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Biochemistry and molecular genetics

An introductory molecular description of biological structure and function. Normal metabolism and gene expression are given the major emphasis. Several common genetic diseases and metabolic disorders serve to contrast normal and perturbed human biochemistry, as well as demonstrate the clinical implications of human biochemistry.

5 credits. No prerequisites.


An introduction to the various subdisciplines of microbiology, with emphasis on facts and principles pertinent to the broad requirements for understanding infectious diseases. Bacterial, mycotic, parasitic and viral pathogens are considered, with major emphasis on host-pathogen interactions and pathogenic mechanisms. Basic principles and clinical relevance of immune mechanisms are presented. Laboratory integration focuses on the common diagnostic modalities pertinent to the various infectious agents.

6 credits. No prerequisites.


An introduction to basic principles of physiology from the cellular level (membrane potentials, receptor physiology, transport mechanisms) to organ systems (cardiovascular, nervous, respiratory, gastrointestinal, urinary-renal and endocrine). Emphasizes regulatory control interactions needed for a holistic understanding of homeostasis and pathophysiology of humans. The course uses lectures, laboratories and clinical scenarios to teach the control mechanisms. Physiology is an intermediate step in the progression of knowledge acquisition necessary for subsequent courses.

7 credits. Prerequisite: Biochemistry.


An introduction to general principles of pharmacology, toxicology and drug classes. Emphasis is upon the mechanism of action, adverse effects, pharmacokinetics and drug interaction for the major drug classes. Pharmacology is an intermediate step in the progression of knowledge acquisition necessary for subsequent courses.

5 credits. Prerequisite: Physiology.

Cell biology

This is an advanced course in cell biology designed to familiarize the students with modern concepts of cell and molecular biology. Topics to be covered will include transcription, translation, intracellular trafficking, cell-cell signaling, membrane transport, and structure and function of DNA.

3 credits. Prerequisite: Biochemistry.


This is an introductory course that exposes the student to the use of statistical techniques for research data analysis. Topics covered include research design, data acquisition, types of data, univariate and bivariate data summarization techniques, tabular and graphical data presentation, inferential techniques using different theoretical distributions and the use of multivariate statistical techniques.

3 credits.  No prerequisites.

Clinical research methods and ethics

This course will discuss the ongoing process of reconciling regulations, guidelines, standards, and ethics to promote integrity in the proposing, planning, conducting, reporting, and reviewing of research.

1 credit. No prerequisites.

Presentation of scientific information

This is a one hour per week class where students learn the basis of scientific presentation, and practice these concepts by participating in journal club presentations.

1 credit. No prerequisites.

Special topics

Each department that chooses to mentor master’s degree students will develop an advanced class in their area of expertise. The basis of these classes will likely be to use primary literature to develop a sense of history, depth and emerging concepts in the selected field.

3 or 4 credits.  Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

Presentation of research

This is a one-hour class in which students will present their scientific data to the University during the Friday Seminar Series. In addition, students will attend all of the Friday Seminar Series Lectures.

1 credit. No prerequisites.

Introduction to research

Students will spend one month in the laboratory of two different DMU researchers learning the important concepts and techniques utilized by those researchers. This course is designed to help students identify a laboratory for their thesis work.

1 credit. No prerequisites.


Bench research under the supervision of thesis advisor and thesis committee.

15 credits. Prerequisite: Approval by thesis committee.

Scientific communications

The course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the process involved in scientific communication both in oral and written format. Focus will include presentation of an oral seminar and the process of writing and publishing a scientific manuscript.

1 credit. No prerequisites.