Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine (HPTM) PhD Program

The Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine (HPTM) PhD program at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) is a graduate program housed at the Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS). The program is designed to train highly skilled biomedical translational researchers who possess an integrated understanding of the mechanistic pathophysiology of human diseases, and the methodological and teamwork skills necessary to translate basic scientific knowledge into improvements in health care. These objectives are achieved by engaging HPTM students in an innovative educational curriculum driven by the development and evaluation of defined competencies. The pedagogic methodology of the program involves students in experiences and situations that are those of the professional practice of translational scientists, while promoting the development of skills necessary for autonomous learning. Mentoring is provided by members of the research organizational units of the ITS Multidisciplinary Translational Teams (MTTs), which are composed of basic science and clinical faculty.

In the HPTM Program, students will:

  • Learn about human disease in collaboration with medical students in selected medical school courses.
  • Work in small groups that foster creative problem solving and team-building as part of a rigorous education in human physiology and pathology.
  • Observe patients with diseases in your area of research interest through a clinical encounters program.
  • Work as part of a multidisciplinary translational team for laboratory rotations and dissertation research, co-mentored by basic scientist and clinical faculty.
  • Develop skills needed for autonomous, life-long learning.
  • Focus on developing practical skills for a successful translational science career.
  • Obtain qualities needed to become a leader in the expanding field of translational research.

Image of student presentations
HPTM Students ACTS 2022 Presentations


Students selected for graduate assistantships receive a salary of $35,360 plus paid tuition and fees and health insurance coverage. Graduate assistantships are only available to US citizens and permanent residents (green card holders). Dental insurance is also available for a small charge. For more information, please view the Student Handbook or contact the HPTM program director.

Application and Admission

Interested students should complete the UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) application, through the BioMedCAS application system, and select HPTM as one of their programs of choice. They will be further prompted on this selection to choose between the general program and the Vaccinology Track. Qualified students will be directly admitted into the HPTM program and will engage in the unique HPTM curriculum immediately upon matriculation.

Graduate Program Director

HPTM Leadership

Jonathan D. Hommel, PhD


Curriculum Development

HPTM Leadership

Judith F. Aronson, MD