George Mason University

Medical Discovery

Academics

Trying to Take Out Cancer

Much of biology major Conor Moran’s day is spent on the attack. As one of the top seeds on Mason’s men’s tennis team, Moran works one ­on­ one. The action is quick, and the opponent is across the net.

As a researcher at Mason’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, his opponent is cancer, and the stakes are much higher. Moran is part of a team of doctors and scientists investigating the protein signaling architecture of retinoblastoma, a cancer that occurs in the eye. He is optimizing a method called “immunoprecipitation,” through which one can investigate large protein complexes. He’s done additional research on bone biology at the Vanderbilt University Center, and he’s presented his work at conferences around the country. The Honors College junior also studied abroad in Spain and Ireland while at Mason. And somehow, he’s found time to teach tennis lessons on the side.

  • Biochemistry, Concentration in the Chemistry, BS, BA

    Chemistry graduates find employment at agencies like the National Institutes of Health, the Naval Research Lab, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Smithsonian. Our graduates also work in private industry or as high school teachers. Those who go directly on to graduate school attend some of the top post graduate programs in the U.S., where they obtain PhD’s in Chemistry, Material Science, Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacy as well as professional degrees in medicine and dentistry. If any of these possibilities interest you, consider majoring in chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry.

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  • Bioengineering, BS

    Bioengineering, also referred to as biomedical engineering, is the application of engineering tools and approaches to solve problems in biology and medicine. It is a broad and growing field that draws upon rapid advances in technology and computation, as well as on unprecedented growth in basic biological understanding.

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  • Bioengineering, PhD

    The doctoral program in bioengineering is designed to prepare future leaders in bioengineering. The terms bioengineering and biomedical engineering often have been used synonymously, referring to the application of engineering techniques to solve problems in biology and medicine. Rapid advances in understanding the molecular bases of disease have opened up new opportunities to advance human health through research that integrates knowledge in modern biology, engineering, physics, and computer science. The doctoral program will prepare leaders in bioengineering in this broader, integrative sense of the discipline. A major distinguishing feature of the curriculum is that it is designed to educate leaders who understand and appreciate how biomedical technology is translated from the bench to the bedside. Regardless whether they will eventually serve at universities, industry or government, they will understand that new types of devices and processes resulting from advanced research not only need to be “better”, but that they must be “cost-effective” to reach the public. As demanded by their leadership positions, they will recognize that entrepreneurial considerations are essential for determining whether a planned diagnostic or therapeutic approach is likely to be practical and useful for society.

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  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, Graduate Certificate

    This graduate certificate program addresses the growing national and regional demand for trained computational biologists by combining a solid foundation in biotechnology with computational skills relevant to bioinformatics. With online and in-classroom courses, the flexibility of this certificate’s structure permits students to custom design their curriculum under an advisor’s guidance, making the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Graduate Certificate especially relevant for students employed in today’s diverse Northern Virginia high-technology workplace. Ideal candidates for this certificate are those who have a background in biological and computer sciences, and are currently working in or planning to enter the fields of biotechnology or bioinformatics. The certificate is also highly relevant for students who are interested in advancing their career goals but may not have adequate time available to undertake a graduate degree program.

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  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, MS

    In the field of bioinformatics and computational biology, specialists collect, store, analyze, and present complex biological data. Through this work, critical contributions are made to disease detection, drug design, forensics, agriculture, and environmental sciences through the combination of biological analysis and high-performance computing.

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  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, PhD

    Recent advances in molecular biology have produced an avalanche of data, including DNA sequences and genetic maps that cover thousands of genes whose functions are poorly understood or completely unknown. These advances are having profound effect on the biological sciences, and have resulted in the development of the new discipline of bioinformatics. Bioinformatics utilizes computational approaches to analyze patterns in biological data and to create complex models of biological activity, including attempts to elucidate the functions of genes and their interactions in genetic pathways. Widespread social benefits are expected from the exploitation of the wealth of new knowledge concerning the genetic mechanisms of life and related processes. The coming years will see major developments in medicine, functional genomics, and environmental sciences, as well as profound advances in our understanding of the fundamental processes of biology. These benefits are increasingly dependent on the application of advanced information technology to the analysis of biological information.

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  • Biology, BA, BS, Minor

    Biology, one of our most popular degree programs, provides a sound liberal arts education with substantial experience in quantitative and analytical thought. Students who study biology prepare for a variety of careers in such fields as environmental management, microbiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, genetics, postgraduate studies in medicine, and even teaching.

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  • Biology, BS, Accelerated MS

    Qualified undergraduates may be provisionally admitted into an accelerated master’s program to obtain both a BS and an MS within an accelerated time frame. This program is open only to Biology, BS students who wish to pursue the microbiology or molecular biology concentrations within the Biology, MS program. Students admitted to this accelerated master’s program may take graduate courses after completing 90 undergraduate credits, and up to 6 credits of graduate work may be used in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the undergraduate degree. If students earn at least a 3.0 in these graduate courses and meet the application requirements, they are granted advanced standing in the master’s program and must then complete an additional 24 credits to receive the master’s degree.

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  • Biology, MS

    This program provides advanced training for college graduates or professionals seeking careers in the biotechnology industry or biodefense, as well as more traditional careers in biomedical research, teaching, evolutionary biology, and animal biology. Master’s level concentrations are available in bioinformatics and computational biology, microbiology and infectious disease, molecular biology, neuroscience, and systematics and evolutionary biology. Students may also choose a program in general biological sciences, which allows flexibility to specialize.

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  • Biosciences, PhD

    The Biosciences, PhD is a research-oriented field of study that prepares students for significant contributions in academic or industrial settings. The concentration in cell and molecular biology includes microarray analysis of gene expression, sequencing and analysis of genes, gene family evolution, mechanisms of toxicology and mutagenesis, biotechnological applications, and developmental neuroscience. The concentration in microbiology and infectious disease stresses molecular mechanisms of infectious disease, genomic and proteomic analysis of pathogens, and the physiology and metabolism of pathogens.

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  • Biostatistics, MS

    Merging statistics with biology, students have many opportunities they can pursue after graduation in health-related fields, including medicine,epidemiology and public health. Biostatistics is an indespensible tool in improving health and protecting populations against disease here and around the world.

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  • Career Changer’s Biological Sciences, Undergraduate Certificate

    Post-baccalaureate students are invited to enroll in the Career Changer's Biological Sciences Undergraduate Certificate. By completing this program, students will be qualified to apply for most graduate programs in the biological sciences including medical, dental, optometry, podiatry, pharmacy, and veterinary schools. However, graduate and professional school undergraduate coursework requirements can vary; it is prudent to check the coursework requirements for each individual school. This certificate is offered by the Department of Biology in the College of Science.

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  • Chemistry and Biochemistry, PhD

    The Chemistry and Biochemistry PhD program is intended to prepare students for advanced work in the chemical sciences and related areas. Graduates with the PhD degree in this field can seek employment in research and development, process control, or higher education. In addition to these traditional science career paths, graduates are also positioned to pursue careers in nontraditional areas such as the intellectual property and regulatory fields. The program is designed to provide students with a firm foundation in advanced course work, which is followed by an independent research project completed under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

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  • Cognitive Neuroscience, Graduate Certificate

    Cognitive neuroscience focuses on studying biological substrates of behavior. Study areas vary from neural control of behavioral development and brain systems in substance abuse to cognitive aging. The program focuses on translational neuroscience—complementary study of neural systems in humans and animals, including application of animal research to human behavior.

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  • Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, Psychology MA Concentration

    This master’s concentration focuses on studying biological substrates of behavior. Study areas vary from neural control of behavioral development and brain systems in substance abuse to cognitive aging. The program focuses on translational neuroscience—complementary study of neural systems in humans and animals, including application of animal research to human behavior.

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  • Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience, Psychology PhD Concentration

    This PhD in Psychology concentration focuses on studying biological substrates of behavior. Study areas vary from neural control of behavioral development and brain systems in substance abuse to cognitive aging. The program focuses on translational neuroscience—complementary study of neural systems in humans and animals, including application of animal research to human behavior.

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  • Exercise, Fitness and Health Promotion, MS

    The program focuses on the role of physical activity in the promotion of health, fitness and quality of life. The degree promotes scholarly inquiry and cultivates “research-savvy practitioners,” that is professionals able to understand and apply evidence-based scientific principles when working with physically active individuals. Completion of the degree prepares individuals for employment in wellness, health and human performance-related professions or the pursuit of further academic study.

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  • Health Informatics and Data Analytics, Graduate Certificate

    This certificate prepares clinicians, health care managers and information technology professionals to develop and manage health information technology systems. Course work stresses the impact of technology on the quality of health care services. Students can focus on general health informatics or health data analytics. They can also participate in an optional practicum course.

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  • Health Informatics, MS

    The Master of Science in Health Informatics is offered through the Department of Health Administration and Policy in the College of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the Volgenau School of Engineering. Students obtaining this degree will have had the required experience and received the highly specialized knowledge and skills needed to support the adoption and use of health information systems and analytic applications for a variety of clinical, administrative, and research purposes. Graduates are prepared for careers in the fields of health information systems, health data analysis, management and consulting in health information technology firms, and health care/service organizations and their business partners, as well as public health entities. Students will be familiar with emerging technologies and be prepared to analyze, design and manage evolving health information systems for a wide variety of clinical, administrative and research purposes.

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  • Human Factors/Applied Cognition, Concentration in the Psychology PhD

    The PhD program in Human Factors and Applied Cognition provides instruction and research training for students wishing to pursue careers in the academic, public, and private sectors. Human factors involves the design of technologies and work environments to be compatible with human capabilities and limitations. Across all areas, a strong emphasis is placed on students developing a good understanding of cognitive theory, acquiring advanced methodological and statistical skills, and learning how to apply these tools to real-world human factors problems. The graduate program provides research training in developing theories of human cognitive functions and identifying their applications to the design of systems that are safe and efficient. The program is accredited by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

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  • Human Factors/Applied Cognition, Concentration in the Psychology MA

    The MA in psychology with a concentration in human factors and applied cognition trains students in the application of cognitive science to real-world problems. Students gain expertise in such areas as human/computer interaction, cognitive system engineering, cognitive ergonomics, and transportation, and they can focus on either professional training or preparation for a doctoral program. The professional training path emphasizes coursework and practical experience; the doctoral preparation path involves students in ongoing research projects.

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  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Concentration in the Psychology MA

    The industrial/organizational psychology concentration trains students in the conduct and application of psychological research in work settings. Graduate work emphasizes research and fosters a peer-oriented environment in which students collaborate on projects, in addition to engaging with faculty members in many areas of industrial/organizational psychology. Graduates find careers in such fields as personnel selection, quantitative analysis, teams, leadership, work/family issues, and organizational health issues.

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  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Concentration in the Psychology PhD

    The industrial/organizational psychology concentration focuses on multiple aspects of behavior in organizational settings, including personnel selection, quantitative analysis, teams, leadership, work and family issues, and organizational health issues. Mason’s graduate work in this area emphasizes research as the key to knowledge in both academic and applied settings. The program fosters a peer-oriented environment whereby students collaborate on numerous projects in addition to working with faculty members, in many different areas of industrial/organizational psychology.

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  • Kinesiology, BS

    The bachelor’s degree in kinesiology is a science-based approach to the study of human movement. It prepares students for a careers in such areas as clinical exercise, coaching, corporate fitness, exercise and sport psychology, medical and exercise equipment sales, mind-body studies, pharmaceutical sales, personal training, sport and exercise nutrition, sport science, or wellness/fitness management. Three internship experiences totaling 700 hours provide students with the opportunity to apply evidence-based knowledge and its practical application in general fitness, clinical and sports performance settings.

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  • Life Sciences, Concentration in the Integrative Studies BS

    The concentration in life sciences is geared toward students interested in working in medical and health promotion fields. Courses of study included under the life sciences concentration are Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Physician’s Assistant, Pre-Pharmacy, and Pre-Physical Therapy. More information about a specific course of study in the life sciences can be obtained by contacting an academic advisor. All students have opportunities to conduct independent research, engage in globally related activities through coursework and language study at Mason and abroad, participate in public service, and prepare for future careers through internships, career-focused minors, and other college-to-career activities.

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  • Medical Laboratory Science, BS

    This program requires the equivalent of three years of full-time preprofessional study at the college level preceding a senior year of professional education in an affiliated school of medical laboratory science. All affiliated schools are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).

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  • Neuroscience, BS

    As an interdisciplinary field, neuroscience draws from research in many departments—psychology, molecular neuroscience, molecular and microbiology, electrical engineering, physics and astronomy, and bioinformatics. Mason offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in this area of study.

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  • Neuroscience, PhD

    As an interdisciplinary field, neuroscience draws from research in many departments—psychology, molecular neuroscience, molecular and microbiology, electrical engineering, physics and astronomy, and bioinformatics. Mason offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in this area of study.

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  • Nursing, BSN

    The School of Nursing has been preparing the next generation of nurse leaders, clinicians, and researchers for more than 40 years. There are several pathways to a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), including the traditional pathway, the accelerated second-degree pathway, and the RN-to-BSN pathway. The BSN Program is accredited by the Virginia State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The undergraduate program prepares students to deliver superior care and leadership in an increasingly complex and challenging health industry. Graduates are in demand at hospitals, long-term care facilities, and care agencies. The program emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention, capitalizing on early detection of potential health problems, health maintenance in ambulatory and acute-care agencies, and preparation for needed managerial responsibilities. 

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  • Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice

    The Doctor of Nursing Practice prepares graduates to become experts as nurse practitioners, nurse administrators, or clinical nurse specialists. The program emphasizes evaluating and applying the evidence that supports practice, understanding and creating practice delivery systems based on patient outcomes; and assuming leadership roles. Candidates can concentrate on care of individuals or care of groups. BSN to DNP students must complete Level I core and advanced-practice competency courses relevant to their chosen concentration before taking Level II core essentials. The DNP will draw on expertise from throughout the College of Health and Human Services in such areas as health economics, health policy, and epidemiology. Graduates will be able to assume many roles in the health care system, including direct patient care, clinical nursing faculty, practice management, and policy development.

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  • Psychology, BA, BS

    The study of psychology provides an overall understanding of what humans do in various situations, and of how and why they do it. In courses taught by outstanding professors known for their research, students can explore such fields as social, abnormal, and cognitive psychology. Faculty members regularly enlist undergraduates to assist in their research, and all freshmen have the opportunity to be mentored by a member of Psi Chi, the psychology national honorary society, to help ensure their success.

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  • Psychology, MA

    The Psychology MA allows students to pursue a variety of areas in psychology, building on a common foundation of scientific methodologies, examining the application of psychology to various behavioral, cognitive, and societal issues. Six concentrations allow students to focus on their choice of applied developmental psychology, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, human factors/applied cognition, industrial/organizational psychology, applied developmental psychology, or school psychology. Graduates are well-prepared to apply their advanced training to work within community agencies, healthcare settings, educational or social services systems in government or industry as researchers, trainers, mental health workers, administrators, and managers, or to continue with doctoral studies in psychology or related fields.

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  • Psychology, PhD

    The goal of Mason’s Psychology doctoral program is to train students in the principles and applications of psychology. The program provides knowledge of the basic content areas in psychology and practical experience in applying this knowledge to solving human problems in life, work, and school. Core course requirements cover subject matter identified by the profession as essential to doctoral training: biological, social, cognitive, and individual bases of behavior, as well as the history of psychology. The program offers the following concentrations: applied developmental psychology, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience (formerly biopsychology), clinical psychology, human factors/applied cognition, and industrial/organizational psychology. A doctoral degree in Psychology gives graduates a strong knowledge base of the field’s foundations and traditions, as well as the research, analysis, and writing skills to work not only in areas related to clinical Psychology, but in research-based careers in academics, government, or industry.

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  • Rehabilitation Science, PhD

    The PhD in Rehabilitation Science program engages its students to develop as scientists across the spectrum of clinical to translational research, reflecting the need for integrated research to address the needs of the disabled. This program educates students in basic and translational science that address mechanisms, prevention and amelioration of disability. The objective of the program is to develop researchers and academics who, through scholarship and original research, create new knowledge in rehabilitation science. Students benefit from mentorship through active involvement in faculty’s own funded research programs. Graduates of this program are prepared for professional careers in academic, governmental, and industrial research environments with the tools to develop their own lines of research.

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