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College of Graduate Studies

Important Unanswered Questions in the Biomedical Sciences (CGS 760)

Perry V. Halushka, M.D., Ph.D., Course Director
Alternate Mondays, 1:00pm, starting September 21, Room BSB 502

The Seminar Series. As an academic medical center, our mission is to improve human health and find better treatment for diseases. We want our students’ and faculty research to parallel the mission of the institution. This seminar series is in concert with our mission and designed to meet two objectives; 1) excite our trainees about and broaden their perspectives on translational research and 2) develop critical thinking skills that encompass the evaluation of data and the design of hypothesis-driven research. Seminar speakers are chosen for their area of research, which should be hypothesis-driven clinical or basic research, the latter with a potential clinical application. The seminar topics are picked to coincide with the particular topic being covered in the didactic portion of the First Year Curriculum.  Approximately one week prior to the seminar, students will receive one or two papers relevant to the research topic.

The Unanswered Questions. Almost invariably, the results of a research project or seminar lead to additional important unanswered questions. At the end of the seminar, students should be thinking about how they would take the research to the next level. There is often no single correct direction in which to move the research. Thus, the challenge for the students is to determine what they would do. To meet this challenge, students are required to pose a hypothesis directly related to the results presented. They have to support their idea(s) with a rationale based on the results presented and/or evidence from the literature. The final piece of the assignment is to design at least one and preferably two experiments that one would perform and provide a description of the anticipated results. The following format must be used. Each one of these headings should precede the section and in this order.  This order must be strictly adhered to.


Evaluation of Student Comprehension. Students are required to submit their answers (minimum of one single-spaced page, not including the bibliography) through Moodleroom within 2 weeks of the seminar; failure to submit an answer on time earns a zero for that seminar. Failure to use the format above will result in no credit for the assignment.  Students missing a seminar for a legitimate reason are not assigned a grade for that seminar. An excused absence must be obtained from the course director prior to the seminar. Answers are graded on the honors, pass or fail system. Students are assigned a semester grade based on their cumulative grades for each seminar.


Seminar Schedule pdf


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