Molecular Medicine

Course Number: 
Course Type: 
Currently Offered: 
Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30-2:50
Instructor (non-MCB Faculty): 
Liles, Conrad
Course Description: 

This course focuses on the impact of basic science on medicine and medical practice. In this quarter-long course, patient case histories are used to introduce key areas of clinical research and investigative medicine.  An important aim is to introduce clinical problems in a way that is directly accessible to graduate students, to facilitate the reading of basic science and primary clinical literature on common problems, and to foster participation in the many clinical seminars at the UW and affiliated institutions that are focused on human disease problems.  Topics covered are in five major disease areas: inflammation and host response; vascular disease; obesity, weight regulation and appetite; cancer biology; drug development; and gene- and cell-based therapeutics.  The interplay between clinical care and investigation will be emphasized both to introduce students to medical practice, and to indicate the impact of basic science on the practice of medicine.  This course is taught by faculty who are both practicing physicians and clinician investigators.

Learning Objectives: 

Students should be able to articulately discuss the relationships between basic science and clinical application or clinical experience in the context of a selected topic, presented to the rest of the class in small groups.

Small group presentations should be presented from one of the following two perspectives:

1. How fundamental research translates into

·      Better concepts of disease pathogenesis
·      Development of novel diagnostics
·      Development of novel therapeutics

2. How inquiries into medical issues advance basic science

Course requirements, examinations and grading: 

You will be divided into groups composed of students from diverse disciplines.  Each group must identify a topic by February 6, and choose a group spokesperson to communicate with the course chair regarding the topic and other logistics.  Group presentations will be held during the last two weeks of the quarter.

Course web site:

Sample Schedule:

Week Tues Thurs
  1 Macrophages Brittle Bone Disease
  2 Innate immunity and human infections diseases Models and mechanisms of emphysema
  3 No Class Engineering T cells for cancer immunotherapy
  4 From gene regulation to common disease How to grow a new heart
  5 Heart regeneration Why heme is important
  6 Human Papillomavirus Lipids, proteins and atherosclerosis
  7 No class Context matters: the role of the cancer microenvironment
  8 Obesity and the molecular physiology of body weight regulation Inhibition of testicular retinoic acid synthesis for male contraception
  9 Student presentations Student presentations
 10 Student presentations Student presentations



Elective Area: 
Cancer Biology