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Foundations in Modern Biology II

Spring Semester, 5 credits


Foundations of Modern Biology II is an advanced class that focuses on current concepts and techniques in cell biology, molecular genetics and genomics.  Lectures will include material drawn from the primary literature and encourage the development of critical thinking skills.

These courses are designed to provide first-year graduate students with the fundamental knowledge needed to carry out biomedical research.  By the end of the course, students are expected to have solid foundation in the current concepts and methods in cell biology, molecular genetics and genomics.

PTH 507 – Cancer Biology

Spring Semester, 3 credits


The goal of this course is to provide a solid background and current understanding of cancer biology and cancer-related research.  The lectures will cover key topics in cancer biology, including intrinsic regulatory mechanisms of cancer cell proliferation, the impact of microenvironment on tumor growth and metastasis, and the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer. Leading cancer biologists will deliver lectures on each topic and lead in-depth discussions centered on groundbreaking findings.  As an advanced-level course, this course will emphasize original experiments, critical thinking and reading of the primary literature rather than abstract facts and memorization.  Active participation and in-class discussions among students are expected.

GEN 508 – Genomics and Systems Biology

Fall Semester, 4 credits


This is a graduate level course aimed at providing students with the up-to-date scientific information and background knowledge behind the biomedical research into the molecular mechanisms of developmental processes, mechanisms in place to maintain tissue homeostasis, decline with aging, and of disease pathogenesis. The lectures are in modular format; seven modules are currently included, each by an instructor(s) most familiar with the topics. The modules include genomic and proteomic approaches to developmental/disease pathways; hematopoiesis and stem cell diseases; transcription, chromatin, and post-transcriptional regulation; CNS development and systems biology; tissue development and disease; systems biology in model organisms; and aging. This course is open to all graduate students in biology and biomedical sciences and is highly recommended for the students in the Genetics, Development and Stem Cells program.

IND419 – Introduction to Quantitative Biology

Spring Semester, 3 credits


This course is a graduate-level survey course that introduces concepts for the analysis of high throughput biological data. No previous computational experience is required.

At the end of this course, students should have a deeper understanding of the computational tools involved in the analysis of high throughput biological data, focusing on web-based resources but also introducing core approaches in bioinformatics. As an advanced-level course, we will emphasize critical thinking and reading of the primary literature to understand original experiments, rather than abstract facts and memorization.  Students’ knowledge, understanding and ability to formulate new ideas will be evaluated through homework and discussions, as described below.

PM485 – Introduction to Biomedical Informatics

Fall Semester, 3 credits

Course Co-Director

This course serves as an introduction to concepts and issues in biomedical informatics (BMI), from both the research and clinical domains, with particular attention to translational research and public health.  We will examine the nature of biomedical information and its capture, collection, storage, management, and use, including:

  • BMI Fundamentals: What is biomedical informatics?  How does it relate to bioinformatics, data science, computational biology / biostatistics and public health science?  What is the toolkit for biomedical informatics practice?
  • BMI in Clinical Practice: Electronic health records (EHRs), privacy and security concerns, health information exchanges and interoperability
  • BMI  in  Research:  clinical  and  translational  research,  public  health  and  global  health  research, imaging informatics and research data warehousing