The graduate program in the Department of Pathology was established in the early 1960s with the goal to train investigators to understand and solve fundamental problems in experimental pathology.

Pathology historically has been based on the gross and microscopic analysis of tissue. However, the research labs in the Duke Department of Pathology use a wide variety of experimental techniques that encompass the full range of modern cell and molecular biology. Our graduate faculty are united by their pursuit of increased knowledge regarding disease processes, particularly the molecular basis for disease. In this way, departmental researchers can translate experimental findings into improving medical practice.

Since Pathology is the only clinical department at Duke University to award a PhD degree, we have offered research faculty from other Clinical Departments the opportunity to join our Graduate Faculty. Thus, our pool of Graduate Faculty originate not only from Pathology but also from the Departments of Surgery, Medicine, Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, Radiation Oncology, etc. As a result, our students are exposed to research targeting a broad range of human diseases at the molecular, cellular, tissue, or organismic levels. Research topics covered include cancer biology, vascular biology, genomics, host-pathogen interactions, inflammation, immunology, signal transduction, immunotherapy, and vaccine design. Our program leads to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Pathology and offers outstanding and comprehensive graduate level training in a wide range of topics related to human disease, which could be basic, clinical or translational in scope.

Our outstanding graduate students originate from the US and from abroad, and have been actively recruited from diverse training backgrounds and origins to create an inclusive environment for collaboration and innovation. In addition to their Bachelor’s degree most of our trainees have had prior research experience, and many hold Masters, MD or DVM degrees or are in the process of obtaining dual MD/PhD degrees.

Previous PhD graduates from our department have successfully assumed prominent positions, both in the US and abroad, in academic and other research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and health care facilities.

Pathology grad group