Antibodies attacking a neuorn
Doctor of Philosophy

About the Program

Conduct research on infectious diseases, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases while you pursue your PhD in Pathology from Case Western Reserve University, one of the top research universities in the U.S. Here, you’ll choose from one of three tracks—immunology, cancer biology or molecular basis of disease—as you learn both in the classroom from renowned faculty and outside of the classroom shadowing physician-scientists at places such as Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, a collaboration with University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic. Our tuition-free PhD is a part of the Biomedical Sciences Training Program, which offers you an interdisciplinary look into pathology. As you move through our program, you’ll be prepared for a career as a biotech research scientist, for a postdoctoral fellowship, and for many other fields upon graduation.

What to Expect

Our three program tracks allow you to carve out a niche for yourself in the field. If you’re interested in understanding what causes cancer progression, the cancer biology training program might be the right fit for you. Learn about innate immunity, vaccine development and immunopathology in our immunology training program. Or, understand tissue injury and healing through our molecular and cellular basis of disease training program. 

We also have a partnership with the Department of Pathology at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, allowing you to gain educational expertise in addition to perfecting your bedside manner.  

Daniel Leonard, one of our current PhD students, published a first-author "Cell" paper about reactivating a tumor suppressor protein called Protein Phosphatase 2A (PP2A). Dan’s paper was recognized as one of the “20 moments in science to make you feel better about 2020,” a Science Focus Article, in which Dan’s discovery was number four.

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Beyond the Classroom

Here, you’ll be supported by National Institutes of Health grants in your chosen topic. But you’ll also have access to additional research and training grants such as the Medical Scientist Training Program, the Clinical and Translational Scientist Training Program and the Cancer Biology Training Grant (in partnership with Case Comprehensive Cancer Center). You’ll have access to a variety of facilities to pursue your research as well, including the Human Tissue Procurement Facility which conducts tissue microarray, histology and immunohistochemistry services. And to ensure your success beyond our program, you’ll have access to individualized career development.

By the Numbers


tuition coverage, including health insurance


NIH-supported pathology department in the country, Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research


university in the country, U.S. News & World Report


most innovative university in the U.S., Reuters


faculty-to-student ratio

Admission Requirements

Our program thrives when we have students with diverse perspectives and a range of educational, professional and life experiences. We look forward to learning more about you!

The application process requires:

  • Online application, including a personal statement
  • $50 application fee
  • Bachelor’s and/or master’s degree from an accredited institution (either already complete, or will be complete before you enroll)
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Current resume/CV
  • List of research experience (optional)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • International applicants: Results of TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE

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