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The Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine offers a focused core curriculum that builds on the basic science courses taken during medical school. Most courses are one semester in length. Many are conducted in a discussion/journal club format. Students are required to participate in all courses. The core curriculum consists of the following classes:

  • Advanced Immunology
  • Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Study Design
  • Current Topics in Neuroscience
  • Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research
  • Molecular Biology of the Cell
  • Molecular Genetics and Genomics
  • Special Topics in Translational Research

Additional required academic programs, which enrich the curriculum but are not courses, are listed below.

  • Molecular Medicine Journal Club
  • Visiting Professor Lecture Series (a weekly seminar by external invited speakers)
  • Marsh and Match Distinguished Visiting Scientist Program (annual lectures by preeminent scientists)
  • Scientific Retreat of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research
  • Workshop on Grantsmanship

Students also participate in journal clubs and meetings of the lab group where they are conducting their research, and attend and submit abstracts for presentation at national and international scientific conferences.


The faculty members of the Elmezzi Graduate School are drawn from investigators at the Feinstein Institutes. They are nationally and internationally recognized for their translational and patient-oriented research focused on preventing human disease and improving human health.

Most faculty also hold appointments in one or more of the clinical departments within Northwell Health and the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. Research interests of the faculty include: bioelectronic medicine (using the nervous system to treat peripheral physiologic disorders); mechanisms of pathogenesis in autoimmune diseases, cytokine biology and inflammatory cascades in sepsis; immunology of both solid and lymphoid tumors; pathobiology of breast, ovarian and brain cancer; Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders; psychopharmacology; schizophrenia; Alzheimer’s disease; and the genetics of multiple disorders and diseases.

Academic calendar

The school functions on a year-round calendar. Students whose training is linked to clinical subspecialty training (medicine, surgery, oncology, pediatrics, etc.) normally begin their studies in July. Courses are held in the fall/early winter or the late winter/spring, with laboratory research continuing throughout the summer.

Click here to view the student handbook.

Other academic programs

Molecular Medicine Journal Club

The Journal Club for graduate students (physicians, physicians-in-training, scientists-in-training) offers exposure to all areas of biomedical research through critical reading of recently published research papers. The purpose of this course is to enhance the educational experience of all graduate students through exposure to impactful and/or paradigm-shifting research papers and the opportunity for in-depth evaluation and discussions of the published works with their peers. Students are encouraged to present papers of invited guest speakers who will present their research at upcoming seminars in investigative medicine or special institute lectures (Marsh lectures, Match lectures, etc). Click here for more information. 

Visiting Professor Lecture Series

The Visiting Professor Lecture Series is for all faculty, students, fellows, trainees and scientific staff of the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine and the Feinstein Institutes, as well as physicians and clinicians of Northwell Health. Attendance and participation will expose students and attendees to all areas of biomedical research presented by prominent scientists and clinicians in various fields of research, including (but not limited to): neurology/neuroscience, immunology, oncology, metabolism and genetics. The purpose of these seminars is to invite experts in their field to share their current research with members of the Elmezzi School of Molecular Medicine and the Feinstein Institutes. Click here for more information. 

Feinstein Institutes Scientific Retreats

Retreats are hosted twice a year. Scientific abstracts are submitted, and presented as either talks or posters. All graduate students are expected to submit an abstract each year.

Workshop on Grantsmanship

Organizer: Dr. Bettie Steinberg

This workshop is conducted annually in two sessions, held on successive weeks. Each session is two and a half hours in length. Students will be required to attend the workshop each year. Topics covered include identifying appropriate funding sources, structure of a grant, writing the grant, and pitfalls and problems. Attendees submit a specific aims page for evaluation in the second session.

Participation should enable students to identify potential ideas that are suitable for grant development, learn the basics of grant writing and begin to learn the art of “grantsmanship."

Match Distinguished Visiting Scientist Day

Each year, an outstanding scientist is invited to attend the Institutes for a day. This visit includes a lecture and meetings with small groups of scientists and the graduate students.

Graduation requirements

All students must have a minimum of three years of full-time enrollment in residence at the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine. Any exception to the full-time requirement must be approved by the Dean of the School. If unusual circumstances require a student to request a temporary leave of absence for personal reasons or for requirements by a joint program with a Medical Fellowship training program, such leave will be granted by the Dean. Requirements for graduation include completion of a body of focused research, submission and defense of a thesis dissertation, and completion of course work.


Each student will prepare a research proposal in the form of a fellowship grant application within six to eight months of their first year of study. This proposal will be submitted to the student’s thesis committee for evaluation, followed by oral presentation, questioning and approval, which will constitute the qualifying examination. Students will perform their research under the direction of a research advisor and will report their progress to their Committee Members.

Thesis dissertation

Upon completion of their research, students must submit their thesis dissertation to their committee, present their thesis research in a public lecture, and successfully defend their thesis research in a formal oral examination before their Thesis Committee members, including an outside examiner. Prior to graduating, students must submit the final bound copy of their complete dissertation. All corrected copies of the thesis and any additional paperwork must be submitted within three months after passing the thesis defense. Permission to remain in the program beyond three months requires written approval from the Associate Dean. In the absence of such approval, the student may be placed on unpaid academic leave. No diploma will be granted until three copies of the final thesis, printed on good quality paper in final form and bound, are submitted by the student. Bound or unbound copies may be provided to the thesis committee members by the student.


Students are expected to satisfactorily and fully participate in courses and seminars (as described in the curriculum). All academic requirements must be fulfilled and communicated to the Associate Dean. Each student will submit an abstract for presentation for the Research Retreats of the Institutes. Due to the unique nature of the graduate classes, all academic course work must be completed at the Graduate School. Transfer credits are not accepted.

The degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Medicine (HEGIS code 0499.00) is granted to the successful PhD candidate following completion of the academic requirements, presentation of the thesis research in a public lecture, and satisfactory thesis defense by formal oral examination before the thesis committee. It is the policy of the Graduate School of Molecular Medicine to withhold diplomas until all requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy have been satisfactorily fulfilled and accepted by all members of the candidate’s respective thesis committee and the Dean.

Grievances, complaints and code of conduct

Redress of grievances and handling of complaints

In the event that students have any complaints or grievances related to their academic program, the functioning of the Elmezzi Graduate School, or any other issues (including sexual harassment), the following steps should be taken to address the problem:

  • Discuss the problem with a member of the faculty or with the student’s mentor. Resolve the problem in this way if possible.
  • If the problem cannot be resolved, or the student is uncomfortable discussing the problem with the faculty member, the problem should be brought to the attention of the Dean’s office. This can be done verbally or in writing. Within five business days, a meeting will then be scheduled between the Dean and any individuals involved, including the student if they so wish, to investigate the problem and determine an appropriate solution.
  • If the problem remains, the student should bring it to the provost or president of the Graduate School, who will meet with the Dean and any other appropriate individuals to resolve the situation within five business days.

If none of the steps defined above resolve the problem, students have access to the Human Resources department of Northwell Health, which has a formal complaint and grievance process. This process could take up to 30 days.

In addition to the special policies and procedures that relate to the PhD program, each student is also an employee of the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research at Northwell Health and subject to their policies and procedures, which stress excellence at all levels and adherence to the highest ethical principles in the conduct of research and the communication of results. For issues such as healthcare benefits, holidays and personal days, sick leave, short-term disability, and infractions of personnel rules such as smoking regulations, use of alcohol on premises, harassment in any form, disciplinary action and grievance procedures, students should refer to the policies and procedures guide of Northwell Health.

No retaliatory action will be taken against any students because of disclosure of information.

Security and crime reporting

The Elmezzi Graduate School does not have a separate campus. The offices of the Elmezzi Graduate School and the offices and laboratories of The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research are located on the grounds of North Shore University Hospital. All aspects of security, including public order, safety and protection against crimes including assaults are provided by the Security Officers of the hospitals. As all graduate students are employees of the Feinstein Institutes, they are governed by the Human Resources policies of Northwell Health regarding bias crimes including harassment and discrimination, sexual harassment, and protection from sexual assault or violence in the workplace.

In the event that the student is a victim of, or a witness to verbal abuse, physical violence, sexual assault or any other crime or security incident, the student should report the incident immediately to the Security Officer of the Feinstein Institutes, their supervisor, administration of the Institutes, or to the main Security Office in the hospital. For information on crime statistics within the Institutes facilities, students can contact the Provost, Dr. Bettie Steinberg, at (516) 562-1159. 

The Code of Ethical Conduct

The Code of Ethical Conduct and the associated Northwell Health policies and procedures apply to all students of the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine. The Code reflects Northwell Health’s core values which are:

  • Patient and member experience – Always put our patients and members first
  • Integrity – Be professional, honest and protect privacy
  • Teamwork – Work together and communicate effectively
  • Innovation – Initiate change and promote creativity
  • Caring – Be compassionate, respectful and supportive
  • Excellence – Pursue greatness with passion and promote quality

The Elmezzi Graduate School is in compliance with all aspects of Title IX, including the policies and procedures to prevent and respond to gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.

Click here for details about the Northwell Health Code of Ethical Conduct.

Any student who violates the Code or related policies and procedures will be subject to disciplinary action. The discipline imposed will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will depend upon the nature, severity and frequency of the violation.

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