AISC602.0

Regenerative Biomedicine

Credits: 4 CREDITS (2P+2B)
Sites: HMS and Clinical Sites
Director(s): William Anderson, David Scadden
Offered: February
Location: HMS - Harvard Medical School (0)
Open to Exclerks: No (HMS only)
Description: Summary: Regenerative biomedicine aims to repair tissues and organs to restore normal function and is likely to become an increasingly important component of clinical medicine in the coming years. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is already in wide clinical use, while other regenerative therapies have entered the clinic more recently or are in clinical trials. The course will explore the role of stem and progenitor cells in tissue homeostasis, how defects in this process can lead to illness, and the role of stem cell therapy in the treatment of disease. The course will challenge students to think critically in the area of stem cell therapy and regenerative biology as it applies to clinical applications in stem cell transplantation, wound repair, and aging among others. Varied clinical experiences ranging from transplant medicine to cardiology will facilitate integration of basic science concepts and stimulate formulation of questions at the scientific frontier which will be explored during the course. Format of classroom-based sessions: Students will learn to critique literature and discuss fundamental principles in regenerative biomedicine in CBCL sessions. Prior to each classroom meeting, students will watch short videos and/or read primary literature in preparation for each topic. In addition, students will have a chance to explore the forefront of regenerative medicine with leading scientists and physicians via seminars and discussions. During the course, students will have a chance to develop and present their own ideas in a field they are interested in, with particular focus on how to communicate complex scientific ideas to listeners without much knowledge of science or medicine. Format of clinical/field experiences: In a change from last year, clinicians will bring patients to the classroom for a case discussion. The patients will represent conditions in which regenerative medicine currently (or in the immediate future) plays a role in treatments. Additionally, there will be two field trips for students to be exposed to how technological advancements in the field develop. Anticipated schedule: All AISCs are full time courses. Students are expected to devote at least 40 hours per week to scheduled sessions and preparatory work. This course will meet for four or five half-days in classroom sessions per week, and students will also have two half-days on field trips.