Nanocourses in Biomedical Sciences

Graduate Course Selection Book

Nanocourses are short courses that meet for a total of ~7-8 hours and typically address a new or evolving area that is not covered by the standard graduate curriculum. The course could be given in a week or two days or even over 7 weeks.

Each Nanocourse is worth 0.5 credits.
Grading is Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

To request course, please submit the Nanocourse Request formPDF Icon to Cheryl Small in the College of Graduate Studies, Room 3122 WH.
At least 3 students' names must be on the request form for the course to be offered.
Following submission of the form, faculty will work with students to arrange timing of the course.


GS647-001 Nanocourse: Emerging Infectious Diseases
Course Instructor(s): Mark Polhemus, M.D., with instruction assistance of Kristopher Paolino, M.D., Christina Lupone, MPH, Aaron Glass, PhD, Lisa Ware, James Vossler, M.S., Timothy Endy, M.D., MPH
Enrollment limit: 10
Brief Description:

  1. Background Factors Impacting Emerging Infectious Diseases- Drivers of Disease Emergence from Ecology to Epidemiology
  2. Factors of Emergence in Anti-Microbial Resistance: A Look into the Threat of Tuberculosis, Malaria, Gram Negative Bacteria, and Gonorrhea
  3. Arboviruses and Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses- You Pick One and We Discuss
  4. Influenza: Pandemic Immunology
  5. Immunology of HIV/AIDS and Emerging Issues in STD’s
  6. Current Laboratory Capacity for EID’s: A Perspective from a Hospital Microbiologist
  7. Global Preparedness and Field Responses - Microbiology and Immunology Tools for the Scientist

GS647-002 Nanocourse: Introduction to Flow Cytometry
Course Instructor(s): Steven Taffet, Ph.D., Aaron Glass, Ph.D., Lisa Phelps
Enrollment limit: 6 (but if more are interested we can offer more sessions
Brief Description:
Classes will include: Introduction to flow, Design of antibody panels, Hands on training on the cytometer, Analysis of Flow Data (FloJo), New trends in flow cytometry

GS647-003 Nanocourse: Mitochondrial DNA Replication- Un muddling the field
Course Instructor(s): Mark Schmitt, Ph.D.
Enrollment limit: 10
Brief Description:
4, 2 hour classes over a 4 week period. Cover recent papers in yeast and mammalian cells that disagree on the mode of DNA replication in mitochondria. The class will require students to read several papers each week and be ready to discuss them.

GS647-004 Nanocourse: Radiobiology
Course Instructor(s): Jason Horton, Ph.D., Sandra Hudson, Ph.D. and Paul Aridgides M.D.
Enrollment limit: 20
Brief Description:
Ionizing radiation is used as a cytotoxic agent in biomedical applications. This course will review the unique aspects of ionizing radiation as physical entity, and its atomic, molecular and physiological effects on living cells and tissues. Topics to be discussed will include radiation effects on cellular biology, oxidative stress and free radical chemistry, applications in cancer therapy, experimental model systems, adverse events and toxicity associated with radiation exposure, and clinical translation of basic radiobiology to the practice of radiation oncology. The course will be presentation/discussion based, and supplemented by readings assigned by the instructors. Student performance will be assessed on the basis of participation in in-class discussion and completion of two home-work assignments.

GS647-005 Nanocourse: Vaccine Development
Course Instructor(s): Mark Polhemus, M.D., with instruction assistance of Kristopher Paolino, M.D.,, Christina Lupone, MPH, Aaron Glass, PhD, Lisa Ware
Enrollment limit: 10
Brief Description:
Vaccine Development nanocourse will feature 7 one-hour lecture and discussion sessions of the following:

  1. Introduction: The Historical Impact of Vaccines on Disease Epidemiology and the Economic Burden of Vaccine Development
  2. The History of Regulatory Affairs and Oversight of Vaccine Development
  3. Vaccines and Immunological Memory
  4. Vaccines as Therapeutics: How to fight Cancer with Vaccines
  5. Advances in Vaccine and Immunization Technologies
  6. Debate Arguments on Vaccine Safety: Anti-Vaxxer versus Pro-Vaxxer
  7. New Vaccines: Challenges and Prospects in Development

GS647-006 Nanocourse: What Do I do next?
Course Instructor(s): Mark Schmitt, Ph.D.
Enrollment limit: 8
Brief Description:
The class will have 4, 2 hour sessions over a four week period. Each week 1-3 papers will be assigned. In class student will discuss the papers and will work on where the research is going, how one would decide the best course of action to progress the field further. Topics will delve down into what experiments should be done next, how those experiments should be set up, expected results, etc.

GS647-007 Nanocourse: Measuring binding affinities of biomolecules using multiple techniques
Course Instructor(s): Stewart Loh, PhD and Thomas Duncan, PhD
Enrollment limit: 10
Brief Description: This is primarily a laboratory course in which students will receive hands-on training on how to detect and quantify interactions between biomolecules (proteins, nucleic acids) and their binding partners (proteins, peptides, nucleotides, small molecules, and drugs). Students will be tasked with measuring binding affinities of several examples of the above interactions. Students will design binding experiments to be carried out using three types of instruments: (1) fluorescence plate reader, (2) isothermal titration calorimeter, and (3) biolayer interferometer. Students will prepare samples, perform the experiments on each of the three instruments, and analyze the binding data using the manufacturer’s software. This course is meant to provide students with theoretical knowledge as well as practical experience that will help them in their own research projects.

GS647-008 Nanocourse: Bone Biomechanics
Course Instructor(s): Kenneth Mann, PhD
Enrollment limit: 8
Brief Description: This course will cover mechanical aspects of skeletal bone using material and structural frameworks. Basic solid mechanics concepts such as stress, strain, deformation, elasticity, plasticity, and visco-elasticity will be explored. Structural mechanics concepts will include simple beam theory and how this can be used with CT image sets and the BoneJ plugin via IMAGEJ. Experimental approaches to determine bone material/structural properties will be introduced to determine bone properties from larger (human) and small laboratory animal tissue. One hour interactive lecture format over seven weeks. At the end of the course, the student will have basic background needed to perform, interpret, and analyze biomechanics experiments on small bone specimens commonly used in orthopaedic research. The course will require student to complete short problem sets to reinforce main concepts. Assessment of student performance will be based on participation during in-class discussion and completion of home-work assignments.

GS647-009 Nanocourse: SURF Journal Club
Course Instructor(s): Michael Cosgrove, PhD
Enrollment limit: 6 (or 12)
The main goal of this nanocourse is to give graduate students the opportunity to obtain teaching experience by running a journal club for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) students. Students will have the opportunity to organize, moderate, and evaluate journal club participation by a small group of 5-6 Fellows. Graduate students will meet with Fellows once a week starting the second week of June and running until all Fellows have presented. Graduate students will also meet with the course instructor at the beginning and end of the journal club program for mentoring, advice, and feedback.

GS647-010 Nanocourse: Manuscript Submission
Course Instructor: Julio Licinio, MDPhD
How to prepare, submit and resubmit...

GS647-011 Nanocourse: Introduction to Single-Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy
Course Instructor: Dr. Michael Börsch, Single-Molecule Microscopy Group, Jena University Hospital, Friedrich Schiller University Jena
In conventional microscopy experiments fluorescence data are acquired from a large number of molecules. Since many molecules are interrogated simultaneously, their properties are averaged out. In contrast single-molecule experiments provide a wealth of information like time trajectories of conformational dynamics of enzymes. The course gives an introduction to single-molecule imaging and spectroscopy and analysis tools of the data.
Topics Covered:
  1. Introduction - 25 years of single molecule detection
  2. Photophysics and Photochemistry of single molecules
  3. Single-molecule anisotropy and Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) measurements