Pathology Graduate Training Program
Cellular and Molecular Pathology (CMP) -

Angiopathy Training Program (ATP)

All tissues need a functioning vasculature to survive. Recognizing the pertinence of vascular studies for all branches of science, the Angiopathy Training Program (ATP) was created to establish targeted expertise for the select group of PhD students with an interest in the study of vascular remodeling and regeneration. Similar to CATER, ATP is a cross-disciplinary pre-doctoral training program that imparts scientists from a variety of disciplines with a common set of skills through a highly coordinated and mentored interdisciplinary training program requiring a specific combination of courses, research activities, and specialized training opportunities. ATP incorporates faculty from multiple departments at the University of Pittsburgh who commonly share an interest in understanding mechanisms controlling tissue vascularity, regardless of their primary organ/area of interest.

Mechanisms and Criteria for Selection of Trainees into ATP

Students entering the ATP will already be participating in one of several PhD graduate programs at the University of Pittsburgh (any of the IBGP- or MSTP-affiliated training programs, Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH), Bioengineering, or the Program in Molecular Biology (PIMB)). In accordance with University guidelines, all students must have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA during their prior years of graduate training in order to be eligible for the ATP; however, a higher GPA is looked upon more favorably. The procedure for recruitment and selection of ATP trainees is as follows. Each year, the ATP Trainee Admissions and Evaluation Committee invites nominations of qualified graduate students from the five programs listed above, as well as from the ATP training faculty themselves. Applications require relevant academic information, a brief personal statement and research proposal by the student, and letters of reference. The admission committee evaluates the candidates based on:
  • Research background and interests relevant to program goals
  • Letters of reference
  • GPA
  • Personal statement
  • Program affiliation

To remain in the program, students must receive a favorable evaluation from the committee at the end of their first year. Topics to be evaluated include completed coursework, participation in seminars and other training activities (preparation of manuscripts, presentation of data at conferences), a written critique by the faculty mentor, and progress on their research topic.


There are two tracks a student can elect to take, Cell Biology or Pathology. Either track provides a background in both normal and pathological tissue biology that is considered fundamental for understanding the vascularity of organs. It is important to note that all students entering the ATP training program have completed formal training in bioethics and statistics. ATP students are also required to fulfill a formal writing requirement (either by class or seminar) and are required to present their research at the yearly Pathology retreat.

In additional to the individualized tissue biology courses required for students on either the Cell Biology or Pathology track, all ATP students must take a course focusing on angiogenesis as well as a specialized microscopy course. The combination of tissue biology, angiogenesis, and imaging provides a focused training experience for generating highly skilled research scientists with a specialization in the vascular aspects of organ biology.

Application and Relevant Program Information