SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES
We Teach Health Caring
We are the School of Graduate Studies where training passes individually from professor to student. Our program is designed to enhance student preparation for professional careers in the health sciences.
The School of Graduate Studies at Meharry Medical College began in 1938 as a series of short courses in the basic and clinical sciences. In 1947, a Master of Science Degree program was implemented as the first graduate degree; a Ph.D. program was established in 1972 and an M.D./Ph.D. program in 1982.
Since 1970, our school has awarded more than 15 percent of the biomedical science Ph.D.s earned by African American scientists in the U.S. and is currently ranked 3rd nationally by Diverse Issues in Higher Education for the number of African American biomedical science Ph.D.s the School produces.
The Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) Program at Meharry was established in 1974 and graduated its first class of one student in 1978.
To date, our program has graduated approximately 300 professionals who occupy positions of leadership in many academic, public and private sectors of the country. The M.S.P.H. program is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. (CEPH).
Learn about what kind of research is conducted by the School of Graduate Studies.
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The doctoral program leads to the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is divided into core, major emphasis, and dissertation phases.
The core phase occupies the first year of study in which all students enroll in courses covering fundamental aspects of biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, communication skills, biostatistics, and bioethics that are critical to success as a professional scientist. Students also rotate in a minimum of three research laboratories.
After completing the core phase, students identify an advisor for the major emphasis phase. Students may study with graduate faculty in a variety of basic and clinical science departments.
During the major emphasis phase students take courses and begin research in the advisor’s laboratory. The major emphasis phase ends when the student passes comprehensive examinations, thereby designating a student a candidate for the Ph.D. program. Most students require at least two years to complete the major emphasis phase.
During the dissertation phase, the successful Ph.D. candidate completes the research begun during the major emphasis phase under the direction of the advisor and dissertation committee. The candidate writes a doctoral dissertation describing the research in detail and defends it in a public seminar. To be granted the doctoral degree, the student must either publish or have accepted for publication a manuscript as first author in a peer-review journal, as well as present a public seminar on his/her dissertation research.
The M.D./Ph.D. program is offered jointly by the School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Studies. The program trains leaders in academic medicine by providing education in medicine and immersion in a research program of excellence.
Students considered for admission to the combined degree program must meet the admission requirements of both the medical and graduate schools, including outstanding performance on the Medical College Admissions Test, an excellent grade point average, letters of recommendation, a personal interview, and a research interest statement. Students enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. program matriculate in the School of Medicine for the first two years of their training.
After successful performance on the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Part I, students begin their research training inclusive of graduate level courses. Once the Ph.D. requirements are successfully completed, which includes publishing a manuscript and successfully defending a dissertation, students re-enter their medical studies and complete the medical school curriculum.
Contact Dean Merry L. Lindsey at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
The DDS/PhD program is offered jointly by the School of Dentistry and the SOGS. This program trains clinical and research professionals seeking to identify and solve significant problems in oral health. Successful completion of the program leads to the DDS and PhD degrees.
Students considered for admission to the combined degree program must meet the admission requirements of both the dental and graduate schools. Students enrolled in the DDS/PhD program matriculate in the SOGSR for the first two years of their training. After successful completion of graduate level courses and research training, the students enter the dental program.
The Master of Public Health (MPH) program at Meharry Medical College offers a course of study designed to provide diverse students with the skills and knowledge required for make a difference in the field of public health.
Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of people of color and underserved communities. We strive to eradicate health disparities, through educational excellence, evidence-based research, and culturally competent service.
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS ON THE LINK BELOW.
Click “Academic Program Finder.”
Search for “Meharry Medical College Division of Public Health Practice
Clinical investigation is critically important for personal health, community health, disease prevention, healthcare delivery, and health policy. Although the rapid growth in basic science discovery has generated knowledge and technology that hold the potential to improve health care, the effective translation of these discoveries into better practice requires a robust clinical research enterprise.
The M.S.C.I. program teaches young doctors how to conduct well designed research to improve the care of patients with many types of illnesses, creating a necessary and balanced cycle of information and technology exchange between the laboratory and clinical scientists.
The Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program at Meharry Medical College is a two-year curriculum designed to prepare clinical faculty and fellows for careers in clinical research. The curriculum has two concentrations: Patient-Oriented Research (Track 1) and Epidemiology/Health Service Research (Track 2). Instruction includes core courses, electives, and experimental design sessions for research that spans the spectrum of translational science, ranging from molecular medicine to epidemiology to qualitative research. Each trainee, during the first year, develops a research project and establishes a mentoring committee, which reviews the project and assists the trainee with design and implementation. The trainee then conducts the research trial and analyzes the data to present a seminar and prepare a research paper.
The didactic phase has now been extended to include a mentoring component until the graduate is a successfully funded, independent clinical investigator. Program candidates must be doctoral candidates or have their doctoral degrees and must have sufficient time to commit to the course of studies. Relevant doctoral degrees are M.D., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.O., N.D., Ph.D., or Pharm.D. Trainees commit substantial time to the program but can still continue their routine clinical work, although on a reduced level.
Some of the projects currently undertaken by M.S.C.I. scholars are:
- Numeracy disparities in diabetes: Hispanics and children
- Evaluation of Raman spectroscopy to facilitate screening of women for cervical cancer
- Acculturation of dietary changes in gestational diabetes
- HPV serotypes in Africa and Nashville subjects with HIV
- Disparities in pneumococcal antibody response to vaccine
- Evaluating racial and age disparities in rehabilitation medicine
- Prevalence/associations of urinary incontinence in underserved populations
- Mortality and readmission rate of diastolic heart failure in African Americans
- Motivational interviews to improve diabetes care in rural minorities
- Disparities in mammography screening
- Race-specific factors in occupational exposure in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Smoking cessation prognosticators in VA outpatient population
- Asthma disparities in underserved populations: perception of symptoms
- Disparities in motivation for obesity education
- Oral pathology impact on systemic health
The M.S.C.I. Program is a multidisciplinary curriculum designed to provide: (1) a broad set of understandings and capabilities that enable collaboration across a wide range of disciplines and (2) a disciplinary depth to the scholar’s chosen area of concentration. The curriculum emphasizes health care disparities affecting minority and underserved populations to resonate with the mission of the College. The first year is intensive for this instruction; additional instruction is also offered during the second year. The core curriculum consists of 25 hours of the 36 required for completion of the M.S.C.I. degree.
What is the Meharry Cancer SURP?
The Meharry Cancer Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) is a 10-week intensive, hands-on research experience for undergraduate students. The overall goals of the program are to expose students to different types of cancer research (clinical, biomedical, and community-based) and increase their awareness of cancer health disparities. Program participants will work under the mentorship of a Meharry Medical College and/or Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty on a research project that explores the causes, diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment of cancer.
The Masters in Health Sciences program focuses on educating students in health sciences. The primary objective of this 10 month master’s degree program is to strengthen the participant’s competitiveness for future career advancement, including preparing students to:
Deepen their knowledge base in health sciences to pursue health professional school admission;
Seek junior/community college teaching positions, as well as college and university adjunct teaching positions in health sciences topics;
Improve competitiveness for admission into PhD programs;
Improve competitiveness for admission into pharmacy programs; or
Enhance knowledge in health sciences to improve rank and earning potential in clinical research labs.
We prepare students for their career advancement by providing advanced training in health sciences including Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Genetics, Anatomy, Neuroscience, Pathology, Pharmacology and Physiology. Emphasis is placed on providing individualized counseling, academic skills development including critical thinking and verbal reasoning, as well as rigorous professional development in teaching and project management. The application deadline is March 31st.
Application deadline: March 31, 2023
Application Fee: $135
Contact the School of Graduate Studies
Office of the Dean
1005 Dr. D. B. Todd, Jr. Blvd.
Nashville, Tennessee 37208
News & Events
The 66th Annual Student Research Day was held on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. This was the first year we were able to host an in-person Research Day since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event consisted of concurrent oral sessions from 9-11 AM and poster sessions held during the morning and afternoon. More than 130 medical, dental, MPH, and Ph.D. students presented their research projects on topics ranging from AIDS/HIV to mental health. Judges evaluated student presentations, and students with top-ranking presentations were announced during an Awards Ceremony.
The 65th Annual Student Research Day at Meharry Medical College will take place on Wednesday, September 29, 2021. This year the event will include a virtual poster session where more than 130 medical, dental, MPH and Ph.D. students will present their insightful research on topics ranging from AIDS/HIV to mental health. Each of the student’s virtual research poster will be judged accordingly. On September 29th, we will host a “live” session consisting of research presentations from students with top ranking posters, and an Awards Ceremony. Student Awardees will be announced at the conclusion of the day.
The 64th Annual Student Research Day at Meharry Medical College will take place on March 11, 2020, at the Cal Turner Center for Student Education. More than 100 medical, dental, MSPH and Ph.D. students will present their insightful research on topics ranging from AIDS/HIV to mental health. Each of the student’s research posters will be judged accordingly. Students will be awarded at the conclusion of the day.
The James A. Pulliam Memorial Lecture and the Awards Ceremony will take place in the afternoon. Our keynote speaker will be Jan Michael Williams, Ph.D. The title of his lecture is “Perseverance in Academic Research: Understanding the Development of Renal Injury Associated with Prepubertal Obesity.”
Dr. Jan Williams is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson where he studies the mechanisms involved in early development of renal disease associated with prepubertal obesity. He is also the Graduate Program Director for Experimental Therapeutics and Pharmacology, and teaches Pharmacology to medical and dental students. Dr. Williams received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. He then attended the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta for his Ph.D. Program in Physiology, and completed his postdoctoral training at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Dr. Williams was then appointed as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Within a year, he accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor position at the University of Mississippi. In addition to his academic duties, Dr. Williams serves on institutional committees, and is an active member of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Physiological Society (APS). He has served on peer review panels for AHA and is currently the Chair of the Clinical Review Committee for Vascular Endothelial Biology. He has served as a reviewer for several journals and is a member of the Editorial Board of American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology. Dr. Williams has mentored many underrepresented minority students at the high school and undergraduate level, and serves as the Ph.D. dissertation advisor for several graduate students. He has received many awards for his accomplishments, and notable fellowships for his research including his current R01 from NIH-NIDDK.
The 63rd Annual Student Research Day at Meharry Medical College took place on March 13, 2019, at the Cal Turner Center for Student Education. More than 160 medical, dental, MSPH and Ph.D. students presented their insightful research on topics ranging from AIDS/HIV to mental health. Each of the student’s research posters was judged accordingly. Students were awarded at the conclusion of the day.
The James A. Pulliam Memorial Lecture and the Awards Ceremony took place in the afternoon. Our keynote speaker was Consuelo Hopkins Wilkins, MD, MSCI, Vice President for Health Equity, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Associate Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College. The title of her lecture was “The Science of Engagement, Health Equity and the Promise of Precision Medicine.”
Student Research Day winners listed below:
SOM Basic Science
o 1st place: Mitchell Bowers
o 2nd place: Jade Ah-Low
o 3rd place: Karen Menakaya
o 1st place: Jateria Davis
o 2nd place: Jennifer Davis
o 3rd place: Lauren Gendrew
o 1st place: Kirolos Sami
o 2nd place: Jade Harris
o 3rd place (tie): Jordan Baechie and Chinyere Ezekwe
o 1st place: Carlton Baskin
o 2nd place: Alexandra Bilunas
o 3rd place: Kamilah Brown
o 1st place: Erik Benitez
o 2nd place: Dequincy Bingham
o 3rd place: Gareth Butler
SOGSR PhD 1st and 2nd Year
o 1st place: Jerome Arceneaux
o 2nd place: Zerick Dunbar
o 3rd place: Tunde Smith
SOGSR PhD Advanced
o Grand Prize: Shalonda Ingram
o 1st place (tie): Ky’Era Actkins and Sarrah Widatalla
o 2nd place: Heather Beasley
o 3rd place: Kenneth Harris
The 62nd Annual Student Research Day at Meharry Medical College took place on March 14, 2018, at the Cal Turner Center for Student Education. More than 160 medical, dental, MSPH and Ph.D. students presented their insightful research on topics ranging from AIDS/HIV to mental health. Each of the student’s research posters was judged accordingly. Awards were given at the conclusion of the day.
Our 2018 Featured Lecturer was Suzana Herculano-Houzel. She is a biologist and neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University, where she is Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Biological Sciences. Her research focuses on what different brains are made of, and what does that matter in terms of cognition and energy cost. She is the author of “The Human Advantage” (MIT Press, 2016), in which she tells the story of her discoveries on how many neurons different species have – and how the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex of humans is the largest of them all, thanks to the calories amassed with a very early technology developed by our ancestors: cooking. She spoke at TEDGlobal 2013 and is an avid communicator of science to the general public.
To view more photos click here.
Student Research Day Winners 2018:
SOM Students – Clinical
Devin Rickard (1st Place)
Automatic Data Collection in Prehospital Emergency Transport
Aaron Yazdian (1st Place)
ACHALASIA PHENOTYPE PREDICTS WEIGHT GAIN POST-HELLER MYOTOMY
Dominique Harris (2nd Place)
A PRELIMINARY STUDY EVALUATING INTEROBSERVER RELIABILITY OF SCHÖTTLE’S TECHNIQUE
Sky Dainty (3rd Place)
ADVERSE HEALTH OUTCOMES OF SURVIVORS OF CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENT HODGKIN LYMPHOMA
Nantambu Fentress (3rd Place)
MEDICAL EDUCATION AND QUALITY IMPROVEMENT: EVALUATING THE EFFICACY OF A WEB-BASED TEACHING TOLL USED TO EDUCATE MEDICAL STUDENTS AND RESIDENTS ON READING FRACTURE X-RAYS
Eric Johnson (3rd Place)
Measuring Sound and Light Levels at Two UCSD Hospital Buildings
Haley Marks (3rd Place)
NON-INVASIVE VENTILATION AND PATENT DUCTUS ARTERIOSUS CLOSURE IN PRETERM INFANTS
SOM Students – Community
Bathsheba Wariso (1st Place)
PSYCHOSOCIAL FUNCTION AND QUALITY OF LIFE IN CANCER SURVIVORS TREATED AT A COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER OR A MINORITY-SERVING INSTITUTION
Kelly Denton (2nd Place)
PREDICTABLE FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH AMA DISCHARGES FROM SUBSTANCE USE FACILITY
Ebubechi Okwumabua-Shomefun (2nd Place)
NARCOTIC PRESCRIBING PRACTICES IN PATIENTS WITH SURGICALLY TREATED DISTAL RADIUS FRACTURES
Whitney Hucks (3rd Place)
EVALUATION OF THE “SCREEN TO SAVE” COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATION INTERVENTION FOR COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING
SOM Students – Basic/Translational
Frederick Grady (1st Place)
MINIMALLY INVASIVE DELIVERY OF ENGINEERED STROMAL-CELL DERIVED FACTOR 1-ALPHA VIA AN INJECTABLE HYDROGEL LIMITS LEFT VENTRICULAR NEGATIVE REMODELING FOLLOWING MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION
Joel Alvarez (2nd Place)
GALECTIN-3, BIOMARKER FOR BREAST CANCER IN AFRICAN AMRICANS
Ifeanyi Ikwuanusi (3rd Place)
RE-ACTIVATION OF THE ANDROGEN RECEPTOR PATHWAY RESULTS IN FAILURE OF MEDICAL THERAPY IN BPH/LUTS
Raven Alexander (1st Place)
THE EFFECT OF RACIAL ETHNICITY DISPARITIES ON SALIVARY FLOW RATE
Elizabeth McMichael (2nd Place)
The association between intimate partner violence (IPV) and risk for cardiovascular disease
Laura Carrasco (3rd Place)
SUBLINGUAL GLAND PROTEOMICS: FUNCTIONAL RELEVANCE IN SYSTEMIC DISEASES AND DIABETIC XEROSTOMIA
SOGSR – MSPH Students
Keisha Brady (1st Place)
Oral Health Literacy Assessment among African American and Caucasian Women in Nashville, Tennessee
Jilian Duke (2nd Place)
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES (ACEs), PERCEIVED HEALTH, AND CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS AMONG DIFFERENT ADULT STAGES AND RACIAL GROUPS IN TN, WI, NC, AND IA
Myrna Pierre (3rd Place)
EXPOSURE TO CIGARETTE SMOKING AND ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AS RISK FACTORS FOR STROKE MORTALITY IN TENNESSEE COUNTIES FROM 2006- 2015
SOGSR – 1st &2nd Year PhD Students
Heather Beasley (1st Place)
CANCER-INDUCED HYPERCALCEMIA PROMOTES BREAST CANCER PROGRESSION VIA AP-1 TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR MEDIATED UPREGULATION OF MALIGNANCY-ASSOCIATED GENES
Chauncey Darden (2nd Place)
ELUCIDATON OF THE STRUCTURAL DOMAINS IMPORTANT FOR THE FUNCTION OF THE TRANSLOCASE OF THE MITOCHONDRIAL INNER MEMBRANE 17 (TIM17) IN TRYPANOSOMA BRUCEI
Marshall Ellison (2nd Place)
REDOX REGULATION OF PRDX5 MRNA ALTERNATE TRANSLATION BY MIR 6855-3P IN METASTATIC BREAST CANCER CELLS
Stephen Williams (3rd Place)
EXPRESSION STATUS OF ANNEXIN-A6 UNDERLIES THE RESPONSE OF TNBC CELLS TO HYPOXIA
SOGSR – Advanced PhD Students
Joseph Smith Jr. (1st Place)
DIVERGENT SMALL TIM HOMOLOGUES ARE CRITICAL FOR THE ASSEMBLY AND STABILITY OF TBTIM17 PROTEIN COMPLEXES IN TRYPANOSOMA BRUCEI
Binah baht Ysrayl (2nd Place)
COCAINE UPREGULATES PROLIDASE TO BREACH THE BARREIR OF BRAIN MICROVASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL CELLS
Shamara Davis (3rd Place)
APOL1 PREVENTS SUSTAINED INFLAMMATORY CYTOKINE GENE EXPRESSION INDUCED BY CYTOSOLIC DNA
Overall Student Winner
Implication of GRF2 in ANX A6-mediated breast tumorigenesis
The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, delivered a call-to-action to Meharry students during Inauguration Week.
Nearly 50 public health students, residents and faculty heard McCarthy’s call for all of us to take charge of our communities. As for the Nashville and Tennessee communities, McCarthy said, “The growth around Tennessee, particularly in Nashville, highlights the importance of making sure that public health and the environment are at the core of all development and growth initiatives.”
Holly Fletcher of The Tennessean reported:
People tend to think about utilities and manufacturers as big polluters but many “don’t realize the car they’re driving is a source of pollution,” [McCarthy] said…“Public transit is key to creating sustainable cities where people can go outside without worrying about the impact of smog and soot.”
McCarthy initially came to share employment and extern opportunities with students. During her speech, however, students were given purpose in the public health realm. Students should take their education seriously, she said, as environmental health is public health. “You are the next wonder of the world,” McCarthy said. “We need to use every tool in our toolbox to bring underprivileged communities up. I am protecting my kids, and I’m protecting yours.”
McCarthy was greeted by Meharry’s president, Dr. James E. K. Hildreth and Dr. Maria de Fatima Lima, dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. After the session, McCarthy answered questions from students and faculty—many of which were about recent water contamination issues in Flint, Michigan.