New GMS Courses Being Offered

Fall 2017

This first portion of a two-part course provides an in-depth introduction to core principles in health sciences education. In this course, learners will explore a variety of core concepts through a review of the literature, reflective activities, small group discussion and practical skills-building exercises to review both theory and practice of health sciences training. Topics in this initial course will include definitions of learning and teaching, developing learning contracts and goal setting, adult learning principles, experience and reflection, and competency-based training. “Principles of Health Sciences Education” will prepare educators in the health sciences to teach directly and provide consultation on teaching and educational issues in their home academic or training institutions. Participants in the course will be able to:

  1. Outline, discuss and demonstrate core principles of teaching in the health sciences
  2. Compare and contrast aspects of health sciences education with other forms of training & education
  3. Utilize a range of knowledge and expertise in addressing specific challenges in health sciences education

Instruction will be provided in the areas of clinical teaching and core issues in health sciences education. Course Director: Jeffrey Markuns, MD

*This course is 2 credits spanning both Fall 2017 & Spring 2018 semesters

The Fundamentals of Learning and Teaching Modalities in Health Sciences course will prepare students to design meaningful learning experiences in health sciences education using multiple modalities including large group lecture, small group teaching, cased-based, problem based and team-based learning, flipped classroom, standardized patients and simulation, e-learning and clinical and bedside teaching. There will be a focus on creating innovative and engaging learner-centered experiences and supportive learning environments. The class will review the concepts of adult learning theories and students will apply their knowledge and understanding of andragogy during this course. Each of the teaching methods classes will be taught in the modality it is reviewing. Students will prepare a final project using one of the teaching modalities to teach a relevant topic to their peers. Course Director: Molly Cohen Osher, MD

This course provides an overview of biological, psychological, and sociocultural aspects of individual and family development from conception through elder adulthood in a multicultural context. The course is taught from perspectives of cognitive science and behavioral systems as well as sociological, cultural, life span developmental, and comparative approaches. The focus of the course is on normative development; developmental disorders are used to elucidate normative developmental and adaptive processes in language, cognition, and behavioral self-regulation that will serve to introduce students to behaviors and concepts relevant to clinical mental health counseling practice with both children and adults. [3 cr] Craigen. Fall.

Offered by the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology in the fall of 2017, this new two credit course (GMS OB 767 A1 – PARASITOLOGY) will be available to graduate students in GMS programs and will cover key topics in molecular parasitology. We will focus on research applications targeting parasite-specific cellular processes and parasite-host interactions as potential points of therapeutic intervention. The unicellular parasitic organisms and elements of worm biology will be covered in 12 sessions.   Current state-of-the-art genetic, imaging, proteomic and structural approaches used in parasite research will be emphasized. Class meetings will include a didactic lecture followed by discussion of the original research paper related to the lecture’s topic. The course will be taught by BU faculty (Ruslan Afasizhev, Inna Afasizheva, Alla Grishok and John Samuelson) and invited lecturers (Manoj Duraisingh, HSPH; Sebastian Lourido, MIT, and Marc-Jan Gubbels, BC). The enrollment will be limited to 15 students.

Afasizhev. Fall.

ImmunoOncology is the study of cancer treatments that harness the power of the immune system to eradicate tumors. Although synonymous with cancer immunotherapy, immunooncology emphasizes the clinical framework used to evaluate these treatments, which are referred to as either cancer immunotherapeutics or as immunooncology agents. The ImmunoOncology Bench-to-Bedside course follows immunooncology agents from their discovery or engineering through preclinical and clinical evaluation to regulatory approval, and administration to patients. Both tumor-specific and non-specific immunooncology agents are covered, including: tumor- and vasculature-targeting antibodies, immune checkpoint inhibitors, T cells and chimeric antigen receptors, tumor vaccines and oncolytic viruses, cytokines, and combination cancer therapies. The material is presented through videorecordings of interactive lectures and through discussion sessions focused on experimental vignettes that enable students to design their own experiments, analyze data, and interpret results for sample projects in immunooncology. Students interact with other students and with the instructors through an online discussion board, which is monitored by the course director. Furthermore, personal student-student interactions, through joint viewing of lecture videorecordings and joint participation in discussion sessions, are encouraged whenever possible. Biweekly open-book online quizzes help students keep-up with the material. A closed-book exam at the end of the course is taken with remote online proctoring.

This 2 credit course consists of lectures by BU faculty as well as outside speakers, leaders in the field, thus also providing great networking opportunities.   For additional information, please contact Dr. V.  Zannis at:

Course description:

The Division of Graduate Medical Sciences at the BU School of Medicine is pleased to offer a new course entitled Machine Learning for Biomedical Applications, starting Fall 2017.

  • The main feature of this course is that students will learn by doing! We will bring machine learning to life by showing fascinating use cases in biomedical sciences and tackling interesting real-world problems like disease risk assessment and predictive modeling. When students complete this introductory course, they will be in a position to analyze several types of biomedical datasets using machine learning techniques.
  • The objective of the course is to teach students the most effective machine learning techniques so that students gain practice implementing them and getting them to work for themselves. More importantly, students will gain the practical know-how needed to quickly and powerfully apply these techniques to new problems in biomedical sciences.
  • Students will also get exposure to helpful tools, such as pre-written algorithms, codes and libraries, and to answer interesting questions.
  • This course is aimed at machine learning literacy rather than proficiency. Therefore, the intent of the course director is to not expose students with tedious and rigorous mathematical definitions or equations, but make them comfortable with the tools so that they can tackle a new data challenge without getting overwhelmed with the jargon.
  • Pre-requisites: Basic familiarity with Microsoft Excel or similar analysis software. Prior experience in scientific programing languages (Matlab, Python, R, etc.) is a plus but not mandatory. Permission of the course director is required before joining the course. Please contact the Course Director (Dr. Vijaya B. Kolachalama) by email ( to setup an appointment before registering for the course.

Course Description/Objectives: The objective of this introductory leadership course is to focus on the basic principles of personal and interpersonal leadership as they relate to the wide range of biomedical and health science careers that BU graduates may enter. We will explore the areas of voice, vision, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, teamwork, and more.  The material presented in this course will give way to the 5 practices of exemplary leaders that can be applied to any expertise area, but particularly for this course the biomedical research and health sciences areas. Completion of this course will benefit one’s career by allowing them to apply leadership practices in order to lead a successful team of researchers or healthcare practitioner. Additionally, in understanding and applying leadership practices participants will become better team members thus encouraging team success.  PhD students (especially, but not limited to, those on NIH training grants), master’s students, and postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to take this course.