The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) serves as the organizational framework within the state of Maine for interdisciplinary research and doctoral-level education in the biomedical area, including genomics, biophysics, bioengineering and nanotechnology, molecular and cell biology, neuroscience, and the molecular mechanisms of disease. The GSBS contributes to learning and discovery on the “emerging frontier” of the biological, physical, clinical, and behavioral sciences, preparing new faculty, training scientists, and furthering Maine’s biotechnology and biomedical infrastructure.
The GSBS is a virtual graduate program drawing on the strengths of seven institutions across the State of Maine. These include the three academic institutions, the flagship campus of the University of Maine System, The University of Maine (UM), as well as the University of Southern Maine (USM) and the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM). It also includes three world-class research institutions, The Jackson Laboratory (TJL), the Maine Medical Center Research Institute (MMCRI), the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) and the newly establish Maine Institute for Human Genetics and Health (MIHGH), a collaboration between Eastern Maine Healthcare, The Jackson Laboratory and The University of Maine.
Students admitted to the GSBS can choose from over 80 faculty located at any one of these world-class research and educational institutions. Student access to needed courses as well as interactions with faculty at any of the institutions is achieved through a high-end videoconferencing system.
The GSBS a doctoral degree in Biomedical Sciences with concentrations in:
- Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Biomedical Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
as well as an interdisciplinary doctoral degree in:
These concentrations were chosen because they represent nationally recognized areas of research excellence in the partner institutions.
Functional Genomics is an existing degree program established under the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program of UM. It will move under the GSBS umbrella once the School is established. The program was established for several reasons, one of which is the increased need in genomics for Ph.D. students with interdisciplinary training. Functional Genomics draws on the world-wide recognition of TJL as the major research center for mammalian genetics and genomics including a large group of investigators working in the area of bioinformatics and computational biology. It combines that expertise with similarly recognized research efforts at MMCRI in vascular biology and stem cell biology and with internationally recognized faculty at UM working in the physical and computational sciences, especially in the areas of nano-engineering, sensor development and information systems.
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Molecular and Cellular biology now sit at the core of all of the biological and biomedical sciences and all of the participating institutions have faculty and active research programs that can contribute to this area of emphasis.
Neuroscience is one of the major research areas in the biomedical sciences. It is also an area that draws on a wide variety of disciplines. At TJL there is a well-funded group of scientists working in this area. UNECOM has identified work in this area as part of its strategic plan and has faculty actively working in pain, pain-management, memory and addiction. The ion channel work at MDIBL also interfaces with neuroscience as does the toxicology work at both MDIBL and USM. At UM the strength in this area is locate in the Psychology department, both in the basic and clinical research areas.
The future of biomedical research will inevitably depend on developing new technologies to address both old and new research problems. UM has an internationally recognized group of faculty working in the area of nano-engineering and sensor development. The latter group has already spun out several small companies. This group is working with scientists from the biomedical areas at TJL and MMCRI as well as at UM, principally through the Institute for Molecular Biophysics. There are also faculty at other institutions, such as those at UNECOM working in the neurosciences who clearly can