The requirements described below are based on the structures of both the Rackham Graduate School and the Program in Biomedical Sciences. All coursework for the Cancer Biology Program must be passed with a minimum grade of “B.” In addition to the required courses, students will be encouraged to take additional courses that are relevant to their dissertation project. For example, a student studying cancer genetics may wish to purse additional coursework in genetics.
PIBS Year 1 Requirements
To satisfy the requirements for entry in the Cancer Biology Program, at least two of the following courses, all of which are offered in the fall semester, are required:
- Biological Chemistry 550, Macromolecular Structure and Function (3 credits)
- Human Genetics 541, Molecular Genetics (3 credits)
- Cell and Developmental Biology 530, Cell Biology (3 credits)
This requirement will be waived for MSTP (joint MD-PhD program) students who join the Cancer Biology Program.
As is required of all Program in Biomedical Science students, Cancer Biology Program students will take PIBS 503 – Research Responsibilities and Ethics (1 credit). In addition, they will take the one-day laboratory safety course as part of the Program in Biomedical Science orientation.
Cancer Biology Program Requirements
In addition to two of the above Program in Biomedical Sciences core courses the Cancer Biology Program will require all of the following courses:
- CanBio 553, Molecular Biology of Cancer (winter term, typically taken in the student's first year; 3 credits). This is a didactic, team-taught course comprising two 90-minute classes per week, and evaluations by mid-term and final (take home) exams. This course is currently listed in the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and of Pathology. We anticipate that the following two courses will also receive approval from those departments.
- CanBio 554 (proposed), Cancer Pathogenesis and Treatment (fall term, typically taken in the student’s second year; 3 credits). This is a team-taught class comprised of a combination of didactic and paper-based discussions.
- CanBio 800 (proposed), Journal Club/Research in Progress Seminar Series (fall and winter terms; 1 credit for each of 2 semesters). This course is encouraged for first year PIBS students, and required for second year and later Program students; the latter will typically register only for two semesters of their second year. On a weekly rotating basis, students will give one-hour presentations on topics germane to the area of cancer biology. In subsequent years, candidates will be expected to present their dissertation research in progress.
- Bioinformatics 525, Foundations in Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (winter term). This course is comprised of three sections: Bioinformatics on the Web, Introduction to Statistics, and Bioinformatics & Systems Biology. We believe that it is very important for students in the Program to have a foundation in quantitative theory and application. Students with strong background in mathematics, statistics, or computer sciences may substitute Bioinformatics 527, Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology.