Elective Courses

Immunology, Pathology & Infectious Disease electives

Course Number, Title, and Synopsis

Course Details

PAMM 857. Introductory Immunobiology
A study of the basic concepts and mechanisms of modern immunology with discussion of the applications of these principles to the study of diseases.
Course Director: T. McDonald and G. Thiele
Prerequisite: None
Offered: Spring (annually) 
Credits: 2
PAMM 871. Antibiotics: Mechanisms of Action and Resistance 
This course is designed to give students an in-depth understanding of how antibiotics inhibit growth in bacterial cells. Genetics of the mechanisms of resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics within both gram-negative and -positive bacteria will be covered extensively. In addition, pros and cons of various antimicrobial-resistance testing methodologies will be assessed and discussed. 
Course Director: P. Fey
Prerequisite: None. PAMM 898 (Microbiology) is suggested. Enrollment needs instructor approval.
Offered: Spring (every 2-3 years)
Credits: 3
PAMM 880. Principles and Methodologies in Cancer Research 
The course surveys the biology and biochemical mechanisms underlying cancer development, prevention, and therapy. Also listed as BIOC 841, PHAR 880, or PHSC 880.
Course Directors: X. Luo, R. Lewis.
Prerequisite: IPBS 801, 802, 803 (BRTP 821, 822, 823 and 824) or equivalent, permission of instructor.
Offered: Spring (annually)
Credits: 2
PAMM 890. The Molecular Biology of Viruses  
The principles of molecular biology and their application to the study of virology will be discussed in seminar format, drawing largely on the current literature. The contributions of virology to the understanding of general mechanisms of pathogenesis will be discussed.
Course Director: St. P. Reid

Offered: Spring
Credits:3 

PAMM 898. Bacterial Genetics  
This course will cover the principles of bacterial genetics including genome structure, DNA replication and recombination, transcription and translation, as well as quorum sensing and environmental sensing.
Course Director: S. Ouellette

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Offered: Spring (every 2 years)
Credits: 3

PAMM 910. Bacterial Pathogenesis   
This course explores the genetic mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis in both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria as well as the immunological response of the host to these pathogens. Particular importance will be placed on major pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, pathogenic Escherichia coli, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, lesser studied pathogens will also be discussed.
Course Director: E. Rucks and P. Fey
Prerequisite: IPBS 801, 802, 803 Permission of instructor. 
Offered: Variable
Credits: 3 

PAMM 930. Neuroimmunology  (Also listed as PHAR 930)
The objective of this course is to provide essential knowledge towards a better understanding of the principles of neuroimmunology and pharmacology as they apply to the pathogenesis and pharmacotherapeutics of neurodegenerative disorders and disorders in which the immune system is implicated.
Course Director: L. Mosley

Prerequisite: Second semester of 2nd and 3rd year graduate students who have completed IPBS 801 and IPBS 802 , and one GCBA Neurobiology course (922 or 932) or M.D./Ph.D. students fully engaged in their graduate studies. A background in immunology, such as a Medical Immunology course is highly recommended.
Offered: Spring
Credits: 3 
PAMM 940. Molecular Basis of Human Disease  
Beginning with an overview of human genetics, including classical and contemporary methods of genetic analysis, the course explores the relationship between genetic diversity and disease. Human biochemical genetics and inborn errors of metabolism illustrate how specific phenotypes result from specific gene changes. Genetice polymorphism, selection and fitness are also explored with regard to the interactions among human populations and with the environment.
Course Director: S. Carson and M. Godfrey 
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor, 800-level Biochemistry, and BRTP 821 or 822.
Offered: Spring (every other) 
Credits: 3 

PAMM 950 Special Topic Series

PAMM 950 Special Topics: Basic Pathology for the Researcher
The emphasis of this course is to provide investigators with a foundation in basic pathologic principles and identification of changes that diseases cause in tissue at the gross and microscopic level. It provides a basic introduction to tissue histology and major classes of disease, organized around general pathologic processes.  The material covered is similar to what is covered in portions of the medical school curriculum, but with stronger emphasis on basic science mechanisms causing disease.  Students will apply the concepts covered in the course to their own research projects. The course also incorporates a lecture-laboratory format. Laboratory sessions involve microscopic examination of diseased tissues using virtual microscopy and gross examination of human organ specimens.
Course Director: G. Talmon

Prerequisite: Basic cell biology, immunology, bacterial pathogenesis, cancer biology (recommended)

Credits: 2
PAMM 950. Special Topics: Topics in Bacterial Physiology and Metabolism  
This course familiarizes students with known aspects of staphylococcal biology (including Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci) including pathogenesis, metabolism, regulatory pathways, and biofilm. It is designed as a literature and discussion based course.
Course Director: V. Thomas
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Credits: 2
PAMM 950. Special Topics: Drug discovery against infectious diseases
This course explores the drug discovery against infectious diseases and their role in modern medicine. Our approach will combine principles, pathways and discovery and give you the opportunity to see the development of drugs in the present world. Readings, lectures and following research development will help you develop an understanding of how researchers develop ideas into useful medicine to make people healthy.
Course Director: P. Narayanasamy

Prerequisite: N/A
Credits: 2
Offered: Fall (every other)

PAMM 950. Special Topics: Molecular Disease Processes Related to Diagnostic Measures
This course explores molecular processes underlying selected diseases that provide for targets used for diagnostic purposes. The course will explore the process used by laboratory scientists to design a test de novo with emphasis on the underlying molecular process.  While the scope of disease and molecular biology is large, the course will use selected examples that include processes at the DNA or RNA level and the biochemical or enzymatic level.  The course will utilize a diagnostic test and explore how it provides insight into the disease process.  The approach will prepare the student in the use of the terminology associated with laboratory testing and disease characterization, combining principles, pathways and discovery.  The course will utilize readings, tutorials to assist in understanding how lab tests are created and what information is conveyed in a lab test result.
Course Director: S. Hinrichs

Prerequisite: N/A
Credits: 3
Offered: Fall (every other)

PAMM 950. Special Topics: Host Defense Peptides and Human Disease
This course is designed to provide a current view on host defense peptides, which are key elements of innate immunity (thus also called innate immune peptides). The course is organized based on the unified peptide classification scheme and will systematically deal with the discovery, prediction, design, mechanisms of action, and potential applications of these peptides. Finally, the course will discuss the relationship of antimicrobial peptides with human disease, including their role in shaping the microbiota. Through this course, students will get familiar with a range of modern technologies such as database and structural biology.
Course Director: G. Wang

Prerequisite: N/A
Credits: 1
Offered: Fall (every other)
PAMM 955. Advanced Immunology     
Conceptual study of cellular and biomolecular immunology. Includes mechanisms of immune recognition, regulatory and effector functions, interleukins and clinical immunology, with discussion of current literature. 
Course Director: K. Sun
Prerequisite: PAMM 857 Introductory Immunobiology
Offered: Fall (annually).
Credits:3
BIOS 806. Biostatistics I
This course is designed to prepare the graduate student to understand and apply biostatistical methods needed in the design and analysis of biomedical and public health investigations. The major topics to be covered include types of data, descriptive statistics and plots, theoretical distributions, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and one-way analysis of variance. A brief introduction to correlation and univariate linear regression will also be given. The course is intended for graduate students and health professionals interested in the design and analysis of biomedical or public health studies.
 Credits: 3
BIOI 8866. Bioinformatics Algorithms
The main objective of this course is to provide an organized forum for learning about recent developments in Bioinformatics, particularly, from the algorithmic standpoint. The course will present basic algorithmic concepts in Bioinformatics and show how they are connected to molecular biology and biotechnology. Standard topics in the field such as restriction mapping, motif finding, sequence comparison, and database search will be covered. The course will also address problems like next generation sequencing, DNA arrays, genome rearrangements and biological networks.
Prerequisite: CSCI 3320 and BIOL 1450 or permission of instructor.
3 credits 

CRGP 910 Intensive Training in Translational Cancer Research
This course provides graduate students with training opportunities in "bench-to-bedside" approaches that integrate basic and patient-oriented research for the improvement of cancer detection and treatment.

Prerequisite:  Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Human Subject Research Course.
Offered: Fall
Credits: 3

MGCB 815 Tools and Algorithms in Bioinformatics
This course covers most of the commonly used tools for bioinformatics data analysis. The main objectives of this course are to briefly explain the underling algorithms (methods) of various data analysis tools and to provide hands-on practice opportunities to students using a real datasets. Typically, each bioinformatic tool will be covered in a 3 hours session that includes a lecture and a lab session. This course will introduce the field of bioinformatics and cover the major bioinformatic tools that are used for analyzing a broad spectrum of bioinformatic datasets.

Typically Offered: FALL
Credits: 3

PAMM 912 Human-Specific Disease Modeling in Mice (Also listed as PHAR 902)
This course introduces the novel mouse models engrafted with human cells, to study human-specific diseases. The course covers research methodologies: 1. For the creation of specific mouse backgrounds that are compatible for the engraftment of human cell, tissue and tumors. 2. To study (a). human-specific infections and immune responses, (b). developmental biology and regeneration of human cells and tissues, and (c). therapeutics development.
Course Director: L. Poluektova and S. Gorantla

Prerequisite: IPBS 801, 802 and 803, and permission of instructor.
Offered: Spring (annually) 2 credits

Additional courses may be taken due to student interest or on advice of the supervisory committee.

PAMM 813. Principles of Biosafety (Also listed as ENV 813, CPH 599)
This course is designed for graduate students and health professionals to explore biosafety principles and practices with the purpose of developing a Biorisk Management approach to biosafety.  This will enable participants to effectively identify, monitor and control the laboratory biosafety and biosecurity aspects of activities.  This integrated education will allow the student to recognize risky activities from unintentional and intentional incidents involving biological materials and develop mitigation strategies to reduce exposures to these materials. The student will participate in hands-on training using engineering controls as well as administrative controls.  Competencies in donning and doffing personal protective equipment and use of a biosafety cabinet will be discussed and assessed.  Participants will also learn how to develop a risk mitigation plan following the identification of hazards and risk assessment. The targeted audience include doctoral students interested in occupational health, researchers, professional students, and the biosafety profession.
Course Directors: P. Iwen and R. Alter

Prerequisite: None
Offered: Fall
Credits: 3

PAMM 825. Introduction to R programming for Biomedicine
The main objective of this course is to introduce R programming language and data manipulation methods for graduate students in health field who currently need support from others for complicated data processing and analysis. Major topics include basic concepts of R, data manipulation and processing, statistical analysis, graphical presentation, basic simulation, genomic databases retrieval, and commonly used R packages.
Course Director: W. Zhang

Prerequisite: BIOS806/CPH506 or an equivalent introductory statistics course
Offered: Fall/Spring
Credits: 3

PAMM 830. Clinical Laboratory Management I
This course introduces the theory, practical application and evaluation of laboratory management principles in health care and laboratory information systems, research, educational methodology, quality control, ethics, laboratory operations, and laboratory accreditation standards. Opportunities for building critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, communication, professionalism, research, management, and leadership skills are provided. 
Course Director: K. Honeycutt

Prerequisite: Enrolled in MS in PAMM Program focused on CLS training.
Instructor permission 
Offered: Fall (annually) 
Credits: 3 

PAMM 873. Introduction to Computerized Genetic Sequence Analysis
Fundamentals of using online search techniques for the analysis of genetic sequence databases. The course will be taught in UNMC computer clusters by lecture and by the completion of assignments using computer programs available on campus. Programming experience is not required. Also known as
Bioc 873. 
Course Director: D. Bastola 
Prerequisite: Intro to Computational Molecular Biology, undergraduate course in biochemistry or molecular biology, or permission of instructor.
Offered: Spring
Credits: 2
CRGP 940 Short Course in Cancer Biology
Seminar series related to cancer research
Course Director: Varies

Offered: Summer (annually)
Credits: 1

CIP 814 Scientific Writing
A lecture/discussion-based course focusing on the writing skills needed to prepare each section of a manuscript for submission to scientific journals, as well as figure design, use of reference software and responding to reviewer critiques.
Prerequisite: Second or higher year of graduate study.
Offered: Fall/Spring (annually)
Credits: 1
CIP 817  Applied Scientific Writing
This practicum develops the writing skills needed to prepare each section of a manuscript for submission to a scientific journal, as well as figure design, use of reference software and responding to reviewer critiques. Students must have sufficient research data to support a preliminary manuscript, which will be constructed through completion of individualized assignments throughout the course. 
Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in CIP 814, and permission of instructor.
Offered: Fall/Spring (annually)
Credits: 1
GCBA 907 Teaching & Research Presentation Skills
This course focuses on the development of the fundamental skills required for making effective presentations in both a classroom and research context.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Offered: Spring (annually)
Credits: 2

MMI 921. Clinical Applications of Molecular Diagnostics
Clinical Applications of Molecular Diagnostics is a graduate course that emphasizes the clinical utility of
modern molecular diagnostics. This course is designed as a human genetics course that prepares graduate students with the knowledge required to apply molecular techniques to modern medicine, including clinical testing and diagnosis.

Offered: Spring
Credits: 2

MMI 922. Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory Techniques
Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory Techniques is a graduate course that emphasizes the clinical utility of modern molecular diagnostics. This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn about and perform common molecular techniques, including, but not limited to, DNA extraction, electrophoresis, PCR, sequencing, and genomic microarray. In addition, this course will promote the development of analysis and troubleshooting skills for the aforementioned techniques, as well as educate students about quality control and regulations required in the clinical diagnostic laboratory setting.

Offered: Spring
Credits: 2