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Curriculum

Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences

The mission of the Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences (BMS) is to educate graduate students in scholarly, interdisciplinary approaches to conducting research from the molecular basis to systems level approaches for the study of human disease, and the function of the human genome in aging, development, neuropathology, cancer, and other diseases. Graduates of this program will be prepared to join the scientific workforce trained and ready for careers in an interdisciplinary environment.

Ph. D. students in the BMS program are required to take the following courses offered by faculty in the BMS and Biology departments:

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Research Rotations
New students are required to perform at least two laboratory rotations, one in the fall semester (entire X weeks) and one in the spring semester (X weeks). These rotations are meant to provide students with scientific training and opportunities to become familiar with faculty research projects, specific lab environments, and lab personnel. For each rotation, students are required to write a project summary of their experience. Students select their thesis lab after the second rotation.

Research Techniques
This course gives students hands-on training in modern biology techniques commonly used in research laboratories. Topics include basic molecular techniques, such as handling prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, subcloning of DNA, immunoblotting, and taking mRNA measurements, as well as some biophysical approaches. Cell imaging, developmental biology, and brief introductions to experimental design and whole animal physiological and behavioral methods will also be addressed.

Advanced Molecular Biology
This lecture-based course introduces students to advanced concepts in molecular biology. Students read published literature in molecular biology and discuss during classes. At the end of the semester, students are required to write a mini-proposal based on published literatures.

Bioregulation
This highly interactive course covers recent advances in molecular and cell biology, including transcription, post transcriptional control, translation, signal transduction, DNA repair, cell cycle, apoptosis, and proteomics. Students receive a comprehensive overview of the progress in relevant fields. In addition, students read assigned publications and discuss during classes.

Advanced Cell Biology
This course is mainly lecture-based, but includes reading of some significant milestone research publications. Students ultimately gain a comprehensive understanding of recent advances in the field of cell biology.

Ethics and Professional Integrity in Research
This course is focused on the ethics and responsible conduct of research relevant to biomedical and behavioral sciences, including both human and animal research. The course is grounded in introductory moral philosophy, exposing students to some of the major moral theories of Western tradition. This course is offered every other year (taken during the first or second year). Successful completion can be used to satisfy Responsible Conduct of Research training requirements of the National Science Foundation or the National Institutes of Health.

Biostatistics
This course introduces students to statistical methods used to enable data analysis in biomedical science. Topics include data collection, sample variation, probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, contingency tables, correlation, regression, and nonparametric methods. Principle components analysis and clustering are also included. This course is offered every other year (taken during the first or second year).