Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Courses

This information serves as the course catalog for the MS degree in Biomedical Sciences program. In addition, the graduate student curriculum management system (CLEARvue) provides a full description of each course, course learning objectives, and course directors with their contact information in the introductory material in CLEARvue for each course. Required and recommended textbooks are listed on the internet and intranet, and updated annually. Information about other learning resources (both electronic and print) is provided to graduate students at the beginning of each year and beginning of each course. Methods of learner assessment and course grading are described in the Graduate Student Handbook.

BIOM 6110 Basics of Molecular Foundations
Credits:
5
Directors:
Olken, Garrow
Grading:
Pass/Fail
Description:

This is a seven-week course that provides a fundamental understanding of the role of cells in the body and the regulation of energy metabolism. Cellular biochemistry and basic anatomical structure are introduced, emphasizing the role of cells as the basic building blocks in a hierarchal system that increases in complexity as cells form tissues, organs, organ systems, and the whole organism. The influence that nutrition and physiological state have on macronutrient metabolism is covered with special emphasis on the integration of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in different organ systems. The consequences of defective glucose metabolism serve as the central clinical theme throughout the course.

Objectives:
  • Explain the structural organization of the body from the cellular to the organ level differentiating the four cell types found in the body.
  • Define protein structure and the role of enzymes as catalysts, describe enzyme kinetics, and differentiate between competitive and non-competitive inhibitors.
  • Describe the structure and function of cellular organelles including cell membranes, illustrate vesicular trafficking, and differentiate classes of drug receptors.
  • Explain the principles of receptor pharmacology including agonist, antagonist, receptor reserve, drug selectivity, potency, and efficacy.
  • Describe how carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins are utilized as fuels.
  • Describe the overall design and purpose of glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation and how these pathways are coordinately regulated.
  • Describe the overall design and purpose of gluconeogenesis and how it is regulated.
  • Describe the metabolism of fructose and galactose and identify diseases that arise from defects in their metabolism.
  • Describe the overall design and purpose of glycogen storage and degradation, comparing and contrasting the role of glycogen metabolism in liver and skeletal muscle.
  • Describe the role of the pentose phosphate pathway in the production of NADPH and pentose phosphate.
  • Describe the structure and synthesis of fatty acids, triacylglycerides, and membrane lipids.
  • Describe the process of fatty acid oxidation and the generation of energy from fatty acid oxidation.
  • Define the role of fatty acids and ketone bodies in fuel homeostasis.
  • Describe how changes in macronutrient intake influence pancreatic hormone secretion and energy metabolism in liver, skeletal muscle, adipose, kidney and brain.
  • Discuss the mechanisms of glucose homeostasis in the body.
  • Explain how dietary lipids are carried in the blood and the underlying genetic basis and clinical presentation of severe elevations in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
  • Compare and contrast the function and regulation of mitosis versus meiosis.
  • Explain cellular signal transduction pathways using receptors, second messengers, kinases, phosphatases, and transcription factors, including regulation of plasma glucose levels.
  • Describe the biological and physiological nature of extracellular and secondary messenger systems.
  • Describe the basic structure, function and cellular distribution of cell adhesion proteins.
  • Compare and contrast the molecular and histological differences between cellular necrosis and apoptosis.
  • List the vitamins and minerals and know the clinical signs of deficiency and toxicity associated with each.
  • Define embryonic stem cells and the different developmental capacities (potencies) associated with these cell types.
  • Describe the key events in early and late embryological development, the genetic processes that regulate development.
  • List the diagnostic criteria for diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, obesity and metabolic syndrome and understand surgical and pharmacologic treatments for these diagnoses.
BIOM 6120 Basics of Genetic and Metabolic Disorders
Credits:
5
Directors:
Larson, Garrow, Prahlow
Grading:
Pass/Fail
Description:

This is a six-week course that provides a fundamental understanding of medical biochemistry relevant to the metabolism of macromolecular precursors and the genetic basis of disease. Medically important metabolism of amino acids, lipids, and nucleotides are covered in the context of disease. The course also provides insight into ethanol metabolism and tissue damage associated with reactive oxygen species. Clinical disorders that have a genetic component are covered, and a molecular framework is built for understanding disease etiology, modern diagnosis, and therapeutic intervention. An overview of the basic genetics of medically important infectious agents, gene regulation, and population genetics provides a background on the genetic underpinnings of human disease.

Objectives:
  • Describe how the urea cycle maintains a proper nitrogen balance, and allows for excretion of excess ammonium in the form of urea.
  • Explain the characteristics and pathophysiology of lysosomal storage diseases and hypercholesterolemia. 
  • List essential and nonessential amino acids, and describe conditions where nonessential amino acids become conditionally essential.
  • Describe how amino acids are synthesized and degraded.
  • Describe the roles of folic acid and S-adenosylmethionine in the transfer of one-carbon units between molecules.
  • Differentiate between the major reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) and forms of cellular toxicity associated with free-radical injury.
  • Differentiate between disease states associated with inborn errors of amino acid metabolism.
  • Describe the metabolism of ethanol and the associated toxic effects of ethanol metabolism.
  • Describe the de novo and salvage pathways for purine and pyrimidine biosynthesis, and associated clinical disorders.
  • Describe protein-energy nutrition spectrum disorders.
  • Describe human gene structure and the content of the human genome.
  • Explain basic human and bacterial chromosome structure, eukaryotic chromatin, and chromosomal abnormalities associated with disease.
  • Describe the fundamental processes of DNA replication, transcription and translation.
  • Apply knowledge of cytogenetics and molecular genetics to describe the principles, uses, and limitations of genetic testing technologies.
  • Explain how various DNA mutation and exchange processes influence single-gene and chromosomal level alterations that cause disease.
  • Explain the role of regulatory RNAs in gene expression and therapeutic intervention.
  • Describe the major mechanisms of DNA repair and the disease-related consequences of genome instability.
  • Describe mechanisms of genetic/genomic variation that explain variation in normal phenotypic expression, disease phenotypes, and treatment plans.
  • Describe Mendelian inheritance and the use of pedigrees to explain inheritance patterns, and differentiate single-gene from multifactorial disease.
  • Explain how factors such as reduced penetrance and variable expressivity affect the phenotypic expression of a disease and the observed pattern of inheritance.
  • Describe the molecular and genetic contributors to malignant transformation and the tissue-specific changes associated with neoplasia.
  • Explain dynamic mutations, repeat expansions, and the concept of anticipation.
  • Explain the relationship between gene interactions and traits, articulating how a single genotype can influence multiple phenotypes and development via modifier genes and epistasis.
  • Identify the components of personalized medicine and describe how they might impact patient health with regard to pharmacogenomics.
  • Describe normal and abnormal mammalian sexual development and explain the factors contributing congenital defects and dysmorphology.
  • Explain the role of epigenetics in gene regulation and development, connecting chromatin states with imprinting diseases and X-inactivation.
  • Describe the mitochondrial genome and mitochondrial diseases.
  • Explain the basic biology of medically relevant microbes and describe the genetic processes that contribute to antimicrobial resistance.
  • Define the general concepts of antiviral drug therapy.
  • Apply the principles of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium to genetic variation in populations and for calculating carrier frequency.
  • Describe the basic molecular technologies in biomedicine, including exome and whole genome sequencing.
  • Explain the various strategies for treating genetic diseases using gene targeting or silencing methodologies.
BIOM 6130 Basics of Systems Regulation
Credits:
3
Directors:
Sheakley, Gregoire-Bottex, Bauler
Grading:
Pass/Fail
Description:

This is a three-week course that provides a fundamental understanding of molecular and physiologic processes that regulate the activity of multiple organ systems. Cellular transport of ions and molecules is introduced, emphasizing genetic and microbial diseases that interfere with the normal function of transporters. The principle of homeostasis is defined at the level of cells, tissues, organs, and the whole body, with examples to demonstrate the importance of homeostasis in the control of body function. The autonomic nervous system is described in detail and then employed as the starting point for teaching of the foundations of human pharmacology. Pharmacological principles outlined include pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity. The course introduces the immune system, and then expands on the systemic role of inflammation in disease.

Objectives:
  • Explain how ions and molecules are transported across the cellular plasma membrane, epithelial organs, and capillaries, as well as the relevance of these processes to disease.
  • Compare and contrast anatomical imaging techniques.
  • Explain the concept of homeostasis at the cellular, tissue, organ and organism levels, including how the principles of negative and positive feedback, hierarchy, redundancy, and adaptability are integral to homeostatic control.
  • List the common parameters influencing the extracellular fluid compartment that are homeostatically regulated, and describe plasma water and salt content regulation as the basis of cellular volume control.
  • Compare and contrast the structure and function of the divisions of the autonomic nervous system, including cholinergic and adrenergic receptors, consequences of receptor dysfunction, and drugs used to manage receptor dysfunction.
  • Describe the pathophysiology of organophosphate poisoning and pheochromocytoma as related to autonomic nervous system function.
  • Describe the pharmacodynamics of drugs in terms of concentration, dose, and response.
  • Analyze pharmacological effects in terms of ligand or drug-receptor interactions and pharmacological effects in terms of drug absorption and distribution, therapeutic index, and toxicity.
  • Apply pharmacokinetic principles and data to calculate drug loading and maintenance doses, and effects of drug metabolism, excretion, and elimination effects the plasma concentration of drugs.
  • Describe the functions of the major components of the immune system.
  • Describe the immunology and pathology of inflammation, and discuss the role of NSAIDs in the treatment of inflammation.
BIOM 6150 Basics of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Credits:
4
Directors:
Bauler
Grading:
Pass/Fail
Description:

This is a five-week course that provides a fundamental understanding of the principles of immunology and infectious diseases, and the application of this knowledge to immunologic, infectious, and rheumatologic (collagen vascular) diseases. The course integrates immunology through microbiology and includes relevant aspects of anatomy, histology, pharmacology, and pathology. Specifically, students: (1) learn about the soluble mediators, cells, and organs of the immune system and how these elements work together to prevent and respond to infection; (2) examine how the immune system causes and contributes to diseases such as autoimmune diseases, allergy, and chronic inflammatory diseases; and (3) acquire the necessary foundational knowledge of virology, mycology, parasitology, and bacteriology to understand how infectious microbes cause organ‑specific and systemic diseases.

Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the development and senescence of the immune system.
  2. Describe the normal immune response to pathogenic insult and damaged or necrotic tissues.
  3. Describe the mechanisms of immune regulation.
  4. Describe the immunologic basis of diseases with an immune etiology or component.
  5. Explain the immunologic basis of vaccination, immunomodulation and immunotherpaies. 
  6. Describe the basic principles of infectious disease.
  7. Describe the methodology by which the clinical laboratory diagnoses, evaluates and monitors inflammation and infectious disease.
  8. Describe the basic biology of medically relevant infectious agents.
  9. Describe the mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis.
  10. Explain the pharmacologic principles of antimicrobial therapy.
  11. Describe the therapeutic approach to treat the pathophysiologic effects of immunologically-and microbial-based diseases.
  12. Describe the pathologic consequences of infectious and immunologically-based diseases.
  13. Descrive the common infectious diseases, ectoparasitic infestations, and inflammatory disorders of the skin.
BIOM 6210 Normal and Forensic Anatomy
Credits:
4
Directors:
Lackey
Grading:
Pass/Fail
Description:

This is a five-week course that provides a fundamental understanding of all major anatomic structures of the human body. This course takes a systemic approach emphasizing gross anatomy and examines body systems interactions to form the functioning whole. Anatomy of organs and organ systems are correlated with physiologic functions. Imaging techniques including CT, MRI, and x‑rays are used to introduce the application of diagnostic imaging to the diagnosis of clinical disorders. Methods of forensic anatomy and anthropology are discussed in the context of the functions of the medical examiner.

Objectives:
  1. Identify and describe the gross anatomical structures of the back and thorax, abdominal wall, abdominal viscera, pelvis and reproductive organs, the upper and lower extremities, and the head and neck.
  2. Describe the forensic applications of back and thoracic skeletal anatomy, including: positive identification using standard x-ray, age-estimation, and injury patterns.
  3. Describe the forensic applications of the bony pelvis including estimation of age and sex.
  4. Describe the forensic applications of the bony extremities, including: positive identification using standard x-ray, stature estimation, and describing injury patterns.
  5. Describe the forensic applications of head and neck skeletal anatomy, including: positive identification using standard x-ray, sex and ancestry estimation, and describing injury patterns.
BIOM 6220 Histology and Cell Biology
Credits:
4
Directors:
Riddle
Grading:
Pass/Fail
Description:

This is a five-week lecture and laboratory course directed at an understanding of the structure of cells, tissues, and organs, and the functional significance of their morphological features. This course includes laboratory sessions of observations of human tissues through the study of digitized images (virtual slides). Students learn to identify specific structures, cells, tissues, and organs, and integrate basic concepts and principles of microanatomy as related to clinical medicine.

Objectives:
  1. Describe the microanatomical organization of cells,tissues, andorgans.
  2. Correlate the normal microanatomical structure of cells, tissues, and organs with function.
  3. Describe the fundamental concepts of embryology and development.
MEDU 6701 Advances and Perspectives in Medicine and Health
Credits:
1
Directors:
Vanden Heuvel
Grading:
Pass/Fail
Description:

This is an interprofessional seminar course for 0.5 credit per term (1 credit for the academic year). These sessions explore advances in biomedical and health sciences with translational applications to clinical medicine and the broad context of medicine in society.  Students attend a series of events that include a mixture of basic science seminars, clinical seminars, humanities lectures, workshops, plays, demonstrations, simulations, and conferences. Students submit a brief reflection for each event.

Objectives:
  1. Gain an understanding of complex issues relevant to the health care professions.
  2. Gain awareness of cross-disciplinary aspects and integration of health care teams.
  3. Express individual attitudes, feelings, and beliefs related to issues relevant to the health care professions through reflective writing assignments.
MEDU 6710 Critical Analysis of Scientific Literature
Credits:
1
Directors:
Minser, Costello
Grading:
Pass/Fail
Description:

This course continues for the entire academic year. Students learn to critically evaluate a recent article in the scientific literature pertinent to the current basic medical science course, including articles related to biomedical ethics. Under the guidance of a faculty member, students lead the discussion of articles chosen by the faculty member. The student learns to develop learning objectives to meet their own needs, becoming adept at active and self‑directed learning.

Objectives:
  1. Explain key concepts of statistical literacy
  2. Develop basic scientific literature searching skills
  3. Critically assess scientific literature – with focus upon the reporting of: problem statement, relevance, review analysis, research design, methods analysis, quality control, and conclusions
  4. Develop the ability to assess applicability of scientific literature including current challenges in the field of basic science and potential clinical applicability
  5.  Create an engaging presentation developed from selected scientific literature
MEDU 6720 Learning Strategies
Credits:
1
Directors:
Milnes
Grading:
Pass/Fail
Description:

This course continues for the entire academic year and provides academic development and support that continues through the duration of the degree program. The course provides ongoing one‑on‑one and group instruction in time management, stress management, study skills, learning skills, test‑taking skills, information management and library skills, and personal assessment. Under the guidance of a learning skills specialist, students develop effective study skills, test‑taking strategies and test analysis, and active learning techniques. Students develop time management strategies, including recognizing and overcoming barriers to successful time management, and how to read and study more effectively and efficiently.  In addition to the formal instruction, the learning skills specialist regularly meets with students to monitor progress and provide feedback in a supportive environment.

Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, each student will be able to:

  1. Examine ways to optimize learning.
  2. Evaluate personal barriers regarding their own student success.
  3. Develop an effective learning system for academic success.
TRAN 6700 Transition to Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences
Credits:
2
Directors:
Milnes
Grading:
Pass/Fail
Description:

This is a two-week course that prepares students to understand, participate, and connect in the MS degree in Biomedical Sciences program. Students build the foundation for their success in academics and professional relationships. During this course, students have opportunities to connect with the medical school’s services and support offices, and are introduced to student life organizations, student support services, information management, learning strategies, time management, financial aid, library skills, personal development, emotional intelligence, wellness, reflective writing, and the biomedical sciences curriculum.

Objectives:
  • Describe the process to seek individual assistance in the area of:
    • Academic Skills
    • Personal counseling
    • Student affairs processes
  • Describe purpose of Learning Community system.
  • Identify their Learning Community Scholar--Advisor as a resource.
  • Use CLEARvue to access and follow schedules.
  • Access and use iBooks.
  • Subscribe to the responsibilities of a student.
  • Describe financial aid issues arising in their personal transition to WMed.
  • Apply principles of financial planning in their life.
  • Interact with peers and scholar-advisor to recognize concerns in transition to masters program
  • Recognize the role of Emotional Intelligence and its role in professionalism.
  • Identify personality preferences attained through Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
  • Summarize structure of the biomedical science curriculum.
  • Acquire general study strategies.
  • Establish time management skills.
  • Differentiate between fixed and growth mindset philosophy.
  • Participate in team building activities.
  • Participate in a series of activities designed to further acquaint them with staff/peers.
  • Allow students to explore the surrounding area, while maximizing the opportunity for integration amongst their peers and community alike.
  • Promote the importance of wellness for success in the masters program.
  • Write a reflective description after a meaningful experience.