Patricia Walker - Plant & Microbial Biosciences

External Fellowship Awardees
I am an international student residing outside the U.S. Do you assist with obtaining visas so that I may come to St. Louis for a personal Interview?

The procedures you must follow to apply for your visa and the length of time required to process the application vary from Consulate to Consulate. You should contact the nearest U.S. Consulate as soon as possible to request information about visa application procedures and requirements. Applicants are required to pay for travel costs but may receive reimbursement for portion of costs if you have the appropriate visa. You will need to bring your original passport, visa (you will need a business visa (B1) or a waiver of visa for business (WB)) and I-94 for documentation for reimbursement. You will NOT be reimbursed for your airfare if you have a different type of visa per the United States Tax Department.

Do you offer video interviews for applicants residing outside the U.S. and Canada?

Many of the programs within the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences conduct virtual interviews for applicants residing outside the US and Canada.

When do I take the tests?

It is strongly recommended that you complete all testing (if applicable) within four to six weeks before you begin your application. It takes approximately 15 days to receive the test scores on the computer based tests, and about six weeks to receive scores on the paper based testing.

What are the GRE or TOEFL Institution and Department codes for reporting test scores to be sent to DBBS?
GRE General - if applicable
Institution Code - 6929
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
Phone: 1-866-473-4373
TOEFL - if applicable
Institution Code - 6929
Educational Testing Services
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
Website :
Phone: 1-800-468-6335
Should I request ETS to send official GRE and TOEFL scores (if applicable) before I begin/submit the on-line application?

Yes. We encourage early submission of official GRE general exam scores for the programs that accept them, and ELP scores (if applicable). It is better to have the official scores sent to us as soon as possible, but no later than the December 1 deadline date.

I was given a range of scores instead of one score after I completed the GRE Test, how do I enter my scores into the application?

If the GRE Exam date is after August 1, 2011 and the exam results are presented as a range of scores, please do not enter the scores into the application.  When the official scores have been received from ETS, enter the scores into the application. However, if the application has already been submitted, email the scores to the contact person or to and the scores will be added to the application.  If the application is complete except for the official GRE scores, submit the application and e-mail the scores when received.

How will I know if you have received all my supporting documents?

You may verify the status of all supporting materials on-line within your application by logging back into your ApplyWeb account​ and clicking on your "Activity Log". The status of supporting documents is generally updated on a daily basis.

Once I submit my application, can I make changes to it?

Once you submit your application to DBBS, you cannot go back and make changes to the application.

Do I need to submit an official copy of my transcripts with my application?
  • No, we will review your application with an unofficial transript.
  • Prior to submitting your application, you are required to upload one copy of your scanned transcript from each institution you have attended.
  • Transcripts must be in English, or be accompanied by notarized translations.​
  • The transcript must be issued by the institution either through the Registrar’s Office or a Student Web Portal.
  • Scan the transcript at high resolution and verify each page can be read before uploading it.  Upload the transcript from each institution as a single document. Each individual university transcript must be uploaded as one file and not page by page.
  • Official transcripts are not required for the review process. If you are offered admission and accept the offer you are then required to submit an official and final transcript from each degree granting institution you have attended.
  • DBBS reserves the right to rescind any offer of admission if discrepancies are found between your uploaded transcript and the official transcript.​
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