New York Medical College

Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences

Course Descriptions


Special courses


Life in Biomedical Research
BMS-3510, -3520
4 credits (total)

All new IPP students will take this year-long course, valued at 2 credit hours per semester, during their first Fall and Spring semesters. It is a professional development course designed to introduce new PhD students to practical aspects of biomedical research and to aspects of science and a career in sciences not covered explicitly in other courses – e.g., the philosophy of science, grant writing, and information about different career paths available to the scientist. Students will work in teams to learn about common modern laboratory techniques, to use the scientific literature to explore areas of current investigation, and to design experiments to test hypotheses rigorously. The year-long course will be divided into six 5-week blocks, each focused on an interdisciplinary research area. These six blocks are philosophy and funding, basic laboratory techniques, cancer, cardiovascular science, infectious diseases, and neuroscience. The course includes some lectures, but is more weighted towards student presentations and group discussions. It is an opportunity to introduce students to faculty from all departments in the graduate school.

Responsible Conduct of Research
2 credits

This course introduces students to the principles governing the responsible conduct of research and to the tools that working scientists can use to analyze ethical issues that arise in the daily progress of science. Topics include scientific integrity, data management, authorship, conflicts of interest, collegiality, intellectual property, research involving human or animal subjects, institutional oversight, and the societal responsibility of scientists. The course includes some lectures, but is more heavily weighted towards case-based discussions and the students’ written analyses of ethical questions and assigned readings.

Research Rotations
3 credits (total)

Students will rotate through three research laboratories during their first year of study. Each rotation will begin and end on prescribed dates tied to the academic calendar. The first rotation will coincide with the Fall academic semester (September through December), the second will coincide with the Spring semester (January through April), and the third will overlap the Summer term (May through August). Thus, students will register for this one-credit course three times, for a total of 3 research credits.

The rotation will provide an opportunity for the student to learn about the type of research being pursued in each of the three laboratories by assisting in experiments, by reading publications from the lab and related articles from other labs, and by participating in laboratory meetings. The rotation will also provide the faculty director of each lab to observe and interact with the student. This experience is intended to provide a basis for both the student and the faculty sponsor to reach an informed decision about where the student should conduct his/her dissertation research. Students will be required to write up a short summary of the work in which they participated. The course will be graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis, and will not contribute to the student’s GPA. The faculty member supervising the rotation will, however, submit a written report on the student’s performance and his/her potential as a bench scientist.

Introduction to Research Opportunities at NYMC
0 credits

At the beginning of the students’ first semester, they will learn about the research ongoing throughout the laboratories within the Graduate School. The format for this introduction may involve open house programs within each department, presentations by the faculty within each program, written material, and other mechanisms for informing the students about research training opportunities. This information will be useful to the students in choosing their research rotation preferences.