The 14 Home Programs

Graduate students are admitted to a particular Home Program, integrating students into a close scientific community that includes postdocs and faculty. The Home Programs are the primary base of training for students during their first year, setting required coursework and qualification requirements as well as more informal relationships like study groups and social outings. This intimate setting also offers significant interactions with faculty, through retreats, seminar series, journal clubs, and other continued learning throughout the year.

Students first rotate within their Home Program but then are free to rotate in any lab within the 14 Home Programs, exploring new areas of research and scientific approaches. As students' interests develop during their first year, they are able to decide to do dissertation research in any of the Home Programs. Indeed, within each lab, there are students from different Home Programs, enhancing the interdisciplinary collaboration that is at the heart of our philosophy. At Stanford Biosciences, our Home Programs are a network of people and resources that enables students to pursue the biosciences' most interesting and important questions, opening new horizons at Stanford and beyond.

Biochemistry

Program Facts:

  • 40 students
  • 15 faculty

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The mission of the Biochemistry Graduate Program is to provide research training that spawns leaders in academia, biotech, and beyond. Our faculty seek to understand fundamental biological questions at the level of how molecules act and interact so that we can discover the mechanisms behind their highly complex, intra- and intercellular processes. Two noteworthy features: We share all space and equipment, and students and postdocs are intermixed to enhance collaboration. All faculty—including seven members of the National Academy of Sciences and one Nobel laureate-are engaged in the department's mission and espouse philosophies of community spirit.

Krystal St. Julien

Student Perspective: Krystal St. Julien

Biology

Program Facts:

  • 148 students
  • 55 faculty

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The Department of Biology trains students for careers in basic research, offering intensive instruction in laboratories, seminars, and teaching. Our program coincides with the demands of modern biological research by applying an interdisciplinary approach that addresses the most important problems within the different fields of biology. The department's diverse range of interests and expertise creates a challenging intellectual environment that encourages students to take innovative approaches to the study of fundamental questions in biology.

Ben Wilson

Student Perspective: Ben Wilson

Biomedical Informatics

Program Facts:

  • 60 students
  • 77 faculty

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The Biomedical Informatics (BMI) Graduate Home Program trains research leaders who design, implement, and evaluate novel quantitative and computational methods that solve challenging problems across the entire spectrum of biomedical science and clinical medicine. As an interdisciplinary graduate training program, BMI has diverse faculty who attract students with training in biology, research and clinical medicine, computer science, statistics, engineering, and related disciplines, all united in their passion to transform biomedical science and clinical practice through informatics.

"The Biomedical Informatics (BMI) family works incredibly hard to ensure that all their students feel welcome. BMI's greatest strength is that students, postdocs, and faculty alike work hard to provide well-rounded training for a lifelong career — from understanding how to manage big data to polished public speaking."

—Tiffany Chen

Biophysics

Program Facts:

  • 43 students
  • 62 faculty

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The mission of the Stanford Biophysics Graduate Home Program is to train students in quantitative approaches to biological problems while also developing their perspective in choosing important biological problems. As an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental program, research involves two overlapping branches of biophysics: the application of physical and chemical principles and methods to solving biological problems, and the development of new methods. Our program also offers a balanced academic curriculum tailored to the diverse backgrounds of our students.

Aaron Coey

Student Perspective: Aaron Coey

Cancer Biology

Program Facts:

  • 65 students
  • 94 faculty

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The mission of the Stanford Cancer Biology Graduate Home Program is to provide our students with education and training that will enable them to make significant contributions to this remarkable field. Our thriving, interdisciplinary program includes significant exposure to cancer biology as a formal discipline. Graduate students perform their research in many of the clinical and basic science departments in the School of Medicine, with main concentrations in the Departments of Pathology, Radiation Oncology, and Medicine.

Deborah Caswell

Student Perspective: Deborah Caswell

Chemical & Systems Biology

Program Facts:

  • 36 students
  • 11 faculty

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The mission of the Chemical and Systems Biology Graduate Home Program is to explore the mechanisms that underlie cellular function and contribute to human disease. Our department emphasizes interdisciplinary research that spans the biological and physical sciences. Faculty research areas currently include signal transduction, cell cycle regulation, cell differentiation, chromatin remodeling, protein homeostasis, and genome stability, and we seek to understand these complex biological processes at the molecular and systems levels.

Laura Sanman

Student Perspective: Laura Sanman

Developmental Biology

Program Facts:

  • 30 students
  • 19 faculty

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The Stanford Developmental Biology Graduate Home Program trains scientific leaders in using cutting-edge approaches to advance the understanding of the molecular mechanisms that generate diverse cell types in contexts ranging from the embryo to evolution. This work has connections to many areas of human health and disease, including stem cell biology, aging, cancer, diabetes, immunity and infectious disease, and neurological disorders. The Department of Developmental Biology is situated in one of the world's best environments for research, with many alumni now leaders in biomedical research, teaching, and medicine.

Natasha Meyer O'Brown

Student Perspective: Natasha Meyer O'Brown

Genetics

Program Facts:

  • 70 students
  • 40 faculty

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An underlying theme in the Stanford Genetics Graduate Home Program is that genetics is not merely a set of tools but a coherent and fruitful way of thinking about biology and medicine. To this end, we emphasize a spectrum of approaches based on molecules, organisms, populations, and genomes. The mission of the Department of Genetics includes education and teaching as well as research, and graduates from our Home Program pursue careers in many different venues, including research in academic or industrial settings, health care, health policy, and education.

Katie Sharp

Student Perspective: Katie Sharp

Immunology

Program Facts:

  • 48 students
  • 77 faculty

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The Graduate Home Program in Immunology is a premier training program that is collaborative and multidisciplinary. We offer two tracks: Molecular, Cellular, and Translational Immunology (MCTI) and Computational and Systems Immunology (CSI). Our PhD curriculum includes lab and foundation courses, immunology and computational biomedical sciences core courses, a journal club, seminar series, and an annual retreat. We have 76 MCTI and 24 CSI faculty who are leaders in basic and translational immunology at the School of Medicine, Department of Biology, and the Palo Alto Veterans Administration.

"The inter-departmental nature of the Immunology program allows students access to a very wide spectrum of labs. Because faculty members from any department can get an appointment in the program, rotation options are diverse and extensive."

—Dara Strauss-Albee

Microbiology & Immunology

Program Facts:

  • 37 students
  • 33 faculty

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The mission of the Stanford Microbiology and Immunology Graduate Home Program is to conduct the best possible research and provide the most rigorous and inspiring training in areas of microbiology, immunology, host-pathogen interaction, and related biomedical fields. Our holistic approach considers the entirety of the system we study, from pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases to pathogen-produced virulence proteins that reprogram infected cells. We offer a large number of formal courses, practical training and mentoring in the lab and clinic for passionate learners at all levels from diverse backgrounds.

Jennifer Brady

Student Perspective: Jennifer Brady

Molecular & Cellular Physiology

Program Facts:

  • 13 students
  • 12 faculty

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The Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology (MCP) redefines the august field of Physiology, bringing cutting-edge approaches to the study of how life works. Our goal is to train students in how to think about science so that they can excel in a wide range of research-related careers. Our world-class faculty's strengths are primarily found in the areas of inter- and intracellular signaling, protein structure/function relationships, ion channels and transporters, cellular structure and transport, and neuroscience, with special emphases in synaptic transmission and neural circuit function.

"In Molecular and Cellular Physiology, we are a cohesive unit — you will easily get to know everyone in the department! Even with faculty making waves in a remarkable range of scientific areas, the light is never dimmed on you and your professional development — that warm, fuzzy feeling is a special part of the MCP experience."

—Abdul Rasheed Alabi

Neurosciences

Program Facts:

  • 93 students
  • 119 faculty

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The mission of the Stanford Neurosciences Graduate Home Program is to train graduate students to become leaders in neuroscience research, education, and outreach. As an interdepartmental training program, we provide a flexible and rich research environment in which our researchers attempt to solve the major biological questions of our time. Every student is trained in the fundamentals of neuroscience and allied fields of biological sciences. Our faculty are highly distinguished scientists who have made fundamental discoveries in all areas of neuroscience research.

Suraj Pradhan

Student Perspective: Suraj Pradhan

Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine

Program Facts:

  • 23 students
  • 12 faculty

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The Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine program offers training at the intersection of basic science and clinical application and is one of the 1st to offer doctoral degrees in translational science. Our program expands career opportunities for our graduates by providing them with the skills to encompass the continuum of basic, translational and clinical sciences. Students receive specialized training in the development and clinical application of discoveries in basic science to achieve regenerative therapies and will be uniquely positioned to develop translational careers and improve the human condition.

David Purger

Student Perspective: David Purger

Structural Biology

Program Facts:

  • 8 students
  • 10 faculty

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The Stanford Structural Biology Graduate Home Program emphasizes research training, with coursework covering quantitative approaches to biology. Department research tackles biological problems at the atomic level, using structural and biophysical methodologies to explain both function and disease. The department is consistently ranked first among the nation's Structural Biology graduate programs. Our faculty includes one Nobel laureate, three members of the National Academy of Sciences, and three members of the Royal Society. We maintain strong links with Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (SSRL).

Ye Henry Li

Student Perspective: Ye Henry Li

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