Dual Degree Requirements

Students are required to complete 30 credits of coursework, including 24 credits of required courses and 6 credits of elective courses.

The required courses include course credit for a case based practicum which students take in part in the fall and finish in the spring.

The recommended electives are listed below. However, students have the flexibility to select other courses and really tailor the program to fit their interest.

CHECKLIST

   8 Required Courses (17 credits)

   2-Part Case Based Practicum (7 credits)

   2-5 Elective Courses (6 credits)

 

Required Courses

The MS portion of the MD/MS Dual Degree program requires successful completion of 30 credits, in which 24 credits are core courses and 6 credits are electives.

2 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

description

3 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

Advances in genomics have led to a major paradigm shift in medical practice. While medicine has always been “personal,” the availability of genomic data has made it possible to individualize care for many patients. This online course will provide an introduction to genomic medicine and will cover 5 main themes:

  1. Clinical genetics and genomics
  2. Laboratory techniques
  3. Consumer genomics
  4. Ethical, legal, and social issues
  5. Present and future opportunities and challenges.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This course will introduce the idea of how to reason via statistical models to get and interpret information from big biological data. To introduce the idea of how formal models of data are used, examples will also be drawn from related sciences. Students will learn how to apply regression-type models to data and assess the consistency (or inconsistency) of the results they produce with theory. The course will encourage students to set biological or medical problems they are working on within the context of formal statistical models.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This new didactic course will provide an overview of the field of Biomedical Informatics from different perspectives. Particular emphasis is given to understanding the basic building blocks, various information resources and the application areas of Biomedical Informatics. Students will learn to explore the process of developing and applying computational techniques for determining the information needs of healthcare providers and patients.

2 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This is a new, interactive journal club formatted course guided by GUMC faculty, focusing on recent research published in any area of Systems Medicine. Students will take turns presenting selected papers, critically analyze them and lead discussions. Papers will be selected in consultation with GUMC faculty. The main goal of the course is to help students to think and analyze a research paper critically.

2 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This course will cover the methodology and bioinformatics of next-generation sequencing technologies for virus detection and discovery in clinical, environmental, and biological samples. It will comprise a combination of lectures, invited seminars, and hands-on computer-based exercises utilizing web-based bioinformatics tools and publically-available databases for analyzing next-generation sequence datasets and for annotation of viral sequences. Additionally, the course will provide working-knowledge for developing bioinformatics pipelines for big data analysis. The course will include hands-on experience with the most popular Biomedical Workbench licensed software for data analysis. The course will also cover aspects of Translational Sciences applicable to analyze of ”Big data”. The course will be co-directed by an eminent scientist in the area of retroviruses from FDA.

2 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This didactic course is designed to provide students an in-depth understanding of molecular phenotyping technologies for basic, clinical and translational research. The course will cover the basics of mass spectrometry-based metabolomics approach. We will discuss strategies for data generation as well as multivariate data mining tools and finally the clinical applications of this technology for studying disease onset and progression, drug metabolism and toxicity, discovery and validation of disease biomarkers and the effect of different treatments (drugs, radiation etc.) on the overall metabolism. The course will also include laboratory sessions that would provide practical insights into operations of a mass spectrometer and the use of interactive software for data analysis.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This course will cover major concepts, methods and tools of bioinformatics as applied to translational science and Cancer. The course will provide a strong foundation for students with any background in the computational analysis and interpretation of biological data. The course is designed as a combination of lectures and self-learning hands-on sessions. The hands-on session will cover the use of Next-generation sequencing data and other publicly available clinical data.

Practicum

Through the capstone project/practicum/internship, students gain hands-on work experience in renowned institutions and matched with a mentor based on their career goals and interests. Example practicums and list of current mentors are available.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This is a practical/research-based program directed by GUMC faculty on an individual student basis, consisting of a practical, clinical use-case based project and/or specific translational/clinical research project in which the student will be required to integrate and apply the knowledge gained in the previous courses. The cases and projects will be developed by GUMC faculty in conjunction with their ongoing research interests and programs, and the student will be mentored throughout this course by the faculty member. The projects will be computer/internet and library based (not wet laboratory) and address specific clinically relevant questions in a systems medicine context. This is a two-part research practicum requirement; in Part I, 3-credits will be taken during the second semester of the student’s MS curriculum, during which the student will be mentored in the development of the project and will conduct the necessary background literature research, resulting in formulation and presentation of a formal proposal for the project. Grading: Based on the evaluation of the written proposal and its oral presentation.

4 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This is a practical/research-based program directed by GUMC faculty on an individual student basis, consisting of a practical, clinical use-case based project and/or specific translational/clinical research project in which the student will be required to integrate and apply the knowledge gained in the previous courses. The cases and projects will be developed by GUMC faculty in conjunction with their ongoing research interests and programs, and the student will be mentored throughout this course by the faculty member. The projects will be computer/internet and library based (not wet laboratory) and address specific clinically relevant questions in a systems medicine context. This is a two-part research practicum requirement; in Part I, 3-credits will be taken during the second semester of the student’s MS curriculum, during which the student will be mentored in the development of the project and will conduct the necessary background literature research, resulting in formulation and presentation of a formal proposal for the project. Grading: Based on evaluation of the written proposal and its oral presentation. This is a practical/research-based

2 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

The goal of the course is to provide students with a basic understanding of three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules. Students will learn about molecular structure determination techniques as well as the biological relevance of molecular structure-function relationships. Lectures are given by renowned experts in the field. As part of the course, students will explore structures of proteins implicated in human diseases. The course is a mix of lectures and hands-on sessions. The students will learn several tools and structural resources that includes drug-design, docking, and in-silico drug-screening.

2 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

The approach most people bring to problem solving is based on the assumption that the challenge before them can be decomposed into a subset of simpler problems, and that any challenge can be met through a process of addressing these simpler questions and then following them up a “decision tree”. In fact, most of the challenges facing us today do not lend themselves to such a straightforward decomposition. They exist in a complex, interconnected ecosystem where context is everything, and we must view the whole as more than the sum of its parts in order to effect change.

This course will introduce you to the world of systems and systems thinking. You will learn to consider and shape the posture you take towards the complex challenges you face. You will understand the importance off embracing paradox and factoring in the inherent biases we all bring to how we see a problem before us. You will also be introduced to tools and methods to help understand, reason with, and make better decisions with problems in a system context.

3 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This 3-credit seminar course explores the social and policy implications of cutting-edge issues and controversies related to genomics and precision medicine. No prerequisites are required as understandable scientific background will be provided. Classes will be interactive, with scholarly discussions and policy debates. Students will (1) prepare a policy brief, which will be peer reviewed; (2) write “blog type” reflections online; and (3) deliver several mini-presentations throughout the semester. The course will culminate with a take-home final exam.

1 credit | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This is an interactive journal club formatted course with a mixture of presentations and hands-on sessions. The course will focus on recent research published in selected areas of Personalized Medicine. Students will present selected papers developing critical analysis skills and lead discussions. Papers will be selected in consultation with GUMC faculty. The main goal of the course is to help students to think and analyze a research paper in the new field of Personalized Medicine critically. The course will include a wet-lab session which will give the students experience of performing Genotyping.

3 credit | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

The sequencing of the human genome was the beginning of the acceleration of the “big data” era in biology. We have seen technological advances and the availability of mobile sequencers that can generate DNA sequencing data in a matter of a few hours. The advent of these mobile sequencers has made it possible to generate sequencing data in a classroom. The objective of this course is to provide hands-on experience in using one such hand-held sequencer, the MinION to sequence a piece of DNA. and carry out Next-Generation Sequence analysis. Students will have a hands-on experience in the extraction, purification, loading of the DNA to the sequencer and the analysis of the Next Generation data collected from the sequencer. The course will be a combination of lectures and hands-on providing students in the “know-how” of DNA sequencing and analysis.

2 credit | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

Biochemistry is fundamental to understanding the underlying cause of diseases and their treatments. This didactic course will cover concepts of biochemistry as applied to real disease correlates. The course is designed as a combination of lectures and practical computer based exercises utilizing functionalities of web-based resources. The students will experience the effect of mutations and polymorphisms on the genes that are causative of the underlying disease. The lectures will be presented as a series of case-studies. Most commonly encountered clinical cases will form the core of the course. At the end of the course students will be able to understand these diseases from a biochemical and an informatics point of view.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This course will cover conceptual aspects of machine learning in application to high-throughput biomedical data. Throughout the course, students will get an understanding of opportunities and limitations of machine learning in the context of pre-clinical and clinical research. The course is designed as a combination of online resources, practical assignments and workshops that will be conducted on-location and online. Throughout the course, we will review several examples that demonstrate successes and limitations of conventional machine learning tools and associated studies. This course will be run by experts from Pine Biotech.

1 credit | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

While breakthroughs abound in cancer research, there is a profound disconnection in translating these discoveries into clinical medicine. This new didactic course will be based on the application of computational biology and high throughput technologies to cancer research. The course is designed as a combination of lectures and practical computer-based exercises utilizing functionalities of web-based cancer resources. The course will also cover some aspects of pharmacogenomics. The students will experience the use and applications of informatics resources and tools to different types of cancer. The main goal is to understand these diseases from a Systems Perspective.

Other Electives

1 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

The sequencing of the human genome that was completed in 2001 and the explosion of ”omic data” has accelerated our understanding of basic genetics and how we think of biology. We are now in the “omic” era of molecular biology that has given birth to the new field of Bioinformatics. All this data can be used meaningfully for biological and clinical research only if we can extract the relevant functional information from them and convert biological data into knowledge of biological systems. Fortunately, by using bioinformatics we can make headway in understanding and extracting relevant biological information from these sequences. The aim of this course is to introduce the various tools and resources that are available as applicable to biomedical research. This course is highly experiential with both lectures and “hands-on” sessions.

1 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive background in the history of pharmacology and therapeutics leading to the current theory and practice of drug design and basic pharmacology, biochemistry, molecular biology and bioinformatics concepts that drive it. An understanding of fundamental biological and biotechnological concepts required to assess current and future approaches to drug discovery along the “critical path” from basic biomedical research to identification of cellular and molecular mechanisms of disease, drug targets, and rational design and high throughput screening of drug candidates will be gained.

2 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: BCHB 513 or Equivalent

This lecture and laboratory course is designed to introduce concepts of biotechnology as they relate to medical applications for human diagnostics. Areas of emphasis will include diagnostic tests for cancer, genetic diseases and the detection of infectious agents. Laboratory experiments emphasize in-situ hybridization, immunology, and immunohistochemistry.

3 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

An introduction to bioinformatics in systems biology, covering microarray data analysis, proteomic/metabolomic informatics, and regulatory network and pathway analysis.

2 credits | Fall & Spring Semesters
Prerequisites: N/A

This course provides students with an overview of the entire Drug Development process, from the inception of discovery to the final marketed product and review of the principles underlying the preclinical and clinical development of new therapeutic drugs and procedures. Presentations will describe and evaluate specific examples, and discussions to include regulatory, financial and ethical regulations that apply to Drug Development.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

The objective of the course is to explain in practical terms the basic principles of clinical trials, with particular emphasis on their scientific rationale, organization and planning, and methodology. Issues discussed include a design of randomized and non-randomized trials, size of a clinical trial, monitoring of trial progress, and some basic principles of statistical analysis. The intent is to present the methodology of clinical trials with emphasis on the practical aspects.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

Epidemiology overview and history; distributions of disease by time, place and person; association and causality; ecological studies; cross-sectional studies and surveys; case-control studies; analysis of case-control studies; types of bias in case-control studies; cohort studies; analysis of cohort studies; bias in cohort studies; population attributable risk; confounding factors; effect modification (interaction); analysis for confounding and interaction; multivariate analysis; sensitivity, specificity and screening; public health practice and prevention; special issues in cancer epidemiology, infectious disease epidemiology and genetic epidemiology. This course includes a discussion session.

3 credits | Spring & Summer Semesters
Prerequisites: N/A

This course is an in-depth look at the central dogma of molecular biology. Emphasis will be placed on analysis of whole genomes and the impact of genome sequencing projects on biologists. Mechanisms of DNA replication, repair, and division and of gene expression in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes will also be discussed. Experimental approaches to issues in molecular biology will be emphasized using analysis of primary literature in addition to textbook readings.

3 credits | Spring Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This course will provide students with an introduction to the analytic approaches utilized in regulatory science research. Regulatory science is defined as the “development and use of new tools, standards, and approaches to more efficiently develop medical products and to more effectively evaluate product safety, efficacy, and quality.”

2 credits | Fall & Spring Semesters
Prerequisites: N/A

This course will cover NIH bioterrorism agents (categories A-C), which can be utilized as biological weapons. The microbiology of these agents will focus on structure, pathology, and virulence factors. The immune response to these agents will be presented. Viral agents will include Variola and hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola and Lassa). Bacterial agents will include B. anthracis, Yersinia pestis (plague), and Francisella tularensis (tularemia). Emerging infectious disease threats such as Nipah, Hantavirus, and SARS will also be covered. This course will cover NIH bioterrorism a

1 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

This seminar will present a variety of nationally and globally recognized experts in the broad field of biohazardous threat agents and emerging infectious diseases. Individual topics will vary depending on the expertise of each speaker. Previous lectures have included:
D.A. Henderson: “From global smallpox eradication to biodefense”
David Kaplan: “Aum Shinrikyo”
Jeffrey Taubenberger: “Recovering the 1918 flu virus”
Don Burke: “Tracking new retroviruses in Central Africa”
Chad Roy: “Threat of aerosolized agents”

3 credits | Fall & Spring Semesters
Prerequisites: N/A

This course uses a interdisciplinary approach to study function and dysfunction of the brain. We emphasize basic concepts in neuroscience, examine the cellular and molecular underpinnings of various abnormalities of the nervous system, and explore neuropharmacology as therapy and as a tool to study brain function.

Special emphasis is placed on 1) bridging basic neural mechanisms (neurotransmitters, circuits, systems) and higher brain processes (emotion, cognition, memory) and 2) the utility and limits of animals models of human behavior and disease.

3 credits | Fall Semester
Prerequisites: N/A

The Cancer Epigenetics course covers epigenetic mechanisms in human diseases, focusing on cancers. This is a combined lecture/literature review/discussion course designed for graduate students in Molecular/Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Tumor Biology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience. The course has five primary objectives:

Moreover, a broad range of topics will be covered by discussing landmark papers and emerging concepts in the field of epigenetic research. In the class, students will discuss background materials, including papers related to individual topics.

  1. understanding the epigenetic regulation in normal & cancer cells
  2. deciphering epigenetic pathways and molecular targets in malignant transformation
  3. learning the impact of epigenetic alterations associated with cancers
  4. reviewing recent advances in epigenetic issues/phenomena by highlighting the growing importance of epigenetic therapeutics in cancers
  5. learning the scientific approaches/methods employed to define epigenetic-mediated cancer drivers and their therapeutic potential