Thread Leaders Involved
A curricular thread is a subject element or theme that is spread throughout the curriculum. The purpose of the threads is to unite a body of information that influences other sets of knowledge the students are learning in a cohesive manner.
Students should be exposed to these curricular threads early in the educational process, and continually be challenged to integrate these threads into their learning under increased complexity.
Clinical Science Threads
Population Health (MSI/MSII)
Basic Science Thread Leaders
Anatomy and Cell Biology (MSI)
Robert Zajdel, PhD
In the anatomy thread, we have clinical correlation of applied anatomy in the context of normal and pathological radiology. Interpretation of radiologic data from radiographs, CT’s and MRI’s are learned. We have incorporated ninety clinical anatomy based case studies for application, by four-member group interaction and symptom solving skills. Cases used are common to clinics, review books and board questions, giving the students a first pass at future learning objectives. In the technology aspect, we have recently added internally constructed iBooks and demonstration videos, accessible at all times, for structure review and study. The iBooks are valuable complements to the prime activity of dissection, with small group interactions and active learning. Microscopic anatomy (histology) provides a valuable and structural insight into both normal tissue physiology and pathology. The laboratory portion takes place in groups of about 35 students, who use glass slides and student microscopes, as well as virtual slides, new next year. Structure and function of cells (cytoskeleton and organelles) are the natural continuation of the gross and tissue anatomy in the cell biology component of this thread.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSI)
Our understanding of human health and disease has increasingly become focused on biochemistry, genetics, and cell and molecular biology. The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology thread builds on foundational knowledge about the macromolecules that make up a cell and basic principles of human genetics. The importance of different nutrients in supporting cell and organ structure/function is discussed, and the many metabolic connections to health, aging, and disease are explored. New frontiers in medicine such as molecular diagnostics, gene therapy and structure-based drug design are explored through small group exercises and exposure to the medical literature. Through the thread, students learn to integrate how genetic, biochemical and environmental changes affect normal system function and lead to particular phenotypes and symptoms in disease states.
Physiology and Neuroscience (MSI)
Mary Lou Vallano, PhD
Physiology is the study of how living organisms function. It is broad in scope, ranging from molecules, to cells, to tissues, to organs, and integrated organ systems. Homeostasis is a defining feature of physiological systems. Our objectives are to teach the physiology of the major organ systems, including: cellular, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, pulmonary, renal, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems. We also teach how these systems operate in an integrated manner in health and disease. We will provide appropriate depth and breadth of the basic biophysics and systems physiology, to facilitate an understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease and homeostatic defenses.
Microbiology and Immunology (MSII)
Edward Shillitoe, PhD
In Microbiology we are concerned about infectious diseases and how they are diagnosed and treated. Early in the thread you will learn about various bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that cause infectious diseases. Later you learn how to use laboratory tests to diagnose infections and to choose between different treatments. We place emphasis on the protection that is provided by the immune system, as well as how to increase this through vaccines. Physicians are increasingly faced with drug-resistant organisms, and the thread pays special attention to emerging threats from newer microorganisms.
Joseph Fullmer, MD/PhD
Steve Grassl, PhD