Fall Terms Courses and Descriptions

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CTPS

Basic Biomedical Science Course Descriptions

Laboratory Rotation (BBSC 6043)

2019 Lab Rotation Report Form
2019 Syllabus
This is a required core course in the Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum (BBSC). Students in the BBSC are required to take three 8-week rotations in a minimum of two independent laboratories during their first year in the BBSC. The first two rotations must be performed in different laboratories. The third rotation should only be performed with a previous rotation mentor if there is a commitment that the student will be joining the lab and therefore does not need to rotate with a third faculty mentor; otherwise the student should perform all rotations with different mentors. Mentor expectations and grading criteria and student course schedules should be communicated between the mentor and student at the start of the rotation. The time commitment is at least 6-18 hours/week in the lab, but will vary. Students should respect the timing of experimental protocols and usual lab procedures and schedules. Faculty should appreciate the demands of class attendance and coursework on students; there should be a reasonable amount of flexibility in apportioning the working hours during a week or even among weeks. If it is necessary for the student to work outside of a typical work week or typical work-day hours, this should be clearly communicated to the student when the rotation is initially arranged. Students will be required to submit a written report that includes a description of the research, experiments attempted, interpretations, accomplishments, etc., along with a Student Evaluation Report form completed by the faculty member.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I, II, III with no more than six credit hours (16 weeks) in one lab
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 6-8 hours/week in the lab
Instructor: Toliver-Kinsky


Introduction to the Study of Biological Systems (BBSC 6103)

2017 Calendar
2017 Syllabus
This eight-week course is designed to introduce graduate students to the study of biological systems, with specific emphasis on fundamental biochemistry principles. The course provides a review of the chemical structures of biomolecules, as well as the noncovalent forces underlying biomolecular structure, function and interaction. Course topics include macromolecule-solvent interactions, pH and dissociation, quantitative descriptions of biochemical equilibria, and laboratory strategies involving protein manipulation and purification. Basic thermodynamic principles are presented, including the concept of the free energy of a reaction as it relates to the synthesis, metabolism, and function of biomolecules. The format of the course includes lectures and problem-solving sessions. Students are expected to lead class discussions following the completion of assigned homework, and grades will be satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) based on completion of assignments and classroom participation.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 1.5
Instructor: Laezza, Vargas


Critical Reading of Scientific Literature (BBSC 6104)

2018 Syllabus
This eight-week course is designed to introduce graduate students to critical concepts involved in understanding scientific literature. Emphasis will be placed on analyzing, comprehending, interpreting and evaluating scientific articles from peer-reviewed journals. This class is based on discussion format, and students will be expected to actively participate in classroom discussions, as well as lead one classroom discussion on an article of their choice. Grades will be based on the performance of presentation, attendance, and class participation.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 1; Conference/Discussion 1
Instructor: Vargas


Genes, Environment and Disease (BBSC 6118)

2018 Syllabus
This eight-week course will address key mechanisms for the development of human disease and, more importantly, the interrelationships between genetic characteristics and exposure to environmental factors or pharmaceuticals in modifying the risks of developing health problems. The course will be presented as a set of eight sessions which will include lectures as well as discussions of assigned research papers that address the objectives of the course. Students will be assigned papers for presentation in the class. Each two-hour weekly session will discuss two papers if a lecture is not given by the faculty. Background reading will be suggested for each discussion. At the end of the course each student will select a recent published journal article, with approval of the instructor, and will prepare a report that critiques the article and places it in the context of the information gained from the course. The four specific topic areas will be: 1) Mechanisms of DNA damage by endogenous and exogenous agents; 2) DNA damage response including signaling pathways, DNA repair, cell cycle control and apoptosis; 3) The role of genetic variability in modifying responses to exposure to toxic substances and pharmaceuticals, and responses to DNA damage; and 4) The role of epigenetic effects and agents that modify them in determination of changes in gene expression, hormonal effects, and health outcomes. Grades will be calculated based on the performance of leadership in assigned paper discussions, participating in all discussions and report on published paper.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6302, BBSC 6303, or consent of instructor
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 1
Instructor: Abdel-Rahman


Neuronal Transmission (BBSC 6126)

2019 Syllabus
This course provides a general background in cellular neuroscience with an emphasis on neuronal synaptic transmission. The first part of the course covers structure and molecular composition of excitatory and inhibitory synapses. Topics covered include: synaptic structure and dynamics, molecular composition of post-synaptic ligand-gated ion channels, metabotropic receptors, signal transduction pathways, functional analysis of postsynaptic currents, synaptic plasticity and neuronal homeostasis. The second part of the course includes an in-depth reading and discussion of topics related to synaptic receptors mediating neuronal transmission in the central nervous system. This course will prepare students for upper level Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology courses and is also suitable for students interested in basic cellular mechanisms underlying brain function. Grading is based on written midterm and final examinations.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6302, BBSC 6303, or consent of instructor
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 1
Instructor: Laezza


Teaching in Molecular Biology and Genetics (BBSC 6127)

2019 Syllabus
In this course, trainees will learn and practice how to facilitate small-group learning teams. Trainees will acquire teaching skills through workshops, observing faculty during small group discussions and finally applying these skills to serve as facilitators in BBSC 6403 Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG) small-group discussions. Facilitator Skills Workshops will be imparted by personnel from the School of Medicine Office of Educational Development. MBG course instructors will meet with the trainees and provide key discussion topics and teaching tactics prior to MBG small-group discussions with enrolled students. The trainees will then serve as lead facilitators for MBG small-group discussions to practice newly learned skills. In addition, trainees will participate in problem set review sessions for MBG students to observe and learn different teaching styles employed in an informal question/answer teaching sessions. Each facilitator will provide formative and summative evaluations of their co-facilitators and those BBSC 6403 students in their respective small groups.

Grading will be on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. A grade of satisfactory will be dependent on: (a) attendance of the student to all scheduled course sessions and instructor discussions (as detailed above); (b) writing a one-page reflective piece that will serve as self-evaluation; (c) acceptable performance as a facilitator judged by the course instructor with input from students enrolled in the MBG course.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6403 or consent of instructor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference 2
Instructor: Wairkar


Teaching in Biostatistics (BBSC 6128)

2019 Syllabus
In this course, students will learn and practice skills necessary to facilitate students participating in biostatistics labs. Facilitator Skills Workshops will be imparted by personnel from the School of Medicine Office of Educational Development. At the end of the course, students will: (a) Be able to distinguish between actual content (the concept the small group is working on) and process (how the group works on acquiring and developing knowledge on that concept); (b) Understand the various group member roles related to both content and process; (c) Have practiced methods for effective communication; (d) Have learned effective questioning skills; (e) Have practiced effective listening skills and empathy; (f) Be capable of providing effective feedback; (g) Be capable of maintaining engaging group discussions and (h) Be able to provide constructive evaluations. Students will serve as lead facilitators for the lab component of students enrolled in BBSC 6222 (Biostatistics), where they will implement and develop their facilitation skills. Prior to each session with the BBSC 6222 students, small group facilitators will be provided with fully answered laboratory solutions and will have an opportunity to discuss these computer labs with course instructors. Each facilitator will provide formative and summative evaluations of those BBSC 6222 students in their lab sessions. This course is offered on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. A grade of satisfactory will be dependent on: (a) attendance of the student to all scheduled course sessions and instructor discussions (as detailed above); (b) writing a one-page reflective piece that will serve as self-evaluation; (c) acceptable performance as facilitator as judged by the course instructor, after consulting with the students being facilitated.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6222 or PHS 633 Biostatistics or PHS 6347 Applied Statistical Methods
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Laboratory 2
Instructor: Spratt


Responsible Conduct in Biomedical Research (BBSC 6129)

2019 Syllabus
This course will cover all topics recommended by NIH for required instruction in responsible conduct of research (RCR), described in NOT-OD-10-019, and will incorporate contemporary ethical and regulatory issues in modern biomedical research.  The course will begin in the Fall term and will extend over all 3 terms of the academic year.  Students will register for the course in the Fall term and will be automatically enrolled the following Spring and Summer terms. A grade of "G" (longitudinal) will be assigned at the end of the Fall and Spring terms, and a single, 1-hour course grade will be assigned at the end of the Summer term.  Specific  RCR  topics covered in a given term will be temporally aligned with relevant science or research topics being taught in the Basic Biomedical Sciences Curriculum courses during that term.  Small group sessions and case studies will be utilized to discuss and integrate designated RCR topics, and will include various problem-based learning approaches.  The average grade of all sessions over the three terms will be determined, and an average of 80% or greater is required to achieve a grade of Satisfactory.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I, II, III Longitudinal
Year offered: Annually
Hours: Lecture 2; Discussion 14
Instructor: Toliver-Kinsky


Small sampling of big data (BBSC 6130)

2020 Syllabus
This eight-week course is designed to serve as an introduction to and overview of some aspects of modern data analysis in the biological sciences. As the data available to researchers becomes increasingly large, increasingly complex, and is generated faster and faster, content consumers, specialist scientists, and statistical data analysts are faced with problems in terms of management, transport, analysis, and interpretation never before seen. This evolution of data has also changed the ways in which the scientific process, scientific discovery and scientific theory are viewed.  Essentially this course will be divided into six sections:  big data, data sciences, computer science, data analysis, informatics and bioinformatics. Grading will be based on the knowledge and preparation of material, as students are to design a group research project with emphasis on applying big data aspects.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 1
Instructor: Jupiter


General Laboratory and Biosafety (BBSC 6131)

2019 Syllabus

2019 Calendar

This course has 3 components: (1) online training to ensure knowledge and understanding of safety practices and regulations that pertain to the laboratory environment, (2) a practical portion for hands-on training and demonstration of required competencies, and (3) discussion of laboratory accidents and risk assessment. Course topics will include: general lab safety, fire safety, chemical safety, chemical hoods, chemical disposal, hazard communication, standard precautions, cell lines, introduction to biosafety, biosafety cabinet and aerosol precautions, and introduction to vaccines and risk assessment. Students will be required to demonstrate competency in the use of fire extinguishers, chemical spill response, chemical hood use, appropriate use of personal protective equipment, the use of biosafetycabinets, tissue culture techniques, and biohazard spill response. Grades will be based on demonstration of competencies and attendance. Students will receive bsl2 certification upon successful completion of the course.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 2
Instructor: Brocard


Laboratory Biosafety and Biocontainment (BBSC 6132)

This course builds on the BBSC 6131 course and has 3 sections: (1) didactive phase to ensure knowledge and understanding of safety practices and regulations that pertain to the laboratory environment, (2) a practical portion that will apply the knowledge learned and reinforce the defined concepts, and (3) appropriate documentation to the regulatory and institutional requirements for working in a grant funded research laboratory. Course topics will include: biological hazard classification, risk assessment and mitigation principles of biosafety containment, principles of biosafety cabinets, principles of personal protective equipment, risks involved with serosol producting procedures, principles of disinfection, waste handling and disposal procedures, medical evaluation for working with infectious agents, emergency procedures, and regulatory requirements. Emphasis will be on development of principals of biosafety and biocontainment based on proper risk assessments. This class will build fundamental knowledge for advancement opportunities into BSL 3-4 laboratories. The laboratory portion of the course will reinforce skill-sets discussed in theory. The student will practice good laboratory skills and aseptic techniques. Additionally, the course will focus on the use and organization of a biosafety cabinet, transportation of research material, waste management, emergency response, and decontamination procedures. Grades will be based on written assessment, written assignment, oral presentation, laboratory skills assessment and attendance.

1 Credit
Prerequisites: BBSC 6131 General Laboratory Safety
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 1.3; Discussion .3; Laboratory 1
Instructor: Brocard


Teaching in Biochemistry (BBSC 6133)

In this course, students will learn and practice skills necessary to facilitate small group learning teams. At the end of the course, students will: (a) Be able to distinguish between actual content (the concept the small group is working on) and process (how the group works on acquiring and developing knowledge on that concept); (b) Understand the various group member roles related to both content and process; (c) Have practiced methods for effective communication; (d) Have learned effective questioning skills; (e) Have practiced effective listening skills and empathy; (f) Be capable of providing effective feedback; (g) Be capable of maintaining engaging group discussions and (h) Be able to provide constructive evaluations. Grading will be on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. A grade of satisfactory will be dependent on (a) attendance of the student to all scheduled course workshops, facilitator previews, and small-group problem solving sessions, and (b) acceptable performance as a facilitator judged by the course director with input from students enrolled in the BBSC 6303 Biochemistry course.

Credit: 1
Prerequisites: Consent of Instructor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours: Discussion 1
Instructor: Smith


Frontiers of Science (BBSC 6195)

2017 Syllabus
This course provides students the opportunity to hear about the latest advancements and techniques in a wide variety of biomedical sciences. Students are required to attend seminars by on- or off-campus speakers during each of the Fall and Spring terms. Students choose twelve seminars to attend on the basis of student interest and/or program recommendations. Grades will be satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) based on attendance.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Seminar 1
Instructor: Toliver-Kinsky, Vargas


Neuronal Excitability (BBSC 6207)

2018 Syllabus
This eight-week course deals with fundamental concepts that underlie electrical excitability, conduction of electrical activity and presynaptic mechanisms. Topics covered include electrochemical potentials, properties of voltage-gated channels, electrotonic spread vs. propagated activity, regulation of exocytosis, quantal analysis of transmitter release and analytical techniques including current and voltage clamp, single channel recording and noise analysis. The class will be presented as lectures with student discussion. Grades will be based on class participation and examinations.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6302, BBSC 6303, or consent of instructor
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3, Conference/Discussion 1
Instructor: Hamill


Principles of Drug Action, Pharmacokinetics and Biotransformation (BBSC 6208)

2019 Syllabus
This eight-week course will cover the principles underlying drug and toxin mechanisms of action, as well as their metabolism and clearance. In particular, we will focus on mechanisms underlying the interaction between hormone and neurotransmitter receptors and full, partial, and inverse agonists, as well as analysis of the mechanisms underlying the actions of competitive, partially competitive and non-competitive inhibitors. Additionally, the mechanisms underlying allosteric modulation by drugs and endogenous ligands will be discussed along with how receptor activation engages underlying effector mechanisms. The latter portion of the course will focus on the mechanisms underlying absorption, distribution, elimination and metabolism of both toxins and therapeutic drugs. This will include metabolism by phase I and phase II enzymes, glutathione reductase, as well as drug elimination, duration of action, plateau principle, and continuous and intermittent dosing paradigms. The course will be taught primarily in lecture format with discussion of primary research articles. Grading will be based on class participation, homework problems, two written exams and a 15-minute oral presentation covering the similarities and differences between a pair of drugs that have similar therapeutic goals.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6302, BBSC 6303, or consent of instructor
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3, Conference/Discussion 1
Instructor: Snodgrass, Zhou


Fundamentals of Inflammation (BBSC 6210)

2019 Syllabus
This seven-week course deals with fundamental concepts pertaining to inflammation. Inflammation plays a necessary role in wound healing and tissue surveillance, but can also lead to chronic wounds and pathologic states such as inflammatory bowel disease. By moving fluids and white blood cells from the blood into extravascular tissues the host can eliminate abnormal cells, foreign particles, microorganisms, etc. and initiate repair processes. Topics include inflammatory cells, the role that pathogens (bacterial, viral and parasitic) play in inflammation, the mediators (lipids, cytokines, peptides, and other molecules) and cellular events involved in cell recruitment and movement through the vessel wall into tissue spaces. Common inflammatory processes and wound healing will be discussed. Grades will be determined by performance in the discussion of current literature and on one take-home short-essay exam.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6302, BBSC 6303, BBSC 6403 or consent of instructor
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3; Conference/Discussion 1
Instructor: Hawkins, Midori-Horiuti, Reyes


Vaccine Development Pathway: From Discovery To Licensure (BBSC 6219)

2019 Syllabus
This eight-week introductory course will be taught in lecture format with a small number of expert lecturers. The course is designed to provide the basic scientist with an understanding of vaccine development from conceptualization through development, testing, and utilization. This multidisciplinary course was designed to introduce students to all of the aspects of vaccine development and utilization to include aspects of vaccines for infectious diseases and chronic non-infectious diseases (e.g., cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and addiction). Grades will be based on performance of two examinations and class attendance.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6302, BBSC 6303, BBSC 6403, or consent of instructor
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3.5
Instructor: Milligan, Bourne


Animal Models of Human Diseases (BBSC 6220)

2016 Syllabus
This eight-week course is intended to give an overview of the use of animal models in biomedical research, help students acquire the skills to write applications and protocols involving research animals, and prepare the students for their qualifying exams. The course will consist of weekly lectures and in-depth sessions on animal models of infectious and non-infectious diseases led by experienced faculty. Students will be required to present research paper(s) and evaluate the approach, usefulness, and validity of the models discussed. Also, students will be expected to write and submit an IACUC protocol, which will be critically reviewed by the course directors and randomly assigned members of the class. Grading will be based on presentations, written IACUC protocol, written critique of an IACUC protocol, final in-class exam, and attendance/participation in discussions.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6302, BBSC 6303, or consent of instructor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 2; Conference/Discussion 1.5
Instructor: Dann, Travi


Project Proposal Preparation (BBSC 6221)

2019 Syllabus
This course provides skills to develop a dissertation proposal and tools to understand how to best proceed in the preparation of a research proposal or to anticipate reviewer responses. Its goals are to acquire knowledge about basic principles governing proposed topic of dissertation; to become familiar with assessment of current research literature; to acquire practice in process of preparing, giving and critiquing a chalk talk; to acquire some practice in process of preparing, giving and critiquing a research proposal; to learn how to evaluate a grant and respond to such a critique by participating in an NIH style study section. Sample NIH grants and reviews are provided; and to learn how to present such evaluations in a group setting; to prepare a riposte and resubmit a research proposal after review. The course will be taught using some didactic presentations by faculty on what is a chalk talk, desired features of a proposal, the NIH study section approach, how to critique a proposal, and how to respond to a critique with examples. The faculty will also facilitate interactive discussions related to the above. The student will be expected to prepare a chalk talk of their proposed project, to write a proposal and a critique of a fellow student's proposal, to discuss the critiqued proposal, to prepare a riposte and re-submission. Grades will be based on class participation, presentations, and written material.

Prerequisites: Admission to a research group by a mentor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 1; Discussion 3
Instructor: Hamill, Green


Biostatistics (BBSC 6222)

2020 Syllabus

This is a required core course in the Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum (BBSC) which will provide students in the basic sciences with an introduction to statistical thinking. Specific topics include basic summaries, probability, inference, experimental design, hypothesis testing, and statistical modeling. Students will learn about the difference between populations and samples. They will learn the proper way to describe experimental results based on descriptive statistics and visualization strategies. They will learn about experimental design and hypothesis testing. Specifically, they will learn when to correctly apply and how to perform the one sample t-test, student's t-test, paired t-test, one-way ANOVA, two-way ANOVA, repeated measures ANOVA, linear regression, correlation tests, nonparametric tests, and chi-square analysis. They will learn the basics of power analyses and sample size calculations.  Each concept will be accompanied by a 2hr computer lab where the students will practice with real data examples using the software package R. Additionally students will periodically critique basic science articles to learn the best way to present statistical results in manuscript format. This will include discussions about graphs and figures as well as how results are presented and discussed throughout the articles.  Grading will be based on the performance of multiple lab assignments, several in-class quizzes, a final take-home exam, and class participation.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6302, BBSC 6303 or Consent of instructor
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Spratt


Cell Biology (BBSC 6302)

2019 Calendar

2019 Syllabus
This is a required foundation course in the Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum (BBSC). It is a sixteen-week course taught throughout the term to acquaint students with the basic principles of modern cell biology. The topics to be covered include regulation of basic cellular activities including functions of cell organelles, signaling, changes in cell numbers, interactions during development, and cellular organization into tissues. Grades will be based on the performance on in-class examinations and small-group discussion sessions.

Prerequisites: At least one-year college-level biology and chemistry; biochemistry recommended.
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Oberhauser


Biochemistry (BBSC 6303)

2019 Syllabus
2019 Calendar

This is a required foundation course in the Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum (BBSC). The primary goal of the course is to train students to develop their ability to critically analyze data. The course deals with the fundamental forces that provide the bases for molecular interactions, and the translation of these forces into the structure and function of proteins and nucleic acids. Emphasis will be on the principles that give rise to these forces; on applying the principles to biochemical problems; and on the application of the principles in understanding macromolecular structure and function. The course also provides a survey of techniques relevant to subjects discussed. In addition the course presents the general principles of regulation in metabolism, molecular signaling and synthesis and function of different biomolecules as they apply to developing an understanding of regulatory mechanisms in homeostasis and disease. Grades will be determined based on performance on written examinations, problem-solving homework and performance in small-group discussion sessions.

Prerequisites: At least one-year college-level biology and chemistry; biochemistry recommended or consent of instructor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3; Discussion 1
Instructor: Pettitt, Smith


Molecular Biology and Genetics (BBSC 6403)

2020 Syllabus
2020 Spring Calendar
April 2020 Modified Schedule for Students
This is a required foundation course in the Basic Biomedical Science Curriculum (BBSC). It will consist of three lectures per week and two-hour discussion sessions every other week for a total of sixteen weeks. Topics include nucleic acid structure, DNA replication, genetic recombination, recombinant DNA technology, mutations and their repair, transcription and its regulation, translation, Mendelian inheritance, the human genome, microbial genetics, transgenic animals and models of human genetic disorders, and human evolution. Grades will be determined based on the performance on four examinations, graded problem sets, and participation in small-group discussion sessions.

Prerequisites: BBSC 6302, BBSC 6303, or consent of instructor
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3; Conference/Discussion 2
Instructor: Bouyer


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Course Descriptions

Research (BMB 6097)

Work is designed to introduce the student to the techniques and philosophy of scientific research and to guide the development of a research problem in the major area of concentration. Provides laboratory experience prior to entering candidacy.  Grade is determined by a written progress report signed by mentor and program director.

Term offered: Fall, Spring  and Summer
Year offered: Annually


Thesis (BMB 6098)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Dissertation (BMB 6099)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree to enroll in this course.  This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Current Concepts in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (Faculty Seminar) (BMB 6111)

The objective of this course is to introduce students to current research in the general areas of biochemistry and molecular biology through attendance at faculty seminars. Students will be required to attend departmental seminars in the fall and spring semesters and submit a summary of each seminar attended. Students may choose from Biochemistry and Molecular Biology departmental seminars and Sealy Center for Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics seminars, and special seminars as communicated by the course director or coordinator. The required number of seminars to be attended will be communicated to the students each semester and will be approximately 75% of the departmental seminars offered that semester (between a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 12 per semester). No textbooks will be required. Grades will be satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory(U) based on attendance and completion of a seminar summary, to include the objectives/hypothesis of the research presented, methodology significant findings, and implications of research. Students will be required to complete and sign a seminar form containing the summary in order to receive credit. Completed forms will be turned into Dr. Morais for review. Failure to turn in the required number of completed forms per semester will result in a grade of "U", unsatisfactory ,for the semester.

1 Credit Hour
Prerequisite: None
Instructor: Marc Morais
Term offered: Fall and Spring
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 1 hour per seminar attended


Seminar (BMB 6195)

The course provides practical training in seminar presentation skills, critical thinking, and peer evaluation. Students must register for the Seminar course (BMB 6195) in years 2, 3 and 4 (three consecutive years after they enter into the BMB graduate program). Each student will attend student seminars regularly and, in addition, each student will present one research seminar per year in their third and fourth years. Grades will be calculated based on the performance of the following:

  • Seminar presentation (3rd yr students: 30 minute seminar; 4th yr students: 1 hour seminar)
  • Written evaluations on each speaker – must be submitted Tuesday following seminar
  • Participation in class discussions
  • Attendance – allowed 1 unexcused absence and 1 excused absence

The grading may be subject to change at the discretion of the director, but final course grades will be determined using the GSBS grading scale:

90-100 = A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 69 or below = F
Prerequisite: BBSC Core
1 Credit Hour
Instructor: Kay Choi
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Seminar 1


Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics (BMB 6208)

Lecturers will select seminal recent papers on principles and novel techniques used in the interpretation of DNA micro arrays, protein arrays and data mining of structural and functional databases. Each student is requested to read all papers, and present one paper with additional background information in a 45-minute lecture. The faculty will provide additional advice on the context of this paper in the literature, might complement the student presentation with comments from his expertise on particular techniques, and will stimulate the discussion on the content of paper.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor or BBSC core
2 Credit Hours
Instructors: Werner Braun, Mark Emmett, Steve Widen
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 2, 10 Week Course


Tutorial in DNA Replication, Repair, and Mutagenesis (BMB 6209)

This will address various aspects of DNA replication, repair, and mutagenesis. A particular focus point will be the interrelationships among repair processes and other important cellular functions. The aim is to develop students' fundamental knowledge of the research area, and their abilities to comprehend, evaluate and present scientific material.  Grading bases on written critiques of papers, on participation in the discussions, and quality of the presentation.

Grades will be calculated based on performance in the following:
In-class presentation of topic chosen (60%)
Class participation (40%)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor or BBSC core
2 Credit Hours
Instructor: S. Prakash, L. Prakash
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 2, 10 Week Course


Molecular, Cellular and Genetic Basis of Aging (BMB 6223) - Odd Years Only

This course encompasses the principles and novel techniques used in understanding the molecular, cellular (physiological) and genetic factors that regulates the rate of aging and longevity. The mechanisms of aging will be clarified by integrating genetic data with molecular, cellular and physiological outcomes and environmental factors. The course discusses how organisms develop the molecular and biochemical characteristics of aging. A major consideration is how environmental factors interact with genetic factors to influence a aging processes

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor or BBSC core
Instructor: John Papaconstantinou
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Bi-Annually
Hours per week: 2, 10 Week Course


Structural Biology and Biophysical Chemistry (BMB 6224)

This course deals with the role of biophysical methods, including structural biology, solution biophysical and computational approaches, in the study of proteins in the proteomic era. The focus is on conformational changes and macromolecular assembly, the utility of dynamic and static structural data, and the necessity to combine experimental approaches to obtain a full functional description.

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor or BBSC core Consent of instructor or BBSC core
2 Credit Hours
Instructor: W. Yin
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 2, 10 Week Course


Fellowship Writing (BMB 6231)

The goal of a graduate training is to develop a student into an independent investigator. The trademarks of an independent investigator are the acquisition of the ability to:

1. Identify a project of significance through critical analysis of the literature;
2. Identify needed information to fill the gap;
3. Identify the best approaches to acquire the needed information;
4. Assimilate data;
5. Present data in writing or verbally.

This course will be offered to the 2nd year students to provide them with the framework for their graduate training.

Prerequisite: None
2 Credit Hours
Instructor: Muge Martinez
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 3 hours, 15 weeks


Structure-Based Drug Discovery (BMB 6238)

The drug discovery process requires a combination of different disciplines with the ultimate goal of bringing to the marketplace a drug that can treat health problems. However, the current experimental strategy of drug discovery and development is expensive, inefficient, and lengthy. Structure-aided drug discovery constitutes an advantageous strategy to improve the drug discovery process with less investment of money and time. Using didactic lectures and computer-based interactive projects, this course will provide an in-depth introduction to the theoretical and practical aspects of structure-aided drug discovery. At the completion of this course, participants will have become skilled in applying the software, databases, and concepts necessary to independently initiate a computer-based drug discovery project.

Prerequisite: None
2 Credit Hours
Instructor: Stan Watowich
Term offered: Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 6 hours, 7 weeks


Biological Fluorescence (BMB 6239)

Course description and objectives: The course addresses major theoretical and practical aspects of fluorescence spectroscopy as encountered in biological research of macromolecular interactions in solution. The subjects include discussions of fluorescence intensity measurements, emission and excitation spectra, inner filter effect, magic angle, fluorescence lifetime, quantum yield determination, dynamic and collisional quenching problems, and Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) theory. Practical aspects of the course will focus on the experimental design, approaches and applications of measurement of fluorescence, including steady state and time dependent fluorescence anisotropy as applied to macromolecular structure analyses, and quantitative fluorescence titration methodologies in examining energetics of macromolecular interactions

Prerequisite: Undergraduate background in Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry
2 Credit Hours
Instructor: Wlodek Bujalowski
Term offered: Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 4 hours, 8 weeks


Probabilistic and Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics (BMB 6240)

In this course, we will concentrate on some of the key probabilistic, statistical concepts and machine learning techniques actively used in modern biomedical data analysis. Examples of data processing will be provided from proteomics experiments and standard databases available in R. The grading is based on class participation, homework assignments, midterm and final exams.

Prerequisite: 2 Credit Hours
Instructor: Rovshan Sadygov
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 2 hours, 12 weeks


Molecular Biophysics I (BMB 6332)

BMB Syllabus 6332
In this course, students learn thermodynamics and kinetics for biological molecules. Both theoretical and experimental aspects are covered. Students also learn the MATLAB software so that they can use it as a tool for their own research.

3 Credit Hours
Instructors: Junji Iwahara (Course Director) Ridvan Nepravishta, Andres Oberhauser, B. Montgomery Pettitt, Krishna Rajarathnam, Thomas Smith
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 3 hours, 16 weeks


Molecular Biophysics II (BMB 6334)

In this course, students learn thermodynamics and kinetics for biological molecules. Both theoretical and experimental aspects are covered. Students also learn the MATLAB software so that they can use it as a tool for their own research.

3 Credit Hours
Instructors: Whitney Yin (Course director), Michael Sherman, Krishna Rajarathnam Thomas Smith
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 3 hours, 16 weeks


Macromolecular Structure (BMB 6336)

Introduction to proteins and nucleic acids, with emphasis on physical underpinnings. Topics include primary, secondary, and tertiary structure, sequence analysis, energetics and predictive methods. The final course grades will be based on the performance of two exams, problem sets, and attendance.

3 Credit Hours
Instructors: Wlodek M. Bujalowski, PhD, Andres Oberhauser, PhD, Stanley J. Watowich, PhD
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 3 hours, 16 weeks


Statistical Thermodynamics (BMB 6341)

This is an advanced elective course in fundamental biophysics. We will explore topics concerning the connection between the microscopic properties of atoms determined by quantum mechanics with the macroscopic properties determined by thermodynamics. We wish to understand the connection between atomic or molecular properties and bulk behavior as happens in solutions or cells. The central objective of the course is how to get from 10^23 variables (like position, velocity, species) to a small number of thermodynamic observables. The tools of statistics and probability theory will be employed to understand the behavior of large numbers of atomic/molecular systems via their mechanical laws and properties to describe solids, liquids and biopolymers. Lectures, online course materials, and homework problems will be used for each class period.

Prerequisite: No graduate course prerequisites. Undergraduate thermodynamics, differential equations, and some quantum mechanics are recommended.
3 Credit Hours
Instructor: B.M. Pettitt
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 3 hours, 15 weeks


Biological Electron Microscopy (BMB 6351)

The purpose of this course is for the student to develop an understanding of the principles of electron microscopy as applied to the study of biological macromolecules and tissues. Knowledge of these principles will form a foundation for gaining practical experience and training in biological electron microscopy. At the completion of this course, participants will have become skilled in applying some of the techniques and concepts necessary to independently initiate projects on quantitative protein unfolding/folding, protein-ligand binding, protein size distribution, protein secondary and tertiary structure, or any number of other quantitative biophysics applications.

Prerequisite: BMB 6334-Molecular Biophysics II or permission from instructor.
3 Credit Hours
Instructors: Marc Morais and Michael Sherman
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 3 hours, 15 weeks


Structural Bioinformatics (BMB 6361)

Structural Bioinformatics is driven by the emergence of large amounts of data on gene sequences, three-dimensional (3D) macromolecular structures of genes and proteins and their functional properties. Those data are derived from high-throughput DNA sequencing, as results from the Protein Structure Initiative to generate a comprehensive overview of all 3D protein folds, and mass spectroscopic/proteomics methods to characterize structural modifications of proteins in a living cell environment. The objective of the course is to make students familiar with the basic concepts and practical state-of the art computational tools to search, retrieve and analyze those high-resolution structural data and be able to generate hypotheses on the biological mechanisms of those systems. The course will focus on probability concepts and statistical models of data representations and analysis, algorithms for sampling data, software tools for protein structure prediction, and computational methods for analyzing the energetics, kinetics and dynamics of bio-macromolecules and their interactions by structural simulations.

Prerequisite: Previous attendance of the course BBSC 6223 Bioinformatics is highly recommended.
3 Credit Hours
Instructor: W. Braun, R. Sadygov, B.M. Pettitt
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 3 hours week - 16 weeks


CELL Course Descriptions

Laboratory Rotation (CELL 6008)

The majority of students will have completed their lab rotations in year I while enrolled in the required BBSC 6301 laboratory rotation course. The students are expected to have chosen their mentor before starting year II. With the approval of the Program Director, any student who has not chosen a mentor and lab in which to conduct their dissertation research can register for Cell Laboratory Rotation.

The objectives of this course are to acquaint students with the research activities of individual faculty members and to assist students in selecting their areas of specialization. Upon mutual agreement with faculty, the students will rotate through 1-2 laboratories during each term in year II and spend approximately seven weeks in each laboratory. During this time the student will observe and participate in specific research projects. It is expected that the student will spend a minimum of 12 hours in the laboratory per week. Grading will be based on a written report describing the project worked on in each laboratory. Course may be repeated for credit.

1-9 credits
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and the Program Director
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 12 - 36 Laboratory


Research (CELL 6097)

Formal research directed toward Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degree programs. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the student’s research supervisor and will be assigned as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

3-9 credits
Prerequisite: None
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 3 - 27 Laboratory


Thesis (CELL 6098)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Dissertation (CELL 6099)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree to enroll in this course.  This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Seminar (CELL 6195)

The objectives of this course are to expose students to a wide range of current research topics in cell biology, and to allow students to organize and present seminars in their own fields of interest. All Cell Biology Graduate Program students must register for seminar course every term irrespective of status in the program. Generally, the class will be graded S/U. However, in the semester the student presents a seminar, the student will receive a letter grade from an assigned faculty member.

Specific expectations for achieving a grade S are as follows:

All students are expected to attend seminars presented by local and invited speakers on a regular basis. All students (pre-candidacy and in candidacy) are required to attend all Cell student seminars, including oral qualifying exam presentations and oral defense presentations, and faculty candidate seminars. A sign-up sheet will be available to each student at the start of each semester. The sign-up sheet must be completed by the student and turned in to the coordinators office one week before the end of the semester. Excuses will only be granted with PRE-APPROVAL of the Course Director. Failure to attend a required seminar (as described above) without an excuse will result in an unsatisfactory (U) grade. Students are also required to attend seminars of invited speakers if the speaker has been invited by the Cell Program.

Students in pre-candidacy are required to attend 12 seminars per term. These can include seminars presented by Cell students, faculty candidates and Cell invited speakers. The students will be responsible for maintaining their sign-up sheet for the semester and will turn it in to the program coordinator at the end of the semester. Pre-candidacy students are required to give a seminar once a year which describes the research project they have worked on either during a lab rotation or after the student has chosen a laboratory to work in on their dissertation proposal. The student will receive a letter grade (A-C) from the assigned faculty/examination committee members in the semester in which the student gives a seminar.

Students in candidacy are NOT required to document 12 seminars per semester though seminar attendance is still an essential part of training as a doctoral student. Students in candidacy are, however, required to record attendance of all Cell student seminars and faculty candidate seminars on the sign-up sheet provided by the program coordinator in order to receive a satisfactory (S) or letter grade. Students in candidacy are expected to present their research once per year, and will receive a letter grade in the semester they present the seminar. This can include the seminar given at the time of oral exam/oral defense. The annual seminars may be coordinated with a committee meeting. In the semester the student presents their research seminar, the student will receive a letter grade. The student must have recorded attendance at all Cell student and faculty candidate seminars on the sign-up sheet provided until and unless they have received pre-approval by the program director to be excused.

1 Credit
Prerequisites: None
Terms offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 1


Imaging in Biology (CELL 6207)

This is a 16 week course consisting of 3 modules that will encompass the basic principles of imaging. This course is taught from a syllabus that will be available on the first day of the class. A letter grade (A-F) will be given. The final grade in this course will be determined from class participation, student presentations and written exam.

The first module is comprised of the principles of imaging, which will cover:

— The basic properties of electromagnetic waves
— Laser/non-laser radiation
— Interaction of light with molecules, cells and tissues
— Fundamentals of spectroscopy and imaging
— Laboratory demonstrations and paper discussions

The second module will cover fluorescence microscopy from both the theoretical and practical points of view. There will be a series of lectures as well as practical applications including:

— Image processing
— Light microscopy (phase and DIC)
— Confocal and multiphoton laser scanning microscopy.

The last module of this course will cover single molecule detection and manipulation, including atomic force microscopy. In addition to lectures, this segment will also consist of demonstrations and group discussions.

2 credits
Prerequisites: None
Terms offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 2 - 4


Advanced Academic Success Skills (CELL 6419)

Graduate students training to become successful investigators need to learn how to submit grant proposals and learn the art and science of presenting their research proposals in front of their peers and in different settings. Part I of the course is devoted to helping the students develop their dissertation proposals in the NIH format for R01 proposals. Students are also taught to convert their proposals into the F30/F31 format in order to submit their proposals to the NIH for graduate training. In Part II of this course, the lecturer works with each student to help them develop the skills for presenting their dissertation proposals in an effective and cohesive manner. Grading will be based on class participation, quality of home assignments submitted on time, quality of the final written dissertation proposal and final oral presentation of their dissertation proposal in a public seminar. The written dissertation and oral presentations are evaluated by examiners, who are chosen by the course director based on the expertise of the examiners in the field of the proposal. All work will be graded on an A-F scale.

4 credits
Prerequisites: Must have chosen the primary mentor and an area of research in which the student will work for their dissertation research. Preferably, the student will have developed the specific focus of their research in the mentor’s laboratory, and generated some preliminary data towards their goals/hypothesis.
Terms offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 4


Maternal-Fetal Reproductive Biology, Physiology and Pathology (CELL 6222)

The course will advance the interest and knowledge in the area of reproductive biology, physiology and pathophysiology, specifically in maternal and fetal medicine. The students should achieve a broad perspective of reproductive systems and process, and become familiar with modern experimental approaches, both in vitro and in vivo. It is designed to enable the student to understand: 1) the development and function of reproductive system; 2) reproductive biology; 3) physiological processes that affect maternal and fetal well-being; 4) the mechanisms of fetal programming and adult on set diseases; 5) pathology of reproductive tissues. Experience is gained by working with the faculty and the other students in an active class discussion. This course will provide basic knowledge of reproductive system biology and endocrine, paracrine signaling during pregnancy and parturition. Emphasis is also on reproductive tissue including placental pathology and developmental programming of chronic adult onset diseases. The course grade is based on class participation, comprehensive final exam, and oral presentation that the student will be required to prepare on a topic of chosen interest.

2 credits
Prerequisites: None
Terms offered: Summer
Year offered: Biennially, Even Years
Hours per week: Lecture, 2


Teaching Gross Anatomy (CELL 6324)

This course provides additional training in gross anatomy for graduate students anticipating future teaching responsibilities in this discipline. Enrollment is only open to those students who have had significant previous training in human gross anatomy, including extensive dissection experience. This course requires performance as a teaching assistant in the gross anatomy lab on a daily basis and may include gross anatomical pro-section dissections and formal presentations of the dissected regions to the SOM freshman medical class, senior medical students, and/or PA/PT students in the School of Health Professions. Participation in a clinical anatomy journal club is also required. Grading (S/U) will be determined by the Course Director based on observation of performance in the laboratory, knowledge of and skill in demonstrating anatomical structure, student evaluations, and presentations in small group setting. Students will receive periodic written feedback during the course regarding their performance. Although traditionally offered in the fall semester, actual dates and times of the course will be determined by the anatomy teaching staff. Enrollment requires prior consultation with and approval of Course Director. Depending on various circumstances, the course may not be offered every calendar year.

3 credits
Prerequisites: Cell 6701 - Gross Anatomy (Must have received a grade B or higher and have approval by dissertation mentor.)
Terms offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually (Depending on various circumstances, the course may not be offered every calendar year.)
Hours per week: 3 - 6 Laboratory and Lecture


Cellular & Molecular Mechanisms in Health & Disease (CELL 6401)

The course is designed to teach latest advances in Cell Biology, with emphasis on molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways. Topics will be taught by faculty who have the expertise and conduct research in the subject matter. A total of 14-15 topics will be taught. Prior to the start of the course, students will receive suggested reading for each topic to be covered in the course. Suggested reading material will help the students gain basic and current understanding of the topic to be covered, and students will read the suggested literature before the week in which the topic is taught. On Day 1(Monday) of the week, faculty will present an overview of the topic and query the students for knowledge they are expected to have gained by reading the suggested literature. Faculty will then assign students specific topics that they will need to present and discuss on Wednesday. On Day 2 (Wednesday), students (in pairs or singly) will be requested to lead the discussion on the assigned topics. Each week, 2-3 topics within an area, will be covered. Students will lead the discussion and faculty will facilitate the discussions, to ensure that all students contribute to the discussion. On Day 3 (Friday), faculty will have a wrap-up session and challenge the students with specific questions on the topic, to judge critical thinking skills. Grades will be based on student knowledge (day 1), participation and written/oral presentations (day 2), and answers to critical thinking Qs (such as problem solving exercises) ( day 3 ). Faculty will provide a score for each day, on a scale of 10, for each student. A grid for each day will be sent to the faculty for providing written scores. Grades on all three days from all weeks will be combined and calculated as a percent. Final grade will be formulated as a letter grade, wherein: 70-79%=C; 80-89%=B; 90-100%=A. A grade of less than 70%=Fail.

4 credits
Prerequisites: All Graduate Students, other than MD-PhD students, should have passed required BBSC courses 6401, 6302, 6403, 6222, or have authorization to enroll from the course director.
Terms offered: Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 4, Conference or Discussion


Human Gross Anatomy (CELL 6701)

Lectures, conferences and laboratory work cover the gross anatomical structure and function of the human body. Additional bi-weekly conferences focus on such topics as the history of anatomy, anatomical terminology, developmental anatomy, and anatomical topics in current medical and scientific literature. Exposure to Problem-Based-Learning is also likely. Laboratory sessions involve the complete dissection of a human cadaver (4-5 students/cadaver). Laboratory study is aided by anatomical models, permanent glass-mounted dissections, roentgenograms, computer-based cross-sectional anatomy exercises and gross pathology demonstrations. Grading will be based on midterm and final examinations which will include written and laboratory practical formats. These examinations will determine the majority of the course grade with PBL and small group discussion contributing the remainder. Examination scores will be based on an adjusted percentage correct with 70% level as passing as used in examinations for School of Medicine students taking the course. Although traditionally offered in the fall semester, actual dates and times of the course will be determined by the anatomy teaching staff. Enrollment requires prior consultation with and approval of Course Director. Depending on various circumstances, the course may not be offered every calendar year.

2 credits
Prerequisite: None
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually (Depending on various circumstances, the course may not be offered every calendar year.)
Hours per week: 7, Laboratory and Lecture


CTPS Course Descriptions

Mentored Research for Postdoctoral Scholars (CTPS 6001)

No classroom attendance required. Research report due online at end of term.

This course consists of the training the postdoctoral scholar’s supervisor provides regularly in the laboratory and, thus, requires no class attendance. When research prevents a postdoc from leaving the lab bench, he or she may register only for Mentored Research. This course is designed to fine-tune postdocs' basic research skills in the laboratory or other location where the research takes place. The course consists of research in keeping with the postdoc's field, and overseen by the mentor.
*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: Limited to 3.0


Research Seminar (CTPS 6101)

Seminar attendance, as required by mentor. Personal verification of attendance due at end of term.

This course is designed for postdocs to observe and learn to develop and present seminars about their research. After completing the course, students should be able to discuss their research with scientists in a way that helps advance the project; develop a presentation that concisely presents the research; develop learning objectives that the audience will receive from the presentation; demonstrate the ability to engage the audience in the research project; and observe and objectively assess and discuss another scientist's research.
*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Journal Club (CTPS 6102)

Journal club attendance, as required by mentor. Personal verification of attendance due at end of term.

This course is designed for postdocs to learn to critically read and evaluate scientific journal articles and discuss them with colleagues; to lead discussions about published research developments, and to plan discussions for journal club meetings.

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Career Planning (Individual Development Plan) (CTPS 6103)

No classroom attendance required.

This course is comprised of writing your own Individual Development Plan (IDP) and discussing it with your mentor during the semester of registration. You must write your IDP, discuss it with at least one faculty mentor, and send a copy of the signed IDP and your CV to the Postdoctoral Affairs Office. There is no class to attend.
*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Practical Scientific Writing (CTPS 6104)

This course is designed for postdoctoral scientists and senior graduate students who are non-native English speakers and need advice about manuscripts currently in development. The course will cover organization in writing a manuscript, reviewing punctuation & grammar, and reviewing and critiquing one’s own manuscript. It will help participants develop an effective writing style for scholarly documents, with special emphasis on research articles and grant proposals.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Library Search Tools (CTPS 6106)

This course is designed to prepare postdocs and advanced graduate students with the basic skills in using library resources to help with efficient and effective information retrieval and management, to manage references using bibliographic management software and to inform about various metrics used to determine research impact.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Animal Research Topics and IACUC Protocol Essentials (CTPS 6107)

This course is designed to prepare postdocs and advanced graduate students with information pertaining to the research use of animals. After completing the course, researchers can explain the composition and functions of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), including IACUC protocol submission procedure and the committee’s review process. Write an IACUC protocol suitable for submission to the IACUC.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


General Laboratory Safety and Good Laboratory Practices (CTPS 6108)

Online and classroom participation required.

This course is designed to prepare postdoctoral scholars and advanced graduate students with basic tools and information about biomedical laboratory safety and the FDA's Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) regulations, codified under Title 21 Part 58 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Research Project Management 101 (CTPS 6109)

This course is designed to provide training in the management of sponsored research projects. After completing the course, students should be prepared to discuss the laws and regulations related to research finances; discuss the life cycle of a successful grant application; prepare the components of a grant proposal; report effort expended on a research grant; manage financial aspects of a grant; discuss cost principles related to grant management; and close out a grant.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Preparing for Proposals and Publications (CTPS 6110)

This course is designed to provide tools necessary to prepare to write grant proposals and research manuscripts.  After completing the course, students should be prepared to use the campus online search program, InfoEd, to identify funding opportunities and receive funding alerts; search for and identify investigators with similar research interests who may be collaborators, consultants or mentors; write clearly and avoid common mistakes in grammar, punctuation and scientific writing styles; and cite manuscripts submitted to PubMed Central and clinical trials registries in proposals.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Effective Presentation Skills (CTPS 6111)

This course is designed to prepare postdoctoral scholars and advanced graduate students with basic tools to design and deliver effective presentations using sound principles of public speaking. It will also help them learn to control nervousness when speaking before a group.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) (CTPS 6112)

This course will offer students an in-depth understanding of biosafety principles, practices and techniques that are necessary to successfully conduct research in a BSL2 laboratory.  Topics will include risk assessment, personal protective equipment (PPE), proper use and selection of biological safety cabinets (BSCs) & chemical fume hoods, aerosol producing procedures, biological and chemical exposures, transport of biological materials, disinfection, waste handling, and emergency laboratory procedures. 

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Navigating the IRB and Investigator Responsibilities (CTPS 6113)

This course is designed for those with responsibilities in human subject’s research. The course prepares researchers to: Identify the purpose, history and structure of the Institutional Review Board (IRB); Develop a framework for research with humans and human tissues, as well as vulnerable populations; Develop a protocol for submission to and review by the IRB; Report adverse events related to human research; Develop forms for obtaining informed consent from potential research subjects; and Develop acceptable methods for obtaining informed consent. 

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Animal Biosafety Level 2 (ABSL2) (CTPS 6114)

This course provides an in-depth understanding of biosafety principles, practices and techniques necessary to successfully conduct research in an ABSL2 laboratory.  Topics include Animal Biosafety Levels, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Proper Use and selection of Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs), Aerosol Producing Procedures, Biological Exposures, Transport of Animals and Biological Materials, Disinfection, Waste handling, and Emergency laboratory procedures.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


TRM1 - Team Building and Meeting Management (CTPS 6115)

This course is designed to prepare postdocs and advanced graduate students with the basic tools to develop their management skills for leading translational research projects.  With completion of this course, the participant will be able to: diagnose team effectiveness and dynamics; understand the role of norms, roles, goals, and team procedures, and to apply techniques to develop such; plan and facilitate both traditional and virtual meetings in a highly professional manner; use facilitation tools and techniques to develop and lead teams; follow established models of teams and groups, and apply the latest practices (cross functional teams, new product teams) to translational team efforts.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


TRM2 - Effective Leadership (CTPS 6116)

This course is designed to prepare postdocs and advanced graduate students with the basic tools to develop their management skills for leading translational research projects.  With completion of this course the participant will be able to: diagnose one’s own development needs relative to project leadership competencies; understand and apply contemporary theories and techniques of leadership with an emphasis on new paradigm and emergent institutional focus; understand steps, stages, and processes of employee empowerment; apply various leadership, empowerment, and coaching techniques to translational teams and team members.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


TRM3 - Conflict Resolution and Negotiations (CTPS 6117)

This course is designed to prepare postdocs and advanced graduate students with the basic tools to develop their management skills for leading translational research projects.  With completion of this course the participant will be able to: diagnose personal conflict management skills and negotiations strengths and weaknesses; understand the needed behavioral skills associated with resolving conflict, building trust, and negotiating successfully; understand and apply various types of individual, dyadic, and multiple party forms of negotiation.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL3) (CTPS 6118)

This course provides an in-depth understanding of biosafety principles, practices and techniques necessary to successfully conduct research in an ABSL3 laboratory.  Topics include Animal Biosafety Levels, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Proper Use and selection of Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs), Aerosol Producing Procedures, Biological Exposures, Transport of Animals and Biological Materials, Disinfection, Waste handling, and Emergency laboratory procedures.
*Enrollment limited to individuals working in ABSL3 labs.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Teaching Practicum – Laboratory (CTPS 6119)

This course is designed to prepare postdoctoral scholars to help teach proper laboratory skills to medical students and to help them learn to identify what the results are showing them, as part of the problem based learning (PBL) courses within the UTMB School of Medicine, and under the guidance of a faculty co-facilitator.

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Teaching Practicum – GSBS Small Group Facilitation (CTPS 6120)

This course is designed to prepare postdocs to facilitate discussion in the small group discussion course components within the UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.  After completing the course, students should be prepared to: 1) Develop a facilitating style that encourages discussion among the graduate students that will help them reach the desired result; 2) Develop a method for evaluating the students' knowledge and preparation; 3) Demonstrate the ability to encourage participation by everyone in the group.
 

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


This course is designed to prepare postdocs and advanced graduate students with the basic tools to develop and lead a laboratory in academia or industry, manage resources and personnel effectively, and evaluate funding and technology transfer options. 

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Presentation Skills Practicum (CTPS 6122)

This course is designed to provide postdoctoral scientists and senior graduate students with experience in presenting a seminar and learning to perform critical reflection as a routine part of the evaluation process, in order to instill a more scholarly approach to this most important part of the scientific process.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Interpersonal Communications and Leadership (CTPS 6123)

This course is designed to enhance postdocs' interpersonal communication skills, using the Birkman Method to ascertain personal behavioral and work styles, as well as their own emotional intelligence quotient. After participants complete the online Birkman evaluation, the instructor will personally review the results with each individual before the coursework begins. In the classroom setting, participants then will learn ways to improve communication with their peers, supervisors and subordinates that will help them succeed, no matter whether they stay in academic research or move on to careers in industry, government or the plethora of science related fields.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


TRM4 – Personal Influence and Communications (CTPS 6124)

100% Online Course

Through use of directed readings, diagnostic instruments, case studies, and personal application exercises and plans, the overall purpose is to provide students with the behavioral skills and the understanding of how to more effectively relate to their peers, managers, employees, and research-related constituents. A particular focus for this course will involve how to influence without formal authority and how to reduce resistance to change.

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Undergraduate Teaching – Observation (CTPS 6125)

This 2-phase course is designed to prepare postdoctoral scholars to teach science courses in the college setting, under the guidance of a faculty mentor at a local undergraduate college or school. The first phase is for observing several faculty members with different teaching methodologies. The second phase is the classroom teaching segment.

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Undergraduate Teaching – Experience (CTPS 6126)

This 2-phase course is designed to prepare postdoctoral scholars to teach science courses in the college setting, under the guidance of a faculty mentor at a local undergraduate college or school. The first phase is for observing several faculty members with different teaching methodologies. The second phase is the classroom teaching segment.

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


TRM5 – Problem Solving and Decision Making (CTPS 6128)

100% Online Course

The course is designed for those who wish to develop specific skills and knowledge in the management of scientific projects and translational science. This course is set up for a sixteen-week semester and is structured as a completely asynchronous course to assist with the time management needs of those interested, but for whom a traditional delivery model would be difficult. Seven specific modules are developed along the lines of similar context.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


TRM6 – Translational Research Project Management (CTPS 6129)

The course is designed for those who wish to develop specific skills and knowledge in the management of scientific projects and translational science.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Comprehensive Grant Writing (CTPS 6130)

This course will enable postdocs and graduate students to refine skills they need to write variable research fellowship or grant applications.  The course will include topics on finding funding, grantsmanship, working with sponsored programs, writing specific aims and research strategy sections, and addressing abstract, subject’s protection, etc.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Application for Funding (CTPS 6131)

No Classroom attendance required.

*Note: A verification that you have previously submitted an application for funding will be required to receive credit for this course.

This course is designed to provide postdoctoral scientists with experience in preparing and submitting an application for funding. Participants will spend time with their mentors: 1) identifying and selecting a funding opportunity; 2) determining the application submission date; 3) planning the application; 4) writing and completing the application; and 5) submitting the application.

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Leadership Experience (CTPS 6132)

No classroom attendance required.

*Note: A verification form describing the activity will be required to receive credit for this course.

This course is designed to provide postdoctoral scientists with leadership experience. Postdoctoral scientists shall receive credit for having played a substantial leadership role in the UTMB Postdoctoral Association, by serving on a university of professional society committee, or organizing/facilitating an event or series such as a poster session, journal club, seminar series or work in progress.

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Outreach Activity (CTPS 6133)

No classroom attendance required.

*Note: A verification form describing the activity will be required to receive credit for this course.

Biomedical researchers are expected to reflect and advance the values of their profession in the community at large. Universal professionalism, or connecting with society in representing an expertise, can foster public trust in biomedical research. This course is designed to provide postdoctoral scientists with outreach experience. Postdoctora I scientists s ha II receive credit for having played a substantial role in a scientific or educational outreach activity such as serving as a science fair judge or giving a lecture or lab demo at a primary or secondary school.

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Conference Presentation (CTPS 6134)

No classroom attendance required.

*Note: A verification that you have previously presented at a conference will be required to receive credit for this course.

This course is designed to provide postdoctoral scientists with experience in preparing and delivering a presentation (oral or poster) at a local, national, or international scientific meeting, and performing critical reflection of feedback received in a collegial atmosphere.  

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Research Mentoring (CTPS 6135)

No classroom attendance required.

*Note: A verification form describing the activity will be required to receive credit in this course.
 
This course is designed to provide postdoctoral scientists with experience in serving as a supervisor/mentor for a research project conducted by a trainee such as a rotating graduate student, medical student, SURP or HSSRP student. The name of the trainee and program must be submitted to the UTMB Postdoctoral Affairs Office and the appropriate programs. This activity must also be coordinated with the postdoctoral fellow's own research mentor.

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


International Collaborations (CTPS 6136)

This course will cover different aspects of international collaborations ranging from co-authorship of scientific manuscripts to development of research projects. Cultural aspects, geographical distances as well as political and economic reasons heavily influence these collaborations. The course will be interactive, with emphasis on student’s development of a simulated international project. This will encompass searching for information and discussion on diverse topics linked to that task. In addition, the course will have the participation of lecturers with experience in international collaboration with different countries, mostly through the development of research projects or multi-centric clinical trials.

Credit Hours/Semester: 1.0


Teaching Practicum – Small Group Facilitation (CTPS 6201)

This course is designed to prepare postdoctoral scholars to co-facilitate discussions in the small group problem based learning (PBL) courses within the UTMB School of Medicine, under the guidance of a faculty facilitator. The postdoctoral co-facilitator will spend two hours per day for three days each week in the classroom, plus faculty planning sessions, for 10 consecutive weeks. As a result, permission of the postdoctoral scholar’s mentor is required. After completing the course, participants should be prepared to develop a facilitating style that encourages discussion among the medical students that will help them achieve the desired result; develop a method for evaluating the students' knowledge and preparation; and demonstrate the ability to encourage participation by everyone in the group.

*Enrollment limited to Postdoctoral Fellows

Credit Hours/Semester: 2.0


Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) (CTPS 6203)

This course will offer students an in-depth understanding of biosafety principles, practices and techniques necessary to successfully conduct research in a BSL3 laboratory.  Topics will include risk assessment, personal protective equipment (PPE), proper use and selection of biological safety cabinets (BSCs) & chemical fume hoods, aerosol producing procedures, biological and chemical exposures, transport of biological materials, disinfection, waste handling, and emergency laboratory procedures. 

*Enrollment limited to individuals working in BSL3 labs.

 Credit Hours/Semester: 2.0


College Teaching and Learning (CTPS 6301)

This course is designed to acquaint participants with basic tenets and principles involved with instructional frameworks and practices related to effective college teaching for maximum student learning. Interactive seminar sessions will demonstrate specific strategies for active learning. Topics to be addressed include characteristics of adult learners, motivational tools, what to include in a syllabus and effective teaching strategies. At the completion of the course, students will understand developmental characteristics of college students, understand how to motivate students, understand learning objectives and goals and their application to development of a syllabus, understand active learning exercises and collaborative learning activities.

Credit Hours/Semester: 3.0


Advanced Business Management (CTPS 6302)

This course is designed for postdoctoral scholars and advanced graduate students who are considering careers in which business management, finance and communication tools may be required.

Credit Hours/Semester: 3.0


Classroom Teaching Practicum (CTPS 6303)

This course is designed to prepare postdoctoral scholars to teach science courses in the college setting, under the guidance of a faculty member at a local college.

Credit Hours/Semester: 3.0


Interdisciplinary Course Description

INTD Communicating Science (INTD 6102)

Syllabus

This course is designed to help scientists become better communicators who are comfortable using the written word, oral presentations and images to tell the story of science to a lay audience. It is also designed to promote skills in peer to peer communication and evaluation. It is offered for all students and trainees (graduate, postdoctoral, PhD or MD) from any program or discipline (with permission of course director). The format will include a mixture of lectures, journalistic writing assignments, presentations, and small group workshops where students will help critique and edit their classmates' work. Grades will be based on preparation, professionalism, participation in workshops and homework assignments.

Prerequisites: Permission of course director
Terms offered: Fall
Instructor: Toliver-Kinsky


Experimental Pathology Course Descriptions

PATH Special Topics (PATH 6000)

Study of special topics in Experimental Pathology. Topics are selected and study programs arranged on an individual basis with staff member.

Prerequisites: Consent of Instructor
Hours per week: Conference or discussion, 2
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Instructor: Staff


Research in Pathology (PATH 6097)

This course varies in credit according to the work performed. The student concentrates on a problem of his or her own choosing with faculty advisor.

Grading is S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory)
Prerequisite: None
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Instructor: McBride


Thesis (PATH 6098)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Dissertation (PATH 6099)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree to enroll in this course.  This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Biology of Arthropod Disease Vectors (PATH 6112)

The goal of this course is to introduce students to arthropods that are vectors for a wide variety of infectious agents that cause human diseases. The unique biology of hematophagous arthropods that has evolved to facilitate the coexistence between the vectors, pathogens, and the vertebrate host will be illustrated in both lectures and practical sessions. The curriculum will build upon a general introduction to arthropods. Then, using specific examples, the processes of infection, development, and transmission of pathogens will be discussed. This will include vector behaviors involved in location of the host, physiological adaptations to facilitate blood feeding and digestion, and factors that influence the vector-pathogen relationship. Options for controlling vector-borne diseases will be discussed from a historical perspective, with a consideration of how modern molecular approaches might be used in the future.

Prerequisites: None
Hours per week: 1
Terms offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Instructor: Bouyer/Vasilakis


Experimental Pathology Trainee Work in Progress (PATH 6115)

This course provides a forum for graduate student research in progress updates and is required for all graduate students in Experimental Pathology. The objective of this course is to enable students to gain experience by orally presenting their current research and future studies, and responding to questions from the audience. Attendance is required at the weekly Experimental Pathology seminars. Attendance at weekly Pathology Grand Rounds, other weekly clinical conferences, interdepartmental infectious disease conferences, and immunology or toxicology seminar offerings I voluntary, but strongly encourages. Grading is Standard (A-F) and grades will be determined based on submission of written evaluations (2nd year), attendance, and completion of one annual research presentation. (The written evaluations must be turned in to the Program Coordinator within 1 week of the seminar. Evaluations submitted after 1 week will automatically be reduced by one grade and those submitted 2 weeks late will not be accepted or receive a grade of F.) Attendance at 90% of seminars is required for year 2 trainees, and 80% for trainees in years 3-5. However, it is strongly recommended that graduate students attend all trainee seminar series, particularly those of their fellow students. Grades in the third year and beyond are based on attendance. Attendance records for the trainee workshop are maintained by the Program Coordinator.

Prerequisites: Consent of program director
Hours per week: Conference 1
Terms offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Instructor: McBride


Clinical Microbiology Practicum (PATH 6123)

This course is designed to provide graduate students with an opportunity to gain both understanding and practical, hands-on experience in the policies, procedures and regulatory/safety standards of the clinical microbiology laboratory, and its role in infectious disease diagnostics. It serves as an introduction to the field of clinical microbiology, for those students interested in pursuing this area as a career choice. The student will rotate through different sections of the clinical microbiology laboratory. Bench-level rotations will expose the student to laboratory subspecialties including bacteriology, virology, serology, mycology, mycobacteriology and parasitology. The student will be given simulated specimens on which to perform bacterial identification and susceptibility testing under the guidance of microbiology technologists. Throughout the rotation, students will participate in weekly Microbiology Plate Rounds and are encouraged to attend the weekly Adult and Pediatric Infectious Disease Case Conferences.

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor
Hours per week: Conference or discussion 2
Lab, up to 30
Grading is based on a written and oral assignment. Final grade will be assigned as either Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U)
Terms offered I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Instructors: Williams-Bouyer/ Loeffelholz


Foundations of Virology (PATH 6140)

Discoveries and discoverers, inventors and inventions, developers and technologies -- the historic bases for the state of virology research today and the larger context in which laboratory, field, and public health virology contribute to the prevention and control of viral diseases. I will use the tabular material and the 800 slide Powerpoint slide sets http://www.utmb.edu/ihii/virusimages/index.shtml to provide an overview of the history of medical virology, emphasizing as stated, "the discoverers and discoveries, the inventors and inventions, the developers and their technologies." In producing these materials I have accumulated quite a bit of information, enough to provide in lecture / discussion format a sense of the context of the discoveries, and in key instances lots of detail that everyone is sure to find exciting. 16 lectures will each cover an "era," starting with key events forming the base for the rise of microbiology in the 19th century, continuing with the discovery of the first viruses and the rise of the science in France, Germany and the United States in the early years of the 20th century, continuing with the discovery of most of the important human pathogens throughout the 20th century (and continuing today), and setting the stage for the molecular virology revolution that also continues.

Grading is S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory). Pass/fail will be determined by attendance and participation in class discussions.
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Instructor: TBD


Frontiers of Infectious Diseases (PATH 6145)

Frontiers in Infectious Diseases is an Experimental Pathology course that uses the Infectious Diseases and Immunity for its didactics. The colloquium is organized and sponsored by the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases (CBEID), the Center for Tropical Diseases (CTD), and the Departments of Microbiology & Immunology (M&I) and Pathology at UTMB. This colloquium was created to offer faculty, staff, and trainees the opportunity to hear about the latest research of recognized experts in the fields of infectious diseases, microbiology, and immunity. Invited speakers are almost always from academic institutions throughout the United States and occasionally from international institutions. The Colloquium offers a wide range of topics within the fields of infectious diseases, microbiology, and immunity, including epidemiology, vaccine development, pathogenesis, pathophysiology, molecular biology, cellular microbiology, etc. Students registered for this course will have the opportunity to meet the speaker in a separate small-group session called "meet the professor". This is a great opportunity to learn not only about the details of the speaker's research, but also about their motivations in science, their life experiences, and their advice as it relates to professional and academic advancement. Grading is S/U (satisfactory or unsatisfactory) and depends on attendance.

Specific requirements are the following: First year students will register for this course for the fall and spring semesters, and they must attend more than 80% of the seminars offered during those semesters
Second year students will register for this course for either the fall or the spring semester, and they must attend more than 80% of the seminars offered during the selected semester
Registered students must attend more than one third of the "meet the professor" post-seminar meetings
Terms offered: I,II
Year Offered: Annually
Instructor: McBride


Introduction to Vaccinology (PATH 6161)

Vaccines for the 21st Century is a five-week introductory course designed to provide the basic scientist with an understanding of vaccine development from conceptualization through development, testing and utilization. The course Objectives are to learn:

1. The history of the development of vaccines and their impact on society.
2. The identification of pathogens & diseases for which vaccines are needed.
3. The principles of the development, availability and use of vaccines.
4. The pathophysiologic approach to developing vaccine strategies.
5. The application of traditional and new technologies to vaccine development.
6. The importance of the regulatory process to vaccine development, including "proof of principle", pre-clinical and clinical testing.

The course will be taught in lecture format with a small number of expert lecturers. There will be assigned reading in preparation for each session. Reading materials will be provided. Each session will be 1 hour (total 15 contact hours). Course performance will be determined by take home midterm & final examinations (50% each).

Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Instructors: Milligan/Barnett


Workshop in Phylogenetics (PATH 6211)

Phylogenetic methods are becoming increasingly popular for studies of microbial systematics, molecular epidemiology and evolution, pathogen emergence, predicting host and vector relationships, inferring biochemical and drug sensitivity similarities, etc. Although user-friendly algorithms are now widely available, proper analyses require a theoretical understanding of the assumptions underlying the algorithms used, and the statistical methods for determining the stability of phylogenetic trees generated. This course is designed to provide students with a basic practical and theoretical knowledge of phylogenetic methods for analyzing nucleotide and amino acid sequences. Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to make sound decisions on the best methods for analyzing their own sequences, run a variety of algorithms on a UNIX workstation and Macintosh personal computer, and interpret results to reach valid, statistically-supported conclusions.

The course will meet for one session of two hours each week. The first hour will be devoted to theoretical discussions of methods, and demonstrations using a laptop computer and projection system. The second hour will be a computer laboratory session where students will be given hands-on training with phylogenetic algorithms. Grading is S/U (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) and based on a class project involving phylogenetic analysis of the students' sequences (either their own sequences from a research project or GenBank sequences of interest) as well as completion of a mock research paper suitable for submission to a journal. The results of class projects will also be presented to the class in typical scientific meeting format. Requirements for a passing grade include both publication quality data and writing, and a presentation of quality suitable for a national meeting. The final grade will be based 75% on the written class project (mock research paper) and 25% on the oral class presentation.

Prerequisites: Consent of Instructor
Hours per week: 2
Term offered: I
Year Offered: Annually
Instructor: Forrester


Basic Human Pathobiology-Toxicology (PATH 6276)

The objective of this course is to introduce the principles of toxicology. This is achieved by presenting specific clinically-relevant examples of toxic injury and exploring the biochemical, cellular and pathogenetic mechanisms that underlie these examples. Mechanisms of toxin-induced cellular injury discussed could include injury by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, xenobiotic adduction and metabolism, and receptor/signal disruption. Grading is based on contributions to class discussion (40%) and a final examination (60%).

Grading is Standard (A-F)
Hours per week: Lecture I, Conference I
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Instructors: Boor/Khan


Introduction to Competitive Grant Writing (PATH 6279)

This course will provide an introductory and interactive experience to competitive grant writing. Topics to be covered include understanding the review process, and planning, organizing, writing a successful hypothesis driven application. Students will be required to write a two year grant application, provide written critiques, and participate in a final mock study section review. Grading is Standard (A-F) and will be based on class participation (30%), written assignments (40%), and quality of the final application (40%).

Prerequisites: Consent of Instructor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Instructor: Dr. Vasilakis


Cellular Microbiology & Disease (PATH 6289)

This advanced course provides as in-depth examination of the molecular mechanisms of host-bacterial interactions to understand the bacterial strategies for evading or surviving the host defense systems. All topics are conceptual overviews of the principal mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis. Topics include molecular mechanisms of bacterial adherence to host cells and bacterial signaling host cells through adhesion molecules, bacterial subversion of endocytic pathways, bacterial manipulation of the host cell cytoskeleton, bacterial secretion systems, immune evasion mechanisms and persistent infection, and bacterial genomes and reductive evolution. Emphasis is given to diseases with prototypic pathogenic mechanisms. Instruction involves lectures, class discussions and readings in contemporary or classic literature. Grading is based on attendance (20%), class discussions and participation (30%), and one final examination (50%). The format of final exam will be for students to choose 5-6 out of 10-12 questions.

Grading is Standard (A-F)
Hours per week: Lecture 4, Conference 1
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Instructors: Dr. Aguilar, Dr. Sahni


Tropical Diseases (PATH 6318)

This course is designed to provide graduate students with an overview of tropical diseases and related current research. The course is not designed to be comprehensive, but will sample representatives of major infectious tropical diseases. Emphasis is placed on the ecology, epidemiology and control of tropical diseases. The class meets two (2) times a week for 90 minutes; each session includes a 45 minute lecture by a faculty member, followed by the presentation of a pertinent paper and discussion questions. Students are expected to submit their selected reference and at least 5 discussion questions to the lecturer one week in advance.

Grading is Standard (A-F)
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Instructors: Dr. Melby, Dr. Travi


Basic Human Pathobiology (PATH 6386)

This 8-week course will provide a fundamental background for students who are interested in pursuing knowledge in infectious disease pathogenesis and histopathology. This course will include a series of lectures on bacterial and viral pathogenesis and histopatholog. Bacterial pathogens include the agents of tuberculosis, plague, rickettsioses/ehrlichioses, and anthrax. Viral pathogens include alphaviruses, herpes viruses, hepatitis viruses, viral hemorrhagic fever viruses, Zika, and Influenza. Introductory lectures in immunology will include cellular and humoral immmunity, cytokines and principles of immunopathology. Additional introductory lectures include animal models of infectious diseases and diagnostic principles of infectious diseases in the clinical microbiology laboratory (including molecular diagnostics). Each pathogen lecture will have a component of molecular pathogenesis followed by a discussion of its histopathology.

Prerequisites: None
Hours per week: 1.5
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Instructors: Dr. Olano


Functional Histology and Pathobiology (PATH 6436)

This 16-week course will provide a fundamental background for students who are interested in pursuing experimental pathology. This course will include, but is not limited to, general pathobiology, basic functional histology, and organ development of humans. Pathobiology topics will include cell injury/death, acute inflammation, immunopathology, neoplasia, coagulation, and genetic diseases. Functional histology will include the following organ systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, hematopoietic, gastrointestinal/hepatic, and urinary. For each system, normal functional histology and the main categories of diseases will be discussed (infectious, neoplastic, environmental, hemodynamic, etc.). Supplemental lectures on experimental techniques used in pathology research will also be included: histology/immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, flow cytometry, and laser capture microdissection. Topics will be discussed as didactic lectures and use of glass slides/virtual imaging for demonstration of histology slides. Seven journal club sessions will take place during the course and will be related to the topics discussed during the course. Grading is Standard (A-F) and will be based on two mid-term exams and one final exam. Participation during journal clubs will also be graded. (Examinations: 20% + 20% + 20%; Journal Club: 20%; Attendance: 20%.

Prerequisites: Consent of instructor
Hours per week: Lecture 4
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Course Directors: Dr. Hawkins, Dr. Olano


Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine Course Descriptions

Research (HPTM 6097)

Formal research directed toward the Doctor of Philosophy degree programs. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the student's research supervisor and will be assigned as satisfactory or unsatisfactory in a Mentor Report. Work is designed to introduce students to the techniques and philosophy of scientific research and to guide them in the development of a research problem in their major area of concentration. At the end of the registered term, students are required to write a one-page description of their research work.

This course is taken after a student has passed the qualifying exam. Each student may enroll in this course for a maximum of three terms before becoming a candidate.

Prerequisites: Approval of Program Advisor
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable


Thesis (HPTM 6098)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Dissertation (HPTM 6099)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Translational Research Seminar Series for HPTM Graduate Students (HPTM 6109)

This seminar series PROVIDES OPPORTUNITIES FOR Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine (HPTM) graduate and Translational Research Track (TRT) medical students to present their research to their peers and interested faculty in a scholastic setting, maintain contact with TRT students and gain an understanding of the translational insights of the medical students doing their clinical rotations, and interface with experienced clinicians and scientific competencies. Grading will be based on: seminar and post-seminar discussion attendance (70%), professionalism (5%), career building (10%) and the annual presentation of a student research update seminar (15%).  Final grades will be calculated based on the standard A-F scale.

Prerequisites: Student must be entering second year in the HPTM program to enroll
Terms offered: I, II
Years offered: Annually
Hours per week: Discussion 1; Seminar 1


Practice of Translational Science – Modules I, II, III and IV (HPTM 6291, 6292, 6293, 6294)

6291 MODULE I: PRACTICE OF TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE (2 Credits)

Students in this course will participate in active, student-directed cooperative learning exercises in small groups to explore foundational concepts that address basic competencies of translational scientists. Students will be concurrently enrolled with medical students in Gross Anatomy and Radiology course (HPTM 6405). Topics explored during the POTS 1 courses will include scientific knowledge of human physiology and pathology as well as traditional basic sciences such as cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, etc. Concepts will be linked to Problem Based Learning cases studies in the GAR course (HTPM 6405). Students will also spend significant time in groups exploring and applying concepts related to other core competencies of translational scientists, such as teaching, professionalism, communication, and management.  Grades will be based on weekly quizzes (20%), final written exam (20%), small group participation and problem-solving (20%), and other (oral presentation, reflective writing, peer assessment, learning portfolio) (40%).

Prerequisites: Students must be enrolled in the HPTM program. HPTM 6405 must be taken concurrently.
Terms offered: I
Years offered: Annually
Hours per week:  Conference/Discussion 4


6292 MODULE II: PRACTICE OF TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE (2 Credits)

Students in this course will participate in active, student-directed cooperative learning exercises in small groups to explore foundational concepts that address basic competencies of translational scientists. This course will emphasize core principles in physiology incorporating biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, etc. Grades will be based on weekly quizzes (20%), final written exam (20%), participation in small group activities (20%), and other ( (oral presentation, reflective writing, peer assessment, learning portfolio) (40%).

Prerequisites: Students must be enrolled in the HPTM program. HPTM 6291 and HPTM 6405.  HPTM 6332 must be taken concurrently.
Terms offered:  I
Years offered:  Annually
Hours per week: Conference/Discussion 4


6293 MODULE 3: PRACTICE OF TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE (2 Credits)

Students in this course will participate in active, student-directed cooperative learning exercises in small groups to explore foundational concepts that address basic competencies of translational scientists. This course will emphasize core principles in physiology and pathology incorporating cell injury and adaptation, inflammation, immunologic diseases, microbiology, environmental and genetic diseases. Grades will be based on weekly quizzes (20%), final written exam (20%), participation in small group activities (20%), and other (oral presentation, reflective writing, peer assessment, learning portfolio) (40%).

Prerequisites: Students must be enrolled in the HPTM program.  HPTM 6405, HPTM 6291, HPTM 6332, HPTM 6292
Terms offered: II
Years offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference/Discussion 4


6294 MODULE 4: PRACTICE OF TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE (2 Credits)

Students in this course will participate in active, student-directed cooperative learning exercises in small groups to explore foundational concepts that address basic competencies of translational scientists. This course will emphasize core principles in physiology and pathology, as well as research skills such as grant writing, research techniques, presentation skills, animal use and human subjects. Grades will be based on: scientific content assessment (40% of total grade) includes quizzes, exams, and post-class assignments. Competency assessment is the remaining 60% of the grade. Competency assessment includes reflective writing, peer assessment, group work exercises, proposal papers, group projects and oral presentations.

Prerequisites: Students must be enrolled in the HPTM program.  HPTM 6405, HPTM 6291, HPTM 6332, HPTM 6292, POTS3 and Pathobiology and Hose Defenses for HPTM students.
Terms offered: II
Years offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference/Discussion 4


Introduction to Big Data Visual Analytics (HPTM 6284)

The accelerated growth and complexity of biomedical data far exceeds our cognitive abilities to exploit it for the prevention,  diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. A promising approach to bridge this gap is through the emerging field of visual analytics defined as the “science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces.” This course provides the theoretical foundations and practical methods related to visual analytics focused towards the analysis and comprehension of large and complex biomedical datasets (e.g., genomic data, and electronic health records). The theoretical foundations will focus on the principles related to cognition, computation and graphic design. The practical methods will focus on hands-on experience in using commercial (Tableau and Pajek) and a research prototype (MODIM) requiring no programming. Through a required project, students will have the opportunity to integrate their theoretical and practical knowledge of big data visual analytics to analyze, comprehend and present complex patterns in a large biomedical dataset. Grading scale will be A-F.

Prerequisites:  Biostatistics – BBSC 6222 or Interprofessional Translational Research Design – HPTM 6295, or with the permission of the instructor
Terms offered: Summer, 2nd Block
Years offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference/Discussion 4


Interprofessional Translational Research Design Course (HPTM 6295)

The Interprofessional Translational Research Design (IPTRD) course will team HPTM students with UTMB Medical Students in the Translational Research Track in identifying a translational problem and designing translational research projects.  The course will focus development of key research design and collaborative competencies.  Major emphasis will be on biostatistics and research design, team building, professional identify development, inter-professional communication and oral presentation skills.  The course will meet for three, two hour sessions weekly.  Teaching methodology will use active learning modalities such as guided inquiry, moderated discussion, workshop sessions and seminar presentations.  Course grades will be based on small group discussions participation, written critiques of research articles, and research proposal developed as an interprofessional pair.

Prerequisites: Currently enrolled in the HPTM program having satisfied the requirements of HPTM 6291, 6292, HPTM 6293 and HPTM 6294 or a UTMB Medical School Student enrolled I the Translational Research Track
Terms offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 6


Laboratory Rotation and Clinical Encounters (HPTM 6306)

This course will consist of two components:  1) a laboratory rotation with HPTM research faculty, and 2) clinical encounter sessions with HPTM clinical faculty.  During the laboratory rotation, students will gain hands-on experience and mentorship in conducting T1 translational research projects in their specific area of scientific and clinical interest.  The goal of the clinical encounter sessions are to continue the development of interprofessional communication skills between scientist (students) and physicians (clinical mentor), have the student gain a focused knowledge of current standards of diagnosis and treatment of a specific disease or injury, discuss the limitation of current methods of clinical care, and explore or identify potential areas for future translational research projects for the improvement of current standards of care.  Clinical encounter sessions activities will include: physician “shadowing” to observe patients afflicted with the diseases or injury of interest and attending interdisciplinary clinical conference that discuss disease processes and/or patient care.

Prerequisites: Student must be enrolled in the HPTM program
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Laboratory 12


Gross Anatomy and Radiology (HPTM 6405)

In this course, graduate students in the HPTM curriculum will participate in problem based learning, anatomy lab, and lectures together with selected medical students in the Integrated Medical course of the same name.  This inter-professional learning opportunity will allow medical and graduate students to learn with, from and about each other with the goal of instilling collaborative competencies for translational research.  Grades will be based on participation in small group problem based learning sessions (45%), midterm and final written exams (25%), mid term and final laboratory practical exams (22%), and self study cross sectional anatomy tutorial (8%).

Prerequisites: Enrollment in HPTM
Terms offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Laboratory 6-8; Lecture 4; Conference/Discussion 3


Pathobiology and Host Defense for HPTM Students (HPTM 6406)

In this course, graduate students in the HPTM curriculum will participate in problem-based learning ((PBL) sessions, pathology lab session and lectures together with selected medical students in the integrated Medical Curriculum course of the same name.  PBL and lab sessions involve case-based studies of various diseases.  Major basic science topics include general pathology, histopathology, basic immunology and microbiology.  The inter-professional learning opportunity will allow medical students and graduate students to learn with, from and about each other with the goal of instilling collaborative competencies for translational research.  The course will be complemented by  the HPTM course Practice of Translational Science Module 3.  Grades will be based on mid-term exam, final exam, lab exam, PBL evaluation, PBL graded quizzes and graded weekly quizzes.  Assessment modalities for HPTM students are tailored specific for the program-specific objectives, hence the use of essay examinations in addition to course development multiple choice assessments.

Prerequisites: HPTM 6405, HPTM 6291, HPTM 6332, HPTM 6292.  Students must be enrolled in the HPTM program
Terms offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 5; Discussion 6; Laboratory 2


MD/PHD Course Descriptions

MD/PhD Lab Rotation (MDPH 6001)

The objectives of this course are to provide students an opportunity to become familiar with the faculty and their research efforts in the graduate school by participating in the activities of the lab and by becoming acquainted with the lab staff and the goals of the research project. Letter grades will be determined by the instructor and will be based on lab performance. Course taken during the summers prior to year 1, 2, and 3 (optional).

Term offered: Summer
Year offered: Annually
Prerequisites: Enrolled as a student in the MD-PhD program and not yet enrolled in a specific graduate program
Course Instructor: Michael Laposata


Current Topics in Pathobiology and Host Defense Course (MDPH 6102)

This course is designed to supplement the medical school pathobiology and host defense block. Students will meet weekly to review current literature related to disease pathogenesis covered in the medical school. Students will be graded (letter grades) on class performance and attendance. Course taken in spring term of year 1.

Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Annually
Prerequisites: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Pathobiology (IMC 1210)
Course Instructor: Michael Laposata


MD/PhD Seminar (MDPH 6101)

The seminar program focuses on research activities in various graduate programs and other topics of interest to MD-PhD students. Grading is determined on a pass (satisfactory)/fail basis, based on participation/attendance. Course taken during the fall and spring semesters for the duration of the program.

Terms offered: Fall; Spring
Year offered: Annually
Prerequisites: Enrolled as a student in the MD-PhD program
Course instructor:


Current Topics in Neuroscience and Human Behavior Course (MDPH 6202)

This course is designed to supplement the medical school neuroscience course. Students will meet weekly to review current literature related to neuroscience covered in the medical school. Students will be graded (letter grades) based on class performance and attendance. Course taken in spring term of year 1.

Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Annually
Prerequisites: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Neuroscience and Human Behavior (IMC 1220)
Course Instructor: Michael Laposata


Current Topics in Molecules, Cells and Tissues Course (MDPH 6203)

This course is designed to supplement the medical school molecules, cells, and tissues block. Students will meet weekly to review current literature related to the molecular mechanisms of diseases covered in the medical school. Students will be graded (letter grades) on class performance and attendance. Course taken in fall term of year 1.

Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Prerequisites: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Molecules, Cells and Tissues (IMC 1120)
Course Instructor: Michael Laposata


Medical Humanities Course Descriptions

Research (MEHU 6097)

This course is designed to afford the student the opportunity to develop a thesis or dissertation proposal under faculty guidance. The proposal development may involve a literature search, conceptual analysis, primary research, or a pilot field study. The research would be preliminary but relevant to the thesis or dissertation. Credit and hours to be arranged. Teaching technique is tutorial in nature. At the end of the term, the student must turn in a one-page report of the research completed during the semester, and the student’s advisor must turn in a completed Ongoing Research Assessment form to the graduate program coordinator. This form is a requirement of the SACS accreditation review of UTMB in 2008.

Prerequisite: Consent of advisor and graduate program director
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer


Thesis (MEHU 6098)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Dissertation (MEHU 6099)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree to enroll in this course.  This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Ethics of Scientific Research (MEHU 6101)

This course will employ small-group discussion to explore ethical issues in the conduct of scientific research. Students will meet with co-instructors from the IMH and the GSBS to discuss readings and cases dealing with the philosophy of science, the ordinary practice of scientific research, conflicts of interest, and the value conflicts that arise between scientists and society at large. Course grades (S/U) will be determined by attendance, which is required at all sessions (60%), and adequate class participation based on an understanding of the basic concepts of the course (40%). (15 contact hours in 2 days).

Prerequisite: None
Term offered: Fall, Summer
Year offered: Annually


Life History, Autobiography, Autoethnography (MEHU 6152)

This course addresses advanced qualitative research methods that include techniques for collecting and analyzing life histories, oral histories, autobiographies, and autoethnography. These methods are increasingly popular research techniques and provide an alternative to empirical methods for identifying and documenting health and behavioral patterns of individuals and groups. Life history and oral history allow the researcher to explore individual experiences within a particular historical and temporal framework. Autobiography and autoethnography methods involve self-observation and reflexive investigation using ethnographic field work and writing. Methodologies, data analysis, and the validity/challenges of each of these research methods will be discussed for use in historical research and as reflections of our own biographies. Grading criteria: Participation, Attendence, & Blog (20%); Field Project (25%); Final Presentation (20%); Final Paper (35%).

Prerequisite: MEHU 6351
Enrollment Restrictions: Minimum=3; Maximum=10
Term offered: Summer
Year offered: Biennially-Even Years


Foundations of Bioethics (MEHU 6306)

Bioethics emerged in recent decades as a field of inquiry that explores and clarifies moral dimensions in medical practice. Weekly seminars will explore ethical aspects of various bioethical problem areas. Topics will include the role ethical theories, principles and cases, ethical reasoning, and ethical decision making. Leading texts such as The Principles of Biomedical Ethics will be carefully and critically studied. Students are evaluated on the basis of their participation in class discussion (25%) and on the basis of written work including research papers and conceptual analysis of textual materials (75%).

Prerequisite: None; Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Biennially-Even


Bioethics and Leadership (MEHU 6311)

Medicine and biomedical research are moral endeavors that require the cooperation and collaboration of others to be successful. The physician must demonstrate leadership by exercising the authority of position, encouraging others to change behaviors, providing an example for colleagues and trainees to follow, making decisions in crises, demonstrating skills that inspire confidence, and doing the right thing under pressure. Similarly, the biomedical researcher must be able to persuade others to work with him or her by demonstrating integrity, communicating clearly, working with others toward a common goal, acting appropriately with skill, and creating a working environment that encourages others to do their best work. Demonstrating these traits, skills, behaviors, and attitudes is not automatic. People in positions of leadership can abuse their power and suffer failures of the moral imagination. This course examines theories and approaches to leadership development and how the medical humanist/bioethicists can become leaders and play a role in helping physicians and biomedical scientists to become ethical leaders needed in this rapidly changing environment. Objectives: 1. Discuss various theories and examples of leadership and compare and contrast them with styles of medical practice and research; 2. Explore ethical theories as they relate to leadership in the biomedical realm; 3. Apply ethical leadership concepts to new scenarios and defend their analyses. Grading criteria: Class participation; Formal presentations (2) assessed on basis of content, delivery, quality of slides; Research papers (2) assessed on incorporation of guidance from presentations, quality of research, grammar, organization, logic, citation form, and content.

Prerequisite: None
Enrollment Restrictions: Yes (Min. 1; Max. 10)
Term offered: Summer
Year offered: Biennially-Even Years


Clinical Ethics (MEHU 6315)

This seminar is a comprehensive examination of the dominant methods, themes, cases and contemporary issues associated with the field of clinical ethics. The course examines ethical, legal, historical and cultural aspects of bioethical issues in the health care arena, with particular emphasis on modes of reasoning in clinical ethics consultation. There are three graded assignments: a critical essay (30%), an argument/case analysis (30%) and a formal presentation (20%). Specific details will be provided. All students are expected to complete all reading assignments before each class and participate in discussions.

Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Restrictions: Yes (Min 3; Max 8)
Term Offered: Spring
Years Offered: Biennially- Odd Years


Advanced Practicum in Healthcare Ethics (MEHU 6317)

This course is designed to offer an in-depth exploration of ethical issues in health care with specific attention to the development of practical skills in bioethics problem solving, case analysis, policy development, clinical teaching, and/or intradisciplinary field work. Students work independently under the supervision of a designated mentor who will assist the instructor in providing access to a variety of teaching-learning venues in health-care ethics. Students will spend 3 hours a week in clinical settings and 2 hours a week in discussion of readings and clinical experiences. In most cases the Advanced Practicum is an opportunity for concentrated study of a theme, problem, or issue to be further developed at the thesis or dissertation stage. Grading will be based on practicum performance, project presentations, and a written essay.

Prerequisite: MEHU 6382 and consent of the instructor.
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually


Narratives of Medical Catastrophes (MEHU 6320)

This course will examine historical, autobiographical, fictional, and video narratives of past, present, and potential medical catastrophes—defined as devastating circumstances that result in the total collapse of medical institutions and infrastructure for a prolonged period of time. The first part of the course will take a panoramic overview of historical narratives of medical catastrophes from the plagues in ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy, and the seventeenth-century England; the 1918 influenza pandemic, especially in the United States; to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan in 1945. The middle section of the course will zoom in for a close and extended examination of narratives from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, with special attention to the events at Memorial Medical Center. The focus of the final part of the course will expand to consider narratives of contemporary and potential medical catastrophes, from the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident in Japan to the current outbreak of Ebola and potential pandemics of avian influenza. Ethical issues emerging from these various narratives will be a continuing theme throughout the course. Students’ grades will be determined by the quality of their participation in class discuss (20%); two short essays (20% each); and a final course paper (40%).

Prerequisites: MEHU 6363 Narratives of Illness or permission of the instructor.
Term Offered: Spring
Year offered: Biennially- Odd years


Social Justice in International Research (MEHU 6343)

This seminar explores the relationships between the social and structural determinants of health, ideas of global justice and the ethical conduct of research in developing countries. It addresses both theoretical and practical aspects of the concept of social justice and related notions of human rights, national identities, poverty, moral agency, power, standards of care, access to care in research contexts, and the role of community in research partnerships. Course instructors will use a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates perspectives from philosophy, history, political theory, literature, law and policy, film studies, and cultural anthropology. Students will learn to interpret films, cases, and text-based narratives, think systematically about the issues that these narratives raise, and identify appropriate responses to ethical dilemmas in international research settings. Students will be evaluated on the basis of weekly journals, one midterm essay, student-led discussion presentation, a mock IRB presentation and paper, and a final comprehensive exam.

Prerequisite: None
Enrollment Restrictions: None
Term offered: Summer
Year offered: Biennially-Odd Years


Law, Science, and Society (MEHU 6344)

Scientific discoveries generate tremendous excitement, but they can also generate controversies and conflicts. The challenges of protecting the interests of scientists, research institutions, funding agencies, governments, research participants, and ordinary citizens require critical thinking and careful weighing of benefits and burdens. This course explores current controversies and disputes surrounding biomedical research and the thought processes necessary to arrive at well-reasoned policy responses. Invited experts will join the class to share their insights and perspectives. The course is designed to address elements of 12 of the 15 Core Competencies in Clinical and Translational Research. It provides guidance in gathering and evaluating evidence from various disciplinary perspectives and designing ways to address research problems. In addition, the course:

1. Examines the roles of bioinformatics and electronic health records in addressing research questions,
2. Provides insights into and applications of ethics and compliance in clinical and translation research,
3. Requires clear communication aimed at broad audiences,
4. Raises awareness of cultural needs and differences,
5. Provides opportunities to obtain understanding of multiple disciplines,
6. Fosters leadership through innovation and creativity in problem-solving,
7. Applies adult-learning and competency-based instruction, and
8. Addresses controversies currently affecting biomedical science and society’s health and well-being and the roles of various interests in creating community.

Prerequisite: None.
Enrollment Restrictions: Minimum=6
Term offered: Spring term beginning 2013
Year offered: Biennially-Odd Years


Bioethics and Case Law (MEHU 6345)

Some of the most riveting cases in legal history involve disputes about health care. These court cases have brought to light several important ethical issues, and published legal opinions have given shape the way we view rights over the body, reproduction, life, death, and other health matters. This course explores the interactions between law and bioethics and how key cases have contributed to our understanding of the boundaries of medicine and biomedical research and the legal and moral rights and duties of physicians, researchers, and patients. Grading criteria: Seminar Participation=25%; Paper #1=25%; Paper #2=25%; Paper #3=25%.

Prerequisite: None
Enrollment Restrictions: Minimum=3; Maximum=10
Term offered: Fall term beginning 2014
Year offered: Biennially-Even Years


Qualitative Methods in Social Medicine (MEHU 6351)

Through engaged community interaction and in-class discussion, this course will explore a variety of qualitative methods for conducting research in topics related to social medicine. Topics to be discussed will include, but are not limited to, the social determinants of health, health and individual responsibility, health disparities, immigration and health, the U.S. health care system and health policy. As a result of this course, students will be familiar with all of the phases of a qualitative research project including completing forms for the IRB, developing a research design, conducting ethnographic research, writing and analyzing field notes, and theorizing research findings. Ethical, political, and social issues related to qualitative research will be discussed. Blackboard will be used. Grading will be based on in-class participation, research design, field notes (due in class every two weeks), and a final paper.

Prerequisite: None
Enrollment Restrictions: None
Term offered: Fall term beginning 2015
Year offered: Biennially-Odd Years


Foundations of Social Medicine (MEHU 6352)

The Foundations of Social Medicine course offers a critical inquiry into the socio-cultural, technological and political-economic dimensions of health, medical knowledge and practices. Informed by the social sciences and the humanities, this course emphasizes theoretical, historical and cross-cultural approaches to the study of what has broadly been defined as the social determinants of health. Within the context of this course, social determinants are understood as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system, as well as the ideas, discourses and institutional practices of public health and medicine. This course provides the foundation for the social medicine area of concentration and, consequently, functions as a survey course. It is meant to introduce students to themes that will be explored in greater depth in other courses offered in the area of concentration. Readings for the term will be drawn primarily from sociology, science and technology studies, and anthropology. Topics to be covered include the history and definition of social medicine, social and structural determinants of health, the political economy of health, biomedicalization, and the social production of scientific knowledge. Grading criteria: In-class participation-20%, mid-term paper-30%, Final paper-35%, and in-class presentations-15%.

Prerequisite: None.
Enrollment Restrictions: None.
Term offered: Fall term beginning 2016
Year offered: Biennially-Even Years


The Meaning and Making of ‘Human’: An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Contemporary Social Theory (MEHU 6353)

This course will address the question of what it means to be human through an interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary theories. The course is designed to provide students interested in “social medicine” a foundation in notions of power, society, identity, space, politics, aesthetics, language, and the market as these have been conceptualized in dialogue and dispute between political, cultural and social thinkers of the 19th, 20th, centuries. While the course is not comprehensive in nature, its objective is to stimulate thinking about how conceptions of what it means to be human vary according to the perspective with and context within which this question is asked and answered. Grading criteria: Participation, 20%; 2 Response Papers, 30%; Seminar Facilitation (1-week), 10%; Final Paper Outline, 10%, and Final Paper, 30%.

Prerequisite: None
Enrollment Restrictions: None
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Biennially-Even Years


Global Health in Social Medicine (MEHU 6354)

This course offers a cross-cultural exploration of medical systems, healers, and healing approaches through a critical ethnographic lens. Since every culture and society around the world has had to deal with injury and illness, each has a well-developed concept about the healing process, healers, diagnosis, medical treatment, medical knowledge and health practices. We must also consider what “global” means, not simply international, but how all health systems around the globe are interconnected, including our state, city and island. We will consider these and other topics with a commitment to understanding the broader structural issues at play. Grading: Students will be required to lead at least two seminars throughout the semester. Students will be required to journal each week on their reactions to the readings and can later update their journals following class to discuss how their ideas changed or give impressions of other material presented in class (e.g. film). All journals will be kept on Blackboard. Each entry should be between 500 and 750 words. Journal entries are due before class begins. Based upon weekly reactions, students will formulate a brief (5 page) analytic reflection paper that considers themes in comparison to their experience and expectations of medicine (ethno/bio) and culture. These will be submitted every five (5) weeks. The final paper will be accompanied by a multimedia in-class presentation which will demonstrate the culmination of the student’s thinking about one specific theme or comparative themes. Students need not have any previous multi-media experience to produce a successful final presentation.

Prerequisite: None
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Biennially-Odd Years


Visual Ethnography and the Digital Humanities (MEHU 6355)

This class explores the role of all things visual in regard to ethnography—the description of people—and how that endeavor has evolved along with the technology employed. From the inception of fieldwork, through the collection of material and the production of the work, we delve into how ethnographers (and all social researchers) use images (and other senses) as data (analog or digital). We are interested in engaging with the visual beyond it as a means for recording data or illustrating text, but as a medium through which we create new ways of thinking and use multiple media simultaneously (intermediality). To do this we stress collaboration at a number of levels, from the most basic researcher/informant relationship, to a more abstract visual/textual/sensual relationship between producers of words, images, and things. Through these we will discuss, explore and critique the potentials of photography, video, the Internet (and other types of media) in research and representation of what it means to be human. Through a combination of theory and praxis, of methods and experience, of the analog and digital, of visual and textual we must always recognize our own cultural biases and assumptions, reflecting upon where our ideas about culture originate and how we use technology to portray others. In the classroom we will read, watch, listen and share our ideas about the visual (and other senses) in human subject research. Outside the classroom students will have the opportunity to implement and practice these ideas in order to understand their role in the work. Grading criteria: Seminar participation (20%), Writing components (40%), Production components (40%). Blackboard will be used.

Prerequisites: None
Term Offered: Spring
Year Offered: Biennially- Even years


Trauma, Narrative, and Resilience (MEHU 6361)

What does it mean to serve as a devoted audience to the sufferers of trauma, enter empathically in the fragmentation of sufferers’ lives, and offer a companionship that encourages the construction of life stories through which hope for a future may be kindled? Addressing such a question becomes imperative as conditions of globalization, war, genocide, and violence associated with population shifts and urban expansion prompt drastic increases in the incidence of trauma and in the devastating repercussions that flow from traumatic experience. In this course we will indeed begin to address the question. We will consider a range of clinical and theoretical accounts ranging from Freud’s and Janet’s to those of recent writers who seek to integrate biological, clinical, and cultural perspectives to understand the phenomenon of trauma. But we will also consider numerous works of fiction that depict and speak from the borderland of trauma’s vacuity, and inquire as to the value of such works in promoting an improved understanding of trauma and in suggesting responses to it that have considerable clinical and therapeutic implications. The course will be divided into three parts: I. Trauma, Narrative, and History; II. War and the Undoing of Character; III. Narrative and Resilience. Two short papers (20% of grade, each), one scholarly essay (40%), and seminar participation (20%) will be required.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
Enrollment Restrictions: Minimum 1, Maximum 10
Term offered: Summer term beginning 2013
Year offered: Biennially-Odd Years


Narratives of Illness (MEHU 6363)

A study of the changing nature and importance of narratives of illness. Focus will be on the historical development of patients' autobiographical narratives of illness (pathographies); the historical development of physicians' narratives of patients' illnesses (expanded case histories); and representative contemporary patients' narratives of illness that exemplify different forms and styles. Special attention will be given to theoretical background works about pathographies (Anne Hunsaker Hawkins) and the first-person narrative of illness (Arthur Frank). Course grades will be determined by the quality of participation in class discussion of assigned readings (20%), two assigned essays about course readings (20% each), and a final course paper (40%).

Prerequisite: None;
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Biennially-Even Years


Introduction to Literature and Medicine (MEHU 6367)

An introduction to the history, theory, and practice of literature and medicine. The first two parts of the course focus on two important traditional approaches to literature and medicine: 1) the historical development of literary images of healers; and 2) illness as metaphor or theme in classic medical novels, as well as in selected contemporary literary works. The third section of the course surveys and samples the dominant theories and methods of using literature in medical education. Particular attention is given to the aesthetic and ethical models. Students have the opportunity to practice these various approaches by reading and discussing selected works of literature. Course grades will be determined by the quality of participation in class discussion of assigned readings (20%), two assigned essays about course readings (20% each), and a final course paper (40%).

Prerequisite: None
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Biennially-Even Years


Philosophical Ethics (MEHU 6370)

This seminar is conducted as a modern Socrates Café. The course emphasizes the most important philosophical thinkers in the Western tradition on the question of the “good” or the “good life.” Students will read and critically examine major works in Virtue Theory, Utilitarianism, Kantianism, Moral Sense Theory, and other normative theories of ethics. The course aims to develop critical skills in the philosophical analysis of human action, character, duty, ethical reasoning, and moral judgment. Students are expected to be active participants in the exchange of ideas that is at the heart of all forms of Socratic inquiry. Grading is based on class participation, two written essays and two argument summaries.

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. This course will function as a recommended precursor but not a required prerequisite to MEHU 6378-Humanism and the Medical Humanities.
Enrollment Restrictions: Minimum 4
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Biennially-Even Years


Humanism and the Humanities: History and Theory (MEHU 6375)

This course will provide an historical and conceptual overview of Western humanism and its evolution into university-based humanities disciplines. It will begin with the contemporary debate over the canon and core curriculum in academic circles. This debate about whether American society possesses any shared values on which to build a unified community will frame our historical exploration of humanism and our approach to the medical humanities. Readings will include a textbook on the history of Western humanism; primary sources from antiquity, the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, the emergence of the modern university and of modern professionalism, and contemporary analyses by advocates of postmodernism and critics of the Western tradition. Course grading will be based on class participation (25%) and three essays about course readings (25% each).

Prerequisite: None
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Biennially-Odd Years


Humanism and the Medical Humanities (MEHU 6378)

This course connects today’s medical humanities to the tradition of Renaissance humanism and traces the history of medical humanities from its inception in the 1960s to the present day. Major topic include: modernity and its implications for both medicine and medical humanities; challenges to modernity and positivism from both continental and analytic philosophical traditions; relations between medical humanities and the social sciences; origins, development, and appropriate scope of bioethics; literature and medicine and narrative approaches to ethics and medicine; religious themes in bioethics and humanities; feminist theories relevant to humanities and bioethics; the debate over principlism vs. moral particularism in ethics; and medical humanities conceived as dialogical practice. Two books, Stephen Toulmin’s Cosmopolis and David Rothman’s Strangers at the Bedside, and readings by authors such as Bouwsma, Taylor, Gadamer, Geertz, Carson, Ramsey, Callahan, Fox, Churchill, Jones, Chambers, Jonsen, Walker, and Montgomery are assigned. The course grade is based 25% on class participation and 75% on paper assignments. Students are given options to write three separate papers or to do one short and one long paper.

Prerequisite: None
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Biennially-Even


Death & Dying Law & Ethics (MEHU 6379)

Impressive feats of medicine and technology are often the sources of disagreements, misunderstandings, ethical dilemmas, and legal battles, especially at the end of life. Legislation and court cases help to some extent to reduce the ambiguity and confusion about the rights and obligations of patients, family members, health-care providers, and others toward the dying and the dead. However, value clashes, blurring of concepts, and political machinations keep end-of-life and post-mortem issues from repose. This course examines such issues as the right to die, hospice, physician-assisted suicide, advance directives, definitions of death, disposal of the deceased’s body, and more from the perspectives of law and bioethics. By the end of the course students should be able to: (1) Discuss the evolving legal and ethical landscapes in the U.S. concerning dying and death. (2) Explore the ethical and social issues that have created the need for the laws. (3) Apply legal and ethical concepts to new scenarios and defend their chosen responses using ethical and legal concepts. Components of the final grade: Participation (20%), Presentation #1 (15%), Presentation #2 (15%), Paper #1 (20%), and Paper #2 (30%).

Prerequisites: None
Term Offered: Fall
Year Offered: Biennially- Odd


Ritual Bodies Social Rites (MEHU 6381)

In this course we will consider the significance of ritual and ritual theory for our understanding of individual and collective engagements with health and healing. We will consider rituals across the life course, in varied cultural contexts, and in conversation with select social theories. Our questions will encompass media and memory, power and performance, the sacred and the secular. Drawing from religious studies, cultural history, sociology & anthropology, the course is an opportunity to examine claims about what ritual is, consider theories about what it does, and explore the multiple ways that rituals impact the construction, delivery, and pursuit of health and healing. Grading criteria: class participation (20%), Three Review Papers (30%), Ritual Design Exercise (10%), Outline for Final Research Paper (15%), and, Final Research Paper (35%).

Prerequisites: None
Term Offered: Fall
Year Offered: Biennially- Odd


Clinical Ethics Practicum (MEHU 6382)

This course is designed to provide an opportunity for graduate students in the IMH to learn about culture of clinical medicine by engaging them in health care encounters and relationships that typify medical practice. Students will be introduced to basic concepts of clinical ethics through observation of the patient-doctor-relationship in various practice sites. The student, with guidance, will select a pre-approved clinical site or sites (i.e. clinical practice, medical ICU, hospice) and observe and interact with the care team, on a weekly basis, for six hours. Further objectives of the course will be dependent on individual student needs but may include understanding of medical terminology and the vocabulary of medicine, readings in a particular area of clinical ethics or ethics consultation, and observation of clinical ethics teaching, and ethics committee meetings. Students will complete a project (paper, presentation or case analysis). Grading will be determined from: participation in clinical experiences, discussions of readings and the project.

Prerequisite: Permission from the instructor required. Students must contact the instructor at least 30 days before the term begins. This course is not being made available to new students in their first term of course work. Students need to have a beginning understanding of medical humanities before they can comprehend how the role of a clinical ethicist who is grounded in medical humanities is different from an ethicist who may have a different academic background.
Term Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year Offered: Annually


Religion and the Politics of Health Care (MEHU 6384)

How do religions factor into the cultural meanings of health and illness, the power dynamics through which these meanings are constructed, and related injustices? How are religious rituals, religious bodies and religious beliefs impacted by their participation in the normalizing discourses, economic circuits, and biotechnical practices of modern medicine? Attending to critical perspectives on health and illness, with a particular focus on Foucault, this course explores the ceaseless work of the religious imagination with respect to healing in an age dominated by medicine. We will consider the embodiment of religion, the sociological debates about contemporary religion, the claims that religion is increasingly more viscous and visible, the legal frameworks for religious freedom, the place of religious majorities and minorities in America’s diverse religious landscape- and the ways that each of these elements engages with the production of health. Grading is based on seminar participation, short paper (Theorizing Religion & the Politics of Health), Seminar Facilitation (one class), original research paper/presentation.

Prerequisites: None
Term Offered: Summer
Year Offered: Biennially- Odd years


Psychoanalysis, Consciousness, and Neuroethics (MEHU 6386)

Psychoanalysis will be critically examined through Freud's clinical cases, the interpretation of dreams, and selected theoretical essays. Recent developments in neuroscience and imaging techniques will provide a framework of relationships between the brain and consciousness including minimal consciousness and persistent vegetative states. The ethical implications of psychoanalysis and brain mind studies will be applied through topics such as moral and legal responsibilities. Grading criteria: (1) a book review of a relevant book on brain policy, 5-7 pages (20%); a seminar paper of at least twenty pages, exclusive of end notes (60%); class presentation and discussion of the seminar paper and class participation (20%).

Prerequisite: None
Enrollment Restrictions: None
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Biennially-Odd Years


Microbiology & Immunology Course Descriptions

International Internships in Vaccinology (MICR 6070)

The Sealy Center for Vaccine Development (SCVD), in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters, sponsors an annual internship program. The traveling internship program will form the basis for this course. Students participating in this course will undertake an internship at the World Health Organization Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Each student will be paired up with a mentor at WHO and a UTMB SCVD member to work on a defined project related to public health and vaccines for a period of 3 months (typically from early Spring to Fall of each year, with specific time-frames to be determined for each internship). Each internship project will involve significant contribution to a team tasked with developing a report on vaccines and a specific infectious disease for the WHO. Grading (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) will be based on participation, attendance, completion of assigned task(s), evaluations/feedback received from WHO and UTMB mentor(s), and submission of a final report to the SCVD by the student summarizing their internship experience and outcomes.

Prerequisites: Students must have completed all required graduate program coursework and entered candidacy prior to commencing the internship. Written approval from the mentor is also required.
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable


Field Experience in OneHealth and Outbreak Response (MICR 6071)

OneHealth is defined as the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines -working locally, nationally, and globally -to attain optimal health for people, animals, and our environment. Implementing this approach requires braking down professional silos and engaging medical and veterinary professionals, laboratory scientists, the public health community, policymakers, and experts from the biomedical, social. and environmental sciences. This 4 week course will take a OneHealth approach to the problem of emerging infectious diseases, from the veterinary, public health, laboratory, and clinical points of view. Using innovative and highly inter-professional learning approaches and guided by experts in the field, students will travel between Texas A&M University, UT Rio Grande Valley, and UTMB to observe regional differences in the social. economic, cultural, and environmental determinants of population health. Topics that will be addressed include animal/veterinary health, vector dynamics, sample collection and processing, molecular diagnostics, countermeasure development, biocontainment/biosecurity, clinical management of potential infectious threats, communication skills, interprofessional teamwork, and public health system response. Students must complete an application process and undergo selection to participate in this course. Grading (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) will be based on attendance and participation in assigned activities at each field site, completion of assigned task(s), evaluations/feedback from the course mentors, and submission of a final report to the course committee by the student.

Prerequisites: Must have completed all required graduate coursework and have passed the qualifying exam. Written approval from the student’s dissertation mentor is also required.
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable


Research (MICR 6097)

Formal research directed toward Masters Doctor of Philosophy degree programs. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the student's research supervisor and will be assigned as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

Prerequisites: Admission to the microbiology and immunology program.
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Laboratory 3-27


Thesis (MICR 6098)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Dissertation (MICR 6099)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree to enroll in this course.  This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Training in Infectious Disease Outbreak Response (MICR 6140)

This 3-day course in infectious diseases provides the students with the opportunity to test their own knowledge in solving an outbreak scenario, and to learn how institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control approach infectious disease outbreaks. In this three-day course students will be confronted and led through a fictive outbreak simulation. Using innovative and highly inter-professional learning approaches and guided by experts in the field, students will understand the steps required in an outbreak response; solve the etiology of the outbreak agent case by drawing on their previously acquired knowledge and skills in virology, immunology, bacteriology, and epidemiology; and learn how to interact with the public. Topics that will be included are sample collection and processing, diagnostic tool and immuno reagent development, countermeasure development, and public outreach. Grades will be satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) based on participation. A grade of satisfactory will depend on: a) attendance of the student to all scheduled sessions and discussions; b) a short report during the course; and c) writing one -page reflective paper that will serve as self-evaluation.

Prerequisites: Must have taken MICR 6403 – General Virology, MICR 6315 – Pathogenic Bacteriology, or MICR 6408 – Advanced Immunology.
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 6, Conference 18


Student Research Update Seminar (MICR 6142)

Weekly student research update seminars for Microbiology and Immunology graduate students to present their current work. Students and faculty are invited and give the presenting student an opportunity for helpful critique and suggestions regarding their thesis project. A summary report is provided to the presenter and mentor(s) with feedback received from all attendants.

Prerequisites: Student must have declared Microbiology & Immunology as their graduate program
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 1- Seminar
Detailed Course Information (PDF)


Internship in Vaccinology (MICR 6143)

The Sealy Center for Vaccine Development (SCVD), in conjunction with the World Health Organization(WHO) headquarters, sponsors an annual Internship program. The proposed course will be associated with a UTMB-based Internship program that will involve preparation of a report by the student on a specific infectious diseases and vaccines topic, intended for use as a briefing document by a WHO expert committee. The student will work as part of a small group (2-3 students) under the supervision of a SCVD member. The internship will be conducted over a 3 month period, concurrent with the trainee's regular educational and research activities. Grading will be based on participation, attendance, effective performance of assigned tasks, evaluations/feedback received from mentors, and submission of a final report to the SCVD by the intern summarizing their internship experience and outcomes. Prerequisite: Consent to be enrolled required.

Prerequisites: For graduate students, successful applicants must have completed all required BBSC and/or program coursework prior to commencing the internship. Written approval from the mentor is also required.
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 2 - Conference or Discussion


Current Topics in Infectious Diseases and Immunity (MICR 6195)

Seminar course intended to familiarize students with current research in the areas of infectious diseases and immunology. Students attend weekly seminars in the Infectious Diseases and Immunity Colloquium. Students may substitute some seminars in the series with presentations from the monthly Immunology Research in Progress series. Students are required to enroll during the first two years in the program. Each student will be assigned a session per term to lead class by discussing an assigned topic relevant to a journal club article. Students will also participate in small group discussions and prepare essays. Grading will be based on attendance (30%), preparation and discussion leadership (20%), and reflective essays or review essay (50%).

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 1 - Conference or Discussion


Scientific Writing & Grant Proposal Preparation (MICR 6255)

This course introduces the principles of scientific writing and grant proposal preparation in the new NIH format. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the individual parts of an NIH-style grant application, to help students in acquiring scientific writing skills, and to prepare students for the qualifying exam in the Microbiology & Immunology graduate program. It consists of weekly lectures and small-group sessions during which experienced faculty mentors present didactic instruction on planning, organizing, and writing a hypothesis-driven grant application. Students will also work individually and in small groups on an original grant proposal. Students write a grant proposal with precise deadlines for submission of individual parts. Grading will be based on the assignments (30%), the final grant application (50%), and an oral defense of the proposal (20%).

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 2


Pathogenic Bacteriology (MICR 6315)

The objective of this course is to introduce students to concepts of research on bacterial pathogens. Pathogens infecting man will be studied, with emphasis given to their pathogenic mechanisms, induction of immunity, and physiochemical characteristics. The course will consist of lectures and discussions. Grading based on written examinations.

Prerequisites: BBSC first year curriculum
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 2; Conference or discussion 1


General Virology (MICR 6403)

Principles and concepts of animal virology will be presented, but the majority of the course will be devoted to the study of viruses of medical importance. Emphasis will be placed upon the chemical and physical characteristics of viruses, viral interaction with the immune system, pathogenesis of viral infections, and the mechanisms of replication of viruses. The course consists of lectures and discussion periods. Grades will be based on performance on written examinations.

Prerequisites: BBSC First Year Curriculum
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3; Conference 1
Syllabus


Advanced Immunology (MICR 6408)

An in-depth study of the immune response and related events with emphasis on the mechanism of cellular and humoral immunity. Some of the topics to be covered include antibody structure and function, antigen-antibody reactions, cells involved in the immune response, antibody formation, cellular immunity, mediators, tolerance, and immunogenetics. Material will be presented in lectures and assigned readings of texts, reviews, and research articles. Grading will be based on written examinations and class participation.

Prerequisites: BBSC First Year Curriculum
Conference or discussion 1
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Course Coordinators: Soong/Milligan


Masters of Medical Science Course Descriptions

Research (MMSC 6097)**

This course initiates the formal research training directed toward a Masters of Medical Science degree. During this course, the student will select a supervisory committee, submit full written proposal for approval, orally defend the approved written proposal, and request admission to candidacy. Grading is based on the student's level of performance as satisfactory, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory.

Credits: 3-10
Course grades: Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (S/U)
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually


Thesis (MMSC 6098)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Neuroscience Graduate Program Course Descriptions

Information About the Course of Study

  • A. Course Requirements
  • B. Minimal Performance Criteria
  • C. Elective Courses
  • D. Laboratory Rotations
  • E. Seminars
Laboratory Rotations (NEUR 6042)

The objectives of this required course are to provide students an opportunity to become familiar with the faculty and their research efforts in the Neuroscience Program by participating in the activities of the laboratory (gaining supervised, hands-on experience with techniques and experimental protocols) and by becoming acquainted with the laboratory staff and the goals of the research project. Students will be taught by discussions with the instructor, by reading relevant literature and by active participation in laboratory procedures. The long-term goal of this course is to provide exposure to a variety of experimental approaches and to help in the identification of a supervisory professor and dissertation project. Neuroscience Program students are required to spend at least 3 credit hours in each of three different laboratories (that is, do three different rotations), and must complete the three rotations before the end of their fifth term in the program. Grading is, B, C, F and based on participation in lab discussions and experiments.

3-8 credits
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Laboratory, 9-24 (variable)
Instructors: Staff


Research (NEUR 6097)

Formal research directed toward development of the dissertation research for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the student's research supervisor and will be assigned as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

1-8 Credits
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually


Dissertation (NEUR 6099)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree to enroll in this course.  This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Neural Development & Neurogenetics (NEUR 6140)

The diverse functions of the nervous system, ranging from sensory perception, motor coordination to motivation and memory, depend on the precise interconnections of billions of neurons. This course covers both general principles and specific topics in the development, plasticity, degeneration and regeneration of the nervous system. We will focus on genetic and cellular factors that control the production and survival of neurons, guide axons, and regulate the formation of synapses. Other specific topics include development-related degeneration and the function of stem cells during development and neural repair. The course will have two components: background introduction and critical reading of original articles. Students will be evaluated based on their knowledge, acquisition/preparedness, critical thinking/problem-solving skills and participation/communication skills in group.

1 credit
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Biennially-Even Years
Hours per week: Lecture, 1; Conference and discussion, 2
Instructor: Dr. Ping Wu


Neurobiology of Disease I (NEUR 6181): Proteinaceous Deposits in Dementias and Beyond

This course will explore the mechanisms, nature and neurobiology of proteinaceous deposits in protein misfolding diseases, including dementias. Other courses in this sequence will address other mechanisms and diseases of the nervous system. The course will meet once per week and will consist of 1 hour lecture followed by 1 hour faculty-lead discussions of recent literature related to the topic. The introductory lecture will initiate each topic, but successive classes will consist of student-generated discussion of assigned papers from the literature. Grades will be assigned based on student participation. This sequence of Neurobiology of Disease (NOD) courses is designed for students in the Neurobiology of Disease track and the Neuroscience Graduate Program, for MD-PhD students in neuroscience, and for any other graduate student interested in neurobiological diseases.

1 credit
Prerequisite: Graduate Level Neuroscience Course
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference or discussion, 1
Instructors: Dr. Rakez Kayed, Dr. Yogesh Wairkar


Neurobiology of Disease II (NEUR 6182): Implication of Improper Nucleic Acid Processing in Neurological Disease

This course will examine the newly emerging importance of how defects in nucleic acid post-transcriptional processing/splicing, nuclear and cellular transport, RNA toxicity, and RAN mediated translation impact neurodegenerative diseases. The course will meet once per week and will consist of1 hour lecture followed by a 1 hour faculty-led discussion of the recent literature related to the topic. Introductory lectures will orient students in the field with seminal works and finding, while subsequent meetings will be driven by student-generated discussion of assigned papers from the literature that develop or challenge current dogma.

1 credit Prerequisite: Graduate Level Neuroscience Course
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference or discussion, 1
Instructors: Dr. Partha Sarkar, Dr. Rakez Kayed


Neurobiology of Disease III (NEUR 6183): Neurotrauma & Stroke: Injury to the spinal cord and brain

This course will explore the basic mechanisms of injury of neurotrauma and stroke as they pertain to the brain and spinal cord. This course will also feature discussions pertaining to therapeutics and medical interventions in the preclinical development phase. Other courses in this sequence will address relevant diseases of the nervous system. This course will meet once per week and will consist of faculty-led discussions of recent literature. An introductory lecture will initiate each topic, but successive classes will consist of student-generated discussion of assigned papers from the literature. Students will be graded based on the quality of their preparation and their ability to lead and contribute to classroom discussions. This sequence of Neurobiology of Disease (NOD) courses is designed for students in the NOD track of the Neuroscience Graduate Program, for MD-PhD students in neuroscience, and for any other graduate student interested in neurobiological diseases, from their clinical manifestations to the basic science underpinnings of their etiology and expression. This course has the option to be offered any term of any year with no permission requested. Grading system is standard A-F.

1 credit
Prerequisite: Graduate Level Neuroscience Course
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference or discussion, 1
Instructor: Dr. Rakez Kayed, Dr. Maria Micci


Neurobiology of Disease IV (NEUR 6184): Neurobiology in retinal disease

This course will explore the nature and basic mechanisms of neurobiological diseases related to ophthalmic/retinal diseases. The retina is an extension of the brain and has been recognized as a "window" of the brain. This course is to introduce retinal neurobiology in the context of major retinal diseases that lead to blindness and to discuss the potential association between neurological changes in the retina and brain diseases. Other courses in this sequence will address other diseases of the nervous system. The course will meet once per week and will consist of faculty-led discussions, lectures, paper reading and discussion. Evaluation will be based on attendance and active participation. Students will be graded based on the quality of their presentation and their ability to lead and contribute to classroom discussions. Grading system is standard A-F.

1 credit
Prerequisite: Graduate Level Neuroscience Course
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference or discussion, 1
Instructors: Dr. Pravenna Gupta, Dr. Wenbo Zhang


Neurobiology of Disease V (NEUR 6185): mechanisms of substance abuse and chronic pain

This course will explore the nature and basic mechanisms of neurobiological diseases related to addiction and chronic pain. The objective of this course is specifically to expose students to the interface of basic science with clinical practice for the better understanding of mechanisms and treatment of addiction and chronic pain. Other courses in this sequence will address other diseases of the nervous system. The course will meet once per week at the noon hour and will consist of faculty-led discussions of recent literature related to the disease entities. An introductory lecture will initiate each disease topic, but successive classes will consist of student-generated discussion of assigned papers from the literature. Grades will be assigned based on student participation on an A-F scale. This sequence of Neurobiology of Disease (NOD) courses is designed for students in the NOD track of the Neuroscience Graduate Program, for MD/PhD students in neuroscience, and for any other graduate student interested in neurobiological diseases, from their clinical manifestations to the basic science underpinnings of their etiology and expression.

1 credit
Prerequisite: Graduate Level Neuroscience Course
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference or discussion, 1
Instructors: Dr. Jun-Ho La, Dr. Noelle Anastasio


Seminar (NEUR 6195)

The objectives of this course are to: 1) expose the students to a wide range of current topics in neuroscience and 2) provide the students with experience in organizing and presenting seminars. Exposure to current topics in neuroscience will be accomplished by required attendance at seminars presented by local and visiting scientists. Experience in organizing and presenting seminars will be obtained by requiring the students to organize and present a seminar each year until students are admitted to candidacy. Their performance will be evaluated by the program faculty. Entry-level students present seminars based on original literature in a selected topic area. Advanced students will be expected to present literature and experimental data related to their research experiences. Grading when enrolled for attendance only will be S/U. Grading when presenting will be A, B, C, F based on performance and continued attendance at other seminars.

1 credit
Term offered: Fall, Spring, Summer (Required every term student is enrolled)
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Seminar, 1
Instructor: Dr. Tom Green
Course Director: Chairman, Program Advisory Committee


Teaching in Neuroscience (NEUR 6220)

The objectives of this elective course are to provide students with an opportunity to gain experience in how to teach and to enhance their knowledge of neuroscience. Students will participate in teaching and discussion in the laboratories of the Neuroscience and Human Behavior course (NEUR 6503), which is offered to graduate students and medical students. The students have two one-hour discussion session with faculty lab instructors each week to review the material to be covered in lab and to practice teaching skills. They will then assist in two two-hour laboratory sessions each week. Students will be expected to review material in a group session in the lab, answer questions, point out and explain structures and functional relationships of laboratory specimens, assist with demonstrations and examinations, and assist in setting up and organizing lab materials. Grading will be based on knowledge of material (20%), ability to present reviews to class clearly (40%), ability to interact effectively with small groups in lab (20%), and participation in preparatory sessions and demonstrations (20%).

2 credits
Prerequisite: NEUR 6503, NEUR 6403, or consent of instructor
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference or discussion, 1, Laboratory, 4
Instructor: Dr. Owen Hamill


Synapses: Development & Degeneration (NEUR 6221)

Synapses are fundamental units of communication in a nervous system that is composed of roughly a billion neurons. Almost all of the neurodegenerative disorders disrupt synapses and since they play such a central role in neuronal communication, this leads to a dramatic decrease in cognitive abilities of patients suffering with these debilitating disorders. The course will start with a brief introduction to synapse development and maintenance, leading into the molecular mechanisms of synapse degeneration in neurodegenerative disorders. The course aims to provide students with the essentials required to understand, and ask questions about molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

2 credits
Prerequisite: None
Term offered: Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference or discussion, 2.
Instructors: Dr. Yogesh Wairkar, Dr. Rakez Kayed


Neuroscience of Infectious Disease (NEUR 6226)

Sequelae are defined as a condition resultant of disease, typically a chronic complication of an acute illness. Neurological sequelae are those complications involving the brain and central nervous system and can include intellectual disability, seizures, emotional instability, vision loss, and hearing loss. Although many infections may lead to sequelae, the related pathology and the mechanisms associated with sequelae have not been fully identified. Recent outbreaks of Ebola and Zika virus have further exemplified the need for models to study the development of these conditions.

a) The objective of this course is to provide an overview of the immune response to viruses, bacteria and parasites, the neuroimmune response, neuroanatomy, CNS structural and functional domains, the blood brain barrier, and examples of viral, bacterial, and parasitic encephalopathies with particular focus on route of entry to the CNS (if known), specific neuroimmune responses (if known), and susceptible brain regions (if known). b) Teaching techniques to be employed will be didactic lectures and journal club presentations c) Methods of evaluation will be a 1) final exam, 2) journal club presentation d) Basis for grading will be 1) class participation, 2) in-class exams, 3) attendance, 4) journal club presentation.

3 credits
Prerequisite: None
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Biennially-Even Years
Hours per week: Lecture, 2; Laboratory 3.
Course Directors: Dr. Kelly Dineley, Dr. Dennis Bente


Behavioral Neuroscience (NEUR 6325 )

The discipline of neuroscience has long used rodents as model organisms. Currently, genetically altered mice are widely used to test specific hypothesis regarding the neural substrates of learning and memory as well as the mechanisms underlying neuro-psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. The widespread use of transgenic and knockout mice in neuroscience research necessitates using behavior as an assay to evaluate CNS function.

The didactic component of this course will provide a general background in behavioral neuroscience with an emphasis on understanding the anatomical (and neurochemical) pathways that underlie different rodent behaviors. The laboratory component will provide basic skills in assessing the behavioral phenotype of genetically altered mouse models, data analysis, and experimental design. This includes skills in performing an evaluation of rodent general health, reflexes, motor and sensory function, feeding and drinking behavior, emotional behaviors, learning and memory and reward/addiction-like behaviors. There are no exams; grades are based on performance in laboratory assignments and the presentation of a written behavioral neuroscience research proposal (~10 pages, NIH-NRSA format). This course will prepare Neuroscience and Neuropharmacology students for future work using and validating rodent neuro-behavioral models and is also suitable for students interested in utilizing genetically altered mouse models in their research.

2 credits
Prerequisite: None
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Biennially-Odd Years
Hours per week: Lecture, 2
Instructor: Dr. Kelly Dineley


Integrative Neuroscience (NEUR 6403 )

This required course will form a basis for understanding the organization, functions and disorders of the nervous system. We will study the neurobiological mechanisms of major sensory, motor, emotional-affective and cognitive functions and dysfunctions. The format will be two weekly sessions of lectures with discussion about important concepts and current topics in neuroscience that focus on critical features of integrative nervous system functions: organizational principles of the nervous system, integration among systems, synaptic and cellular plasticity in physiological and disease states, and underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. Grades will be based on class participation and on midterm and final written examinations.

4 credits
Term offered: Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 4
Instructor: Dr. Owen Hamill


Nursing Graduate Program Course Descriptions

Independent Study (GNRS 6088)

Detailed or in-depth study in a specific topic area. Topic and mode of study are agreed upon by student(s) and instructor. May be repeated when topics vary.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor. A course plan must be completed, signed by both the faculty and the student, and submitted to and approved by the Nursing PhD program director.
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable


Research (GNRS 6097)

Formal research directed toward completion of the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The student will develop a research proposal on a topic of his or her own choosing with faculty advice.

Prerequisites: Completion of required course work
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable


Thesis (GNRS 6098)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9

Dissertation (GNRS 6099)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree to enroll in this course.  This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Doctoral Research Seminar (GNRS 6340)

This course is designed for students who are initiating candidacy for the doctoral degree. Participants present their proposals for research in nursing. Emphasis is placed on collegial exchange and shared learning through analysis and critique. Evaluation of student progress is based on presentation and participation.

Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy for the Nursing PhD Program
Term offered: I,II,III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Seminar 3
Instructor: Dr. Darlene Martin


History and Philosophy of Science in Nursing (GNRS 6341)

This course focuses on the study of the history and scope of knowledge in the science of health promotion, human response, and healing and its relationship to nursing science. Epistemological assumptions, theoretical explanations, empiricism, intervention, and social outcomes will be explored. Diverse ways of knowing will be contrasted with the processes of scientific discovery. Evaluation of student progress is based on seminar participation, science paper, and final exam.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Darlene Martin


Qualitative Research Methods (GNRS 6348)

This course guides students in developing knowledge and skills required for the conduct of qualitative investigations that seek to elicit subjective interpretations of health, healing, and human response phenomena from persons who know and live with them. Selected research approaches and their philosophical and epistemological traditions are explored and critiqued for their usefulness in revealing rich descriptions of contexts, experiences, and meanings. Theoretical, ethical and practical issues are critically analyzed in the context of knowledge development, trustworthiness, diffusion, utilization, and evaluation. Evaluation of student progress is based on course participation, critiques, interpretive exercise, written first draft of proposal and presentations.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor; GNRS 6341, 6400
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Carolyn Phillips


Survey of Instrumentation Methods (GNRS 6352)

The course provides a study of the theories and methods of instrument development and psychometric assessment applied to nursing. The basic psychometric properties to be assessed and methods to apply them in advance of conducting research are explored. Evaluation of student progress is based on preparation of expert panel review, writing assignments, and objective exam.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Sheryl Bishop


Nursing Science I (GNRS 6357)

This course emphasizes theories and research related to health promotion, human response, and healing. The analysis, critical evaluation, and interpretation of research in these areas provide students with the foundation to explore original ideas for the purpose of generating nursing knowledge. Theories and related research will be presented and discussed. Students will delineate areas of research interest consistent with the course foci. Evaluation is based on papers, class presentations, and class participation.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Mary O’Keefe


Pedagogy: Teaching, Research and Scholarship in the Clinical Environment (GNRS 6362)

This course explores the interplay of scholarship, pedagogy and clinical expertise in the patient care environment. Students’ self-assessments will determine the specific clinical populations and care environments where they will participate in selected clinical learning experiences and guided readings. Emphasis also is placed on student’s exploration of the clinical and research literature related to the selected patient population, identification of researchable questions related to that patient population and the ramifications of teaching students within the unique clinical venue.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Carolyn Phillips


Concepts and Theories in Nursing (GNRS 6400)

The course provides an introduction to the nature of scientific inquiry and theoretical conceptualizations within the discipline of nursing. Origins and strategies of theory development and concept analysis are examined with particular emphasis on methods and processes of theory construction, application and evaluation and approaches to concept analysis. Theories and concepts will be evaluated within the context of published research reports. Evaluation of student progress and mastery is determined by class participation, written papers and formal presentations.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 4
Instructor: Dr. Yolanda Davila


Foundation of Adult Learning (GNRS 5309)

This course will focus on developing a foundation in andragogy for faculty in higher education in a learning centered environment. The learning theories and adult learning principles will serve as a framework for the course, incorporating the development of educational objectives. The socioeconomic and technological influences will be explored as well as ethical and legal considerations in multiple educational environments.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Stephens


Teaching Practicum (GNRS 5320)

The role of the nurse educator is actualized through the practicum experiences that integrate knowledge from previous courses. The experienced nurse will use knowledge of adult learning principles, curriculum development and evaluation processes in the classroom, lab and clinical setting to assist students to meet educational objectives through innovative teaching, integrating relevant theory and research as part of the education in the health care arena. The practicum will include mentoring by faculty and working with clinical staff and preceptors in the clinical settings. The development and completion of professional d teaching portfolios will demonstrate the activities and achievement within the program.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing, GNRS 5319, and consent of instructor
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Stephens


Research Practicum (6039)

As part of the research development of the nursing PhD student, this course is designed to provide the student with opportunities to practice and master a variety of research skills and competencies. Building upon prior didactic learning, students in this experience have the opportunity to select specific areas of research interest and work directly with a faculty researcher in a specific project and role.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor. A course plan must be completed, signed by both the faculty and the student, and submitted to and approved by the Nursing PhD program director.
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable


Quantitative Research Methods (GNRS 6346)

This course is designed to explore the use of quantitative research approaches in the study of human response, health promotion, and healing processes in nursing. The course focuses on quantitative research methodologies, including designs, sampling, measurement methods, and analysis. Emphasis will be placed on models used in writing quantitative questions and hypotheses, and on the governing principles and decision points of research design. Students will be given the opportunity to develop their ideas about human response, health promotion, and healing processes in nursing in the design of a research project using quantitative approaches. Evaluation of student progress is based on participation, presentation, and paper.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Mary O’Keefe


Qualitative Data Management (GNRS 6351)

This course continues the exploration of qualitative research that began with GNRS 6348: Qualitative Research Methods. The course introduces students to qualitative data management techniques and a variety of analytic strategies used by qualitative researchers to transform and interpret qualitative data. Data analytic strategies are discussed and critiqued from a variety of perspectives, including the impact of the philosophical foundations of selected qualitative approaches on the forms of data collected and how data are managed and analyzed. Practical experiences will assist students to develop the beginning skills required to collect and analyze qualitative data , make informed decisions about analytic strategies, articulate the thinking that supports data analyses, report qualitative findings and interpretations, and engage in detailed discussions of trustworthiness. Ethical and practical issues related to online qualitative research as well as selected computer software programs that support data collection, management and analysis are examined and critiqued. Theoretical and practical issues relevant to the contributions qualitative research can make to nursing's knowledge of human response, health promotion and healing are discussed. Evaluation of student progress is based on class participation, data collection, management and analysis, written papers, class presentations and critiques.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor; GNRS 6400, 6341, 6348
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Carolyn Phillips


Nursing Science II (GNRS 6358)

This course builds upon Nursing Science I, emphasizing application of theories and research processes related to Health Promotion, Healing and Human Response within the context of Biobehavioral, Vulnerable Populations, and Contemporary Pedagogy research. Students learn principles of human subjects' protection and develop skills in analysis and synthesis of research data, delineation of researchable question(s), and identifying appropriate research methodology. Evaluation is based on completion of online modules, participation, presentations, written papers, and journal assignments.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Mary O’Keefe


Advanced Statistics (GNRS 6402)

This is an applied course in statistical analysis that covers widely used univariate and multivariate analyses with an emphasis on understanding and application of fundamental analytical techniques. The course goals are to gain a working vocabulary of important statistical methods, to understand fundamental design issues related to statistical analyses, and to improve the ability to critically evaluate published findings. Evaluation of student progress and mastery is based on timely completion of assigned modules and homework, homework exercise, module exams, midterm and final exams.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 4
Instructor: Dr. Sheryl Bishop


Curriculum Design (GNRS 5322)

This course provides a theoretical basis for understanding the principles of curriculum design and evaluation as applied to programs of higher education in nursing. Trends and issues in nursing, health care, and society are explored as they affect the process of curriculum development. Opportunities to practice the elements of curriculum building including the role of philosophy/mission statements, framework development (both conceptual and theoretical), program objectives/outcomes, content mapping, course sequencing, clinical practice, and evaluation will be provided.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Stephens


Health Care Policy (GDNP 6325)

This course examines current issues in health care policy in the U.S. and the role of nurse leaders in affecting policy change. The influence of different political and economic conditions on health policy is analyzed within the context of historical, socioeconomic, ethical, legal and global perspectives. Students will engage in policy analysis and strategic planning of improving health care policy. The overall goal is to stimulate leadership in the policy process in advancing the profession of nursing and the health care of the public, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Linda Rounds


Informatics in Transformation of Healthcare (GDNP 6337)

This course presents the application of informatics and technology to health care. Successes and failures in implementation of information technology are evaluated, with a focus on practice improvement, innovative practice models, and disruptive innovation. Topics will address the collection and use of data for policy and quality within healthcare settings. Information technology as a mode to transform healthcare delivery will be stressed. Upon completion of this course and its related activities, the student will have demonstrated the ability to:
1. Explain traditional use of data in healthcare delivery systems.
2. Examine salient issues related to the use of data in healthcare decision-making.
3. Analyze the impact of informatics and technology on the development of health policies, practice improvement, and disruptive innovations.
4. Analyze the value of informatics and technology for professional nursing and advanced practice nursing.
5. Apply information to address a health disparities issue.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Linda Rounds


Ethics in Health Care and Research (GNRS 6347)

This course examines substantive moral and ethical issues that emerge in contemporary health care and explores the technological, socio-political, legal, and economic variables that have helped shape these dilemmas. There is an analysis of nurses’ and other health professionals’ historical traditions as moral agents and patient advocates as well as analysis of current ethical-legal obligations and challenges/barriers to those advocacy roles in a rapidly changing health care environment. The course explores comparative ethical theories and models of ethical decision-making that may serve as a framework for guiding both clinical practice and scholarship in health care. There is also an examination of ethical-legal issues that arise in the context of conducting research. Evaluation of student progress is based on seminar participation, oral presentation, and term paper.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Darlene Martin


Clinical Investigations in Nursing (GNRS 6350)

This course focuses on specific clinical investigations in nursing with emphasis on health promotion, human response to illness, and healing practices. The use of concepts and theories in clinical investigation, methodological issues in data management, and instrumentation and measurement are examined within the context of clinical significance to nursing practice. Evaluation of student progress is based on research analysis, completion of a proposal, and seminar participation.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor; GNRS 6357, 6358
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Terese Verklan


Quantitative Data Management (GNRS 6361)

This is a course in research data management specifically focused on facilitating the design and implementation of quantitative research projects as well as the preparation of data for statistical analyses. It is intended to address required database structures for existing statistical packages to reinforce basic principles of research design and required statistical level of measurement for proper analytical decisions. Students will be required to design and set up basic database, collect an exemplar sample of data, then test their data structures with basic, widely used statistical computer analyses through a series of computer exercises utilizing SPSS as an exemplar. Weekly homework assignments will address data structure, level of measurement, coding, documentation, selection of variables appropriate to various analyses and exemplar statistical computer analyses. Finally, exercises with translating results into graphic displays will complete the cycle of design, collection, data entry, data verification, data analyses and display.

Prerequisites: Admission to the Nursing PhD Program or permission of instructor
Term offered: III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Bishop


Program Evaluation (GNRS 5311)

Program evaluation encompasses curriculum, students, faculty and educational environments. The course will include developing assessment and evaluation methods including student learning outcomes for use in multiple educational environments. Also preparing recommendations from the information and data received from assessments will be included. The course will conclude with the review of the importance of program evaluation for quality improvement and approval from accrediting agencies.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Stephens


Learning Environment (GNRS 5312)

The course will focus on elements of the learning environment including the role of the faculty as the facilitator of learning and considerations of the learner in multiple educational environments. As a facilitator of learning, innovative educational strategies that promote learning and the use of emerging technologies will be explored in multiple educational environments. Appropriate assessment techniques will validate the completion of the learning outcomes.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3
Instructor: Dr. Stephens


Pharmacology & Toxicology Course Descriptions

Lab Rotation (PHTO 6022)

The objectives of this course are to acquaint students with the research activities of individual faculty members and to assist students in choosing their areas of specialization. The faculty member and student will design a research project and work out a time schedule committing the student to three to 24 hours per week in the laboratory. The student will prepare an abstract describing the objectives and methodology of the study and then conduct the study under the faculty member's supervision. A final report stating the methods, results, interpretation, problems encountered, and suggestions for future research will be required. In addition to carrying out the research proposal the student will be expected to gain a knowledge of the current literature relevant to the project. Grading will be based on the student's laboratory performance, final written report, and an oral presentation of the project. Grading will be A, B, C, F. Normally, a student entering the program without an advanced degree will be required to complete 12 hours of credit with a grade of B or better prior to gaining admission to candidacy. Individual requirements may vary depending on the research experience of the student.

Prerequisites: None
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Laboratory 3 24


Research (PHTO 6097)

Research on thesis or dissertation project under the direction of supervising professor. The research is graded as satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U).

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Laboratory 3 27


Thesis (PHTO 6098)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Dissertation (PHTO 6099)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Addiction Sciences and Neurotherapeutics (PHTO 6120)

This course will provide an interactive work-group for trainees to discuss their research in addiction science with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty. Emphasis will be placed on therapeutic development and trainees will learn how to approach existing projects with a therapeutic development prospective. Presentation formats will vary in scope and level of analysis, depending on the needs of the trainee. Examples of trainee presentation formats include: expansion of an existing project for grant proposal development, and detailed discussion of data analysis and interpretation. Intermittently, faculty will present information on their research program to provide students with an overview of cutting-edge neuroscience and drug discovery/development topics. Grades will be satisfactory/unsatisfactory based on in-class participation and presentations quality.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 1
Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Hommel


Neuroaddicts Journal Club (PHTO 6121)

The Neuroaddicts Journal Club provides a more cohesive venue for trainees and exposes mentees to a wider range of neuroscience and addictions topics. The goals are for mentees to learn critical thinking of the published literature, the requirements and construction of high quality manuscripts, and presentation skills. Within this environment, mentees have a prime opportunity to refine the ability to converse in both scientific and collegial domains, and become comfortable with asking questions and thinking critical/constructively.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I, II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 1
Instructor: Dr. Noelle Anastasio


ADVANCES IN MENTAL HEALTH RESEARCH (PHTO 6123)

This course will provide a solid understanding of current mental health research and promote understanding of factors advancing future groundbreaking mental health research. The course will have flexible format, including sessions where students discuss relevant papers, present their own data, discuss a wide range of career-development issues, learn about pharmacotherapeutic development, learn advanced grant-writing principles, discuss relevant ethical issues, and learn advanced research techniques. Attendance 50%, participation in classroom discussion 50%. A satisfactory grade requires a score of 80%.

Prerequisites: None
Term Offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours Per Week: 2
Instructor: Dr. Thomas Green and Dr. Fernanda Laezza


Bioinformatics Tools and Applications (PHTO 6125)

The goal of the class is to introduce the students to the various bioinformatics tools available for the analysis DNA and RNA sequencing data. Students will be provided with an overview of the most common bioinformatics tasks they will face in the research. During the class, students will have hands on experience performing analysis of the data generated by the variety of scientific instruments and bioinformatics tools addressing real-life clinical and scientific applications. The class will be divided into three sections: pathogen detection, gene expression, and microbiome analysis. Students will be taught how to use public bioinformatics resources such as GeneBank, SRA, PATRIC, SILVa, and I2B2.

Prerequisites: None
Terms offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours Per Week: 1
Instructor: Dr. George Golovko


PHARMACOLOGY & TOXICOLOGY STD JOURNAL CLUB (PHTO 6190)

This course is designed to provide an opportunity for students to practice formal presentation skills and discuss science. Students will select research articles from pharmacological journals for presentation to students and student groups. Each student will present and discuss at least one paper per semester depending on the number of students enrolled in the course. Grades will be based on attendance and quality of presentation. Pharmacology students are required to be enrolled in this course every term offered, except for the last term.

Prerequisites: None
Term Offered: I, II
Year Offered: Annually
Hours Per Week: Conference or Discussion 1
Instructor: Dr. Miriam Falzon


SEMINAR IN PHARMACOLOGY & TOXICOLOGY (PHTO 6195)

Presentations by guest lecturers, staff, and students on the progress of their own research, as well as review of recent advances in pharmacology. Students will receive a grade of satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) based on attendance and participation. Prerequisites: Students are required to be enrolled in this course every term offered, except for the last term.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I, II, III
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Seminar 1
Instructor: Dr. Kenneth Johnson


ECT Pharmacology (PHTO 6213)

Survey of Pharmacology course covering drugs that affect the endocrine system, drugs used in cancer chemotherapy, anti-parasitic drugs, drugs to treat gastrointestinal (GI) system, anti-dhistomines, anti-inflammatory drugs and an introduction to toxicology and specific toxic agents.

Prerequisites: None
Terms offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 4


Current concepts in Molecular Toxicology (PHTO 6214)

The course is presented in three parts: Part 1 - Metabolism and disposition of drugs and toxicants (i.e., absorption, distribution, activation and deactivation of environmental chemicals); Part II - Genotoxic and epigenetic toxicology; Part III - Toxicology in the age of genomics and proteomics.

Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture, conference and discussion 4
Faculty: Selected UTMB Faculty


New Drug Development (PHTO 6219)

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the drug discovery and development process, focusing on drug development science, regulation, and industry. Students will learn how promising new drugs are discovered, screened, and evaluated from the standpoint of their safety and efficacy.

How drug commercialization decisions are made at each major phase in the drug development process. How information technology is used to increase drug development productivity as well as enhance the commercial potential of drug candidates. Topics include: Molecules to medicines; Drug discovery, design, and screening; Early testing and Safety; Clinical research; Global drug review and approval, Trends and issues in pharmaceutical drug development; Case history, etc. The course grade will be based on class participation (50%) and class project and presentation (50%).

Term offered: Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture, conference and discussion 4
Faculty: Zhou, Staff


Neuropharmacology (PHTO 6223)

An eight week course meeting three times per week to present the principles of the study of drugs that influence neural systems. The format of the course will be a combination of faculty and student presentations and discussion. Grades will be based upon two exams, a research paper, and a student presentation.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor or BBSC Core Curriculum
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 4; Conference or Discussion 1; Laboratory 6


Intro Tox Risk Assessment (PHTO 6224)

The objective of this course is to provide a basic foundation on the toxicological risk assessment process. The course format is lecture-based with supplement from online materials and experiences, as well as practical application aligned with book chapter commentary, and case studies. Students will be provided a risk assessment simulation exercise to experience and understand the risk assessment process. Within this course, students learn about: 1) the building blocks of risk assessment, 2) the risk assessment process, 3) how risk assessment is applied and used in decision making scenarios, 4) current and emerging issues in risk assessment, and 5) the skills and professional resources available to those interested in risk assessment. After completing the course, the student will be able to: 1) define and explain toxicological risk assessment, 2) comprehend the application of risk assessment, 3) demonstrate effective use of risk assessment technique, 4) demonstrate competent science and math skills associated with risk assessment, 5) employ ethical principles in the application of risk assessment, 6) demonstrate the ability to work effectively in teams and in discussion-based format. Course performance grading will be standard letter grades, based on exams, individual projects, class participation/discussion, and attendance.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I
Year offered: Even Years
Hours per week: 2
Instructor: Dr. Sol Bobst


Introduction to Computational Toxicology (PHTO 6225)

The objective of this course is to provide a basic foundation in computational toxicology methods, applications, and practical skills. The course format is a hybrid of online lectures and webinars supplemented with online materials as well as practical application aligned with project examples. Students will be provided an opportunity to I) learn the background and application of QSAR methods for in silico prediction of toxic endpoints, as well as application for industrial and pharmaceutical product development 2) learn the background of modeling pharmacologicall pharmacodynamic principles as well as systems biology modeling for predictive value, and demonstrate some competency in modeling via an exercise, and 3) learn the background and application of publicly available toxicology databases, and how the data can be used for experimental and regulatory purposes, as well as a practical exercise using a database for a project and focused outcome

Online discussions will be asynchronous with clear start times and deadlines for students to post to the discussion forum. Students are expected, at the minimum, to provide at least one initial post and one reply post for each weekly topic. Depending on the course size, students may be asked to lead discussions for the week. The course instructor will set the course discussion question for the week and provide the journal club citation and pdf if necessary, though students will be encouraged to use their library research skills when papers are available that way. At the end of the discussion week, students will be graded on their level of participation. The expectations for online discussions will be explained, along with a grading rubric for the assignment of grades that is based on the quality and content of the online discussion postings. Lecture notes will also be available within Pilot on a weekly basis, so that students have the course material available to them during the week, and if they bring laptops to the course, they can use interactive tools on risk assessment during lectures or discussions to meet the applied learning objectives

Prerequisites: Instructor or Director Approval
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 2 Discussion 1
Instructor: Dr. Sol Bobst

 


ACC Pharmacology (PHTO 6312)

This fifteen-week course serves as an introduction to the cellular, biochemical, and molecular effects of pharmacological agents acting on the autonomic and central nervous systems as well as the cardiovascular and renal systems. Prior to detailed presentations of the various classes of agents used to treat disorders of the aforementioned systems, the pertinent physiology of each system will be reviewed. The therapeutic use, mechanism of action, adverse effects, and absorption, distribution, and metabolism will be emphasized for each pharmacological agent presented in class. This course will be graded on the basis of four in-class examinations.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: 4.5
Instructor: Dr. Kenneth Johnson


Genome-Wide Analytical Technologies for Biomedical Research (PHTO 6318)

New developments in technologies such as proteomics, metabolomics, epigenetics, and molecular imaging are expanding our knowledge of the biological world at a rapid pace. These analytical approaches and expertise are accessible at UTMB. The student is offered education in cutting-edge technologies for application in biomedicine. The course is a blend of lectures, literature seminars, and practical demonstrations of data acquisition and data analysis. At the end of the course, the student will be able to identify and apply experimental strategies that best fit their biomedical experimental hypothesis. Grading: The examination will consist of a 5 page research proposal that describes the application of genome-wide technologies to a biomedical hypothesis. The exam will effectively integrate the student's working knowledge of materials discussed in seminars, lectures and practical demonstrations.


Principles of Environmental Toxicology (PHTO 6319)

This course will be a graduate-level presentation of fundamental principles of environmental toxicology, including basic concepts like ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion), mechanisms of toxicity and injury, inflammation and ROS, overviews of discipline-specific toxicology (e.g., genetic toxicology, immunotoxicology, and toxicant-associated carcinogenesis), as well as organ-system-based toxicology covering major organ systems of the body (e.g., neurotoxicology, hepatotoxicology, renal toxicology, cardiovascular toxicology, and respiratory toxicology), and including developmental toxicology. Grades will be calculated based on upon 2 mid-term and final in-class exams, and class attendance.

Prerequisites: None
Term offered: I
Year offered: Odd Years
Hours per week: 3
Instructor: Dr. Bill Ameredes


Population Health Sciences Course Descriptions

Rotation (PHS 6011)

This course allows the student, under faculty guidance, to engage in a limited research project unrelated to his or her thesis or dissertation, but concerned with their area of study (Population Health Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Rehabilitation Sciences, or Public Health). Credit and hours to be arranged. Course grade will be based on satisfactory performance and accomplishments in the chosen research area.

1-9 Credits


Integrative Learning Experience (PHS 6016)

The Integrative Learning Experience (ILE) is a requirement of all MPH students. The ILE is a culminating project that allows students to integrate the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout their MPH coursework and practice experience. It is intended to provide students with the opportunity to explore a public health area of interest in greater depth, produce a high-quality written product that aligns with their educational and professional goals, and demonstrate the synthesis of competencies attained during the MPH program. Grading is based on a proposal outlining what student will accomplish during ILE and the final report.

3 Credits


Topics in Biostatistics (PHS 6056)

This course is a reading course for students interested in particular areas of Biostatistics. The course changes from year to year depending on the needs of the individual students. The course will review material on graphical methods in categorical data analysis and other areas which include structural equations models and survey sampling. the student is evaluated with written papers and oral examinations on a weekly basis.

1-4 Credits
Prerequisites: PHS 6443; permission of instructor
Terms offered: Fall; Spring; Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference or Discussion 2 8


Public Health Practice (PHS 6070)

The core functions of public health assessment, policy development, and assurance - are met through the delivery of 10 essential services. This course provides students with applied experience in the delivery of those services through placements in public health practice settings, including government agencies, community based organizations, and work-site health programs. At the host site, students will complete mentored projects that require them to put in practice knowledge and skills learned in their academic curricula. Grading will be based on a written report, critical incident journal entries, a self-assessment of practice based competencies, and evaluation by the host site preceptor. Consent of instructor required to take this course.

2-4 Credits


Research (PHS 6097)

This course is designed to afford the student the opportunity to develop a thesis or dissertation proposal under faculty guidance. The proposal development may involve a literature search, preliminary experimentation, or a pilot field study. The research will be preliminary but relevant to the thesis or dissertation. Credit and hours to be arranged. Teaching technique is tutorial in nature.

Prerequisites: None
Terms offered: Fall; Spring; Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable


Thesis (PHS 6098)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree to enroll in this course. This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the thesis for the Master of Science or Master of Arts degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student’s level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student’s supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Dissertation (PHS 6099)

Once admitted to candidacy, it is required for students pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy degree to enroll in this course.  This course is for the formal research and writing leading to the preparation and completion of the dissertation for the Doctor of Philosophy degree while under the direction of the student’s supervisory committee. The student will pursue the proposed research and present a progress report and/or agreed upon objectives to the mentor and/or supervisory committee for approval and recommendations. Grading will be based upon the student's level of performance as reported by the chairperson of the student's supervisory committee and will be assigned as Satisfactory (S), Needs Improvement (N), or Unsatisfactory (U).
Prerequisites: Admission to candidacy
Terms offered: I, II, III
Year Offered: Annually
Hours per week: Variable 3-9


Scientific Writing and Presentations (PHS 6136)

This is a required course in the Rehabilitation Sciences PhD program. The course will introduce students to the principles of manuscript writing and scientific presentations. We will discuss and then practice fundamental elements of scientific writing and scientific presentations (poster and oral). Students wlll learn to recognize and overcome common challenges in scientific writing and presenting. Most of the background information, practice exercises, and reference material will be posted online (Blackboard) for review outside of class. The primary interaction will be weekly ln-class lectures, group discussions, and opportunities to practice. The instructors will deliver lectures, model best practices, and lead discussions. Grades will be determined based on participation in classroom discussions and performances on writing exercises, poster presentation, and a 15-min oral presentation.


Data Management for PhD Students (PHS 6143)

This is a required eight-week foundation course for Population Health Sciences PhD students. This course builds on the basics that are presented in the course PHS 6210 Introduction to Data Management and introduces more advanced techniques in SAS, and provides an introduction to the data management using R. It will consist of one two-hour lecture per week for total of 8 weeks and will be offered in the 2nd block of Fall semester annually. SAS topics include more advanced techniques on reading data into SAS, SAS functions, using array and do loops, reconstruction on the datasets, output delivery system and an introduction to SAS macro. R topics include basic concepts of the R coding environment and techniques on how to read, modify, combine, and update datasets as well as produce data summaries in R. Grading will be based on the performance on participation in the class activities, graded homework and attendance.


Professional Presentations & Teaching Strategies (PHS 6144)

This course is designed to develop students' ability to design effective scientific posters and PowerPoint presentations, and successfully communicate their science through both poster and oral presentations. In addition, students will learn and use effective teaching strategies and fundamental course design. They will develop a teaching philosophy statement, construct instructional objectives, and design a course syllabus. Through a classroom observation experience, students will observe and discuss teaching strategies used by university faculty. The course will end with an opportunity to conduct a teaching demonstration to prepare students for faculty job interviews in higher education.

1 credit


Grant Writing & Reviewing (PHS 6156)

This course is designed to introduce students to finding and competing for grant funding for disability and rehabilitation research. We will discuss and then practice fundamental elements of identifying funding opportunities and the grantsmanship necessary to develop a competitive application. Most of the background information, practice exercises, and reference material will be posted online (Blackboard) for review outside of class. The primary interaction will be weekly in-class lectures, group discussions, and opportunities to practice. Each student will develop his or her own documents (e.g. biosketch, aims page, etc.) and receive in-class edits, comments, and suggestions from the group. Grades will be determined based on participation in classroom discussions and reviewing exercises, PICO exercise, identifying feasible funding sources, specific Aims page, NIH style Biosketch, outlines for Significance, Innovation and Approach sections, presentations of specific Aims, Significance, Innovation and approach.

1 credit


Prevention Science (PHS 6159)

The levels of prevention-primary, secondary, and tertiary-are important concepts in both clinical and public health interventions. To address individual and population health improvement and to narrow health inequities, practitioners need to understand and value how to prevent the onset and progression of disease and how to promote recovery and rehabilitation. This course will use case studies to practice identifying opportunities for preventive intervention in health care and public health and opportunities to build partnerships across the fields of practice.

1 credit


Seminar (PHS 6195)

This course is a survey of current problems, programs, and needs in population health sciences. Seminar is intended to provide students with continuing education on issues and advances in the field, serve as a forum for the exchange of information about student research interests, and offer practical experience to prepare the student for research presentations.

Prerequisites: None
Terms offered: Fall; Spring
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Seminar 1


Special Topics (PHS 6196)

No Description given


Introduction to Data Management (PHS 6210)

This course provides an introduction to the management of data using a statistical software package. Packages covered may include SAS or R. The basics of data management language and data steps will be presented. The course includes instruction in how to read, write, and store data in a Microsoft Windows computer environment. Instructions of basic knowledge in programming are also provided on how to modify, combine, and update datasets as well as produce data summaries. The emphasis on this course is to get students acquainted with the basic data manipulation and some techniques of exploratory data analysis and is organized so that students can begin building up programming skills to manage and analyze the collected data. The course grading will be based on class participation (30%), in class exercises (10%), homework (45%), and a final project (15%).

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor
Terms offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Laboratory 3; Lecture 1


Translational Epidemiology I: Patient Oriented Research (PHS 6212)

This course provides an introduction to the methods used in the design and implementation of studies aimed at assessing the effectiveness of medical interventions. Its goal is to provide students with the means of applying epidemiologic concepts and methods to the measurement and analysis of health care outcomes. The first part of the course will focus on alternative research designs, measurement issues, sources of data and analysis techniques for comparing patterns of care and assessing outcomes of preventive services and medical therapies. The components of a research protocol are reviewed with specific examples from funded studies in health care research. In the second part of the course, research design and measurement issues will be presented and evaluated in the context of specific public health and clinical examples

2 Credits
Term offered: Spring


Translational Epidemiology II: Population Oriented Research (PHS 6213)

Models of translational research describe a process of translating: (1) basic science findings to clinical applications, (2) effective clinical applications to broader clinical practice, and (3) practice changes to improved population health. This course focuses on dissemination and implementation research and the translation of research from patients to practices and populations. The course briefly reviews the methods of knowledge synthesis (e.g., development of systematic reviews and evidence-based guidelines) and the conduct of research to build the evidence base for developing guidelines on effective clinical and public health interventions. Greater emphasis is placed on conducting research to promote use and institutionalization of guidelines and evidence-based interventions.

2 Credits
Term offered: Spring


Public Health Preventive Medicine (PHS 6217)

(Note: Designed for the Aerospace Medicine and General Preventive Medicine residents for their MPH degree) This course will introduce and develop topics in public health and prevention, with a focus on integrating public health practice and the delivery of clinical health services for populations. The course is designed to cover required public health competencies for medical practitioners, particularly residents in preventive medicine specialties. Course will be lecture based, with discussion of reading assignments, case study presentation, and table top exercise format. Student performance in the course is graded A-F and will be assessed as follows: 10% credit for class attendance and participation in discussions, 60% credit for completion of class exercises/quizzes & class presentation,10% for written paper on presentation topic, and 20% credit for final exam.

2 Credits
Term offered: Spring


Stress and Health (PHS 6219)

This course focuses on how stress 'gets under the skin'. This course will examine four different aspects of stress research. First, discussion will focus on defining stress and theoretical models emphasizing pathways from exposure to stress to poor health outcomes. Second, we will discuss measurement issues through looking at the different ways in which stress is measured. Third, we will examine evidence form 50 years of stress research on the effects of stress on mental and physical health. Finally, we will discuss interventions related to the reduction of stress.


Introduction to Occupational Injury and Illness (PHS 6227)

This course will be taught in lecture format, with handouts and slides, using one text as reference. It will serve as an introduction to Occupational Medicine for the three residencies in Preventive Medicine (Aerospace, General Preventive Medicine, and Occupational Medicine) and will be open to 4th year medical students and residents at UTMB to take as an elective without credit. Students will learn the history of occupational medicine and get an overview of a variety of work and health related subjects. The course will be offered in the summer with an intensive five-day curriculum comprising a total of thirty hours of contact time.

2 Credits
Term offered: Summer


Infectious Disease Epidemiology (PHS 6233)

This course is designed as an introduction to the epidemiologic and public health aspects of infectious diseases of importance in the United States and globally. Emphasis will be placed on specific diseases and their etiology, distribution, determinants, prevention and control. After completing this course, students should be able to understand the epidemiologic characteristics of various infectious diseases, and how epidemiologic methods are applied to study these diseases.

2 Credits
Term offered: Spring


Chronic Disease Epidemiology (PHS 6234)

Chronic diseases are the leading causes of disease burden in the developed nations and an increasingly important contributor to disease burden in developing nations. Chronic conditions and diseases are characterized by their prolonged periods of development and progression, multi-factorial and sometimes uncertain causality, and, typically, lack of a complete cure. This course will provide an epidemiological framework for understanding and contributing to the research on chronic conditions and diseases. Course materials and assignments will review: chronic disease surveillance; descriptive epidemiology of chronic diseases; and analytical epidemiology on the causes of chronic diseases, including research examples from genetic epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, behavioral epidemiology, and social epidemiology.

2 Credits
Term offered: Spring


Metabolism Studies (PHS 6250)

This course will introduce students to research in metabolism, keep them abreast of the latest developments in the field, and help them develop the skills for scientific presentations and participation in scientific seminars and conferences. Students are required to actively participate to the seminaries by presenting at least once, and intervening to the discussion of the other presentations. Seminar presentation will court for (60%) of the grade, and participation to the Q & A section of the other presentations will count for the remaining 40% of the grade. Grading will be S/U.

Prerequisites: Admission to PHS graduate program for study in this area
Terms offered: Fall; Spring; Summer
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Conference or Discussion 2


Burn Nutrition & Metabolism (PHS 6251)

The course will cover advanced nutrition and metabolism topics related to burn injury and burn-related complications. The following areas will be covered: The effect of burn injury on macro- and micronutrient metabolism. Organ-specific metabolic regulation in burn injury. Methodologies to study burn metabolism (e.g., stable isotopes, a-v balance, tissue biopsies). Nutrition needs of the burn patient. Burn-related metabolic abnormalities (e.g., insulin resistance, sepsis, hepatic steatosis). Grades will be on an A-F basis with three graded components: 1) class participation 15% 2) presentation in journal clubs 25% 3) 60% final paper and presentation of original research project.

Grades will be on an A-F basis with three graded components:
1) class participation 15%;
2) presentation in journal clubs 25%
3) 60% final paper and presentation of original research project


Social Determinants of Health (PHS 6241)

This course will be taught in the spring and is currently in development. It’s being sent to committee for approval in October to be presented in the November Curriculum Committee


Principles of Public health (PHS 6289)

Experience Identifying and addressing public health problems, requires teams of professionals with diverse sets of skills. Public health professionals perform three core functions-assessment of public health problems, development of interventions and policy solutions, and assurance of service delivery and workforce performance. This public health course will introduce students to basic content and skills form public health related disciplines. Students will review aspects of public health as a profession and science and will develop an understanding of the determinants of health and disease.


Special Topics (PHS 6296)

No description given.


Minorities Aging & Health (PHS 6312)

The goal of this course is to provide an overview of the special health problems of major ethnic minority groups of socioeconomic, historical, and cultural factors influencing theses health problems, and the difficulties in students studying these groups in the fields of preventive medicine and community health. The course is designed to provide the opportunity: 1) to acquire and applicable knowledge and general appreciation of the concepts, theories, issues, and trends in public health; 2) to apply that knowledge to an understanding of the physical, biological and social interdependencies as they relate to minority elderly relevant to the field of public health and minority aging through concerted interdisciplinary efforts. Special emphasis will be given to the morality and life expectancy, chronic diseases and disability, mental health, health services and long-term care, and health policy. Students will have several components that comprise their final grade in the course: Class participation and presentation (40%), first draft of the term paper (20%), final draft of the term paper (40%).

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor
Term offered: Spring
Year offered: Annually- Even years
Hours per week: Lecture 2; Conference/Discussion 1


Longitudinal Data Analysis (PHS 6313)

This course will introduce students to the analysis of longitudinal data. The topics will be motivated by actual data sets, chosen by the instructor or possibly the students and cover both continuous and categorical outcomes. Statistical concepts and theory will be presented and related to applied settings where possible. Topics will include: a review of matrices; paired data; general linear models for longitudinal data; the mixed model; time varying covariates; general estimating equation (GEE) methods; weighted least squares.

3 Credits
Year offered: Biennially - Even years


Survival Analysis (PHS 6321)

This course exposes students to the following: Scope of Survival Analysis; The Clinical Trial Environment; Define Failure Times; Left & Right Censoring; Accelerated Failure Time Testing; Distributions of Failure Times (particularly families of exponentially distributed failures); Hazard Functions; Survivorship Functions; Product Limits and Actuarial Estimators; Statistical Tests for Comparing Failure Time Distributions; Statistical Software for Survival Analysis; Competing Risks and Proportional Hazards; Time Dependent Covariates; Issues in Monitoring Clinical Trials, including Interim Analysis; Sequential Clinical Trials.

3 Credits


Research Design (PHS 6322)

This class focuses on research design in clinical and population health sciences. The course begins with an overview of steps in developing a research hypothesis and a review of the hierarchy of evidence provided by different research designs. In the second section, specific research designs are examined in detail, including the design of experiments (randomized controlled trials); quasi-experiments and cohort studies; and case-control and cross-sectional studies. Critique of journal articles is interspersed with researchers presenting examples of projects illustrating various research design and measurement issues. The course concludes with students designing individual research projects. The final project must include: a statement of purpose (research aims); a description of previous work relevant to the topic (literature review), culminating in a rationale for the proposed project; and a description of how the study is to be conducted (what the units of observation are why and how they will be selected; what materials will be used in the study; and how information will be analyzed to meet the aims of the project.). Students must also take and pass the university human subjects training course.

3 Credits
Term offered: Spring


Public Health Assessment Planning & Evaluation (PHS 6324)

This course is designed to facilitate the integration and application of a variety of public health topics, issues, and skills. The lecture-based course is designed to provide students with different perspectives and approaches, as well as a greater familiarity of a range of methods, essential to public health practice. Topics will be framed around skills in public health practice and evaluative research. This course will prepare students for capstone and public health practice experience planning. The grade will be based on class participation and methods presentations, capstone proposal and application, evaluation plan project, public health symposium poster presentation, and capstone background and literature review.

3 credits


Introduction to Epidemiology (PHS 6330)

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of epidemiology, the study of the distribution and determinants of health in populations and the application of this study to control and improve health outcomes. Concepts that will be covered include: historical foundations of epidemiologic research, measures of disease frequency, standardization, study design, measures of effect, screening, and causality. The student will gain insight in the strengths and limitations of population-based research, acquire skills to critically evaluate epidemiologic research, understand the basis of casual inference regarding health and disease, and appreciate the scope of epidemiology and its uses in the areas of public health and clinical care. Grading: Midterm Exam 25%; Final Exam 30%; Class assignments 45%. Students taking the course for credit towards a degree program are required to take the course for A-F grading. Public Health Certificate students only will have the option at the start of the course to choose A-F grading or S/U grading. Public Health Certificate students choosing S/U grading are required to complete all graded components of the course. The grade of S, satisfactory, is equivalent to a C or better. The grade of U, unsatisfactory, is equivalent to an F.

Prerequisites: PHS 6443 or permission of instructor
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 3


Advanced Epidemiologic Methods (PHS 6331)

This lecture course is designed to provide a rigorous overview of epidemiologic methods in clinical and public health research. In view of the growing need for quantitative approaches in epidemiology, the main thrust of this course will be statistical methods and interpretations pertinent to practice of modern epidemiology.

3 Credits
Term offered: Spring


Epidemiological Methods (PHS 6333)

This class is meant to be a continuation of the Introduction to Epidemiology Course offered in the fall, and as a supplement to (PMCH 6322/PMCH 6371) Seminar in Research Design. Conceptual issues challenging epidemiologic research and public health practice presented in the introductory course will be reviewed in greater detailed. Although the core of the class is directed to conceptual based learning, tools to manage these challenges will be taught in parallel.

3 Credits
Term offered: Spring


Field Epidemiology: Principles & Practices (PHS 6334)

This two-week course taught in Lima, Peru is designed to provide a comprehensive review of epidemiologic principles and practices applied to public health field studies. The course combines lectures, case study, and hands-on training in the design, conduct and publication of epidemiological field investigations. The fieldwork component includes specific abilities, such as household interviews, collection of biological specimens from humans and household animals, trapping small mammals, vector collection, and basic parasitology, bacteriology and virological techniques in BSL 2/3 laboratories. This course is directed to professionals who have completed at least an introductory course in epidemiology, have a basic understanding of field investigations and use epidemiologic methods in their work or study.

Restrictions: Intermediate Spanish/Instructor Permission from Dr. White
3 Credits


Community-based Public Health (PHS 6336)

This course is designed to provide students with exposure to basic health concepts and introduce students to community-based public health practice. Students will utilize basic public health skills to describe and explain population health problems and will identify and review the evidence for policy and community responses. Students will gain a better understanding of underserved populations, health and non-health needs that affect health outcomes, and community-based resources that align with public health and medical education, training, and practice. The course includes an introductory overview of concepts and methods used in public health followed by more in-depth consideration of current issues in the field. Grading will be based on, attendance and participation, mentored team projects, presentations of results and peer evaluation.

3 credits


Design & Analysis of Clinical Trials (PHS 6337)

This course introduces students to issues of design and data analysis when conducting clinical trials. Clinical trials can be made more efficient or ethical with careful consideration of how comparison trial Is designed and how many subjects are involved. Additionally, reliable data analysts requires understanding the role of design complexities as well as missing mechanisms and data reliability. Topics in this course will include reviews of relevant statistical methods, design issues such as randomization and sample size calculations, types of clinical designs including adaptive designs, issues In monitoring and reporting of results, and Bayesian approaches. Grades will be based on participation and attendance, homework and two exams (mid-term and final).

3 credits


Public Health Professionalism & Leadership (PHS 6338)

This course is designed to familiarize students with communications, leadership, advocacy, and inter-professional practice, in a public health context, and to better prepare them for their public health practice experience and the work force. It incorporates real-world case studies and scenarios to improve practice-based knowledge and skills. Grading will be based on chapter presentation, advocacy presentation, inter-professional practice activity, participation and attendance, group projects and a written paper.

3 credits


Health Economics (PHS 6339)

This advanced course is designed to provide an understanding of the economics of health and health care. The U.S. health care sector accounts for roughly one-fifth of the overall gross domestic product. Its performance has Important implications for Individual health outcomes and population health. Using key concepts from economics, we will understand how health care is delivered in the United States, how the health insurance market works, and the role of government regulations/policies In governing health care effectiveness. Grades will be based on class participation, topic presentations and paper presentations and writing.

3 credits


Categorical Data Analysis (PHS 6341)

This course provides researchers an introduction to some of the major techniques used in analyzing categorical data. This includes a review of probability and some common discrete distributions. Log-linear models, weighted least squares and logistic regression are presented. In addition, techniques for small samples and for survey samples are discussed. Most of the examples are drawn from published articles although occasionally an artificial data set is used to emphasize a particular point. For more than two variables most computations require the use of a computer.

3 Credits


Biostatistics (PHS 6343)

Course objective is to provide the student with a basic understanding of the use and interpretation of certain classical and state-of-the-art statistical techniques and in the study of health and biomedical problems. Topics to be covered are basic probability, sensitivity and specificity, Bayes Rule, population measures of location and dispersion, Gaussian distributions, point estimation, confidence intervals, classical and practical hypothesis testing, simple analysis of variance with mean separation tests, nonparametric procedures for one- and two-way classifications, least squares regression and correlation, including lack of fit tests, simple categorical data analysis including goodness of fit, and homogeneity of proportions.

3 Credits
Term offered: Fall


Introduction to Linear Models (PHS 6344)

This course provides an introduction to the most common statistical model used in data analysis. The model has been adopted as a conceptual framework throughout the biomedical, public health and social sciences. It includes as special cases: simple regression and correlation, multiple regression, analysis of covariance and analysis of variance. The model is termed the liner model and with broad assumptions uses simple computational techniques known as: ordinary least squares. The course will cover assumptions and diagnostic methods of these models. Examples from the biomedical and socio-medical sciences will illustrate all of the techniques. Computations require using the computer package SAS. The interpretation and presentation of results are emphasized.

3 Credits
Term offered: Spring


Introduction to Bioinformatics (PHS 6345)

This course provides students the opportunity to hear about the latest advancements and techniques in a wide variety of biomedical sciences. Students are required to attend seminars by on- or off-campus speakers during each of the Fall and Spring terms. Students choose twelve seminars to attend on the basis of student interest and/or program recommendations. A required module on avoiding plagiarism and the proper use of citations and paraphrasing is part of the fall calendar. Grades will be satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U) based on attendance.

Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Annually - odd years


Applied Statistical Methods (PHS 6347)

This course introduces the general concepts of regression analysis, as used in the biomedical, public health and social sciences. The course will examine how a wide variety of problems can be described and analyzed using the language of regression. Specific topics to be covered include: simple linear regression, multiple linear regression, polynomial regression, random effects, linear mixed models, nonlinear regression, logistic regression, and Cox regression. As these topics are developed, related subjects will be addressed: diagnostics for regression, assumptions of regression, the notions of confounding and effect modification, interaction terms, extensions of the above models, ANOVA, research design, and further more advanced topics as time permits. The emphasis of the course is to familiarize students with the vocabulary and basic notions associated with the methods, as well as with interpretation of statistics. While this is a quantitative course, most of the time will be spent working on intuitive understanding of what the regression models are telling investigators, what their limits are, and what is required to properly use the models. Grade will be composed of: In class exercises and class discussion 40%, homework 40%, and a final project 20%. Students taking the course for credit towards a degree program are required to take the course for A-F grading. Public Health Certificate students only will have the option at the start of the course to choose A-F grading or S/U grading. Public Health Certificate students choosing S/U grading are required to complete all graded components of the course. The grade of S, satisfactory, is equivalent to a C or better. The grade of U, unsatisfactory, is equivalent to an F.

Grade will be composed of:
In class exercises and class discussions 40%,
homework 40%,
and a final project 20%.


Issues in Prevention (PHS 6349)

The fields of preventive medicine and public health both focus on disease prevention and health promotion. The fields differ, however, in their traditional target groups and analytical and intervention approaches. Preventive medicine activities typically target individuals with research and interventions taking place in clinical settings. Public Health, in contrast, is concerned with the health populations and research and interventions are commonly set in communities or in community-based settings (e.g., worksites, schools). This course will review both types of approaches with emphases on developing answerable research questions, identifying appropriate data sources, critiquing empirical articles, synthesizing research literature, and integrating quantitative skills with relevant concepts and theories to address specific questions. Grade is based on 1) participation 15%, 2) data presentation exercises 15%, 3) writing and oral presenting a protocol proposal for a systematic review paper 10%, 4) writing and orally presenting a protocol for a systematic review paper 30%, 5) final exam 50%. Offered Biennially-Even Years.


Directed Studies in Metabolism (PHS 6350)

This course will introduce students to research in metabolism and keep them abreast of the latest developments in this field.

2 Credits


Linear Models (PHS 6354)

This course deals with statistical models for the analysis of quantitative data, of the types usually encountered in biomedical research. The statistical methods studied are the general linear model for continuous responses (including multiple regression, analysis of variance and analysis of covariance). All of these techniques are covered as special cases of the General Linear Model, which provides a central unifying statistical framework for the entire course. The emphasis is on understanding and applying statistical concepts and techniques. Some familiarity with matrix algebra and calculus is necessary. Computer literacy is essential, as we make extensive use of the computer.

3 Credits


Tracer Methodology (PHS 6355)

To learn the main aspects of tracer methodology, particularly stable isotope methodology. Analytical issues will include instrumentation, sample preparation, and (primarily) calculation of results. General topics related to metabolic/nutrition research include measuring whole body oxidation, glucose, fat, protein, and DNA kinetics and some basic aspects of compartmental modeling. Classroom activities will be held for 2-3 hours weekly. The balance of the 3 course credit, if any, will be devoted to analyzing and discussing data assigned as homework and reading published manuscripts on tracer methodology; 1-2 articles will be assigned by the course organizer every week. Homework problems will be given most weeks and will be due the week after the relevant lecture was given. A take-home final will be given at the of the course. Homework will count for 50% of the grade and the final will count for 50% of the grade. Grading will be A-F for graduate students, S-U for post-doctoral fellows.

Prerequisites: None, but physiology and biochemistry are recommended
Term offered: II
Year offered: Annually
Hours per week: Lecture 1; Conference or Discussion 2


Aging and Health (PHS 6366)

This course provides an opportunity to obtain an overview of the influence of social and behavioral factors in the aging process and of the relationship between the aging process and health and disease. Emphasis is given to trends in mortality and longevity, leading causes of death and disability in old age, issues in prevention and health promotion, mental health, and institutionalization and its alternatives. In addition, the effect of demographic changes and changes in health of older people of social institutions and social and health policy are examined.

3 Credits
Year offered: Biennially - Odd Years


Applied Survey Methods (PHS 6374)

The course covers a mixed-methods approach to survey methods. First, qualitative methods are used to develop content for questionnaires. This phase of a study is important for focusing the study purpose, learning what questions are relevant, and obtain content for subsequent systematic questions. Second, interview materials and questionnaires are developed from responses to qualitative interviews and previous surveys. We review best practices for writing clear questions, review several national surveys, and discuss scale development. Third, a sampling plan is developed. Sampling theory is reviewed as well as in-class exercises for drawing representative samples. Fourth, data analysis techniques relevant to surveys are presented. Tests can be used to compare sample results to national or census data, as well as evaluation of reliability and scale structure of scales.


Social Epidemiology (PHS 6379)

This course will develop and enhance students’ ability to gather, synthesize, and critically evaluate the research literature in social epidemiology. The course will also provide students with conceptual and methodological frameworks for conducting empirical research in the field. Health disparities will be described and theory and evidence addressing plausible causal pathways will be reviewed. Students will practice assembling and critiquing empirical evidence for specific hypotheses in social epidemiology. Grading will be based on class participation, article critiques, and oral and written presentation of term paper.

3 Credits
Term offered: Fall
Year offered: Biennially - Even Years


Society and Health Care (PHS 6380)

This course provides a critical analysis of modern health care delivery systems, focusing on the United States and cross-national comparisons. Topics include historical origins, organizational structure, utilization patterns, economic and political aspects and provider-consumer issues. Analysis of problems in providing care, professional socialization of healers, the sick role, patient role, health status, institutional functioning, and social policy will be addressed.

2 Credits
Year offered: Biennially


Health Policy & Management (PHS 6384)

This course is designed to provide an overview of the U.S. healthcare delivery system and policies. We will compare the U.S. system with that of other industrialized countries. Detailed examination of the structure of the U.S. health insurance market and the Affordable Care Act will be conducted. This course will also help you develop an understanding of current problems and issues in healthcare delivery. Student performance in the course is graded A-F. Grading is based on class participation, group participation, proposal outline, oral presentation of proposal and written research proposal.

3 credits


Introduction to Rehabilitation Science (PHS 6390)

The interdisciplinary course provides an introductory study of rehabilitation science and engineering from basic to selected theories. The course is divided into four modules that highlight reflective practice, research, and evidence related to 1) the dynamic interplay between disability, rehabilitation science and engineering; 2) cognitive disabilities; 3) motor disabilities; and 4) psychosocial disabilities. Qualitative and quantitative methods will be presented. Students will be evaluated based on class participation and two independent projects. Grading students is an A-F scale. The students final grade will compromise of class participation (50%), lecture on disability/rehabilitation related topic (25%), and a presentation and report on UTMB research areas (25%).

3 Credits
Year offered: Biennially - Even Years


Evidence-Based Health Care: Issues and Methods (PHS 6391)

The aim of this course is to introduce students and professionals to the concepts of evidence-based practice and outcome measurement in rehabilitation. The course will emphasize the growing need for evidence-based practice in rehabilitation and discuss how the methods and procedures developed in clinical medicine can be used to establish evidence-based strategies for persons with disability and/or chronic disease.

3 Credits
Year offered: Biennially - Odd Years


Special Topics (PHS 6396)

No Description given


Intensive Course in Tropical & Travel Medicine (PHS 6410)

Provide trainees with in-depth didactic training in tropical medicine, travel medicine, and issues related to global public health with a goal of preparing them for international work. This course is part of a global health program designed to satisfy the criteria for the American Society for Tropical Medicine Certificate of Knowledge in Tropical Medicine and Travel Health. This course is designed for physicians and medical students who anticipate working in less developed countries or with immigrants from those countries, but is taught at the level of graduate courses.

4 Credits


Principles in Aviation & Space Medicine (PHS 6482)

The objective of this course is to develop comprehension and appreciation of major contributions to the advancement of aviation and space flight by life science professionals, and awareness of current and future challenges. Each course participant should demonstrate comprehension of the course objectives by writing a brief paper of research questions yet to be answered.

3 Credits
Term offered: Summer


Special Topics (PHS 6496)

No Description given


Foundations in Public Health (PHS 6601)

Identifying and addressing public health problems, development of interventions and policy solutions, and assurance of service delivery and workforce performance. This public health course will introduce students to basic content and skills from the public health related disciplines of environmental health sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and health policy and management. Students will practice application of the core content and skills in case based exercise. To satisfactorily complete the course, students must: 1) Attend class regularly and participate in class discussions (15%); 2) Write a brief environmental health risk assessment paper (15%); 3) Write a brief intervention proposal paper (15%); 4) Write a brief policy position paper (15%); and, 5) Write a repost that uses an evidence-based public health approach to address a community health problem (40%). Students taking the course for credit towards a degree program are required to take the course for A-F grading. Public Health Certificate students only will have the option at the start of the course to choose A-F grading or S/U grading. Public Health Certificate choosing S/U grading are required to complete all graded components of the course. The grade of S, satisfactory, is equivalent to a C or better. The grade of U, Unsatisfactory, is equivalent to an F.


Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Course Descrptions