MS in Medical Sciences Concentration Options

Concentration in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine

Contact: Stephen Brady, Director

The renewed emphasis in most medical education programs on primary care demands that physicians become adept at the assessment, treatment and prevention of mental disorders as well as physical disease. Increasingly, health care professionals are being asked to become experts in human behavior since the key to health promotion is prevention. The mental health curricula which includes course work in the Counseling Techniques, Health Psychology, Group Treatment Modalities, Psychopathology, Neuroscience and the Addictions provides a unique opportunity for a mental health specialty for medical science students.

The two required courses for the Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine Concentration are:

GMS MH 704 Group Work Dynamics & Process Prereq: Consent of instructor. Provides an overview of the basic principles of group treatment/counseling including how to recruit and treat group members, and modalities such as dynamic therapy groups, behavioral and skill-based groups for special populations. 3 cr, 2nd sem.
GMS MH 705 Psychopathology Prereq: Consent of instructor. This course provides students with an introduction to the etiology, presentation and treatment of the major mental disorders as classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Students will become familiar with, identify and differentiate among a range of clinical presentations. 3 cr, 1st sem.
GMS MH 711 Health and Exercise Psychology Prereq: Consent of instructor. This course has been designed to introduce students to central concepts of applied health and exercise psychology which draw interdependently from psychology, behavioral medicine, exercise physiology, and psychoneuroimmunology. Students are introduced to common behavioral health interventions, emphasizing exercise promotion, smoking cessation, weight control, and stress management as they apply to chronic disease and pain. 3 cr, 2nd sem.
GMS MH 812 Addictions Prereq: Consent of instructor. This course provides the necessary knowledge base for understanding and treating addiction, emphasizing clinically useful knowledge and skills for recognizing and treating substance use disorders. Topics covered include: recognizing drug intoxication and withdrawal, assessment of Substance Use Disorders, Community Reinforcement Approach, Family Systems Treatment Models, Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral/Skills Building approaches, 12-Step Recovery/Mutual Support Groups, and Addiction Medicine. 3 cr. 2nd sem.
GMS MS 703 Neuroscience Prereq: consent of instructor. Integrated treatment of anatomy and physiology of the nervous system. In anatomy classes, brains and spinal cords are dissected and microscope slides examined to study cytology and projections of neurons. Other practical classes and demonstrations cover physiology, neurology, ophthalmology and otolaryngology. 1st sem, please refer to BUSM schedule of classes.
GMS MH 709 Neuroscience for Mental Health Professionals Preq: consent of instructor. This course is intended for M.A. and Ph.D. students specializing in the mental health delivery fields of mental health counseling, social work, and psychology. The course objective is to provide a foundation in the understanding of the central nervous system structure and function and the relationship of brain to behavior. 3 cr, 2nd sem.

Concentration in Clinical Investigation

Janice Weinberg, Director
Contact: Stacey Hess Pino, Assistant Director

“Clinical investigation” is research that involves humans as research subjects. This type of research is growing rapidly at many levels. The pharmaceutical and biotech industries are constantly discovering new disease “targets” and new compounds to attack these targets. The Human Genome Project has expanded the number of identifiable disease targets. In the medical device industry, the development of new and better materials for devices and the development of hybrid devices (implantable devices with a pharmaceutical or biotech component) have nearly limitless potential. These new technologies need to be tested in clinical research studies to document their safety and efficacy in humans. To conduct these clinical studies, we need well-trained professionals who know how to conduct human research. This need will continue to grow as the demand for clinical studies grows. The courses offered in the clinical investigation concentration provide a solid grounding in the technical and ethical aspects that make human research different from other types of research. Students will learn the elements of study design, trial management, human research regulations, and write a thesis about a clinical research topic.

Four courses (12 – 14 credits) are required to complete the concentration in Clinical Investigation.

The following 3 courses are required for the concentration:

GMS CI 640 Regulatory and Compliance Issues Prereq: Premedical course requirements and Consent of Instructor.

Course explains the regulatory requirements for healthcare products, that is, drugs, biologics, diagnostics, and devices. Intended for those interested in regulatory affairs or in the clinical evaluation, development, manufacture, testing and/or commercialization of these products. Provided is an in-depth review of the pertinent FDA regulations and guidelines and links these to the scientific and logistical activities involved in taking a product from research to market.

Content and preparation of regulatory submissions, including an Investigational New Drug Application (IND), an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE), a New Drug Application (NDA), a Biologic License Application (BLA), a Pre-Market Approval Application (PMA), and a 510K PreMarket Notification are described. International requirements for health care products are also reviewed.  Auwles. 4 cr, 1st sem, Fall.

GMS CI 675 Designing Clinical Research Studies

Prereq: Consent of instructor.

This course covers important epidemiologic principles necessary for designing clinical research studies.  Topics include bias, confounding, developing the research question, defining an appropriate study population, choosing outcome measures, clinical research ethics and regulation, sample size determination, and statistical analysis issues.  Students will design and present a clinical research study during the course. FishMcNair. 1st sem, 4 cr, Fall.

GMS CI 790 Seminar in Clinical Investigation

Prereq: GMS CI 675 Designing Clinical Research Studies and Consent of instructor.

The goal of this course is to provide students experience in reading and evaluating current literature that may be pertinent to the origination, design,  implementation and evaluation of clinical  research . The course is conducted in a seminar format.

Each week, students read and critically analyze assigned readings of recent literature which may be relevant to clinical research about human diseases.  Teams of students present their reviews of the assigned article and then lead the discussion during which the entire class participates.  This format provides an opportunity to learn to critically evaluate the scientific literature and to develop oral presentation skills.  Students will also be required to write three article critiques. Pairs of articles will be available for critique, each pair consisting of an article from the biomedical literature and a corresponding article from the newspaper or internet.  Fish & Hess Pino, .2 cr, 2nd sem, Spring.

One of the following electives should be completed:

GMS CI 660 Good Clinical Practices

Prereq: consent of instructor.  Introduces regulatory responsibilities of sponsors, monitors, and investigators conducting clinical trials. Practical information and exercises are designed on GCP compliance fro m an industrial perspective. Topics include: selecting qualified investigators; obtaining ethical approval for patients, and initiating sites successfully. Group discussions and guest speakers help students learn practical skills.  Malikova. 4 cr, Summer II.

GMS CI 680 Ethical Issues in Clinical Research

Prereq: consent of instructor  Students examine the development and implementation of regulatory as well as ethical issues involved with conducting clinical trials. Topics covered include: protection of human subjects, privacy and confidentiality, conflicts of interest, negativity toward clinical trials, research on vulnerable subjects, genetic testing and genetic research. Also included are discussions of current ethical issues in clinical research within the media.  Baedorf-Kassis, 2 cr, Spring.

Concentration in  Nutrition and Metabolism


Susan K. Fried, Ph.D. (Director)

Lynn Moore, Ph.D. (Co-Director)
Adminstrator:  Kathleen Blackett

The Masters Program in Nutrition at the BU School of Medicine focuses on nutritional and metabolic aspects of chronic disease  such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis) from a multidisciplinary perspective.  Our classes and research programs focus on the integration of molecular, biochemical, physiological, clinical, and epidemiologic aspects of human nutrition.  This concentration prepares you for further graduate studies in nutrition and related fields or careers as members of teams conducting basic biomedical or clinical/translational research related to understanding the role of nutrients in the development, prevention or treatment of  metabolic disease in academia, pharma, or government settings.

14 credits in Nutrition, usually the courses listed below (NU 755, NU756, NU620, NU700) are required.  With permission of the Director, a basic science elective, directed study (NU804) or research  NU901 or 902 can be substituted for NU620.  Note the Biochemistry prerequisite for NU755/756.

GMS NU 755 Molecular, biochemical and physiologic bases of nutrition I: energy balance and micronutrients (4 credits, Prerequisite: at least one semester each of Biochemistry and Physiology, or equivalent, and permission of the instructor). This is the first semester of a 2 semester sequence (that can be taken in either order) that focuses on the Physiological, Biochemical and Molecular Bases of Nutrition. This semester will cover concepts of essential nutrients and methods for determining their requirements (DRIs), body composition, nutrition and growth, energy expenditure, regulation of energy intake, vitamins and macro-mineral metabolism(Ca, P) and micronutrients. Functions and roles of micronutrients in signaling from gene to whole organism will be discussed. Implications for nutrient requirements through the lifecycle and in health and disease will be addressed. A discussion session will teach students to critically evaluate cutting-edge and seminal papers addressing each topic, and introduce students to state of the art research approaches and methodologies – basic (cell and molecular), clinical and epidemiological. Weekly writing assignments on the papers will provide experience and hone skills with scientific writing. S.K. Fried, 4cr, 1st sem.

GMS NU 756 Molecular, biochemical and physiologic bases of nutrition: Macronutrients (4 credits, Prerequisite: at least one semester each of Biochemistry and Physiology and permission of the instructor, Fried.) Regulation of lipid, carbohydrate, and protein digestion, absorption, transport, tissue and cellular metabolism. Integration of macronutrient metabolism in response to alteration in nutritional status (e.g. starvation, obesity) on a whole body and tissue-specific basis. Mechanism regulating macronutrient metabolism in response to stresses such as exercise and aging and disease. A discussion session will teach students to critically evaluate research papers, provide knowledge of seminal papers in the field, and introduce students to research approaches and state of the art methods (e.g. assessment of metabolic flux using stable isotopes, euglycemic clamps, metabolomics). S.K. Fried, 4 cr, 2nd sem.

GMS NU 620 Research, Clinical and Public Policy Applications in Nutrition & Metabolism (Prereq or Coreq NU 755 or NU 756; Human Physiology, or equivalent, consent of instructor.). The course will focus on disease states related to nutrition and diet, with a major focus on clinical nutrition research. It will: 1. Acquaint students with current concepts and methods in clinical nutrition research, familiarize students with clinical research and how investigators approach nutrition-related questions in their specific fields to answer questions related to disease states, 3. Evaluate the role of nutrition as it relates to development, prevention and therapy of major diseases, including cardiovascular, diabetes, gastrointestinal, osteoporosis, obesity, and cancer. Apovian. 4 cr, 2nd sem.

GMS NU 700 Nutrition  & Metabolism Seminar Students develop and present a research seminar. S. Fried and L. Moore 2 cr,   Fall