Why CMP?

The mission of the CMP Program is to provide graduate students with interdisciplinary and integrated training in the pathogenesis of human diseases with emphasis on molecular, cellular and biochemical approaches. Since pathology is a broad discipline, there are four main focus areas for disease pathogenesis in our program: cancer pathobiology, immunopathology, neuropathology, and signal transduction in the pathogenesis of human diseases. To provide in-depth understanding of common mechanisms in cellular and molecular changes that underlie diseases, we offer courses where clinicians and basic researchers provide side-by-side training (i.e. Pathology 803, Pathology 802-see more information on these courses below). Pre-doctoral graduate training is conducted in an intellectual interdisciplinary environment embedded in an exciting and challenging basic and clinical translational research context. The objective is to educate trainees so that they have a fundamental knowledge of pathology and molecular medicine, and have an in-depth research experience that combines pathobiological and translational clinical research. Additionally, we seek to increase each individual student's appreciation of how specific disease processes directly impact individual patients, while fostering the application of the student's specific research area to potential new concepts in clinical care and treatment.

The CMP program specifically focuses on the pathogenesis of human diseases with an integration of basic and clinical medical knowledge of disease into graduate education. This focus is clearly distinct from that of any other training program on campus. Our program offers pathology-based insights into human diseases, and we have developed Pathology 803, Pathogenesis of Major Human Disease, as a key course in the CMP Graduate Program curriculum as well as Pathology 802, Histopathology for Translational Scientists.



802, Histopathology for Translational Scientists (currently offered exclusively to cmp students)

This course is unique among the graduate curricula, introducing students to the pathogenesis of disease via integration of actual autopsy patient cases. Emphasis is placed on understanding the basic mechanisms of disease at the level of cell, organ, and body, as well as the morphologic expression patterns of selected common specific disease processes. In addition to attending twice-weekly lectures, students will participate in weekly autopsy gross organ conferences as well as microscopic review sessions. In this way, the concepts covered in lectures will be applied and reinforced in the interactive autopsy sessions. Students will also observe at least one full autopsy, gaining a three-dimensional understanding of structure and disease. The grade for this course is derived from a final multiple-choice exam and a short essay regarding an autopsy case.

803, Pathogenesis of Major Human Disease

Pathology 803 begins with lectures on general pathogenetic mechanisms, followed by close examination of ten different diseases. For each disease, sessions are devoted to (i) a clinical description of the disease, (ii) experimental models used to study the pathogenesis of the disease, and (iii) small group discussions of primary research papers addressing the disease’s pathogenesis.


CMP is an NIH supported T32 training program with over 80 Faculty trainers with research programs in Immunopathology, Cancer Biology, Neuropathology, and Signal Transduction spanning 23 departments. CMP offers many leadership opportunities for students on its program’s committees.