The Core Curriculum consists of two semesters covering topics on the scientific basis and research methodology of the molecular basis of disease. These courses are taught as advanced graduate seminars. They are available to all GPMTM students in the second year and are open to other students in the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences.

Six courses that address major fields in the molecular basis of human disease are offered by the MTM program: MM701, MM703, MM707, MM710, MM725, MM730 (descriptions below). These courses can be used to fulfill program requirements.

Fall Semester GMS MM701, Genetics & Epidemiology of Human Disease, Wednesdays 10AM-12PM, course director Lindsay Farrer ( Two (2) credits. Topics include: Human genome structure and function; Population genetics; Genetic risk assessment; Non-Mendelian inheritance; Approaches for studying the genetics of complex traits; Chromosomes and chromosome abnormalities; Principles of cancer genetics and genetic diagnostics; Methods of human linkage analysis; Identifying human disease genes; Genotype-Phenotype correlations; and Applications of the “New Genetics”.

Fall Semester GMS MM703, Cancer Biology and Genetics, Wednesdays 10AM-12PM, course directors Rachel Litman Flynn ( and Neil Ganem ( Two (2) credits. This course will cover topics in human tumor biology including: Tumor progression, invasion, and metastasis; Viruses, immunodeficiency, and cancer; Chemical carcinogenesis; Signal transduction; Anti-oncogenes and familial cancer syndromes; Apoptosis and cancer; Cell cycle control; DNA repair; Principles of Cancer Therapy; Immunotherapy of Cancer; Anti-angiogenesis therapy; and modern molecular diagnostic techniques.

Spring Semester GMS MM707, Organ System Diseases, Tuesdays 1PM-3PM , course director Matt Jones ( This course will address current topics in the molecular basis of non-malignant and non-immunologic diseases of man in the fields of Cardiovascular Disease; Hemostasis; Metabolic and endocrine diseases; Genetics of renal disease; Pulmonary Disease; Reproductive disorders, and Dermal diseases. Examples of topics that will be covered include the molecular basis of atherosclerotic heart disease and cardiomyopathy; molecular basis of pre-thrombotic disorders (such as Factor V Leyden); leptins and obesity; mitochondrial dysfunction and cystic fibrosis. Offered alternating years.

Spring Semester GMS MM710, Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, Thursdays, 1PM-3PM, course director Gustavo Mostoslavsky ( Two (2) credits. This course is designed to teach basic research and translational research skills to students in the Molecular Medicine Curriculum, using general principles of stem cells and their potential use in regenerative medicine. Students will first be exposed to the basic concepts and definitions of stem cells, the detailed study of different types of adult vs pluripotent stem cells, and discuss ethical and practical considerations. Students will also learn about stem cell manipulation by novel gene editing techniques, recent advances in disease modeling and the potential use of stem cells in tissue and organ regeneration. Offered alternating years.

Fall Semester, GMS MM725, Biology of the Lung and Pulmonary Disease, Wednesdays, 1PM-3PM, course director Katrina Traber ( Two (2) credits. This course will cover topics in basic lung biology including cellular components and functions in the respiratory system and how the processes of immunity and development influence lung structure and function. The course will apply this basic biology to cutting edge developments in pulmonary diseases including the acute respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, asthma, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.

Fall Semester GMS MM730 Biological Core Technologies, Fridays 8AM-11AM, course directors Katya Ravid ( and Lou Gerstenfeld  ( Three (3) credits. The major goal of this course is to provide an overview of the principles and applications of modern techniques, which are regularly employed in academia and industry as tools for biomolecular and biomedical investigation. This course will focus on technologies which are available at BUSM. Specific technologies include microscopy, FACS, IHC, qPCR, genomic (next gen sequencing and microarrays), proteomics techniques, HTS, fluorescence molecular tomography, ultrasound and metabolic phenotyping techniques. Offered alternating years.