Cancer Pathology and Prevention Course Listing

Mandatory Course Descriptions

RPN 530 Oncology for Scientists (4): Defines the cancer cell morphologically, as well as molecularly, covering topics such as the cell cycle, cancer-associated genes, regulation of cancer cell expression, cancer genetics, carcinogenesis, metastasis, apoptosis, and laboratory research techniques. (Fall)

RPN 532 Oncology for Scientists (4): Builds upon the theoretical basis of the previous semester, covering the immune system, hormones, chemotherapy and drug development. A large part of the semester deals with the clinical and pathological description of various organ systems presented by Institute medical staff. Ancillary lectures on cancer epidemiology, prevention, statistics, bioinformatics, and clinical treatment (chemotherapy, diagnostic imaging, radiation therapy, photodynamic therapy) are also presented. The human dimensions of the disease are addressed by presentations on pain and the psychological aspects of cancer. The students will also have the opportunity to meet with patients and their treating physicians. (Spring)

BCH 503 Principles of Biochemistry (4): Basic thermodynamics; elements of protein structure; catalyis; enzyme mechanisms; membrane structure/properties; membrane proteins; transport metabolism; sensory neurons; electron transport; oxidative phosphorylation; fatty acids, amino acids; purines/pyrimidines; nucleic acid structure; DNA replication; transcription; genetic engineering; oncogenes and cancer. (Fall)

BMS 503 Principles of Biochemistry (4): Basic thermodynamics; elements of protein structure; catalyis; enzyme mechanisms; membrane structure/properties; membrane proteins; transport metabolism; sensory neurons; electron transport; oxidative phosphorylation; fatty acids, amino acids; purines/pyrimidines; nucleic acid structure; DNA replication; transcription; genetic engineering; oncogenes and cancer. (Fall)

RPN 525 Cancer Epidemiology (3): This course is intended to provide an overview of the field of cancer epidemiology. The major topics addressed in this course include 1) basic cancer biology; 2) epidemiologic methodology in its application to cancer; 3) epidemiologic exposures relevant to cancer etiology; and 4) the epidemiology of common cancers. (Spring)

PTR 538 Techniques in Pathology (1): Theory and demonstration of laboratory techniques e.g., autopsy, cell tissue culture, pathological procedures, cytogenetics, flow cytometry, microarray, DNA sequencing, photodynamic therapy, nuclear medicine, immunohistochemistry, and image analysis and processing. (Spring) Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor.

STA 527 Introduction to Statistics (4): This course is designed for students concerned with medical data. The material covered includes the design of clinical trials and epidemiological studies, data collection, summarizing and presenting data, probability, standard error, confidence intervals and significance tests, techniques of data analysis including multifactorial methods and the choice of statistical methods, problems of medical measurement and diagnosis, vital statistics and calculation of sample size. The design and analysis of medical research studies will be illustrated. (Fall)

PTR 536 Cancer Pathology (3): The goal of this course is to provide students with a broad perspective of cancer pathology at the tissue level with histological exposure.  Pathology of major disease sites (i.e., hematopoietic, breast, lung, GYN, GU, GI and skin) will include gross and microscopic morphology, tissue of origin, structural changes in transformation, differentiation as well as clinical perspectives.  Discussions of modern methodology (i.e., histologic, cytologic, immunohistologic, karyotypic, molecular and flow cytometric techniques, tissue markers, in vitro and in vivo model systems, epidemiological and prevention studies) utilized in laboratory diagnosis and translational research will illustrate the role of pathology in cancer research. (Spring)

MIC 512 Graduate Immunology (4): Immunology concerns the host's defense against infections and cancer. This introductory course covers the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which pathogens and cancerous cells are recognized and eradicated, and how pathogens and tumors attempt to escape elimination. The fundamentals and basic concepts include: anatomy of the immune system, lymphocyte development; immunoglobulin structure, function, and genes; antigen recognition and processing, lymphocyte activation, immunoregulation, and cell trafficking; immune tolerance; mucosal immunity; innate vs. acquired immunity; mechanisms of immune protection. Health-related applications of immunology include: vaccines, autoimmunity, immunodeficiency (including AIDS), allergy/hypersensitivity, transplantation, and tumor immunology and immunotherapy. (Spring)

PTR 500 Cancer Control & Prevention (3): The purpose of this course is to instruct students in the principles and practice of cancer prevention and control.  The course focuses on concepts, methods, issues and applications related to the field.  Students will gain experiences through didactic lectures, critical appraisal of the literature, group discussion and presentations. (Fall)

PTR 505/506 Recent Advances in Pathology Seminar (1,1): Consists of student presentation of current topics and guest lectures. All students in the program are required to attend and participate every semester. (Fall, Spring)

PTR 509/510 Laboratory Rotations (1,1): PhD students begin hands-on work in a research laboratory immediately upon their arrival. Rotations in three different laboratories are completed (minimum of 120 hours each) concurrently with core courses during the first year. These rotations provide laboratory experience in various experimental systems so that by the end of the first year students may choose a laboratory and begin their thesis research. (Fall, Spring)

PTR 661-724 Graduate Research (Variable): Students perform independent research, guided by an individually chosen thesis advisory committee in addition to the thesis research mentor, leading to a written dissertation. Each candidate defends his or her original research project at the end of the individualized training period in a formal thesis defense. Typically two to three years are spent performing independent research. (Fall, Spring)