PhD Programs in Biomedical Science
Person working in a lab


An interdisciplinary gateway program with numerous possibilities to make your path flexible and adaptable.


Flexible Pathways

The Program in Biomedical Sciences (PIBS) is designed to offer students maximum flexibility during the first year of graduate studies. PIBS students receive full funding and benefits and can immediately begin training in one program or take a course of study compatible with several programs while completing research rotations. You can rotate with any of our 500+ faculty that make up one of the largest and most vibrant research communities in the country. At the end of the PIBS year, you choose a permanent program and will continue to be funded through defense and graduation.

Our team of support staff, program directors and academic advisors will help you pursue a career path of your choosing. From initial course selection, to exploring certificates and dual degrees, and finding a postdoc, we’re here for you!

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Kahli Zietlow, MD: Building interprofessional teams
Kahli Zietlow, MD, is a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine who specializes in geriatric medicine. Originally from Michigan, she earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan before attending Duke University, where she earned her medical degree and completed her residency and fellowship. Dr. Zietlow returned to U-M in 2020 and is currently the associate director of Interprofessional Education (IPE) at UMMS and the associate program director of the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship. She is passionate about IPE, geriatric medicine and medical education. Read on to learn more about Dr. Zietlow, including her talent as a wildlife photographer!
A woman, Alli Ruff, holds a maize and blue sign that reads #ProudToBeGIM, General Internal Medicine
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Alli Ruff, MD, MHPE: Helping students succeed
Alli Ruff, MD, MHPE is a clinical associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. Originally from Florida, she came to Michigan after earning her MD from the University of Miami and completing an internal medicine residency at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Dr. Ruff loves working with learners at all levels and fills many roles around the medical school. Find out how she faces challenges as a physician and her most important advice for medical students.
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Gabriela Leticia Maica: Breaking through language and cultural barriers
Gabriela Leticia Maica (she/her/ella), pictured far right above, comes from Staten Island, NY.
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Brandon Lu: Seizing opportunities
Brandon Lu (he/him/his) is from Basking Ridge, NJ and graduated from NYU in 2021. Before attending college and opting for an MD/PhD in med school, Brandon was involved with the Structural DNA Nanotechnology lab at NYU.
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Alicia Jacobson: Hitting the ground running
U-M Medical School M3 Alicia Jacobson grew up in Newton, MA, and graduated from University of Maryland in 2014. She spent the intervening years focused on outdoor education in Nepal, Australia and New England, which illuminated a passion for reducing barriers to health care and improving quality of life.
Group of men standing at the Big House wearing maize and blue, medals and name badges
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Vibav Mouli: Enriching the culture of mentorship
Vibav Mouli comes from Reisterstown, MD, and graduated from Harvard University in 2016. He was drawn to orthopaedic surgery and discovered a great appreciation for the clinical experiences and peer mentorship offered at Michigan.