Special Topics in Translational Research

Course Leader

Varied Faculty

Overall purpose/objective

This course focuses on understanding all aspects of the disease process for a particular disorder, including etiology, pathophysiology at the organ, tissue, cell and molecular level, and controversies related to current treatments. The disorder changes each time the course is given.

Class conduct

This course consists of introductory lectures, seminal research papers and in-class discussions of the selected disorder by members of the faculty of the Graduate School, research seminars by invited outside experts in the disease with the students.

Through attendance and participation in the Special Topics course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the multiple components of the disease process at the organ-level, tissue-level, cellular-level, and/or subcellular-level
  • Evaluate current biomedical research focused on a particular disease/condition
  • Describe standard and novel methods used for scientific investigation of this disease/condition
  • Assess the implications of the research in this area on human health


Attendance and participation in the seminar series are mandatory. Formative and summative assessment methods will be implemented, but will vary with topic. Some might include problem-solving, class discussions, class presentations, short answer summaries, etc.

Final grades will be comprised of attendance, participation, problem sets, and final paper/exam. A minimum score of 80% is required to pass the course.


Readings will be assigned from relevant textbooks and/or primary research papers.