Program Overview : Curriculum

Curriculum

The MSCTI Program curriculum incorporates courses from various departments in order to provide a multidisciplinary course of study. Our core courses are required of each individual who enrolls into our program. Our elective courses are grouped into three categories: Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, and Cultural Diversity and Community Engagement. We require students to take at least one course in each elective category. Courses in our program are listed below.

Core Courses

CTI605: Introduction to Team Science and Entrepreneurship
2 Credits | Fall Semester
This introductory core course will introduce students to fundamental topics in translational science related to team science and entrepreneurship. Through a series of lectures, participatory exercises, and guided discussions, students will learn practical strategies for engaging in team science and for developing a translational research project into an entrepreneurial endeavor.

CTI602 Writing for Translational and Clinical Science
2 Credits | Spring Semester
This introductory core course will be taught by the Masters of Science in Clinical and Translational Investigation (MSCTI) Program Directors, as well as various guest lecturers. The focus of the course will be on developing grant and manuscript writing skills in the area of clinical and translational science across the translational science spectrum.

CTI603 Research Ethics
3 Credits | Fall Semester
The course focuses on topics related to what is sometimes called the “responsible conduct of research” (RCR). It covers the landscape of “scientific integrity” – both the principles and day-to-day practicalities of research ethics. The course is interdisciplinary in its approach. Readings and other materials used as part of the course draw on the examples from many academic fields, and are intended to have application to any academic or professional area of study in which research is conducted.

EPH621 Fundamentals of Epidemiology
3 Credits | Fall Semester
Principles and methods of epidemiology. Descriptive epidemiology, environmental and other risk factors, detection of outbreaks, basic demography, and etiologic studies.

EPH604 Clinical Trials
3 Credits | Summer Semester
Planning, design, analysis, and data management for clinical therapeutic and prophylactic trials. Illustrations are provided through case examples.

HGG630 Variation and Disease
2 Credits | Spring Semester
This course provides an overview of the science of genetics, including historical and modern approaches, with emphasis on the underlying mechanisms of human genomic variation and their relation to human disease. After taking this course the student will be able to list the different types of human genomic variation, explain the mechanism by which each occurs, and discuss the consequences of the variation. Where appropriate, specific examples of human disorders will be related to the variation. Topics include: chromosomal, biochemical, and DNA sequence variation, mitochondrial genome variation and epigenetic effects. The course structure consists of a combination of lectures and discussion of primary literature.

Elective Courses

MSCTI candidates are required to take at least one course in each of the following Elective categories (Bioinformatics, Biostatistics, Cultural Diversity and Community Engagement).

Bioinformatics

BTE685 Introduction to Health Informatics
3 credits | Spring Semester
The course develops an understanding of the role of information systems and technology within a healthcare organization. It examines the business and technical issues associated with the selection, deployment and use of health informatics, both in the clinic and back office areas. Health informatics, for the purpose of the course, is defined as the convergence of information technology, information management, and health care, at various levels, ranging from simple data gathering, to the design and implementation of new health care information systems.

HGG660 Bioinformatics Theory and Practice
3 Credits | Spring Semester
Bioinformatics is the quintessential transdisciplinary field that merges biology with the computational sciences in a way not seen previous to the current era of biomedical research. The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the theories and practices of bioinformatics, particularly as applied to biomedical research in the genomics arena. As such, most classes will include a lecture that explains the concepts, followed by a hands-on lab session with worksheets and exercises.

EPH 751 Survival Analysis in Clinical Trials
3 credits | Spring Semester
Statistical methods for analysis and interpretation of survival data arising from clinical trials. Topics include survival curves, estimation of sample size, survival curves, proportional-hazard models, time dependent variables, and prognostic indices.

EPH651 Research Methods
3 credits | Fall & Spring Semesters
The course is designed to introduce students to applied quantitative methods through both lecture-based and experimental strategies. Emphasis will be placed on data collection, data management, and conceptual use of various analytic techniques.

Biostatistics

EPH601 Medical Biostatistics I
4 credits | Fall, Spring Semester
Introduction to probability and statistics including descriptive statistics, tests of hypothesis, regression analysis, contingency tables, nonparametric tests, and life tables. Students gain hands-on experience in the analysis of medical data using several computer systems and at least one of the different statistical packages such as: BMDP, SAS, PSTAT, SYSTAT, and Minitab.

EPH602 Medical Biostatistics II
3 credits Spring Semester
Continuation and elaboration of EPH 501. Topics include design of factorial experiments, analysis of variance and variance components, multiple linear regression, and life tables.

BST625 Survey of Statistical Computing
3 credits | Spring Semester
This three credit course aims to familiarize students with the basic use of SAS and R for routine statistical analysis and prepare them for more advanced courses and/or thesis research. Statistical computation will be illustrated with examples in medical research, biological study and business. The focus of the course is on the computing environment, therefore a thorough discussion of statistical theories will not be provided. It is expected that students will already be prepared statistically.

BST665 Design and Analysis of Clinical Trials
3 credits | Fall Semester
This first part of this course is an advanced treatment of the key ideas undergirding the design and analysis of contemporary clinical trials. By the end of the course, students will have learned the statistical foundations of Phase I, II, and III trials from the standpoint of classical Frequentist, Bayesian, and adaptive designs. In addition, students will learn the usual mechanisms for preparing a clinical trial protocol, data safety and monitoring, interim analysis, and proper close out of a trial.

EPH703 Statistical Methods in Epidemiology
3 credits | Fall Semester
Advanced statistical methods used in analyzing data from epidemiological investigations. Topics include Mantel-Haenszel chi-square, interaction, standardization of rates, incidence density, logistics regression, and other special topics.

Cultural Diversity and Community Engagement

EPH647 Community-based Participatory Research
3 credits | Fall Semester
Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a methodology, increasingly popular in public health and other disciplines, which invites community collaboration throughout the research process from conceptualization of study focus to dissemination of findings. This course will provide an opportunity for medical and graduate students to better understand the process by which community members and academic researchers work collectively to address health disparities and influence social change.

EPH617 Introduction to Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
3 credits | Fall & Spring Semester
This course will introduce students to the science of prevention and health promotion. More specifically, through didactic presentations, group discussions, article readings and critiques, and a term project, this course will focus on providing students with an overview of: the top preventable causes of disease in the U.S., the etiology of disease (with a focus on the top preventable causes of disease in the U.S.) across the lifespan, the role of prevention theories in the development of preventive interventions, and the role of methodology in prevention science. The course will also provide an overview of efficacious/effective preventive interventions, including (but not limited to): family community and school level interventions. Examples from the fields of obesity, drug use, smoking, and HIV will be used to illustrate the course learning objectives detailed below.

EPH632 US Health Systems
3 credits | Spring Semester
This course provides an introduction to the multiple systems that define, describe, and shape the delivery of health care in the United States. Using case studies and presentations of major issues, this course will give the learner an appreciation of the dilemma confronting policy makers, providers, and patients: how to balance cost, quality, and access.

EPH612 Global Health
3 credits | Winter Intersession
This seminar examines current global public health issues, governance and decision-making challenges for the 21st Century across developing, transitioning, and developed countries. Topics of discussion include new actors for world health in the era of globalization; linking human development, poverty and health inequities; social, cultural and ethical considerations for health planning; role of industry, trade and public health; evidence based research for improved global health initiatives; foreign policy and health security challenges associated with emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases and public and private partnerships in global health.