Program of Study

Program of Study

Course requirements are tailored individually based on the student’s background and interests to ensure that they have a solid and rigorous computational biology foundation.

Prior to choosing a thesis laboratory, students complete research rotations with faculty of their choosing. These rotations provide the student the opportunity to experience a range of thesis research options and thereby enable an informed thesis laboratory decision. The absence of teaching requirements grants students the freedom to focus completely on laboratory projects, giving every student the opportunity to produce high quality, breakthrough research. However, if students are interested in gaining teaching experiences, these opportunities are always available.

In addition to coursework and thesis research, student education is enriched through additional program activities:

  • Bi-weekly student research-in-progress seminars
  • Student lunches with invited seminar speakers from outside our Tri-Institutions
  • Participation in national and international conferences
  • Attendance at the annual student-centered retreat held each summer at an off-site location

Students may choose a thesis lab in any of the Tri-Institutions after completing the research rotations described above.

Find out more in the Timeline.


A student-organized retreat is held off-site every summer to bring together faculty and students from the three institutions. The 2-day event features a keynote speaker (selected and invited by students), oral presentations and a poster session. Student and faculty sessions are scheduled to discuss any changes to program structure and other suggestions to improve the overall training experience. In addition, the event provides students with time for recreational activities and other social events.

Previous Retreats


Theme: Academia and Industry
Location: The Shawnee Inn, PA
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ajay Royyuru, Director, Computational Biology Center, IBM Research
CBM Alumni Speakers: Dr. Amrita Basu and Dr. Evan Molinelli


Theme: Career Fulfillment in the Medical Sciences
Location: Inn at Pocono Manor, PA
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Randall Ribaudo, Co-Founder of and Human Workflows, LLC
CBM Alumni Speakers: Dr. Ethan Cerami and Dr. Eimear Kenny


Theme: Communicating Science
Location: Skytop Lodge, PA
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bethany Brookshire, Science Writer and Blogger


Location: Hyatt Regency Long Island, NY
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Eric D. Green, National Human Genome Research Institute


Location: Skytop Lodge, PA
Keynote Speakers: Dr. Gary Churchill, The Jackson Lab, Bar Harbor, ME and Dr. Patrice Matchaba, Novartis