The program is focused on research training which begins in the first year as rotations in different laboratories and continues as the student begins potential thesis projects in a chosen mentor's laboratory. The Ph.D. thesis research involves meaningful, critical thinking and the execution of ideas in the laboratory through the use of sound scientific method. Students are guided by their mentors and a selected thesis research committee, that meets on a routine basis throughout the training experience.
Research laboratories are primarily located in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology. In addition to extensive basic equipment and facilities, the program provides access to numerous specialized resources. These include facilities for peptide synthesis and sequencing, cell sorting by flow cytometry, protein purification and characterization, proteomics and microarray analysis, and biomolecular imaging.