Quick Links

Basic and Translational Science Program

Basic and Translational Science Program

The Basic and Translational Science (BTS) Program prepares students to carry out highly translational research that narrows the gap between current basic science knowledge and clinical practice. Program participants receive a concentration in Basic and Translational Science in addition to their PhD upon graduation. Goals for the program are:

  1. To produce a new class of investigators rigorously trained in basic science and credentialed in translational research who think broadly and logically about clinical problems;
  2. To promote research that bridges the gap between basic science knowledge and clinical practice;
  3. To build a team of collaborators that will translate basic science research findings into patient care.

Before Entry Into the BTS Program

  • Apply and matriculate into existing doctoral entrance programs: IDP in Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience, Biophysics Imaging, Pharmacology and Physiology;
  • Complete the first year of your doctoral program requirements

Program Components

  • Apply after completion of first year graduate courses
    Once accepted into the program, students are part of the PhD program in their selected basic science department and part of the PhD in Basic and Translational Science program;
  • Complete Individual Development Plan based on Translational Research Competencies that you would like to develop:
  • Based on Individual Development Plan, identify a clinical/translational research mentor
  • Work alongside BTS leadership, mentors, and fellow classmates to identify 12 credits of relevant work to developTranslational Research Competencies. These can include:
    • Relevant coursework
    • Clinical shadowing Experiences
    • Participation in National or Local Committees
    • Advocacy for Scientific Policy
    • Projects that Complement and Enhance the Translational Relevance of Dissertation Work
  • Include one translationally-relevant research aim in your dissertation proposal
  • Develop mentor/mentee relationships with both basic and clinical healthcare professionals

Program Courses

Students will satisfy the PhD requirements of their Basic Science Department and those of the Translational Science portion of the program. Twelve advanced credits are required for the program. Four credits can overlap with existing program if they satisfy Clinical Research Professional Core Competencies.  An Independent Study course has been created to allow for diverse experiences in Clinical & Translational work to count for credit.

Clinical Research Professional Core Competencies

Complete list of competencies with examples can be found at:

How to Apply

Complete both the BTS PhD Application and the BTS Mentor Support Form.

CTSI Basic Translational Science PhD – Application

111 KBMentor Support Form

Key Dates

  • Application Opens: April 17th , following the first year of Graduate School
  • Application Closes: July 14th
  • Notification of Acceptance: August 1st

Program of Study

  • 60 Credits
  • 5.5 year average duration
  • Research centered

Contact Us

Jess Olson, PhD, MPH
Director, Basic and Translational Science Program
(414) 955-8656 Email: jeolson@mcw.edu

Kristin Nord, MA
Program Manager, CTSI
Email: knord@mcw.edu

BTS PhD Concentration Current and Former Students

Kala Schilter, PhDCell BiologyIDP2013
Eric Wey, PhDCell BiologyIDP2014
Bradley Endres, PhDPhysiologyIDP2014
Nathan Rudemiller, PhDPhysiologyPhysiology2015
Andy Weyer, DPT, PhDCell BiologyNeurology2015
Zachary Shaheen, MD, PhDBiochemistryMSTP2015
Mike Tanner, PhDPharmacologyIDP2015
Allison ReemeMicrobiologyIDP2015
Brett Deml, PhDCell BiologyIDP2016
Johnathan Ebben, MD, PhDPharmacologyMSTP2016
Maria Angeles Baker, MT, PhDPhysiologyPhysiology2016
Shauna Rasmussen, PhDPhysiologyPhysiology2017
Thomas Langer, PhDPhysiologyPhysiology2017
Britany Wade, PhDPhysiologyPhysiology2017
David Jensen, PhDPhysiologyPhysiology2020
Anna Williams, PhDPhysiologyPhysiology2020
Cheng-Yin Yuan, PhDMicrobiology & ImmunologyMicrobiology & Immunology2020
Eric Clark, PhDCell & Developmental BiologyCell & Development Biology2021
Sean McGarry, PhDBiophysicsBiophysics2020
Jonathon Young, PhDCell & Developmental BiologyCell & Developmental Biology2021
Sarah Seese, PhDCell & Developmental BiologyCell & Developmental Biology2021
Alicia IvoryPhysiologyPhysiology
Christina BehlkePharmacology & ToxicologyPharmacology & Toxicology2023
Anna ManisPhysiologyPhysiology2022
Victoria NasciPhysiologyPhysiology2021
Samantha PaddockPhysiologyPhysiology2021
Seung Yi LeeBiophysicsBiophysics2022
Hannah NonarathCell & Developmental BiologyCell & Developmental Biology2023
Wen ZhuMicrobiology & ImmunologyMicrobiology & Immunology2021
Olivia KoehnPharmacology & ToxicologyPharmacology & Toxicology2023
Thiago ArzuaPhysiologyPhysiology2021
Jennifer TinklenbergPhysiologyPhysiology2022
Michelle RobertsPhysiologyPhysiology2021
Benjamin O’Brien HokansonCell & Developmental BiologyCell & Developmental Biology2023
Lashodya DissanayakePhysiologyPhysiology2022
Rebecca SlickPhysiologyPhysiology2022
Kirstyn GramsPhysiologyPhysiology2023
Briana MeyerPhysiologyPhysiology
Samantha SwiftCell & Developmental BiologyCell & Developmental Biology
Santiago AlvarezPhysiologyPhysiology
Jerrell LovettPhysiologyPhysiology
Kaelin AkinsCell BiologyCell Biology
Megan OpichkaPhysiologyPhysiology2023
McKenzie RitterPhysiologyPhysiology2023
Adaysha WilliamsPhysiologyPhysiology
Alfredo ColinaMedicineMedicine
Erin CyganMedicineMedicine
Olivia FranklinCell BiologyCell Biology
Lauren YunkerPhysiologyPhysiology
Joseph KreisCell BiologyCell Biology
Maria PoimenidouMicrobiology & ImmunologyMicrobiology & Immunology
Alanna SullivanCell BiologyCell Biology
Nathan WitmanMicrobiology & ImmunologyMicrobiology & Immunology
Lauren LaskowskiPharmacology & ToxicologyPharmacology & Toxicology

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder – Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.


Children's Hospital of WisconsinMarquette UniversityMSOEUWMVersitiVA Medical Center