As biomedical science continues to advance, the distance between laboratory discoveries and their application to patient care grows shorter with each passing year. For this reason, gaining a solid understanding of biomedical science is not only vital for the education of USU’s students, it helps guide and sustain their development throughout their careers.
Associate Dean for Graduate Education Dr. Gregory Mueller noted that USU serves as the “nation’s graduate school,” educating exceptional students whose research emphasizes military and health relevance. “The result is a cadre of graduates who proceed into government service, advancing critical areas of research, education and policy,” he said.
USU has a world-class basic science faculty whose expertise is aligned with the needs of military medicine, public health and the Department of Defense. These scientists not only conduct and publish cutting-edge research on the most pressing challenges facing military medicine and public health, they ensure that USU’s graduate students, as well as the University’s medical, nursing and dental students, have a solid understanding of the science that underpins their respective disciplines. Because graduates are deployed throughout the world, encounter vastly differing climates and diseases, and are challenged by conditions that are rarely seen in civilian life, they must be able to think on their feet, and apply what they know to new contexts.
USU’s graduate students are integral partners in advancing biomedical research and public health practice at the University. They not only participate in and enrich the intellectual and scientific work of the laboratories in which they train, they represent the next generation of scholars who will overcome the scientific challenges that will confront practitioners of military medicine and public health. The personal satisfaction that comes from teaching highly motivated graduate students is one of the most important ways universities like USU successfully compete for the services and loyalty of world-class scientists.
In American universities, most Ph.D. students rarely, if ever, pay tuition. Nearly all receive institutional support for their graduate education—including tuition, fees and a modest stipend. The support USU graduate students receive parallels this typical arrangement. This allows USU to compete with other U.S. medical schools and select those who are most committed to careers in national service.
“USU’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. students, as well as our post-doctoral trainees, learn from, work with and assist USU faculty members who are generating the highimpact science that advances military medicine and promotes global health security,” said Dr. Arthur Kellerman, dean of USU’s medical school. “These basic science programs are not only valuable for the high-impact research they produce; the teaching they do is essential to maintain the accreditation of the School of Medicine and to educate our medical students, graduate nursing students, postgraduate dental students and our trainees in public health and clinical psychology.”
The vast majority of USU Ph.D. graduates take positions with federal research labs in the National Capital Region and other parts of the country. They serve within the Military Health System, the Pentagon, around the world in various positions and in the Public Health Service. USU graduates are currently employed at the National Institutes of Health, Indian Health Service, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Our students and alumni include:
- Joseph Larsen, Ph.D., (Class of 2005) is branch chief at the Department of Defense’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
- Steven Miller, a fifth-year student, is the author of three scientific publications presented at nine scientific conferences. He is also a student leader in the Society for Neuroscience. His research involves investigating seizures and chemical nerve agents.
- Retired Air Force Major Nathan Galbreath, Ph.D., (Class of 2004), is senior adviser to the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness on sexual assault and response.
- Army Major John Buonora, Ph.D., is a 2013 graduate of the USU Neuroscience program who, after a 21-year career as a civilian nurse anesthetist, joined the Army to care for troops in theater. The Army Nurse Corps convinced him that his expertise would be better used in teaching students. He is executive officer and assistant professor with the U.S. Army Graduate Program in San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.