Doctoral Programs

Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Biophysics

Interdisciplinary Program in Biomolecular Imaging and Biophysics

Director and Graduate Advisor: Professor Richard Day, Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Van Nuys Medical Sciences Building, Room MS 333 (317) 274-2166

Degrees Offered: Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy

General Information

The interdisciplinary program offers graduate research training that leads to the Ph.D. in Biomolecular Imaging and Biophysics and is designed to train talented students in the use of imaging techniques to study biological processes from the molecular to the cellular level. Core courses in the fundamentals of biomedical science are complemented by courses teaching specialized knowledge in the physical basis of cell and molecular imaging. The interdisciplinary nature of the program allows students to choose from faculty research mentors in a variety of departments in the School of Medicine and other schools on the Indianapolis campus who have a wide range of expertise in biomedical and physical science. Further information is available on the program website,

The ten School of Medicine biomedical science Ph.D. programs participate in the Indiana University School of Medicine BioMedical Gateway (IBMG) Program. The IBMG Program provides a shared first year experience for all School of Medicine biomedical science predoctoral (Ph.D. program) students. The first semester of study in the IBMG Program is built around core courses in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, and systems biology, and a laboratory research rotation. In the second semester, students have a choice of modular electives that match their interest, interactive study of research methods, professional skills, and scientific understanding, and two additional laboratory research rotations. Throughout the program, support and mentoring are strongly emphasized. Ultimately, this year of research exploration and laboratory rotations culminates in the student’s decision to join one of ten biomedical science Ph.D. degree programs.

Special Program Requirements (See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Admission Requirements — The program requires a baccalaureate degree in science or mathematics with a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or higher.

Applying: — For more information about how to apply to the IBMG Program, please visit, or contact:
Monica Henry
IBMG Program Director
Indiana University School of Medicine—Graduate Division
Medical Science Building Room 207
635 North Barnhill Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46202-5120
Phone: (317) 274-3441
Fax: (317) 278-5211

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Course Requirements: A total of 90 credit hours, with a minimum of 36 credit hours in course work (including those for the IBMG core). Required core courses include G733 Introduction to Biological Microscopy, G734 Theory and Principles of Optical Microscopy, G613 Image Processing for Biological and Biomedical Applications, and G614 Methods in Biological Optical Microscopy. Additional elective courses are determined by the advisory committee in discussion with the student and selected from a list compiled by the faculty.

Research Proposal: A dissertation research proposal is required.

Final Examination: Oral defense of the dissertation.

MED–G 613 Image Processing for Biological and Biomedical Applications (3 cr.) Provides the mathematical foundations and practical techniques for digital manipulation of images. Topics include image acquisition reconstruction, post-processing, visualization, and commonly used semi-quantitative and quantitative data endpoints. The course will provide an integrated view across all imaging modalities including both in vivo/molecular imaging and microscopy. Shen and Staff

MED–G 614 Methods in Biological Optical Microscopy (3 cr.) This is an intensive 2-week summer experience offering hands-on training in all aspects of modern optical microscopy. Students will prepare specimens and collect images using the full range of optical microscopes available on campus. Students will be guided in the application of image methods for image processing, rendering and quantitative analysis. Dunn and Staff

MED–G 733 Introduction to Biological Microscopy (2 cr.) The course will be divided equally between lecture time and demonstration sessions covering the basics of light and electron microscopy, emphasizing approaches commonly used in contemporary biomedical research. Topics to be covered include: basic light microscope design, resolution limit of conventional light microscopy, contrast generation in transmitted light microscopy, fluorescence and fluorescence microscopy, confocal and multiphoton microscopy, FLIM, TIRF, fluorescent probes for biological microscopy, using FRET in biological microscopy, electron microscopy, preparation of biological samples for electron microscopy, image processing. Akinson and Staff

MED–G 734 Theory and Principles of Optical Microscopy (3 cr.) Provides a rigorous treatment of the fundamental principles underlying optical imaging methods. The course will combine didactic lectures, problem sets, discussions and review of relevant research literature. Topics to be covered include: interaction of light and matter, optics, physico-chemical properties of fluorophores (organic, biological, semiconductor), multiphoton excitation, fluorescence lifetime measurements, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, super-resolution methods. Day and staff

MED–A 610 Research in Biophysics (1-15 cr.) Staff

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.