Offered part-time by Boston University’s Metropolitan College (MET) in collaboration with BU’s School of Medicine, the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences (BLCS) prepares students for jobs and careers in the fields of biotechnology and clinical research.
As one of the world’s preeminent biomedical centers, Boston offers excellent job opportunities in biotechnology and clinical research. You can enter into this rewarding sector with the BLCS program, which combines general undergraduate education with special technical training that reflects the rapid pace of innovation at the forefront of life sciences research. In this BU MET program, you’ll find courses in both basic and advanced theoretical and practical biomedical scientific areas, along with lecture and laboratory courses in molecular biology, protein purification, tissue culture, Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP), and other topics relevant to the biotech and biopharmaceutical industries. Clinical research courses offered prepare you for work in the world of clinical trials. Undergraduate certificate programs in clinical research and biotechnology are also available.
The time required to earn the BLCS degree varies based on individual schedules, transferable credits, and the pace students establish for themselves to complete the program.
The BLCS curriculum consists of 128 credits, to be earned in four distinct components:
Distribution requirements (48 credits)
Major required courses and major elective courses (56–62 credits)
Free electives (8 credits)
Externship/clinical research practicum (10–16 credits)
Program at a Glance
- On Campus
- 128 Credits
- 24–36 Months
- 2 Core Faculty
A Foundation for Success in Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences
Metropolitan College’s Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences undergraduate degree will equip you with:
- Proficiency in communicating and applying the fundamental concepts of molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry.
- Resourcefulness in researching and evaluating relevant and scientifically sound information from a variety of databases and academic sources.
- Proficiency in applying essential technical and laboratory math skills to common laboratory procedures.
- Competence in displaying and interpreting quantitative data.
- An ability to identify appropriate career and continuing education goals based on self-assessment of academic, technical, and professional skills, and knowledge of opportunities in the biomedical field.
Why Complete Your Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences Bachelor’s at BU MET?
- Engaged Faculty: In BU MET’s Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences bachelor’s program, an exceptional student-to-instructor ratio ensures close interaction with highly qualified faculty who draw from active research and substantial professional achievements in areas such as biomedical sciences, clinical and scientific research, and biotech.
- Medical Practice: Our partnership with BU’s School of Medicine helps you get invaluable field experience in world-class environments.
- Extensive Network: Study principles of bioscience and lab work alongside peers with professional experience, learn from faculty who have valuable contacts in the sciences, and benefit from a global alumni community with strong connections.
- Student Support: Benefit from access to personalized professional academic advice from the team of academic counselors in MET Student Services.
- Valuable Resources: Make use of Boston University’s extensive resources, including the Center for Career Development, Educational Resource Center, Fitness & Recreation Center, IT Help Centers, Mugar Memorial Library, Center for Antiracist Research, Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, George Sherman Union, Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering, and many others.
- Flexible Schedule: Pursue your studies part-time, at the pace that works for you, evenings on campus.
- Affordable Tuition: Complete your bachelor’s part-time at BU at a substantial savings compared to full-time study.
- Financial Assistance: Undergraduate students at BU MET are eligible for a range of financial aid and community-minded scholarship opportunities designed to support those investing in their education part-time who still need to navigate full-time responsibilities.
More at MET:
Biology, Bachelor's Degree
The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology provides fundamental knowledge in biological and related sciences. Students learn to appreciate the unity and diversity of living systems and gain an understanding of basic biological principles and processes.Learn more
Biotechnology, Undergraduate Certificate
The Undergraduate Certificate in Biotechnology is designed for professionals looking to acquire additional skills and knowledge in one of Massachusetts’ strongest growth industries.Learn more
Clinical Research, Undergraduate Certificate
The Undergraduate Certificate in Clinical Research trains health professionals to contribute to the design, conduct, and analysis of clinical trials.Learn more
Flexible, Part-Time Degree Completion—at Boston University
The BS in Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences at Boston University’s Metropolitan College is a self-paced bachelor’s degree completion program offered in a convenient, part-time evening format—ideal for busy professionals who seek to earn a Boston University degree without turning their personal lives upside down or putting their careers on hold. Along with self-paced programs in a variety of majors, MET also offers the structured, two-year Accelerated Degree Completion Program—leading to bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science or Management Studies—and an online Undergraduate Degree Completion Program.
A variety of undergraduate certificate programs provide the opportunity for focused study in a specific subject. Certificates can work into select degree programs at MET, offer breadth to current studies, or build professional skills and knowledge.
In addition to the Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences program, BU MET and the School of Medicine also offer undergraduate certificates in Biotechnology and Clinical Research, ideal for those looking to acquire in-demand skills that have less time for a degree program.
Additionally, MET’s Certificate in Biotechnology is an approved training program under Section 30 of the Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance Law. Section 30 allows the Division of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) to waive an active work search by claimants who meet certain eligibility requirements. In addition, claimants can continue to collect their UI benefits while in approved training. For information about the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development Training Opportunities Program (TOP), or for a list of Section 30-approved training programs, visit mass.gov/lwd/unemployment-insur/programs-and-services-for-claimants.
Bachelor’s in Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences Curriculum
A total of 32 courses (128 credits) is required.
(Twelve courses/48 credits)
Distribution requirements comprise basic science and liberal arts courses. Courses taken at other institutions may satisfy some of these requirements.
Required for all undergraduate degrees. Reinforces basic skills in communication necessary for college work. Instruction and practice in fundamentals of critical writing, reading, and thinking. Lectures combined with seminars on vital current social, political, psychological, and philosophical issues. Students choose their seminars. Frequent papers; individual conferences.
MET EN104 Section Descriptions for Fall 2020:
Section A1 -- EN 104 (B. Barents) - "Boston Zeal, Insanity, and Lawlessness"
Boston has captivated the imagination of locals and outsiders alike for centuries, not only as "The Hub" or "The Athens of America" but also as "Suck City" and the town with "dirty water." In this seminar, we will look at Boston as subject and setting of a number of very different short works in order to understand the social, political, historical, and artistic forces that have shaped this great American city, and to figure out whether its often-negative portrayal is deserved. We will debate, discuss, and question how such influences shape a culture or define a city, examining nonfiction from Dennis Lehane, Nick Flynn, and Susanna Kaysen; fiction by Dennis Lehane; and poetry by Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, and Robert Frost. We'll also view film excerpts from Good Will Hunting, The Departed, Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, Manchester by the Sea, and Spotlight.
Does not give concentration credit. Practice in writing narration, exposition, argument and persuasion, the critical essay, and the research paper. Related readings. Class discussion of papers. Individual conferences. Students enroll in specific seminars. Limited enrollment. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following areas: Research and Information Literacy; Writing, Research and Inquiry.
EN 201 - A1 (Bennett) -- "Contemporary Fiction's Otherworldly Glow"
In this course, our reading will take us to Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, regions more culturally different than some might imagine. Our close reading, however, will reinforce the universality of the human condition as we examine issues of race, class, gender, and ethnicity. We will encounter colonialism, war, love, and political intrigue in four twenty- first century novels: Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go, Hala Alyan's Salt Houses, Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss, and Luis Alberto Urrea's The House of Broken Angels.
EN 201 - A2 (Grabianowski) -- "Imagining Ourselves, Imagining the Landscape, Imagining Technology"
Can humans muster the imagination and the ethical grit necessary to create a sustainable and livable future where freedom, equality and human rights are respected? How can scientific insight, technological advancement, business interests and the humanities find common ground in creating such a world? Could revisiting the powers of imagination provide some answers? Could insights derived from thousands of years of living in a natural landscape help humans to better understand the opportunities and limitations of our current technological landscape? In this section of English 201, we will consider what insights the long history of the imagination can offer us into the awe-inspiring wonders of nature and how they have contributed to unlocking the hidden capacities of the human mind. We will first take a look at the deep currents of imagination going back to the ancient philosophers like Heraclitus. We will then, over the course of the semester, consider how 19th and 20th century poets, novelists, theoretical physicists and environmentalists like Nathaniel Hawthorne, William Wordsworth, S.T. Coleridge, E.M. Forster, Gary Snyder, Albert Einstein, David Bohm, and Aldo Leopold have addressed the practical and ethical issues that arise at the intersection of nature, technology and society. Based on student interests, the background of these texts will allow us to shine new light on the social, environmental and technological issues of our day like cyborgs and the future of AI, the ethics of genetic engineering, machines with human purposes, big data, human relationships in the age of social media and fake news, the failures of modern education, and the rise of sustainability and ecological economics. We will discuss how contemporary scientists, poets, technology industry leaders, and writers like Herman Daly and Sherry Turkle seek to rediscover in a modern context how we can forge deeper and more meaningful relationships with ourselves, nature, and each other by re-discovering the capacities of our innate imaginative powers to grapple with the rapid transformation of our technological existence. We will harness these perspectives to think critically about writing itself as a technology and about how understanding it better can draw us nearer to the finer points of the writing process.
Four credits in MET MA 113 or higher
MA 113 may not be taken for credit by any student who has completed any MA course numbered 300 or higher. Students may receive credit for not more than one of the following courses: MET MA 113, MA 213, or CAS MA 113, MA 115, or MA 213. Basic concepts of estimation and tests of hypotheses, ideas from probability; one-, two-, and multiple-sample problems. Applications in social sciences. Primarily for students in the social sciences who require a one- semester introduction to statistics, others should consider CAS MA 115 or MA 213. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Quantitative Reasoning II.
Computers and Their Applications
For students with no prior experience with computers. Organization and function of computer systems; application of computers in today's society; social impact of computers. Introduction to algorithms, various types of application packages, and the Internet. Not for computer science majors. Laboratory course.
Introductory Biology for Health Sciences (N)
Principles of biology: emphasis on cellular structure, heredity, development, and organic evolution. Intended for nonmajors as well as for those concentrating in the health and paramedical sciences. Laboratory course. Three hours lecture, two hours lab. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Quantitative Reasoning I, Scientific Inquiry I, Research and Information Literacy.
General Chemistry I (N)
For science concentrators, premedical students, and students in related fields. Stoichiometry, states of matter, acids and bases, equilibrium, and selected chemical systems. Laboratory course. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion, three hours lab per week, and one hour postlab discussion per week. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I.
Principles of General Chemistry (N)
Introduction to chemistry: separation and purification of matter, atomic theory, structure of atoms, molecules and chemical bonding, chemical formulas, equations, stoichiometry; water, solutions, concentration, acids, bases, pH and buffers; gases; reaction kinetics and equilibrium, and radioactivity. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion, one hour prelab lecture, and three hours lab. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I.
Four credits in a 100- or 200-level MET EN literature course or MET HU 221
Major Authors I
Introduction to major works of ancient and medieval European literatures that influenced later Continental, English, and American literature: the Bible, Homeric epic, Greek Tragedy, Virgil's Aeneid, and Dante's The Divine Comedy.
Four credits in the humanities (H)
Four credits in the social sciences (S)
Four credits in the humanities (H) or social sciences (S)
Major and Related Courses
A total of 30 credits, completed with a grade of C or higher, is required. Major requirements are drawn from courses in the biomedical sciences taught on BU’s School of Medicine campus. (Courses are four credits unless otherwise indicated.)
Medical Terminology 1
Understanding medical terminology is fundamental for anyone working in the sciences. It is the language of the technician or researcher involved in biotechnology, biomedical investigations, or clinical research. Students learn the analysis and construction of medical words within a context of scientific concepts. After the basics, students learn the anatomy and diseases of the following systems: male and female reproductive, cardiovascular, respiratory, and blood. Technology fee applies to online section only.
Introduction to Biomedical Laboratory Sciences
Prereq: One semester of biology, two semesters of chemistry and BT 208 (Ess. Math for Biotech) or consent of program director. Provides a theoretical and practical foundation in laboratory science. Students are introduced to the scientific method, laboratory mathematics, chemistry, biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, and immunology. Students learn hands-on solution making, electrophoresis, protein quantitation and other commonly used laboratory methods. Emphasis is placed on lab safety, proper handling of instruments, careful following of written instructions for lab procedures, maintenance of lab notebooks, and data collection, presentation and analysis. Laboratory course.
Scientific Writing and Communication
This course will provide students with training in fundamental writing mechanics, basic scientific writing, and oral presentations. The class will help to develop the ability to communicate science effectively in a variety of contexts, including how to present science to non-expert audiences. The course will be taught in two parts: Part-1: Will teach and reiterate fundamental writing skills that students need to master in order to write clearly, concisely, and effectively; Part-2: Will contain a number of writing and presentation exercises that prepare students to write a full-length report of a scientific study. Examples of class topics include: Defining what is good writing; Writing basics--punctuation, grammar, parallelism; Paragraphs, logic flow and organization; Dissecting a scientific abstract, etc.
Essential Math for Biotechnology
Prereq: College algebra. This course prepares students for math calculations commonly used in biotech/biomedical laboratories, and in BLCS courses such as BT 110 (Intro Biomed Lab Sci), BT 411 (Protein Purific.), and BT 454 (Cell Culture). Topics include scientific notation, metric system, solution concentration, dilutions, and logarithmic scales. Some classes are held in the laboratory so that students can apply math skills to solution making, serial dilutions and standard curves. Students also develop strategies for solving word problems and explore the essential elements of data organization, summarization and presentation. Some laboratory exercises.
Introduction to Biomedical Research Laboratory Techniques
Prereq: GMS BT110 and GMS BT208. This course will focus on the fundamental laboratory skills that students need to prepare for a career in the biomedical sciences. The course emphasizes the theoretical as well as the applied aspects of basic methodologies in research. The course is reinforced with applied, hands-on laboratory sessions that provides practical experience in the topics covered in the preceding lectures. The majority of class time will be designed to provide students with ample hands-on time in the lab to practice their skills in the presence of the course instructor. The course will focus on providing students with a set of basic laboratory skills, such as safety practices, laboratory mathematics, documentation, and good laboratory ethics. Students will also be educated in research methodology, data analysis, and data presentation. Topics covered include solution chemistry; protein extraction and detection using Western blot and ELISA; the basic principles of immunohistochemistry; cell culture basics, and RNA extraction. Students, even those with some previous laboratory hands-on experience, will benefit from this course because of its combined focus on the theoretical and applied aspects of laboratory techniques/methods. The proposed topics of study would include: Introduction to Proteins Protein Detection Methods; Gene Expression; Principles of Immunohistochemistry and Protein Colonization; Microscopy and Imaging, etc.
Prereq: GMS BT110, GMS BT208, and GMS BT301. This course introduces students to eukaryotic cell structure and function, and covers various cellular components -- including the plasma membrane, mitochondria and the cytoskeleton -- and examine their roles in the cell. Additionally, students explore essential cellular processes including cell communication and the cell cycle. The course also highlights the unique features of some specialized cell types such as germ and stem cells.
Prereq: Satisfactory completion of 1 semester of college biology with lab, 2 semesters of college chemistry with lab, and GMS BT342. This course introduces students to the fundamental biochemical principles that underlie cell function. Topics include the structure and function of biomolecules, including proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids, as well as the metabolic pathways involved in their synthesis and degradation. Emphasis is given to metabolic regulation and mechanisms of enzyme action.
And one selected from the following:
General Chemistry II (N)
For science concentrators, premedical students, and students in related fields. Covers thermodynamics, atomic structure and bonding, electrochemistry, chemical kinetics, and selected chemical systems. Laboratory course. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion, three hours lab, and one hour postlab discussion per week. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I.
Principles of Organic and Biochemistry (NS)
Introduction to organic and biochemistry: Classes of organic compounds and biomolecules; nomenclature, physical properties and reactions of organic molecules; techniques for synthesizing, isolating and characterizing molecules; structure, reactivity and properties of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids; structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids and membranes; and the biochemical pathways associated with sugar and lipid metabolism. Three hours lecture, one hour discussion, one hour pre-lab lecture, and three hours lab. Carries natural science divisional credit (with lab) in CAS. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Scientific Inquiry II.
Elementary Physics (N)
Assumes a knowledge of algebra and trigonometry. Satisfies premedical requirements. Principles of classical and modern physics: mechanics, heat, light, electricity and magnetism, and atomic and nuclear physics. Fundamental concepts of energy; conservation laws, energy sources, and transformations. Lectures, discussions, and laboratory. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Quantitative Reasoning I, Critical Thinking.
Major electives provide working knowledge in a range of relevant fields, including molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, pathology, regulatory and compliance issues, and bioinformatics. Students choose from a wide range of offerings, and may concentrate on an area of their choosing.
The number of major courses depends upon the area of interest, length of the research practicum, and the number of transfer credits (courses are four credits unless otherwise indicated). A grade of C or higher is required. Students select courses in consultation with their academic advisor. Major course choices include, but are not limited to, the following:
Medical Terminology 2
Prereq: GMS BT 104 (Med Term 1) or consent of program director. Continue building your medical vocabulary as you learn the anatomy and diseases of the following systems: digestive, urinary, lymphatic/immune and endocrine. Technology fee applies to online section only.
This course introduces students to the basic sciences of biotechnology (cell biology, immunology, DNA/molecular biology) and describes DNA technologies used in gene therapy and microarray technology and in the production of recombinant protein drugs, antibodies, vaccines, and transgenic animals/plants. The challenges of bringing protein drugs from R&D through large scale manufacturing and the FDA approval process are also discussed. First half of spring semester.
Prereq: BT 160. Recent innovations in the fields of molecular biology, immunology and cell biology have provided new insights into the pathogenesis of cancer, infectious diseases, and other intractable diseases. The biotech industry has contributed immensely to this progress and has furthermore accelerated the development of cutting-edge technologies that promise to deliver more effective drugs, vaccines and diagnostics. Biotechnology 2 explores some of the ways in which biotechnology has impacted medicine. Students participate in this exploration through readings of recent scientific articles, class discussions and library/internet research. Second half of spring semester.
Anatomy and Physiology 1
Prereq: One semester of biology. This course provides a practical understanding of anatomic structures and coordinates this knowledge with the various functions of the human body. Also explored are regulatory processes that integrate cells, tissues, organs and systems. Topics include: organization of the body, tissue development, cellular structure and function as well as the integumentary (skin), skeletal, and muscular systems. The last third of the course focuses on the nervous system. The course incorporates clinical material throughout.
Anatomy and Physiology 2
Prereq: GMS BT 201 (A&P 1) or consent of program director. This course is the second half of an intensive sequence designed to integrate the structure with the function of the human body. The course covers the endocrine, cardiovascular, lymphatic and immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. Students study these systems as they relate to homeostasis and clinical disorders. Laboratory exercises on each system are incorporated into the course materials.
Medical Writing in Clinical Research
Prereq: GMS BT 560 GCP or equivalent or consent of program director. This course introduces students to the structure, content, and regulatory requirements of documents created for the clinical research industry. Students learn about FDA regulations and ICH guidelines for drugs and biologics, the AMA Manual of Style, and other common industry standards. Students learn to apply these industry standards to compose clinical research documents such as a clinical study protocol, informed consent form, and clinical study results.
Current Good Manufacturing Practices and Quality Assurance
Prereq: BT 110 (Intro Biomed Lab Sci). This course provides a detailed knowledge of the role of Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) and a Quality Department in the development and manufacture of biopharmaceutical products. Topics include the goals and obligations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a review of the CGMP subparts, and the responsibilities of a Quality Department in ensuring product quality. CGMPs are the FDA's minimal requirements for manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding of a drug product. Emphasis is on understanding the intent and practical application of these regulations. Topics include the regulations and historical perspective, quality control concepts, case studies and examples of FDA enforcement.
Disease and Public Health
Prereq: GMS BT 104 or 106 Medical Terminology or equivalent or permission of program director. This course is designed to familiarize students with concepts of public health as a field of study and how different diseases impact society. We will use the Boston Public Health Commission report on the "Health of Boston" as a template for learning about healthcare disparities, social justice, cancer screening, cancer incidence and mortality, infectious diseases and environmental factors that impact people and population health. Students will begin to make connections between previous coursework, such as cell biology, pathology and anatomy, as well as new concepts, including epidemiology, immunology and experimental designs, as they pertain to the study of human disease. The goal of the course is to give students a knowledge-base that can prepare them for thinking critically should they decide to work in a research, diagnostic or public health setting.
This course provides students with an introductory overview of the world of medical devices, from bandages to defibrillators. Students explore what the applicable regulations are, starting with the FDA, and how companies use these regulations to guide the design, development, and marketing of their products. Most classes contain an interesting mix of rules, realities, and renegades, that includes a unique component called, "At the Drugstore," where students focus an educated eye on commonly found items on the shelf. In addition, students learn about jobs and career opportunities within the medical device industry and how to gain entry into the field.
Prereq: BT 413 (MolBio) and computer proficiency. Bioinformatics is a practical discipline that informs basic science research as well as pharmaceutical development. The class is designed to introduce key bioinformatic principles and provide many opportunities to put those principles into practice on homework assignments and the term project. Key concepts of molecular biology will be reviewed in the first lecture. Subsequent lectures will introduce bioinformatic techniques in the context of a disease/application area-including infectious disease control, cancer, and next generation sequencing. Data from validated public databases will be used to solve real- world problems in class. At the end of the semester, we will look at exciting, new developments in the field and grapple with contemporary legal/ethical issues in biomedical informatics.
Auditing in Clinical Research
Clinical research auditing ensures that the rights, safety, and well being of the study subject have been protected and the clinical study data are credible. Auditing clinical trial activities provides the strict oversight of performance with the ultimate goal of having a successful submission and identifying opportunities for improvement. In this practical course, students learn how to prepare and conduct audits, write audit observations, create an audit report and review audit report responses. In addition, students learn how to manage audits by an outside agency. Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines and regulatory requirements are reviewed along with exploring the concept of a quality system and the writing of audit program Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Developing an audit plan is emphasized. Group discussions and role- playing are used to develop practical audit techniques. This class prepares a student for an introductory auditing position within clinical research.
Prereq: one semester of biology, two semesters of chemistry, and BT 110 (Intro Biomed Lab Sci). Focuses on techniques used to isolate and identify viral pathogens associated with human disease. Covers the biology, the immune response to viral infections, the genetics of viral replication, and viral pathogenesis. *Offered every other year.
Prereq: one semester of biology, intro biomed lab, and molecular biology or genetics, or consent of program director. Advanced course designed for those considering a clinical or research career in human genetics with an emphasis on clinical cytogenetics (chromosome testing). The course covers types of chromosome abnormalities, methodology, nomenclature and clinical significance in pregnancy, birth defects, and cancer. Laboratory work includes basic blood culture, chromosome preparation, banding, identification and karyotyping. The course also provides an updated review of latest cytogenetic methodology and applications, such as FISH, comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and array CGH lab. Also offered at graduate level. Laboratory course.
Prereq: BT 110 (Intro Biomed Lab Sci), BT 413 (Mol Bio), BT 436 (Genetics) or consent of program director. Advanced course designed for those considering a clinical or research career in human genetics. Emphasis is on clinical molecular genetics (DNA testing). The course covers types of genetic abnormalities, methodology, nomenclature and clinical significance in pregnancy, birth defects, and cancer. Laboratory work includes basic blood extraction, DNA preparation, gel electrophoresis, capillary electrophoresis, sequencing, and identification. The course also provides an updated review of latest molecular genetic methodology and applications, such as copy number analysis, chip based sequencing and next generation sequencing. Laboratory course.
Prereq: BT 342 (Cell Bio) and BT 413 (Mol Bio) or consent of program director. Cell culture techniques and knowledge of genetics is recommended. This course emphasizes the molecular and cellular interactions involved in immune response. Topics covered include innate immunity, antibody structure and function; applications of monoclonal antibodies in biotechnology and medicine; gene rearrangements in Band T cells; cellular cooperation and the role of MHC; tolerance; and immunopathology (hypersensitivity, autoimmunity, transplantation, AIDS, cancer immunity and immunotherapy). Lab techniques include Flow Cytometry (FACs), ELISA, cell proliferation and death, and assays of immune function.
Biomedical Instrumentation and Imaging
Prereqs: GMS BT110 Intro to Biomed Lab Sciences, GMS BT405 Biochemistry, GMS BT342 Cell Biology (or equivalent courses) and knowledge of molecular biology. This course examines the scientific principles and proper uses of optical instruments commonly found in modern biomedical laboratories. Students will learn hands-on fundamentals of assay development, using instruments such as luminometers, spectrophotometers, fluorometers, fluorescence microscopes, plate readers, bioimagers, and real-time PCR thermocyclers. Principles of sound experimental design, including the use of appropriate controls and consideration of instrument sensitivity, will be addressed using the students' own experiments as well as examples from the scientific literature. Students will process their data, including microscope images using computer freeware. At the end of the course students will present, interpret, and critically discuss their results with faculty and researchers during a poster session. Laboratory course.
Prereq: one semester of biology and two semesters of chemistry. Provides the student with an understanding of clinically important microorganisms. Students become familiar with the classification, pathogenicity, identification, and prevention and treatment of diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, and parasites as well as the workings of a modern clinical microbiology laboratory. Laboratory course.
Focuses on the successful management of a research or diagnostic laboratory. Topics covered include leadership development, quality improvement, record keeping, process control, computer skills, good laboratory practices, human resources, finance and communication skills. A broader introduction to healthcare management is also included. Guest lecturers from industry, hospitals, and research laboratories are featured.
Basic Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease
Prereq: BT 104 and BT 342. This course is designed to familiarize students with the cellular and molecular basis of many different types of diseases, including infectious diseases and genetic disorders. Students begin to make connections between previous coursework, such as cell biology and anatomy. Students also learn new concepts, histology, and experimental design, as they pertain to the study of human disease. The goal of the course is to give student a knowledge base that can prepare them for thinking critically about pathology should they decide to work in a laboratory researching disease or to pursue further education in a disease-related field.
Prereq: one semester of biology and two semesters of chemistry, BT 342 (Cell Bio) or BT 413 (Mol Bio). This course focuses on human genetics with a strong emphasis on the relationship between DNA structure, disease manifestation, and inheritance. The course reviews the molecular mechanisms underlying the flow of information within a cell from DNA to protein, population genetics, genetics of immunity and cancer, reproductive technologies, epigenetics, genomics and cancer stem cells. The class includes lectures and student presentations.
Genetics, Ethics, and the Law
This online class explores the newest information and legal and bioethical implications in human genetics, using audio-visuals, actual cases, discussions and lecture. Topics include: new reproductive techniques, genetic diseases, prenatal testing and genetic testing, DNA fingerprinting, cloning, and DNA technology. Online only; technology fee applies.
Issues in Assisted Reproduction
This course addresses the legal, ethical and scientific aspects of Assisted Reproduction (also called ART-Assisted Reproductive Techniques). The science of treating infertility has expanded amazingly in the last 15 years, from the use of sperm donors to selling eggs on the internet. Assisted Reproductive techniques are constantly changing and have given rise to many legal cases and ethical questions, which this course will. This course closely examines these legal and ethical questions. Online only; technology fee applies.
Prereq: one semester of biology, two semesters of chemistry, and BT 405 (Biochemistry). This course explores the role of toxicology as a safeguard to prevent injury from environmental chemicals and as a tool in the investigations of suspicious deaths. Case studies, videos showing how forensic evidence is used in court and group discussions will accompany lectures and demonstrations. Students also explore the role of legal and medical communities as well as governmental agencies in dealing with issues.
Cell Culture Techniques
Prereq: one semester of biology, two semesters of chemistry, BT 110 (Intro Biomed Lab Sci), BT 208 (Essential Math for Biotech) & BT 342 (Cell Bio). This course gives students a foundation in cell culture techniques used in modern cell culture labs. Topics include aseptic technique, freezing and thawing of cell stocks, passage and maintenance of cells, and culture of adherent and suspension cells. Emphasis is on practical hands-on experience. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to understand and follow basic cell culture protocols. Laboratory course.
Prereq: One semester of biology, two semesters of chemistry and BT 405 (Biochem). This course covers laboratory technologies utilized in the pre-clinical drug development phase with emphasis on the issues and challenges of molecular targeted therapeutics, a new paradigm in drug discovery. In addition, DNA, RNA and protein-based therapeutics, and gene and stem cell therapies are discussed. Students learn about translational technologies used to identify and validate drug targets, as well as lead optimization and selection of drug candidates. A hands-on laboratory component reinforces drug discovery concepts.
Prereq: One semester of biology, two semesters of chemistry, and BT 405 (Biochem). BT 575 (Design & Conduct of Clin Trials) recommended. This course explores how drugs developed at the bench transition to clinical testing and subsequently to the market. The translational approach in drug development is discussed as well as current translational technologies. Topics include the molecular and pathophysiological basis of select diseases; drug design; pre-clinical testing; clinical evaluation of drugs; regulatory requirements for drug approval; and the frontiers of translational research. Lectures are combined with discussions and presentations.
Prereq: One semester of biology, BT 413 (Mol Bio) or BT 436 (Genetics). This course explores principles of infection, host factors, epidemiology, treatment, prevention, and clinical approach to infection of different organs and systems as well as basic description of medically important infectious agents, i.e. bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Upon successful completion of this course students will understand principles of infection, its epidemiology, treatment, and prevention, as will have knowledge of major pathogens, including all of the significant etiologic agents of newly emerging infections, and will be able to critically assess the outstanding issues of infection control and prevention.
Planning and Operations in Clinical Research
Prereq: BT 560 (GCP), BT 575 (Design & Conduct of Clin Trials) or consent of program director. This course integrates a comprehensive review of the good clinical practice core principles and project management strategies applicable to clinical research. Through lectures, case studies and discussions, students examine the concepts and applied techniques for cost estimation, budgeting, allocation of resources, risk management and quality assurance for clinical research projects. Project management principles and methodologies are discussed with a special focus on planning, controlling, and coordinating individual and group efforts.
Advanced Biomedical Research Laboratory Techniques
This course will focus on more advanced laboratory skills that students would benefit from as they prepare for a career in the biomedical sciences. The course emphasizes the theoretical as well as the applied aspects of advanced research techniques in the biomedical sciences. The course is reinforced with applied, hands-on laboratory sessions that would provide practical experience in the topics covered in the preceding lectures. The majority of class time will be designed to provide students with ample hands-on time in the lab to practice their skills in the presence of the course instructor. The course will focus on providing students with a set of specialized laboratory skills, such as advanced cell culture practices, protein purification, and biospecimen processing and imaging. Students will also be educated in research methodology, data analysis, and data presentation. Topics covered include: transfections; reporter assays and a variety of optical assays; chromatography, electrophoresis and blotting techniques; dissection, tissue preservation techniques, and photomicroscopy. Students, even those with some previous laboratory hands-on experience, will benefit from this course because of its combined focus on the theoretical and applied aspects of advance laboratory techniques/methods.
Biology of Cancer
Prereq: BT 405 (Biochem) and BT 413 (Mol Bio) or consent of program director. This course focuses on the cellular and molecular changes that underlie the development and progression of human cancer. Students examine the pathways and processes that involve oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes to understand how they can contribute to cancer. Complex interactions including angiogenesis, tumor immunology, invasion and metastasis are studied as well. In addition,the course covers targeted approaches to cancer therapy and the latest scientific research including cancer epigenetics, microRNAs and cancer stem cells.
Prereq: one semester biology and 2 semesters of chemistry, BT405 recommended. This course introduces the basic principles of pharmacology and several major classes of therapeutic agents, with attention to their mechanisms of action. Issues of current and future directions in pharmacology are addressed including the source of information about pharmacologic agents, the ethics of human experimentation, the drug development process, and new biotechnological approaches to drug design.
Regulatory and Compliance Issues
Clinical research is conducted to meet the needs of the intended patient population with an investigational medical intervention. But a favorable medical outcome is not the only criterion that is used to judge whether a product can be marketed. Clinical research needs to meet the rigorous standards of the regulators, the ethicists, and the auditors. This course reviews the laws that are in place that are designed to guide the complexities of clinical research. We will use case studies to illustrate what can really happen when clinical studies are conducted -- you may be surprised with what you find. Using group activities and exercises, we will explore the options and approaches used to manage these clinical research issues. 4 cr.
Clinical Data Management
Introduces students to the technology, process, and responsibilities of clinical data management. Students examine study setup, case report form (CRF) design, and the data life cycle, including data collection, data validation, coding of adverse events using standard dictionaries (such as ICD-9 or MedDRA), data review, and database lock. Data Management SOP's are discussed within this context. An industry-leading clinical data management system (CDMS) is utilized. Students also explore how new technologies, such as electronic data capture (EDC), affect these processes.
Good Clinical Practices (GCP) in Clinical Research
This course introduces the international standards for ethical conduct of research and maintaining the highest level of scientific quality when conducting clinical trials. Topics include the regulatory responsibilities of sponsors, monitors, and investigators conducting clinical trials; the phases of clinical trials leading up to FDA approval of a new drug or device; and how to get a trial up and running including the selection of qualified investigators, obtaining approval to conduct the study from an ethics committee, and completing the regulatory documentation that is required for getting a site ready to enroll patients. The course also covers ensuring data integrity, handling ethical dilemmas, and reporting of serious adverse events. Case studies, review of current media, and exercises will be used to practice the application of information provided in class and to demonstrate GCP compliance from an industry perspective. Group discussions, individual and group projects, and guest speakers help students learn the practical skills used in the field.
Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials
Prereq: knowledge of biostatistics. This course covers basic principles and current methodologies used in the design and responsible conduct of clinical trials. Topics include statistical design of clinical trials, sample selection, data collection and management, patient recruitment strategies, adverse event reporting, and compliance monitoring. Practical exercises include writing clinical research protocols and informed consent forms, and designing case report forms.
Principles of Criminal Justice
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the criminal justice system (law enforcement, the courts, and corrections) while developing students' critical thinking skills. In addition to class lectures, the course provides multiple venues for learning, to include group activities, guest lectures, a prison tour, and carefully selected films that highlight some of the most contentious issues in criminal justice today.
An examination of project management concepts, including organizational forms, planning and control techniques, and the role of the project manager. Develops the skills vital to effective management of multidisciplinary tasks through lectures, case studies, and business simulations. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Teamwork/Collaboration.
Free electives allow students to complement and broaden their academic background based on career objectives and personal interests. Usually two courses (8 credits) are required—possibly more, depending on transfer credits—chosen with the advice of an academic counselor.
Students gain hands-on professional experience in their chosen field by working in a laboratory or clinical research environment. Research and Clinical Research practicums are available in clinical, industrial, and university settings, and assist students in meeting individual goals. Students must earn a minimum of 10 credits and may earn up to 16 credits with the director’s approval. The total number of credits earned in the Research Practicum will determine the number of major elective course credits required of students.
GMS BT 594/595 Clinical Research Practicum
Clinical Research Practicum
for Fall and Summer 1 semesters. Prereq: 16 credits in clinical research. Directed study offering direct experience with the conduct of a clinical trial. Student will work on a supervised project within an approved clinical research site. For matriculated students only; register via the program director.
Clinical Research Practicum
for Spring and Summer 2 semesters. Prereq: 16 credits in clinical research. Directed study offering direct experience with the conduct of a clinical trial. Student will work on a supervised project within an approved clinical research site. For matriculated students only; register via the program director.
Fall and Summer 1 semesters. Prereq: 16 credits in clinical research. This is course is a directed study that will provide BLCS students hands-on exposure to the clinical research field. The clinical research practicum will give students the opportunity to work closely with a mentor who is actively conducting clinical research studies within a clinical research institution or hospital setting. Students will be actively engaged in the development, execution, and/or evaluation of a clinical research project. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to: clinical trial planning, protocol development, Institutional Review Board and regulatory affairs, study monitoring and data analysis. Students may earn up to 4 credits for the clinical research practicum. The clinical research practicum is an un-paid internship course. Students who work in a clinical research lab can choose to conduct their practicum at their work site but their project must be distinct and separate from their job in order to receive credit. Clinical Research study is for matriculated students only; registration requires program director approval.
GMS BT 596/597 Research Practicum (total 10–16 credits)
This course will provide senior BLCS students the opportunity to gain hands-on laboratory research experience. The research practicum will give each student the opportunity to work closely with a BUSM faculty member on a hypothesis-driven research project. Students will be trained in a cutting-edge laboratory setting that will allow them to develop and practice various research methods/techniques in a guided/mentored study. Research projects will be either part of a study faculty are currently involved and/or a project faculty would like to pursue. Students will discuss and design a project with their faculty mentor and work in the lab to fulfill the calculated work hour requirements. (Biotechnology firms, clinical research organizations, and medical centers may accommodate students according to mutual needs.)
(Nine courses/36 credits)
Biomedical Laboratory & Clinical Sciences Faculty
Tuition & Financial Assistance
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