Jun 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024 
Graduate Catalog 2023 - 2024

Clinical-Bioanalytical Chemistry, PhD

A joint program with the Cleveland Clinic

Department of Chemistry

Science and Research 397
(216) 687-2451
Dr. Michael Kalafatis, Chair
Dr. Xue Long Sun, Graduate Program Director

Programs of Study

  • General Clinical-Bioanalytical Chemistry track
  • Graduate Certificate in Clinical Chemistry track
  • Cellular and Molecular Medicine Specialization


The doctoral degree program in Clinical-Bioanalytical Chemistry is offered jointly by Cleveland State University (CSU) and the Cleveland Clinic. The program has a strong and unique focus on clinical and biomedical areas but is also versatile enough to serve students in the other traditional areas of chemistry. Its location in the Cleveland area benefits from the high concentration of world-renowned medical facilities, biomedical industries, and traditional chemical industries. There are three doctoral tracks which students can pursue: 1) the General Clinical-Bioanalytical track; 2) the Accredited Graduate Certificate in Clinical Chemistry track and the Cellular and Molecular Medicine Specialization.


The program has outstanding faculty with whom students conduct their dissertation research. Students have the opportunity to do research with faculty and research scientists at Cleveland State and the Cleveland Clinic. The program has over fifty faculty members at Cleveland State and the Cleveland Clinic who have a broad range of research interests. Cleveland State chemistry faculty undertake research in areas including: mass spectrometry, HPLC, biomedical imaging, biosensors, nanotechnology, biomaterials, computational chemistry, medicinal chemistry, coagulation biochemistry, protein chemistry, microarrays, molecular biology, chemical biology , cancer biochemistry, metabolomics, proteomics, glycomics, lipidomics and pharmacokinetics, therapeutics, chemical synthesis and other areas. Faculty at the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic undertake basic biomedical research in multiple areas, as reflected by the various departments in the institute: biomedical engineering, cancer biology, cardiovascular and metabolic sciences, genomic medicine, inflammation and immunity, neurosciences, ophthalmic research, and translational hematology and oncology research.

The Chemistry Department is housed in the Basic Science Building and the Science and Research Center. In addition to well-equipped research laboratories, there are special function rooms, such as a cold room and several instrumental centers. Generally, graduate students occupy research space near their research advisors, which leads to frequent interaction. State-of-the-art facilities and advanced bioanalytical technologies are available to students in the program, including (but not limited to) LC-mass spectrometry (including AB SCIEX QTRAP® 5500 LC MS/MS and Agilent 6545 LC/Q-TOF, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, high performance liquid chromatography, conventional and capillary electrophoresis, immunoassays, nuclear magnetic resonance, electron parametric resonance spectrometry and Fourier transform infrared spectrometry,  photo diode array UV-visible and fluorometric spectrometry, inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy, molecular biology techniques, computational chemistry and chemical imaging techniques.


This track gives flexibility to the student in designing their course of study. Courses of study include: 1) analytical chemistry, involving advanced analytical technologies such as mass spectrometry, HPLC, biosensors, nanotechnology, imaging, and other instrumental techniques; 2) biochemistry, chemical biology and molecular biology, applied to a wide range of physiologic systems and disease states; 3) pharmaceutical science, applied to the development of pharmaceutical therapeutics and pharmacokinetic studies; and 4) organic and inorganic chemistry, applied to the synthesis of novel organic and inorganic molecules with pertinent applications.


The accredited doctoral program in Clinical Chemistry is a dynamically integrated certificate program merging the fields of clinical diagnosis, biomedicine and analytical chemistry. It is the only doctoral program, both nationally and internationally, that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Clinical Chemistry (ComACC). The mission of the doctoral program in Clinical Chemistry is to give Ph.D. graduate students intensive didactic instruction in the field of clinical laboratory science and to give them appropriate biomedical research experience in their dissertation work. Knowledge of both clinical aspects and interpretation of test results, as well as knowledge of analytical techniques and various aspects of quality operation in the clinical laboratory, are central to the program’s goals and mission.  The instructional and training components are carried out by biochemistry, clinical chemistry, analytical chemistry and pharmaceutical science faculty in the Department of Chemistry at Cleveland State, with active involvement of clinical chemists and clinical scientists at the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Saint Vincent Charity Medical Center, and other area medical institutions.

Students are prepared for one of the following paths upon graduation:

  1. to obtain further practical training in the field through clinical chemistry post-doctoral fellowships, to prepare them for careers as directors of clinical laboratories;
  2. to directly assume other scientific positions in clinical laboratories, either at medical institutions or reference laboratories;   
  3. to assume positions in the in vitro diagnostics, pharmaceutical, or biotechnology industries, which are increasingly seeking scientists with knowledge of clinical chemistry.

See the Clinical Chemistry, Graduate Certificate  page for further details

Cleveland State/Cleveland Clinic Cellular and Molecular Medicine Specialization (CMMS)

The Cellular and Molecular Medicine Specialization (CMMS) offers unique opportunities for Biology, Chemistry, and Chemical and Biomedical Engineering doctoral students who wish to pursue a specialization in the application of modern cellular and molecular approaches to understanding disease causes and disease mechanisms. The Cellular and Molecular Medicine Specialization is not an independent academic program and does not replace existing doctoral programs. Thus, students in the General Clinical- Bioanalytical Doctoral track and the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Chemistry Track may add this specialization to their program of study by completing the required courses in the specialization. The required courses are bioethics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics, as well as one of the following courses: cell biology, physiology, or macromolecular structure and dynamics. This specialization makes available several graduate assistantships to allow outstanding candidates to concentrate on their research for two years.

Student and Faculty Research Examples

Ph.D. dissertation title examples:

  • An LC-MS/MS approach for gangliosides profiling in brain and retinal tissue of mice: application to glaucoma mice age studies 
  • Application of polarity models to characterizing the reversed-phase liquid chromatography separation of chiral steroid isomer pairs employing various ternary mobile phases 
  • Development of analytical methods for markers of mitochondrial dysfunction with application to biological samples
  • Proteoglycan dysregulation in thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection 
  • A novel potential approach in the treatment of glioblastoma: Targeting Heat Shock 27k Da Protein induces androgen receptor degradation
  • Ruthenium oxide based combined electrodes as nitric oxide (NO) sensors: towards measuring NO in cystic fibrosis cell line models
  • Determination of novel metabolites of therapeutic agents used in the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer
  • Biomimetic thrombomodulin conjugates and their biological roles
  • Regulating hemostasis: the factor Va cofactor effect 
  • The role of RNase L in lipid homeostasis and the development of atherosclerosis 
  • Synthesis and functionality study of novel biomimetic n-glycan polymers
  • Gut microbe metabolism of bile acids and their relationship to cardiometabolic diseases
  • Quantitative and clinical studies of hydrogen sulfide
  • Investigating cardiac metabolism in Barth Syndrome using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes 
  • Therapeutic potential of rhTRAIL for malignant melanoma
  • Expression and cell surface re-engineering thrombomodulin on macrophages 
  • Profiling and modulating sialylation and desialylation of monocytes and macrophages and their functions 
  • Profiling ganglioside expression and change in THP-1 macrophages upon LPS stimulation 
  • Coordination chemistry of N,N’-azodoxides

Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.

Career Information

Graduates of the Ph.D. program go on to a variety of professional positions in the clinical-bioanalytical field, some pursuing postdoctoral studies before obtaining their first professional position. Examples of positions held by Ph.D. graduates include:

Position Employer
Section Head of Clinical Chemistry, Toxicology and Point of Care The MetroHealth Systems
Director of Clinical Chemistry, Assistant Professor Children’s Hospital and Intermountain Central Laboratory, University of Utah
Lead Scientist II  LabCorp
Senior Researcher Bristol Myers Squibb
Assistant Director of Clinical Chemistry Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Director of Analytical Operations Doctor’s Data, Inc
Imaging Specialist and Developer Lerner Research Institute, the Cleveland Clinic
Staff Scientist The Lawrence J. Ellison Institute
Toxicology Director Beaumont Health
Staff Scientist II  Covance
Lecturer Department of Chemistry, Case Western Reserve University
Laboratory Director Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory
Assistant Professor, Co-director of Clinical Chemistry Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Bioanalytical Staff Scientist II Pyxant Lab, Salt Lake City 
Research Scientist CDC-Cincinnati, Ohio
Scientist AbbVie
Senior Manager Labcorp
Postdoctoral Fellow St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Research Scientist CuronBiotech
Chemistry Account Manager Waters Corporation
Clinical Chemistry Fellow Yale University
Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology University of Arizona College of Medicine
Director of Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology Banner University Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Medical Director of Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology Sonora Quest Laboratories, Arizona
Clinical Chemist and Adjunct Assistant Professor Intermountain Health and University of Utah
Associate Research Scientist PPD
Postdoctoral Fellow NICHD/NIH
Scientific Writer PPD
Technology Coach University of Alberta
Associate Research Scientist PPD
Clinical Laboratory Technical Director and Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology The University of Cincinnati
FDA Fellow FDA
Technical Director Sanford Health
Analytical Chemist-3 Avomeen Analytical Services, Ann Arbor, MI
Clinical Chemistry Fellow Cleveland Clinic
Postdoctoral Fellow Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
Scientist LabCorp
Postdoctoral Fellow Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
Postdoctoral Fellow Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
Clinical Chemistry Fellow Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
Clinical Chemistry Fellow University of Washington

Financial Assistance

Graduate teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis. They include tuition support or tuition support with a stipend. Students who are awarded teaching assistantships are required to teach classes. Non-native English-speaking students must take and pass the SPEAK test.

Research assistantships and Cleveland Clinic Fellowships may be available through individual faculty, depending on external funding.

Admission Information

Students who wish to enter the Clinical- Bioanalytical Ph.D. program must meet the requirements of the College of Graduate Studies and Department of Chemistry for admission to the chemistry graduate program as detailed below.

In addition to meeting the College of Graduate Studies requirements for admission, applicants for graduate study (Master’s and Ph.D.) in chemistry must have had one year of general, organic, analytical, and physical chemistry; a year of physics; and mathematics through partial derivatives and multiple integrals. Applicants lacking any of these requirements may be admitted, but any deficiency must be made up as soon as possible. Credits earned in remedial courses do not count toward degree requirements.

Typically, chemistry applicants are required to submit an official report of their performance on both the aptitude and chemistry subject area tests from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to the University by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). However, applicants with outstanding records (grade-point average above 3.0 in addition to other evidence of solid preparation) may request that this requirement be waived by the Graduate Committee of the Chemistry Department. The GRE requirement cannot be waived for international students. International students who do not have a degree from an institution in the United States must also arrange to have the results of their performance on the TOEFL sent to the University by ETS.

For applicants requesting financial support, the application deadline each year is January 15 (for fall admission) and September 15 (for spring admission). Submit all materials to the Graduate Admissions Office, Berkman Hall, Room 116. (International applicants submit materials to the Center for International Services and Programs, Berkman Hall, Room 116).

Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/graduate-admissions/how-apply

Ph.D. Candidacy

Graduate students are required to register for the Ph.D. Candidacy Examination at the beginning of their third year of graduate studies. The examination consists of the preparation of an acceptable, written, fully referenced proposal, describing the student’s research plans and an oral presentation and committee examination. Successful performance in the candidacy examination qualifies the student to be a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical-Bioanalytical Chemistry.  Students who do not pass the Ph.D. Candidacy Examination can not advance to doctoral studies, but may pursue a Thesis-based M.S. degree if approved by the research advisor and the director of the graduate program.

Ph.D. Degree Completion Requirements

Clinical/Bioanalytical Chemistry Ph.D. students are required to complete at least twenty-eight credit hours of graduate courses (separate from Ph.D. Dissertation credits) with at least one course from each of three broadly defined areas of chemistry and at least two credit hours in a Chemistry Seminar. The student’s advisor may require other courses and/or more than twenty-eight credit hours of course work. The exception to the above are students who have completed the required courses in the Graduate Certificate in Clinical Chemistry, which meets the course requirement for the Ph.D. in Clinical/Bioanalytical Chemistry.

After passing the Ph.D. Candidacy Examination, graduate students also are required to register for Advanced Chemistry Lab for their work in research. In the last semester the graduate student will register for Ph.D. Dissertation course in the writing and defense of their dissertation. The primary objective of Ph.D. candidacy is the completion of a major research project under the direction of the student’s doctoral advisor(s). Once the project is completed, the student must write a dissertation describing the project (prepared in the format prescribed by the College of Graduate Studies and acceptable to the student’s dissertation committee) and publicly defend the research and the written dissertation. The time required for the completion of the research and the defense of the resulting dissertation cannot be predicted in any individual case. Ph.D. students must complete at least ninety credit hours of graduate study before becoming eligible for graduation.

Exit Requirements

Ph.D. students must complete at least ninety credit hours of approved course work (including CHM 899 - Ph.D. Dissertation ) and successfully defend a doctoral dissertation.