New Ph.D. Program for Biomedical Sciences earns accreditation

PBMS set to launch in fall 2020

It’s official!

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCC) accredited the School of Medicine’s new Ph.D. Program for Biomedical Sciences (PBMS), a flexible, interdisciplinary program that lets discovery define the path.

The NWCC accreditation marks the final step that clears the way for the program’s launch in fall of 2020, at the centennial anniversary of graduate education at OHSU.

“The external reviewers appreciated the strengths of the new program and noted all the careful thought and planning that went into creating PBMS,” said Georgiana Purdy, Ph.D., program director. “A big thank you to faculty and students who participated in the IDEAS process, helped to develop the initial proposal and made the accreditation process successful.”

PBMS will begin recruiting students this fall. “This is truly a watershed moment for biomedical graduate education,” said Allison Fryer, Ph.D. associate dean for graduate studies, OHSU School of Medicine. “OHSU is at the forefront of transforming how we train scientists. It’s incredibly exciting to embark on this innovative path.”

The NWCC is the accrediting authority for postsecondary institutions in the Northwest. OHSU’s Provost and Faculty Senate have already approved the program.

About PBMS

Developed by faculty and students, PBMS transforms the traditional Ph.D. curriculum into a flexible, multidisciplinary approach that lets discovery define a student’s experience rather than a one-size-fits-all curriculum.

Founded on principles of scientific excellence, mentorship and community, the new program prioritizes the skills scientists will need for tomorrow’s biomedical careers – including critical thinking, data analysis, and communication skills – as well as professional development.

The program draws on OHSU’s research strengths, and through a research hub structure, can flex to encompass new and emerging areas of study.

Research Hubs

Faculty with similar research interests are coming together to form research hubs that will create an intellectual home for PBMS students.

The proposed Genome Sciences hub, for example, directed by Amanda McCullough, Ph.D., associate professor of molecular and medical genetics, OHSU School of Medicine, will provide an interdisciplinary training environment for students interested in gaining fundamental insights into the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms that influence development, function in complex disease processes and contribute to clinical therapeutics.

Research hubs are under development and will be reviewed by the PBMS Steering Committee before being finalized this summer.

Core Curriculum

Students will be supported by both academic and research mentors who together develop unique educational plans for each student that meet requirements for foundational and specialized knowledge.

The fall Core Curriculum, including courses and requirements, is in the final stage of development and will be reviewed and approved by the Office of Provost. Program leaders are also in the process of identifying professional and communication skills courses and course directors.

Opportunities to participate

Faculty are invited to join the PBMS faculty now and apply to be an academic mentor starting this fall.

Pls contact the Program in Biomedical Sciences or visit the PBMS O2 web page (OHSU login required) for more information.