MTR Postdoctoral and Predoctoral Curriculum
Six Core Courses:
MTR 600: Introductory Biostatistics (1.0 c.u.)
MTR 601: Review Writing (1.0 c.u.)
MTR 602: Proposal Development (1.0 c.u.)
MTR 603: Disease Measurement (1.0 c.u.)
MTR 604: Scientific and Ethical Conduct (1.0 c.u.)
MTR 606: Grantsmanship (1.0 c.u.) (postdoctoral requirement)
Your choice of electives requires prior approval of the MTR Mentoring Committee. Electives must be graduate level courses in an area of concentration that complements the student's future career plans in translational research.
Students may take electives in a variety of disciplines, including Bioethics.
Two Laboratory Units:
MTR 999 (2.0 c.u.)
Optional: Industry Internship (1 c.u.)
Two Thesis Units:
MTR 607: Thesis (1 c.u.)
MTR 608: Thesis (1 c.u.)
MTR 600 Introductory Biostatistics: (Summer II session - year one)
This course approaches statistics from an applied as well as theoretical point of view. Students learn the correct application and interpretation of basic statistical concepts and techniques. The course covers probability estimation, hypothesis testing, nonparametric tests, tests for categorical data, correlation, and regression.
MTR 601 Scientific Writing I: Review Writing (Summer II session – year one)
This course will lead students through the process of writing a Review Article during their first Summer within the MTR program. Review articles will be authored with the student's primary mentor and will be used to accomplish the following goals: 1) Attain rapid familiarity with background in their new area of study; 2) a mechanism for mentor and student to create a productive working/writing relationship; 3) help the student identify key gaps in the literature and/or areas of controversy that would benefit from pivotal experiments; 4) understand the factors that contribute to variability in research outcomes in their area and; 5) introduce the student to other scientists in their new area through an initial publication early in their career.
Mentors will be asked to agree to participate in this process, or identify another senior individual in their group who would perform the function as a condition to have MTR students funded in their program. The course director and members of the curriculum committee will provide guidance and critical reviews throughout the process.
MTR 602 Proposal Development: (Fall semester - year one)
Content includes study design and protocol development as they relate to the studies that probe the mechanism of disease and the study of complex traits. It discusses concepts such as writing a background section, asking a research question, designing a study, use of biomarkers, writing a research proposal and feasibility issues. Early development of the research protocol starts during this course and is evaluated prior to course completion.
MTR 603 Disease Measurement Course: (Fall semester - year one)
Acquire the knowledge to rationally and effectively incorporate disease measurements, including emerging technologies, into the design of translational and clinical research protocols. Gain a basic understanding of measurement methodologies used in clinical medicine. Understand how "normal" values are determined, and how to interpret test results in the context of patients/research subjects. Approach disease measurements (tests) as a mean of answering questions, and to be able to choose appropriate tests to answer the questions being posed. The measurement aspects of the students' research protocol are written and evaluated during this course.
MTR 604 Scientific and Ethical Conduct: 1 c.u. (Spring semester - year one)
Content areas include human subjects protection, good laboratory practices, good clinical practices, conflict of interest, scientific misconduct, regulatory affairs including the role of OHRP and the FDA. Financial considerations including budget development for grant proposals. In addition students serve as an active member of an IRB for 6 months. The informed consent document that accompanies the students’ research protocol is developed during this course.
MTR 605 Scientific Writing II - Manuscript Writing: 1 c.u. (Summer I session – year two)
Students will write a primary data manuscript for publication with their primary lab mentor. Emphasis will be placed on identifying publishable data that was either generated by the student, or which is made available to the student for analysis from the mentor’s lab (e.g. perform a new analysis across data from multiple studies, organize and analyze data that is ‘laying in wait’ for someone to publish it). The student will be expected to learn the role of first author including 1) coordination with the senior mentor to write the introduction, 2) organize data, analyses and figures; 3) obtain or write methods and results from collaborators; 4) writing a discussion and; 5) “getting it out the door”. The authorship for the publication is left to the discretion of the mentor in consultation with the originator of the data and the MTR student. This will both teach the student the value of publishing as an integral part of academic life, and will facilitate their success with subsequent grant applications. The course director will provide guidance and critical review of work throughout the process. Mentors will be asked to agree to participate in this process, or identify another senior individual in their group who would perform the function. Completion of the course and continuation of associated funding is contingent on submission of the manuscript. This course is not required for postdoctoral students. This course is required for predoctoral MD-MTR students.
MTR 606 Grantsmanship: (Spring semester – year two)
This course will be completed by all students during the second summer while enrolled in the MTR program. Students will learn to write and submit a new investigator and/or mentored career development NIH grant on which they will be primary investigator. This course is required for postdoctoral students. This course is not required for predoctoral MD-MTR students.
MTR 999 Laboratory Units: (flexible timing)
Completion of 2 lab units is required but flexible in terms of timing. Lab experiences need approval of the candidate's MTR mentoring committee and the MTR director 2 months prior to commencing the lab rotation. Examples of lab experiences include, but are not limited to, a traditional wet bench experience to learn how to develop an assay; a clinical lab rotation learning how to perform /analyze a technique in your specialty; a rotation in a bioinformatics laboratory; or a rotation in an imaging laboratory.
The purpose of the lab experience is to emphasize the basic components of the translational research experience, to appreciate that the underpinnings of translational research is understanding disease mechanism, to learn the subtleties of measurement of disease process and the complexity this brings to the area of human research. Following completion of each lab experience, students are required to submit a "lab book" with documentation of the elements listed below.
- Requirements for a lab experience are:
- - Lab meetings / learning techniques / analysis and discussion of data
- - Clear documentation of procedures learned
- - Clear documentation of time spent
- - Clear documentation from mentor stating your accomplishments and affirming your time spent in this pursuit – to equal 20 hours of mentor contact time
- - Grading performed by mentor and grading sheet submitted to university as equivalence of exam grade
- Industry Internship: The MTR program, in collaboration with its corporate partners, will provide an opportunity for two students per semester to learn about translational medicine in a Pharmaceutical Industry Internship. This may be eligible for a MTR 999 lab unit. Read more here.
In addition to the required courses, trainees must take electives that total two course units. The student's primary mentor and the MTR Programmatic Mentor must approve of the elective courses chosen by the student at least two months prior to course registration. If approved by the Mentoring Committee, the student must contact the course instructor to request permission to enroll in the elective. Once the instructor grants permission, then the student must notify the MTR coordinator who will request a "permit" be entered into SRS to complete the elective registration.
Electives must be graduate level courses that complement an aspect of POR important to the student's future career plans in translational research.
The attached list of electives is a representative sample of the elective course options. It is anticipated that elective courses will be pursued in the first and second years. There is an increase in the availability of elective course units. New elective courses are also under development in areas such as Quantitative Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics, and Drug Development. Elective courses outside of the Perelman School of Medicine can also be considered.
Students may take electives in a variety of disciplines, including Bioethics.
Please note that policies concerning admissions, curriculum, funding and financial aid are subject to change. Additionally, though variations in the curriculum may be possible, any changes will need prior approval and may have financial implications. This website is meant to provide preliminary general overview information only. Students interested in or enrolled in the program should seek personal advising from relevant faculty and staff.