Molecular Medicine Journal Club

Course Leader

Christine Metz, PhD

Academic Schedule

This course is held during the fall/early winter and late winter/spring semesters every year (students attend every semester); meets weekly for 1 hour.


There are no prerequisites.

Overall purpose/objective

The Journal Club for graduate students (physicians, physicians-in-training, scientists-in-training) will expose students to all areas of biomedical research through critical reading of recently published research papers. The purpose of this course is to enhance the educational experience of all graduate students through exposure to impactful and/or paradigm-shifting research papers and the opportunity for in-depth evaluation and discussions of the published works with their peers. Students are encouraged to present papers of invited guest speakers who will present their research at upcoming Seminars in Investigative Medicine or special institute lectures (Marsh lectures, Match lectures, etc).

Class conduct

Each week, a student selects a recent, cutting edge paper, which is distributed to all graduate students and select faculty for presentation by the student the following week. Presentations must include background, a statement of the research question(s)/hypothesis, methods, results, conclusion, discussion (including its relationship to human health), weaknesses and future directions. Faculty members are present as facilitators of discussions.

Through attendance and participation in the journal club, students will be able to:

  • Develop and demonstrate critical reading skills of research papers
  • Develop and demonstrate presentation skills
  • Evaluate current biomedical research literature
  • Describe standard and novel methods used for scientific investigation
  • Evaluate the hypothesis, study design, presentation of results, and statistical analyses
  • Assess the implications of the research on human health
  • Identify weaknesses in biomedical research studies
  • Develop skills needed to facilitate group discussions with peers and faculty members


Attendance (via sign-in) and participation in journal club sessions are mandatory (at least 80% attendance is required). Excused absences must be approved in advance.

Assessment: Students will be assessed based on their attendance, presentation(s), and participation in weekly classroom discussions.


Journal club readings will include current primary research papers, assigned weekly.