First MD/PhD student from the Medical Partnership to complete his PhD

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First MD/PhD student from the Medical Partnership to complete his PhD

Joseph S. Burch, current Ph.D. candidate in the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences (IBS) Doctoral Program successfully defended his dissertation titled “A Metabolomics Analysis to Define the Sources of Heme Precursors During Erythropoiesis” this past Wednesday, April 27th. As a member of the inaugural class of the University of Georgia and Augusta University Medical Partnership, Joseph will be the first MD/PhD student from the Medical Partnership to complete his PhD.

After graduating from UGA in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, Joseph served as a lab technician before beginning medical school in 2010. Once he completed two years of medical school, he began his Ph.D. program under the mentorship of Dr. Harry A. Dailey. Through the IBS program, Joseph was able to tailor his coursework to study heme synthesis and diseases related to it, more specifically the source of heme synthesis precursors during red blood cell development. Joseph plans to return to the Medical Partnership in July, where upon completion of his remaining requirements, he will complete a residency program and hopes to conduct translational research in the future.

AU/UGA Medical Partnership
The AU/UGA Medical Partnership is a collaborative effort between Augusta University and the University of Georgia and is addressing the critical shortage of physicians in the state. The partnership combines the significant instructional and research resources of UGA, the state’s flagship land-grant research university, with the expertise of the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. For more information on the partnership, visit http://medicalpartnership.usg.edu/.

Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences (IBS) Doctoral Program
The Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program is housed in the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute with the Office of the Vice President of Research. This program recognizes that the biomedical and health sciences have become very broad in scope and may draw as needed from traditional disciplines as unlikely as journalism and agricultural sciences. The overall mission is to provide students with a wide array of research opportunities in several more focused curricula, while assuring that all students receive core training in molecular sciences, communication skills and scientific ethics. For more information on the IBS program, visit http://ibs.uga.edu/.