First Year Core Curriculum
The first year core curriculum is administered through the School of Graduate Studies. These courses provide a "core" of information deemed essential by the faculty for students in the basic sciences, no matter which specific research discipline they enter. This sequence is designed to teach students to think critically about biological systems at all levels of organization, ranging from the molecular, to the cellular, to the organ system, to the whole-organism scale. Students also participate in laboratory rotations which may be taken in Molecular Medicine Program labs.
Students choose from a minimum of six credit hours at the 7000, 8000, and 9000. These will ordinarily be taken in the second and third year of study. Specific electives will be chosen to best suit each student's research field in consultation with the research advisor and Director of the Program. Electives currently offered in the Molecular Medicine Graduate Program include:
This course covers strategies of communication at various levels of biological organization. It emphasizes intracellular communication, communication between cells in multicellular organisms, and interactions between organisms in a group or ecosystem. The course focuses on emergent properties of complex systems.
Fundamentals of Oncology 1: The Basic Science of Oncology
The first semester of a two-semester course sequence, this course covers fundamental aspects of cancer biology with emphasis on the etiology of cancer, natural history of neoplasia, epidemiology of human malignancies, host-tumor relationships, immunobiology, and principles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Fundamentals of Oncology 2: The Clinical Science of Oncology
The second semester of a two-semester course sequence, this course offers a survey of the entire spectrum of human neoplasias, emphasizing their classification, their natural history, their cellular and molecular biology, and the diverse ways in which they are treated. Advanced Topics in Molecular and Cellular Immunology
This course covers current topics in immunology including tolerance, thymocyte development, lymphocyte activation, immunological memory, cell adhesion, and cell-cycle control. The course will emphasize an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of immune responses and will focus on gaining a critical understanding of the current scientific literature in immunology.
Advanced Topics in Neurobiology
This course covers current topics in neurobiology including developmental neurobiology, intracellular and intercellular communication, neurodegeneration, and diseases of the nervous system. The course will emphasize an understanding of neurochemical and molecular mechanisms under normal conditions and leading to dysfunction. The course focuses on developing a critical understanding of the current scientific literature in neurobiology and preparing the students for careers in neurobiological research.
This course covers a variety of current topics centered on specific human diseases with a molecular aspect to diagnosis or treatment. The course emphasizes acquisition of skills in interpreting cutting-edge primary scientific literature and synthesizing this knowledge with real-world patient care. This is an aspect of the curriculum that is particularly directed toward building bridges between basic science and clinical medicine. This course is open to both regular PhD. students and to others, including MD/PhD candidates, postdoctoral fellows, and clinical fellows, which helps assure lively and informed discussion.
Advanced Seminar in Molecular Medicine
Students will participate in a minimum of two advanced seminar courses taught by faculty affiliated with the Molecular Medicine program. These may be taken any time from the second through the final year of study. They will meet one hour per week and will focus on a particular, current issue in molecular medicine. They will be wholly literature-based and will require extensive student participation. These courses are primarily designed to develop critical reading of the scientific literature. Sample topics include: transgenic animals as models for human disease, molecular approaches to cancer, cardiovascular disease, inborn errors of metabolism, genetics of human psychiatric disorders, autoimmune disease, and immune deficiency disease.