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BIOM 510 Case Studies in Translational Research

Course directors: Mitch Weiss, MD PhD
Emma Meagher, MD
Skip Brass, MD PhD

Description: An introduction to translational research open to MD-PhD, VMD-PhD and Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) PhD students. All second year combined degree students are expected to take this course unless excused by Dr. Brass. Enrollment in the course is limited to about 25 students. Interested VMD-PhD and pre-thesis BGS PhD students are welcome as space permits. Please note the early start date.

Goals: The goals are to 1) analyze actual examples of translational research including some that are ongoing at Penn/CHOP and at regional pharmaceutical companies and 2) familiarize graduate students with issues that specifically pertain to translational research and compare these issues to those pertaining to basic research.

Course structure: CSTR is a seminar-type course that will meet once weekly on Monday OR Wednesday afternoons during the fall semester, starting August 27. As in Topics in Molecular Medicine (TiMM), a course offered for first year MD/PhD students, groups of two or three students will work with selected Penn faculty or other preceptors to prepare a discussion and literature review on a different topic each week. In contrast to TiMM, the emphasis for CSTR will be translational research. Topics will include gene therapy for hemophilia, retinal disease and wound healing, cytokine therapies for immune disorders, genetic sleep disturbances and drug and vaccine development. We will consider issues that differentiate translational from basic research, including the unique challenges of doing meaningful studies in humans, ethical considerations, patent issues, intellectual property and various issues encountered in biotech/pharmaceutical industries. Much of the course will focus on the analysis of successful translational research projects that are taking place here at Penn, although some outside preceptors will also participate. We will try to answer questions like: When is the right time to take a basic science discovery into the clinic? How do you go from “laboratory-scale” to “human-studies-scale”? How do you protect your subjects? How do you define and protect your intellectual property? How do you find funding for your ideas? How do you know when they are viable?

A course schedule is attached. The first two meetings will be didactic sessions that review topics related to translational medicine.

Time: 2-3:30 Mondays OR Wednesdays, depending on the week; note that Sept 10 class will meet at 3-4:30.

Dates: August 27 - Nov 26.

Location: BRB conference room 1001, 1101 or 1201, depending on the week.

Preliminary Schedule

Dates All times are for 2:00 except otherwise specified

Time

Floor/Rm#  BRB II/III Bldg.

Faculty Preceptor

 

Monday, August 27

2 pm

1001

Emma Meagher

 

Wed, September 5

2 pm

1001

Emma Meagher

 

Monday, September 10

3 pm

1001

Monday, September 17

2 pm

1101

Monday, October 1

2 pm

1101

Monday, October 8

2 pm

1201

Greg Kopf

Monday, October 15

2 pm

1201

Monday, October 22

2 pm

1201

Wed, October 31

2 pm

1001

Barb Weber

Wed, November 7

2 pm

1001

George Rothblat

Monday, November 12

2 pm

1201

Monday, November 19

2 pm

1201

Monday, November 26

2 pm

1201