Skip Navigation and Go To Content

UTHealth Fact Book

Fact Book Profile: Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

History and Future

Michelle Barton, PhD, and Michael Blackburn, PhD, serve jointly as deans of The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at Houston, which educates future biomedical scientists at two institutions, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson).  Their vision is to build synergy between these institutions and create an unequaled academic environment which inspires trainees and lays a foundation for their success.

The GSBS is a unique interdisciplinary collaborative model of graduate education with faculty, classrooms, and laboratories drawn from UTHealth, MD Anderson and the Texas A&M Institute for Biosciences & Technology (IBT). Authorized by the 58th Legislature in 1963, GSBS is celebrating its 50th Anniversary of educating all future PhD and MS biomedical scientists and combined MD/PhD graduates for both University of Texas components. The mission of the GSBS is to educate research scientists and scientist-educators, to generate new knowledge in the biomedical sciences that is translated into improved health, and to increase public understanding of science. As a public institution its charge is to train the scientists of tomorrow to meet the workforce needs of the state and nation.

Instructional Programs

The School offers PhD and MS degrees, as well as a joint MD/PhD physician-scientist program, and is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, two specialized Masters programs are offered, one in Medical Physics and one in Genetic Counseling, the only such certified program in Texas.  With over 500 students who are working toward degrees, approximately 70 students graduate annually. The average time at the GSBS to complete a Ph.D. degree is 5 ½ years, which is less time than the national average. The student body includes approximately 36 percent of its population from Texas, 29 percent from the United States (not including TX), and 35 percent who are international students; 57 percent women and 43 percent men. Annually GSBS provides in excess of $1 million in scholarship, fellowship and stipend support for scholastic excellence and research achievement.

The members of the GSBS faculty, as of Fall 2013, include 567 full-time members plus additional adjunct faculty. This large and distinguished group encompasses two members of the National Academy of Science, four Pew Scholars, a Fulbright Lifetime Achievement member and numerous recipients of other honors, awards and professional recognition.

GSBS faculty members receive nearly $300 million in annual research support from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation; this support ranks in the top 5 percent of NIH funding in the world. Notably, US News & World Report again ranked MD Anderson the #1 Cancer Hospital in the United States. Memorial Hermann, a clinical partner of UTHealth and the first hospital founded in the Texas Medical Center, is one of only two certified Level 1 Trauma Centers in the greater Houston area.

Known for its educational philosophy of excellence, the GSBS offers students the opportunity to join an established program that suits their professional goals. Nationally ranked programs include biochemistry and molecular biology, biostatistics, biomathematics and systems biology, cancer biology, cell and regulatory biology, experimental therapeutics, genes and development, genetic counseling, human and molecular genetics, immunology, medical physics, microbiology and molecular genetics, molecular carcinogenesis, and neuroscience.  Reflecting a growing interest in bench-to-bedside education, a new program in clinical and translational sciences has been initiated.


The Graduate School, including the Dean’s Office and Administrative personnel, is located in the George and Cynthia Mitchell Basic Sciences Research Building where it is housed in the June & Virgil Waggoner Academic Hall. The facilities are geared toward a growing and dynamic student population, encompassing state-of-the art classrooms, computer lab, auditorium, and telecom capabilities to beam classes and lectures around the globe.

The research facilities and related resources available to GSBS students are unmatched anywhere in the world. The collaborative nature of the graduate school, with world-class faculty from UTHealth, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Texas A&M IBT, is expanded throughout the Texas Medical Center – the largest medical center in the world including 54 academic institutions and hospitals. The graduate school has developed academic arrangements (including shared research and classroom facilities) with other institutions, both individually and through the Gulf Coast Consortium (GCC) which includes the region’s most prominent academic institutions – MD Anderson, UTHealth, University of Texas Medical Branch, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Houston.

GSBS students and their faculty mentors have access to more than 60 core laboratory facilities and specialized instrumentation centers. During the past decade, more than 2 million square feet of research space has been added to UTHealth and MD Anderson.  This includes the continued, joint development of the University of Texas Research Park, designed to foster major collaborative efforts and link academic and commercial research as partners in molecular imaging, drug discovery and development, diagnostics, and other translational research opportunities. This expansion includes several new centers and institutes that provide students with additional collaborative research environments across traditional departmental and programmatic boundaries.

source: Linda Carter, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Organizational Chart

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Organization

source: Eric Solberg, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences