LHB Curriculum

Elective Courses

LHB does not require any electives. However, for students interested in additional courses on human biology and disease, we compiled the list below. See the web sites for the HST, HMS, DMS, and other HILS Programs for additional courses.

BCMP 230: Principles and Practices of Drug Development

Director: Robert H. Rubin
Critical assessment of the major issues and stages of developing a pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical. Drug discovery, preclinical development, clinical investigation, manufacturing and regulatory issues considered for small and large molecules. Economic considerations of the drug development process.

Cell Biology 211a: Biology of the Cancer Cell

James A. DeCaprio and Myles A. Brown
Examines the molecular basis of cancer including alterations in signal transduction, cell cycle, apoptosis and DNA repair with a focus on oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and oncogenic viruses. Explores the development of novel target based therapies.
Note: Given in alternate years.

Genetics 220: Molecular Biology and Genetics in Modern Medicine

Director: Anne Giersch
Scientific, clinical and ethical aspects of modern human genetics and molecular biology as applied to medicine. Covers genetic approaches and molecular underpinnings of inherited diseases and somatic/genetic diseases are integrated with patient presentations, discussions.

IMMUNOL 201: Principles of Immunology

Michael C. Carroll (Medical School) Ulrich H. Von Andrian-Werburg (Medical School) and members of the Faculty
Comprehensive core course in immunology. Topics include a broad but intensive examination of the cells and molecules of the immune system. Special attention given to the experimental approaches that led to general principles of immunology.

IMMUNOL 219: The Primary Immunodeficiencs

Course Directors: Cox Terhorst and Raif S. Geha
This course discusses the mechanisms that underlie the pathogenesis of genetically determined primary immunodeficiencies and selected autoimmune diseases. Evaluates the use of animal models for study and therapy of human disease states.

IMMUNOL 300: Advanced Topics in Immunology

Director: David Cardozo
Reading and discussion seminars each running for a half term (7 weeks). Two seminars, which can be taken in different terms, are required for credit. Topics include the role of intracellular and transmembrane protein phosphates in signal transduction.
Note: Intended for first- and second-year Immunology graduate students. Non-DMS students must get permission form the DMS before registering for this course.

Neurobiology 200: Introduction to Neurobiology

Richard Masland, John Assad, David Corey, Matthew Frosch, Lisa Goodrich, and Rosaline Segal
Modern neuroscience from molecular neurobiology to perception and cognition. Includes cell biology of neurons and glia; ion channels and electrical signaling; synaptic transmission and integration; chemical systems; brain anatomy and development; sensory systems; motor systems; higher cognitive function.

Pathology 209: Tumor Pathophysiology and Transport Phenomena

Director: Rakesh K. Jain
Tumor patholophysiology plays a central role in the growth, metastasis, detection, and treatment of solid tumors. Principles of transport phenomena are applied to develop a quantitative understanding of tumor biology and treatment.
Note: Given in alternate years. Offered jointly with the HST Program as HT-525J and the Medical School at PA712.0.

HST 040/Microbiology 205: Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis

Clyde S. Crumpacker II (Medical School) and associates
The mechanisms of bacterial, mycoplasmal, fungal, and viral pathogenesis are covered. Topics are selected for intrinsic interest and cover the spectrum of pathophysiologic mechanisms of the infectious process. Emphasis on pathogenesis at the molecular level.

HST 140: Molecular Medicine

Course Directors: G.Q. Daley, I.M. London
Conducted as a seminar to study a variety of human diseases and the underlying molecular, genetic, and biochemical basis for the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of the disorders. Lectures by faculty and seminars conducted by students, with tutorials and supervision by faculty. Patients presented when feasible. Appropriate for students who have had a course in biochemistry and/or molecular biology.

HST 175: Cellular and Molecular Immunology

Course Director: S.S. Pillai
Term Offered: Fall
Covers cells and tissues of the immune system, lymphocyte development, the structure and function of antigen receptors, the cell biology of antigen processing and presentation including molecular structure and assembly of MHC molecules, lymphocyte activation, the biology of cytokines, leukocyte-endothelial interactions, and the pathogenesis of immunologically mediated diseases. Consists of lectures and tutorials in which clinical cases are discussed with faculty tutors. Details of each case covering a number of immunological issues in the context of disease are posted on a student website.

HST 541J: Quantitative Physiology: Cells and Tissues

Course Director: D. M. Freeman
Course Website: http://umech.mit.edu/6.021J/
Term Offered: Fall
Principles of mass transport and electrical signal generation for biological membranes, cells, and tissues. Mass transport through membranes: diffusion, osmosis, chemically mediated, and active transport. Electric properties of cells: ion transport; equilibrium, resting, and action potentials. Kinetic and molecular properties of single voltage-gated ion channels. Laboratory and computer exercises illustrate the concepts.

CHEM 285: Human Disease: Molecular Etiology and Mechanistic Pharmacology

Faculty: Gregory L. Verdine Credits: Half course Term: Fall
Course Description: Focuses on the causation and treatment of human disease from a primarily mechanistic, structural and chemical point of view. Lectures will provide the background for in-class talks given by prominent outside speakers.
Prerequisite(s): Chemistry 20/30 or 17/27 or equivalent. Biological Sciences 52 or equivalent.
Syllabus: http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/4005

Basics of Statistical Inference

Faculty: Dr. Yi Li
Course Description: 5 credits lectures, laboratories. Two 1.5 hour-sessions each week. One 2-hour lab each week. This course will provide a basic, yet thorough introduction to the probability theory and mathematical statistics that underlie many of the commonly used techniques in public health research. Topics to be covered include probability distributions (normal, binomial, Poisson), means, variances and expected values, finite sampling distributions, parameter estimation (method of moments, maximum likelihood), confidence intervals, hypothesis testing (likelihood ratio, Wald and score tests). All theoretical material will be motivated with problems from epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health and other public health areas. This course is aimed towards second year doctoral students in fields other than Biostatistics. Background in algebra and calculus required. Course Note: One intermediate level biostatistics course such as BIO 210, or BIO 211, or signature of the instructor required.

Introduction to Statistical Methods

Faculty: Dr. K. Gauvreau
Course Description: Lectures, laboratories. Two 1.5-hour sessions each week. One 2-hour lab each week. Covers basic statistical techniques that are important for analyzing data arising from epidemiology, environmental health, biomedical and other public health-related research. Major topics include descriptive statistics, elements of probability, introduction to estimation and hypothesis testing, nonparametric methods, techniques for categorical data, regression analysis, analysis of variance, and elements of study design. Applications are stressed. Designed as an alternate to BIO 200, for students desiring more emphasis on theoretical developments. Background in algebra and calculus strongly recommended. Course Note: Credit is given for only one of BIO 200, BIO 201 or BIO 205; this course cannot be counted as part of the credit requirement for a major or minor doctoral field course; course restricted to students enrolled in DBS, EH, EPI, NUT, and MPH/QM programs. Other students allowed with signature of course instructor, if space permits; lab or section times to be announced at first meeting.

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BCMP 207:Molecular Approaches to Drug Action, Discovery and Design

Director: D.M. Coen
Prerequisites: Primarily for graduate students. Credits: 4 CREDITS (Non-Clinical Elective) Explores how molecular biology, structural biology, and modern enzymology have revolutionized understanding of drug action and development of new therapies. Analyzes molecular underpinnings of basic pharmacological principles and their application to clinical therapeutics.

BCMP 212: Behavioral Pharmacology

Jack Bergman and Carol A. Paronis
Introduction to CNS pharmacology and behavior in seminar format. Efects of psychomotor stimulants, antischizophrenics, opioid analgesics, and antianxiety agents on behavior. Emphasis on methodology and pharmacological analysis; attention to tolerance, drug dependence/addiction.

BCMP 370: Stem Cells: Properties and Applications

George Q. Daley and Amy J. Wagers
This quarter course will discuss scientific problems in both ES and adult stem cell research, providing an historical context for stem cell research as well as a discussion of the basic biological properties and applications of these cells and the questions and controversies that currently drive the field. We will conclude with a discussion of the societal and ethical implications of stem cell research and the impact of federal guidelines on research. Students will be responsible for reading and critically discussing 3-5 relevant papers each week. Papers for discussion will be taken from both classic and current literature. Class participation is required and enrollment is limited to 16 students.

Cell Biology 300: Pancreatic Islet Growth and Function—Novel Signaling Pathways

Rohit N. Kulkarni
This quarter course will begin with a background lecture by Dr. Rohit N. Kulkarni on pathways and mechanisms that regulate function and growth of hormone-producing islet cells in relation to maintaining glucose homeostasis in the context of diabetes. The remaining sessions will involve reading and discussing 2-3 assigned research papers each week to provide for critical survey of novel signal transduction pathways that are involved in regulation of pancreatic islet function and growth (e.g. Insulin/ Insulin-like Growth Factor-I, Hepatocyte Growth Factor/Scatter Factor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Leptin, Glucose, etc.). The final session will discuss the pros and cons of using transgenics, knockouts and knockdown techniques to dissect the role of signaling proteins to evaluate islet growth and function. Each student is expected to make two presentations each over the course. Evaluation is based on presentations and class participation.

Cell Biology 301qc: The Epidemiology and Molecular Pathology of Cancer

Quarter course
In-depth introduction to the epidemiology and molecular pathology of cancer. We will explore multiple cancer types including prostate, breast, colon, lung and brain, through a series of lectures and hands-on labs and tutorials. Note: This is a January course. Expected to be offered 15 - 24, 2013.

HMTB304qc: Drug Development: From Concept to Commercialization.

Michael Goldberg
Quarter Course, New 2013
This course traces the development of a single drug from its first conception in the a lab to its launch as a commercial product. Both the scientific and business factors that influence this path will examined with the help of the numerous scientists and business leaders that worked on the project throughout its development.

Immunology 300: Clinical Sessions

Mandatory and limited to Immunology first year students only.
A lab-based quarter course of clinical sessions in which students will encounter humans with inflammatory diseases. This course will run in conjunction with IMM 202 and will be required for Immunology Program students. A final project will be required in the form of a 5 page (Immune Tolerance Network protocol) in which each student will select a disease state and design a novel immunotherapeutic treatment based upon the IMM 202 course.

MG726.0: Molecular Microbiology and Pathogenesis

Director: S. Lory
Devoted primarily to bacterial structure, physiology, genetics, regulatory mechanisms and pathogenesis. Class time consists of a combination of: 1) lecture, 2) presentations emphasizing methods, results and interpretation of classic and contemporary literature, 3) guest seminars, and 4) small group discussions.

Microbiology 300: Bacterial Strategies for Invading and Surviving in Host Cells

John Mekalanos
During the infection process, many species of bacteria actively invade or are phagocytosed by host cells. To avoid immune clearance these bacteria have evolved a diverse array of strategies to survive intracellularly and infect other cells including inhibiting phagosome-lysosome fusion, escaping the phagosome, entering a dormant/ inert life cycle, type-III secretion, and direct cell-to-cell spread. Several mechanisms have been described in molecular detail, while others remain less clear. Organisms covered in this course include: salmonella, legionella, mycobacterium, Chlamydia, listera/rickettsia/shigella, and yersinia.

Neurobiology 209: The Neurobiology of Disease

Directors: Edward A. Kravitz and Robert H. Brown
Designed for graduate students interested in diseases and disorders of the nervous system. Monday sessions involve patient presentations and “core” lectures describing progression, pathology and basic science underlying a major disease or disorder. Wednesdays, students present material from original literature sources and there is discussion. Note: Given in alternative years. For advanced undergraduate and graduate students.

Neurobiology 300: Psychiatric Disorders and Neurobiological Effects of Psychotropic Drugs

Christine Konradi and Bill Carlezon
The course explores psychiatric disorders and the molecular and behavioral consequences of exposure to psychotropic drugs. These agents alter signal transduction pathways in the brain and set in motion sequences of events that change the brain and behavior forever, for better or worse. In this mini-course we will discuss the effects of drugs of abuse as well as drugs used for the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. We will also provide a brief introduction to the types of methodologies that are used to study these disorders in animal models.

Neurobiology 300: Cellular & Molecular Basis of Repair in the Mammalian CNS

Jeffrey Macklis, Zhigang He, Larry Benowitz
This course will discuss cellular and molecular approaches and mechanisms that may enable repair of cellular circuitry in the mammalian CNS. We will focus on the following issues: 1) why mature mammalian CAN (unlike PNS or immature CNS), does not normally regenerate neurons or axonal projections after injury; 2) approaches, including neural transplantation, cellular and molecular “bridges,” and precursor/ “stem cell” manipulation directed at overcoming these limitations, 3) new directions in the field of neural repair, including promotion or regeneration of the diseased CNS using developmental controls and gene manipulation to stimulate axon regeneration, neurogenesis, and directed neuronal differentiation in the adult brain.

Neurobiology 300: Experimental Gene Therapy for Neurological Diseases

Miguel Sena Esteves and Xandra Breakefield
Treatment of many neurological diseases remains primarily palliative, and for some of these diseases there is little prospect for the development of effective pharmaceuticals in the near future. Although gene therapy has had its share of disappointment, perhaps due to an overly optimistic initial outlook, the continued development of novel gene delivery vectors and study of their basic biology, as well as the introduction of novel infusion/delivery techniques, has brought this field to the brink of realizing some of its awesome potential for treatment of many neurological diseases.

Cell Biology 304qc: Introduction to Human Gross Anatomy for Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Fellows

INSTRUCTORS: Everett Anderson, David Cardozo, Gerald Greenhouse [course director], Mohini Lutchman; guest lecturers TBA.
DESCRIPTION: Lectures, laboratory dissections, prosections, and group discussions will provide students an opportunity to explore the gross structure and function of the human body. The course will provide a foundation for the student to acquire practical skills in recognizing, dissecting, and differentiating key anatomical structures. Structure/function relationships will be emphasized and some foundation will be provided for understanding the anatomic basis of diseases. Some discussion of human evolution and comparative anatomy will be included in the lectures.
Class size is limited to 15. To receive credit students must attend all sessions and participate enthusiastically. All sessions will be held in the TMEC Building on the Longwood Medical Campus. Textbooks, anatomical atlases, and computer programs will be available for student use.

HST 521: Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering in Medical Devices and Artificial Organs

Course Director: F. J. Schoen Instructor(s): R. N. Mitchell
Course Website: http://mycourses.med.harvard.edu
Term Offered: G (Spring) Prereq.: HST 030/031 or permission of instructor Structure, properties, and applications of biomaterials (synthetic or modified natural materials used to evaluate/replace tissues, organs or biological functions) and tissue engineering (use of biomaterials with incorporated cells and biological signals to stimulate tissue regeneration). Emphasizes fundamentals of biomaterials and tissue engineering, clinical problems and practical solutions in a complex ethical, legal and economic context, and state-of-the-art research opportunities. Assesses current challenges and cutting edge technological solutions to medical problems. Probes mechanisms and methods of evaluation of tissue/biomaterials and patient/device interactions. Additional topics include: key biological concepts; biofunctional materials; issues in design; development; fabrication; and clinical evaluation; and novel research directions and applications of materials to medicine.

HST 940J: Bioinformatics: Principles, Methods and Applications

Course Director: G. Stephanopoulos
Course Website: http://web.mit.edu/10.555/www/contacts.html
Introduction to bioinformatics, the collection of principles and computational methods used to upgrade the information content of biological data generated by genome sequencing, proteomics, and cell-wide physiological measurements of gene expression and metabolic fluxes. Fundamentals from systems theory presented to define modeling philosophies and simulation methodologies for the integration of genomic and physiological data in the analysis of complex biological processes. Various computational methods address a broad spectrum of problems in functional genomics and cell physiology. Application of bioinformatics to metabolic engineering, drug design, and biotechnology also discussed.

PHYSICS 136: Physics of Medical Imaging (FAS Cat Number: 0182)

Faculty: Andrew Jeremy M. Kiruluta
Presents the physics of modern medical imaging techniques. Explores the physics of diagnostic imaging from a unified electromagnetics viewpoint ranging from a simple mapping of radiation attenuation coefficients in X-ray, gamma radiative single photon (SPECT) and double photon (positron) emission tomography (PET), echo measurements in ultrasound, interferometric pulse echo characterization in optical coherence tomography (OCT) to resonance absorption in a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) induced inhomogeneously broadened RF absorber. Principles of Drug Discovery and Development

MCB 192 (FAS Cat Number: 2188)

Faculty: Mark Charles Fishman
How is new medicine created? What steps are taken to go from observed medical need to efficacious treatment with minimal side effects? Case-study based introduction to the process of Drug Discovery co-taught by Harvard faculty and researchers from the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. Topics include: identifying possible drug targets, chemical screening and lead discovery, medicinal chemistry, drug formulation, preclinical safety and clinical trials. Readings and assignments drawn from primary scientific literature and drug study reports. Prerequisite(s): BS 52 and one year of organic chemistry. BS 54 is recommended. Syllabus: http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/2188

Biological Sciences 60: Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature

Douglas A. Melton and Michael J. Sandel Half course (spring term).
Explores the moral, political, and scientific implications of new developments in biotechnology. Does science give us the power to alter human nature? If so, how should we exercise this power? The course examines the science and ethics of stem cell research, human cloning, sex selection, genetic engineering, eugenics, genetic discrimination, and human-animal hybrids. Meets jointly with Government 1093. Readings will be drawn from literature in the areas of biology, philosophy, and public policy.

ID509: Functional Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Faculty: Dr. M. Wessling-Resnick, Dr. D. Wolf, and Dr. S. Liu Credits: 2.50 credits
Lectures, seminars, case studies. This interdisciplinary course is intended for students who have background knowledge of molecular biology and are interested in the application of genomics and proteomics to their research. The course will introduce basic bioinformatic applications for genome sequence analysis (BLAST), use of CLUSTAL-W, basic methods in DNA sequence acquisition and DNA expression analysis by microarray, use of genomic information in the public health arena, basic methods and application of proteome analysis and the demonstration of proteomic research tools. Course notes: HSPH degree candidates only; ordinal grading option only: instructor's signature required.

BPH 222: The Science of Human Nutrition (Catalog Number: 0216)

Frank M. Sacks (Medical School, Public Health), Clifford Lo (Medical School, Public Health) and members of the Department. Half course (spring term).
A review of the biochemistry of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals in the context of human disease. Contemporary topics are emphasized. Particular emphasis given to current knowledge of the mechanisms that may explain the role of diet in the causation and/or prevention of ischemic heart disease, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and cancer. Recommended dietary intakes of selected nutrients are discussed.

Note: Offered jointly with the Medical School as BPH 733.0 and with the School of Public Health as NUT 202. Prerequisite: Introductory nutrition course. Prior familiarity with nutrition and the health sciences expected, as well as a basic knowledge of biochemistry and human physiology.

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