Advances in Biomedical Sciences
Full course description
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to recent breakthroughs in the physical and biological sciences that are now being explored for biomedical applications. The topics will come directly from the research expertise of the lecturers, all of whom are young principal investigators in the new research institutes at the UM: MERLN and M4I. The course will cover a broad range of topics, including nanomaterials for regenerative medicine, supramolecular biomaterials, big data and computer learning, electron microscopy, imaging and diagnostic mass spectrometry, and structural biology of tuberculosis. Each of these fields has the potential to address some of society’s greatest challenges, including the health and vitality of our ageing population, and this will be discussed in both the lectures and the tasks. Students will gain firsthand experience of scientific research taking place at the UM and will have the opportunity to visit research laboratories as part of a demonstration of some of the topics discussed in the lectures. Students will experience unrestricted access for a firsthand account of a new generation of research lines with a new generation of labs.
In addition to a final content-based oral exam, there will be two papers for evaluation. For their midterm, students will choose a recent discovery reported in the press and investigate the scientific claims and integrity of the reporting. In the final paper, the student acts as the reporter, and will write an opinion piece on a topic of research in either MERLN or M4I; this report will be informed by an interview with one of the lecturers.
This course is designed for top students with a concentration in the sciences who wish to advance their learning to the next level, beyond textbooks. Students will benefit from close contact with young scientists from diverse fields and will be expected to read scientific literature to enhance their learning. Skills learned within this course will be highly applicable for more advanced degrees (Master’s, PhD) within the sciences, and within the competitive job market.
- To gain insight into frontier topics of the biomedical sciences, with first-hand accounts of
successes, problems, and a forecast for the future.
- To apply knowledge from the natural sciences towards problems in society.
- To give an accurate account of the work and thought process of academic researchers.
- To learn to critically read scientific news and perform basic literature research.
- To learn how to ask questions of a scientist and report others research to a wider audience.
- To gain familiarity with cutting edge research within the MERLN and M4I institutes.
- To access new labs and research lines starting with young Assistant Professors within UM.
At least one of: SCI2017 Organic Chemistry, SCI2037 Cell Biology, or SCI2038 Physics. Highly motivated students with a different background should speak to the course coordinators.
Selected scientific articles.