First Year

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Practical Statistics (1)

An introductory graduate-level course that will introduce students to basic statistical concepts and applications that are used in a majority of biomedical and translational research studies. The emphasis will be on "how" and "why" certain basic statistical applications are used rather than the theory behind various statistical methods.

Fundamentals In Forensic Sciences (4)

This course will broadly survey the disciplines and technology within the field of Forensic Sciences. These disciplines include crime scene investigation techniques, medicolegal death investigation, patterned evidence examination, and traditional crime laboratory (criminalistics) disciplines––specifically forensic drug chemistry, forensic toxicology, trace evidence, fire debris, explosives, and forensic molecular biology. A laboratory component provides hands-on exercise with current instrumentation used in Forensic Sciences. This course can be enrolled in by persons not admitted to the professional program, with approval of the Instructor of Record.

Communicating in the Forensic Science Profession (1)

This course will introduce students to the science and art of effective communication with a focus on enhancing communication and presentation skills related to the profession of forensic science. This course will prepare students to communicate (in written and oral format) highly technical and scientific information to lay audiences, which could include government and/or political policymakers, attorneys, juries, judges and the like.


Special Problems in Toxicology: Preparing Professionals in Forensic Science and Analytical Genetics (1)

This course will introduce and develop the professional skills required for obtaining workplace employment in the areas of Forensic Chemistry/Toxicology and Forensic Analytical Genetics. It will prepare students to develop networking skills, identify appropriate workplace positions, and enhance interviewing skills so that they can effectively communicate with prospective employers. Students will learn how to clearly articulate their skill sets, their understanding of their training and how to apply their training to specific workplace environments.

Forensic Science Standards and Practices (3)

This course will train students in the key components of quality assurance and quality control system to assure that results produced in the laboratory are reliable. Due to the high stakes of forensic analysis, aspects from the entire process including evidence collection, chain-of-custody, equipment qualification standard analytical procedures, method validation, documentation of result, and generation of reports will be covered. Advanced topics include choosing the appropriate sample preparation and analytical technique and estimation of the error in a method. Internal and external review guidelines will be presented including criteria for laboratory accreditation and analyst certification. In addition, standard test procedures will be interpreted with respect to the underlying fundamental chemical and physical processes involved.


Fundamentals of Biochemistry (3)

Descriptive chemistry of amino acids and proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. Discussion of structure and function; metabolism and bioenergetics; and biological information flow. At the undergraduate level, understanding is demonstrated through hour examinations; at the graduate level, understanding is demonstrated through hour examinations and a brief paper. Lecture, three hours; one optional conference.


Drug Metabolism and Disposition (2)

This course covers the science of the interactions between the human body and drugs, or xenobiotics. The focus is on drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion in the area of pharmacokinetics. Additional topics also include drug-drug and drug-food interactions, pharmacogenetics, and pharmacodynamics of commonly abused drugs. The objective of this course is to provide a strong scientific foundation for the understanding and practice of analytical and forensic toxicology.

Forensic and Analytical Toxicology (3)

Study of chemistry, biochemical activity, isolation and identification of drugs of forensic interest in biological materials. Postmortem, human performance and drug testing scenarios commonly encountered in forensic laboratories are appraised. Advanced concepts in sample preparation and analytical methods for presumptive and confirmatory testing are covered. Many factors affecting the interpretation of toxicology results are considered. A molecular level approach is taken on many topics.


Molecular Biology and Genetics (3)

An introductory graduate-level course on mechanisms associated with DNA structure, replication, recombination and repair, chromatin, transcriptional control, mRNA processing, and protein synthesis. Aspects of contemporary genetics, genomics and bioinformatics will also be included. Techniques in genetic engineering and recombinant DNA that are critical to molecular biology research will be covered.


Population Genetics (3)

This survey course examines the population dynamics and equilibria of genes in nuclei, chloroplasts, and mitochondria. Emphasis will be on biological relevance (in plants, animals, and micro-organisms), but some theoretical derivations will also be introduced.

Advanced Human Genetics (2)

This course will cover advanced topics in hereditary and genetics as it applies to humans using essential and contemporary knowledge relating to genetic science and genetic disease. Topics include single gene and complex diseases, Mendelian and non-Mendelian inheritance, genetic evolutionary divergence, family pedigrees, ownership of genetic information, gene and environment interactions, personalized medicine, behavioral genetics, genetics and reproduction, and pharmacogenomics.