All the following required courses must be passed in order to graduate.
This online course covers the main techniques used in molecular diagnostics, including direct and amplified nucleic acid-based methods. Basic principles behind each test, interpretation of results, advantages and limitations of each methods, and type of specimen required for each test are emphasized. This course also considers the importance of quality control, biosafety and proper decontamination procedures to ensure accurate data for proper patient diagnosis.
Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory
This is a 15-week laboratory course consisting of a 6-hour lab each week. During the course, the students perform hands-on activities covering the main molecular biology techniques used for the diagnosis of infectious and genetic diseases, determination of cancer markers, and forensic testing. These techniques include nucleic acid isolation, purification and quantification, DNA separation, amplification and sequencing.
Application of Molecular Diagnostics
This course introduces students to the applications of molecular biology techniques in diagnostics of various diseases. The students will learn the molecular mechanisms underlying infection by microorganisms, genetically inherited diseases as well as cancer, and how molecular techniques can help diagnosis and prognosis of these diseases. The advantages and limitations of different techniques available, as well as the importance of quality control will also be addressed.
Application of Molecular Biology in Research
This online graduate course focuses on the various applications of molecular biology techniques in both basic and translational medical research. High emphasis will be placed on the understanding of the molecular pathways involved in various diseases, including cancer, genetically inherited diseases and infection by microorganisms. The students will learn how the power of molecular genetic analysis is used to identify, isolate and characterize genes that cause and contribute to the etiology of human diseases.
The course will also explain how various molecular biology techniques can be applied to diagnose diseases and to develop potential therapeutics. The advantages and limitations of different techniques, as well as the importance of quality control will be discussed.
Flow Cytometry Laboratory
This onsite laboratory course consists of 30 hours of hands-on activities, and covers the main techniques used in the flow cytometry laboratory. Students will perform numerous immunophenotyping techniques, including stem cell quantitation, hematologic and non-hematologic neoplasms, minimal residual disease, fetal hemoglobin, and cell functional assays. Students will learn how to do quality assurance and instrumentation maintenance and will gain hands-on experience with the application software used by flow cytometers.
Flow Cytometry Methods and Applications
This online course introduces students to the applications of flow cytometry techniques and their applications in the diagnosis and prognosis of human diseases including leukemia and lymphoma, primary immunodeficiency diseases, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), detection of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, cytometry clinical transplantation, leukocyte functional assays, cell apoptosis, CD34 positive stem cell enumeration, immunologic dysfunction, and DNA and cell proliferation measurements in cancer cells.
Cytogenetics Methods and Applications
This course focuses on the impact of chromosome abnormalities on the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cytogenetic syndromes. The course covers basic cytogenetic concepts and laboratory techniques required for the detection of various diseases, including sex chromosome abnormalities, the fragile X syndrome, and structural and numerical chromosome abnormalities, with special emphasis on the mechanisms underlying these syndromes.
This online course covers the main principles of laboratory standards used in molecular diagnostics, including pre- and post-analytical operations, test result documentation, quality assurance and quality control. This course also considers the importance of safety, regulation and standards.
Ethics in the Laboratory
This online course reviews professional guidelines for ethical conduct and approaches to ethical dilemmas for laboratory scientists. The course explores ethical issues, including responsible research conduct, good laboratory practice, and research with human subjects. It discusses ethical principles in genetics and genetic engineering; advance directives, confidentiality, informed consent, patient rights, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). All aspects of this class will be presented and discussed via a distance learning format using Blackboard.
Research Methodology and Scientific Writing
This online graduate course will introduce students to the basic concepts of biomedical research. High emphasis will be placed on how to critically evaluate published scientific literature, as well as how to plan, design and conduct a research study. The students will learn the proper use of the different statistical methods required to analyze research data.
This course will also teach students how to communicate effectively as scientists by writing high quality scientific papers, giving oral presentations, and putting together a research proposal. The students will apply these concepts to their own writing.
In this online course, students participate in critical analysis of scientific journal articles from a diverse set of topics related to the field of molecular biology including molecular diagnostics, molecular microbiology, cancer research, genetically inherited diseases and genomics, among others. In each session, a student presents the essential information of the paper including background, significance, hypothesis, experimental methods, results and conclusions by means of a narrated PowerPoint presentation. Following the presentation, the rest of the class discuss and analyze the content of the paper in an online discussion forum.
HHM 581 Clinical Practicum in Molecular Diagnostics
This is a 2-week practicum in a clinical molecular diagnostics lab designed to give students supervised practical training in molecular biology techniques used in diagnostic. The students will be provided with training while experiencing the work environment in a clinical diagnostic laboratory
Clinical Practicum in Flow Cytometry
This is a 2- week practicum in a clinical flow cytometry diagnostics lab designed to give students supervised practical application of what was learned in the online and onsite classes. The students will be provided with hands-on training while experiencing the work environment in a clinical diagnostic laboratory.
Clinical Practicum in Cytogenetics
This is a 2-week practicum in a cytogenetics diagnostics lab designed to give students supervised practical application of what was learned in the online and onsite classes. The students will be provided with hands-on training while experiencing the work environment in a clinical diagnostic laboratory.
Capstone project in Medical Molecular Biology
This capstone project is the culminating experience of the Masters in Medical Molecular Biology. It is designed to give students the opportunity to choose a topic they are particularly interested in within the area of molecular diagnostics, flow cytometry or cytogenetics, and further investigate it by means of a literature-based research (systematic literature review). The topic could be a problem identified during the clinical practices or something learned in the online and onsite classes. Before implementing their capstone project, the students will need to develop a comprehensive proposal that will be reviewed by the instructor.