During the first semester of study the majority of our students take what we consider to be our "Core Course", Mechanisms in Biomedical Sciences: From Genes to Disease (8 credits total) is a comprehensive overview of current knowledge in cellular, molecular, and structural biology. This course provides all of the background necessary for subsequent specialized studies in biomedical research in a concentrated program during the first 3.5 months of the Fall Semester, comprising the nine sections listed below:
The innovative format of the course is highly interactive, and includes lectures presenting creative, cutting-edge approaches to investigating fundamental, current biomedical questions, together with review of fundamental principles of molecular and cellular biology. Vertically-integrated topics that tie together the study of individual genes, proteins, cellular function and associated clinical disorders place an emphasis on the development and critical evaluation of scientific hypotheses and state-of-the-art techniques.
Student conference groups meet once a week to analyze in substantial depth an exemplary primary paper that is related to the course material, with the guidance of faculty mentors. There are frequent research-oriented special topics seminars, complementing the daily lectures. Optional, supplemental review sessions strengthen background knowledge. Students complete the Core Curriculum by the beginning of December, enabling them to begin rotations and more advanced courses in early December.