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Cancer Biology Program Courses

The courses listed below include required courses of the core curriculum, research and milestone courses, as well as program specific advanced topics, seminars, journal clubs and tutorials for specialization in Cancer Biology.

  • Research Rotation (PREP) | BBS 550

    Programs: Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program

    Research rotations are defined periods of research experience under the direction of a faculty member. They are intended to familiarize the student with concepts and techniques in several areas of research and to assist the student in evaluating research laboratories and projects that might be developed into a dissertation project. The student will participate in an ongoing research project, gain familiarity with concepts underlying the research, acquire a working knowledge of techniques used in the research, and write a report and present an oral summary of the results of the research.

    Course DirectorVaries

    Semester Offered: Fall, Spring

    Last Taught: Taught every Fall and Spring semester

  • Professionalism and Research Conduct (PARC) | BBS 601

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    This is a required course for all third year Basic Sciences students and all MD/PhD students entering doctoral study but who are not on the CPHR track. The PARC course helps to center our students in areas that are foundational to success in research: responsible data management; management of intellectual property; the ethical use of research subjects; recognizing and resolving conflicts of interest, professionalism in peer review and publishing; engaging mentors; and career exploration and planning. The PARC course comprises faculty-led presentations and small group discussions with case studies and workshop material. An online learning module (CITI training program comprising many case studies) is also included and must be completed before the end of the fall semester. 

    Course Directors: Anthony Imbalzano, Cynthia Fuhrmann

    Semester Offered: Fall 

    Last Taught: Fall 2021

  • Preparation for Qualifying Exam | BBS 602

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    This course seeks to help prospective scientists in the biological and medical sciences communicate their work effectively, in writing, graphics, and oral presentations. The course teaches how to prepare a research paper using words, statistics, and figures; how to present science to a lay audience; how to write a grant proposal; and how to present orally to scientific peers.

    Course Directors: Jill Zitzewitz, Daryl Bosco, and Nese Kurt Yilmaz

    Semester Offered: Fall 

    Last Taught: Fall 2021

  • Foundations in Biomedical Science | BBS 614

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology & Microbiology, Interdisciplinary, Neuroscience, Translational Science

    This problem-based course provides learning opportunities through exploration of multidisciplinary areas of contemporary biomedical research, and creates a forum for practice in the skills required for research.

    Course Directors: Jill Zitzewitz, Sean Ryder, Neal Silverman

    Semester Offered: Fall 

    Last Taught: Fall 2021

  • Molecular Evolution | BBS 705

    Programs: Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

    The course will focus on the quantitative study of molecular evolution using sequence and structural data, showing how both classical and novel methods in population genetics, bioinformatics and computational biology can be used to assess the variability in the genomic sequences and make inferences about the underlying processes of natural selection and evolution. The course is primarily aimed at the students interested in quantitative aspects of biology, and may be useful to practicing biologists desiring a deeper understanding of the computational and statistical techniques. 

    Course Director: Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Faculty

    Semester Offered: Spring

    Last Taught: Spring 2016

  • An Empirical Introduction to Statistical Modeling | BBS 706

    Programs: Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

    Lecture and textbook based course on statistical modeling and machine learning, with exercises on analyzing real data.

    Course DirectorManuel Garber

    Semester Offered: Fall, odd years

    Last Taught: Fall 2021

  • Chemical Biology | BBS 715

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    The course focuses on the use of chemical approaches to answer fundamental questions in biology. Topics include post-translational modifications; chemical synthesis and modification of biopolymers; combinatorial chemistry; chemical genetics; rational drug design; ligand-receptor interactions; and the fundamentals of fluorescence. 

    Course Director: Stephen Miller

    Semester Offered: Fall, odd years

    Last Taught: Fall 2019

  • Molecular Biophysics | BBS 716

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    The goal of this course is to give students a strong foundation in physical principles that underlie the thermodynamic and mechanistic properties of biological macromolecules and macromolecular complexes. In addition to providing theoretical background, lectures and discussion groups will focus on the application of physical chemical principles in contemporary biomedical research. Topics will include spectroscopic and computational approaches to studying protein and nucleic acid structures, thermodynamics and kinetics of protein folding, the solution behavior of macromolecules and principles that govern molecular recognition.

    Course Director: Francesca Massi

    Semester Offered: Fall, even years

    Last Taught: Fall 2020

  • Structural Biology | BBS 717

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    Structural Biology has revolutionized biology.  The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students with a detailed introduction to approaches for structural determination of macromolecules including protein crystallography, cryo electron microscopy (CryoEM), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS).  Emphasis will be placed on both structural determination and analysis of dynamics, which can be crucial for macromolecular function.   Normally, each week will include a 90 minute lecture that is supplemented with either a practical laboratory exercise, paper discussion or problem set, whose time and venue will depend upon the activity.

    Course Directors: Brian Kelch

    Semester Offered: Spring, odd years

    Last Taught: Spring 2021

  • Regulatory RNA Biology | BBS 718

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    This advanced topics course will cover current research in the general area of RNA biology. Topics envisioned may include RNA synthesis; modification and processing pathways; RNA structure; RNA transport and subcellular localization; translational regulation; RNAi and microRNAs; RNA decay; RNA aptamers; RNA catalysts; RNA and early evolution; and RNA as a drug and/or drug target. The format of this course will center around group discussion of papers from the primary literature. Grading will be based on student attendance, performance in presentations and participation in group discussions. 

    Course Director: Sean Ryder

    Semester Offered: Spring, even years

    Last Taught: Spring 2020