Contact Information

Department of Radiation Biology


Uniformed Services University
of the Health Sciences
Department of Radiation Biology
Building 42, 8901 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, Maryland 20889-5603

Vijay K. Singh, PhD
Associate Professor
and Acting Chair,
Department of Radiation Biology,
School of Medicine
Phone: 301-295-2347
Fax: 301-295-6503
E-mail: vijay.singh@usuhs.edu

Graduate Education in Radiation Biology

The Radiation Biology track in the Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) Ph.D. program provides a strong background in the biology, chemistry, and physics of radiation injury. Students explore molecular and cellular mechanisms through comprehensive didactic and laboratory training. They gain an understanding of the policy context that is creating the renewed interest in radiobiology. With faculty drawn from basic and clinical science departments as well as the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI), a collaborative and interactive environment provides many research opportunities.

The radiation biology faculty members are engaged in many exciting areas of research. They are exploring the mechanisms of injury from ionizing radiation in vitro and in animal models, developing new approaches to prevent the life-threatening and health-degrading effects of ionizing radiation, and investigating biomarkers of injury that might be used to assess radiation exposure. The extensive radiation facilities housed at AFRRI can simulate almost any radiation exposure scenario in animal and cellular experiments.

PhD timeline

Students enrolled in the MCB program are broadly exposed to various aspects of biomedical research as they earn their doctoral degree. The first two years of study includes intensive course work in Biochemistry, Immunology, Genetics, and Molecular & Cell Biology as well as Radiation Biology. During the first summer, students engage in laboratory rotations that provide them with practical laboratory experience, and a close working relationship with individual program faculty.

Qualifying examinations are taken at the end of the second year. The examination takes of the form of a grant proposal, and is based on a subject of interest to the student that is approved by the Qualifying Examination Committee. Upon successful completion of the examination the student is "advanced to candidacy." Thereafter, students devote full-time to their research until the completion of their dissertation.