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Core Courses

The unique coursework in the BMS program is geared towards training students to become basic researchers that study biomedical problems. Course material begins at the molecular and cellular level and then moves to higher levels of organization into tissues and organs. At each stage, relevant disease states and models are discussed.

First-year students are required to take:
BMS 198 Journal Club (fall, winter, spring). Weekly presentations of current scientific literature by one student and one faculty member.

BMS 260 Cell Biology (fall). Scope of this Cell Biology course is to convey an understanding of the function and the organization of molecules and organelles inside and outside the cell, and how these are used to construct a multicellular tissue and organ.

BMS 225A Investigating Human Biology and Disease (fall). This course introduces students to concepts in organ and tissue biology and to tools used in biomedical research.  The aim is to prepare students for research in understanding human biology and disease.  The course includes lectures and workshops that encompass this material.  A series of lectures illustrate how tissues and organs function in the context of the whole organism, and how dysfunction leads to disease.  Included in these lectures are examples of how a variety of model organisms can advance our understanding both of basic biology and of human illness.  In addition, the course provides an opportunity through lectures and workshops for students to become familiar with microscopy methods and applications as well as with central techniques for understanding the genome, epigenome, proteome, and protein structure.

BMS 225B Investigating Human Biology and Disease (winter). The goal of Tissue and Organ Biology is to focus on physiological systems, disease states, treatments and treatment developments in an effort to bridge science and medicine. This is an integrative course that emphasizes the frontiers in cell and molecular biology as they pertain to the normal physiology and disease states of human tissues and organ systems. Where possible, there is also emphasis on how understanding disease mechanisms are applied to treatments. Rather than being a comprehensive course, selected topics will be discussed in formal lectures, discussion groups and a seminar series. Students will also prepare a written proposal on a topic of their choice that they will defend orally.

BMS 255 Genetics (winter). Scope of the graduate level course in Genetics is to convey an understanding of basic genomics and molecular genetics, use of genetic animal model systems and of the analytical principles of simple and complex human genetic traits.

BMS 270 Mini-Courses (spring). BMS participates in a collaborative program with other UCSF graduate programs to offer a curriculum designed around mini-courses formatted as intensive, round-table discussions of current literature in specific topics. Students take three mini-courses lasting two to three weeks each during the spring quarter. Students can take any three minicourses offered to satisfy the requrirement. BMS mini-courses include translational, single disease or organ systems topics. Topics will change every year.

Second-year students are required to take BMS 214 Ethic Conduct of Science, and third-year students and above may take an optional scientific writing workshop.