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Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine

MD/PhD Program

Molecular Basis of Medicine

Courses and Curricular Requirements

Students enrolled in the MD/PhD program complete the MD curriculum, four required PhD core courses, and their independent research. Students are also welcome to take any of the elective courses offered by the Feinstein Institute for Molecular Research.


Advanced Immunology
Elective

COURSE LEADERS: Barbara Sherry, PhD and Christine Metz, PhD

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:
Credit Hours: 3
Offered every three years (fall); next offered fall, 2015

COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course will present an integrated view of the molecular, biochemical and cellular events involved in innate and adaptive immune responses, as well as key concepts in autoimmunity, allergy and hypersensitivity, and immunodeficiency diseases. Lectures in each of the areas noted above will provide an overview of the current status of the field and address key research topics, current research literature, and incorporate active discussion by students culminating in a student-directed debate of topical, unresolved issues in the field of immunology.  

Core lectures will be complemented by interactive debate format sessions as well as lectures from visiting immunologists who will present their cutting-edge research, providing students with an up-to-date understanding of current advances in this rapidly moving field.  Emphasis will be placed upon clinical situations in which immune function is impaired leading to pathology. 

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Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Study Design
Elective

COURSE LEADER: Martin L. Lesser, PhD, EMT-CC

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  
Credit Hours: 3
Offered every 3 years (spring); next offered spring, 2018

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course covers descriptive statistics, exploratory and graphical methods, probability, probability distributions, sampling methods, estimation, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, sample size and power, linear regression and correlation, design of experiments, data transformations, logistic regression, survival analysis, design of case-control and cohort studies, design of clinical trials, data management and use of large data sets, statistical issues in diagnostic testing and screening, and an introduction to SAS statistical software.

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to design studies appropriately, analyze data, work productively with a biostatistician on complex analyses, and assess the appropriate use of statistics in published papers.
SCHEDULE TYPE: Lecture

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Critical Readings and Topics in Translational Medicine
Core (required)

COURSE LEADERS: Lionel Blanc, PhD, Anne Davidson, MBBS, and Patricio T. Huerta, PhD

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  
Credit Hours: 6
Offered annually (fall & spring)
Time: Tuesdays, 1:15-3:15pm

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  
This course consists of preparatory reading related to selected diseases or disorders, introductory discussions of the selected disorders led by faculty of the department of molecular medicine, lectures on the disorders by invited outside experts in the diseases and a discussion group meeting of the students with the invited lecturer. The material covers molecular pathophysiology, genetics, biochemistry, molecular basis for standard and experimental therapies, and physiology.

Students will also review, in depth, seminal papers that have transformed clinical medicine.  A particular focus will be on those basic science and clinical papers that have not only significantly impacted diagnosis, treatment or prevention of a specific disease or disorder, but have caused paradigm shifts that cross medical disciplines. Students will select papers in consultation with the faculty, and then present them for analysis of the papers themselves as well as discussion of their impact on medicine.

After completion of the course, the student should have a better understanding of the multiple components of any disease process that impact on the clinical presentation, including function/non-function of organ systems, tissues, cells and subcellular organelles.

There are no prerequisites for this course.

SCHEDULE TYPE: Independent reading/ lecture/discussion

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Ethics and Responsible Conduct of Research
Core (required)

COURSE LEADER:Bettie M. Steinberg, PhD

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  
Credit Hours: 3
Offered every two years (fall), next offered fall, 2016

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
The purpose of this course is to provide young scientists and physician-scientists with clear guidelines for ethical decisions that might and do occur in research.  It covers the historical framework for a need for ethical standards in research, changing concepts in research ethics with time, current regulatory requirements for animal or human research, guidelines for appropriate authorship decisions, peer review, collaborative research, ownership of data and intellectual property, scientific record keeping, conflicts of interest, scientific misconduct, and ethical dilemmas in basic and clinical research. 

The course is taught by discussion of specific cases and problems and their disposition, using “Scientific Integrity, 3rd Edition” by F.L. Macrina, ASM Press, Washington D.C., 2005, and “On Being A Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research, 3rd Edition, National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, as guides. 

The course is required of all graduate students.  There are no prerequisites.

After completion, the student should be knowledgeable of regulatory requirements, know current accepted practices, be sensitive to and aware of possible conflicts and ethical dilemmas as they occur, and have a set of guidelines for management of such dilemmas.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture/discussion/presentation of cases taken from current publications and the web by students.

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Independent Research

COURSE LEADER: All faculty as mentors

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  up to 9 credits per semester / ongoing year round.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   Students will conduct independent dissertation research under the guidance of a mentor, culminating in the preparation and defense of a thesis. 
Students should gain proficiency in designing and executing experiments, analyzing data, and preparing scientific abstracts for presentation and manuscripts for publication.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Laboratory research

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Model Organisms in Biomedical Research
Core (required)

COURSE LEADERS: Kaie Ojamaa, PhD and Maria Ruggieri, PhD

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  
Credit Hours: 3
Offered every summer.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course introduces model organisms to the student, including yeast, c. elegans, zebra fish, drosophila, mice and man, highlighting the information that can be obtained through the use of each organism and the techniques involved.

After completion of the course, the student should be able to identify the model system appropriate to the experimental question being asked.

SCHEDULE TYPE:   Independent reading/ lecture/discussion/presentation

 

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Molecular Genetics and Genomics
Elective

COURSE LEADER: Peter K. Gregersen, MD

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  
Credit Hours: 3
Offered every three years (fall); next offered fall 2016.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Topics covered in this course include chromosome and gene structure, concepts and methodologies in genetic analysis, discussion of simple vs. complex traits, use of animal models for genetic analysis, and new paradigms in genetics.

The course combines lectures given by faculty in the department and research seminars by outside speakers with students preparing for the seminars by reading recent papers by the speaker.  Following seminars, students meet with the speaker over lunch to discuss both the seminar and the presenter’s recent publications.

A previous course in genetics is desirable.   
After completion, students should have a strong framework for understanding the contribution of genetics to functional variations between individuals and groups in susceptibility to and expression of various disorders.

SCHEDULE TYPE: Lectures/research seminars/discussion

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Molecular Medicine Journal Club
Elective

COURSE LEADER: Christine Metz, PhD

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  
Credit Hours: 1 per semester
Offered every semester (fall and spring)

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   Students and faculty analyze, in depth, a current highly-significant publication related to translational research.  Papers are selected and presented by students, with discussion by all attending.

Students should gain proficiency in critical reading of papers, ability to identify significant research findings and familiarity with the advantages and limitations of the methodology described in the publication.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Journal Club/Discussion

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Current Topics in Neuroscience
Elective

COURSE LEADER: Patricio T. Huerta, Ph.D.

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:
Credit Hours: 3
Offered every three years (spring); next offered spring, 2016

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This is a graduate-level course that is organized into four units; “#1: Neurons as building blocks”, “#2: Neural communication”, “#3: Neural networks”, and “#4: Sick brains”.  Each unit includes 3 lectures that are followed by a debate of current papers. The last unit includes a few invited speakers that present research on brain diseases, currently under way at the NHSH-LIJ Health System. ×

Rational Drug Design
Core (required)

COURSE LEADER: Yousef Al-Abed, PhD

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:
Credit Hours: 3
Offered every two years (fall/winter); next offered fall 2015/winter 2016

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course will teach students how identity therapeutic targets in disease, conceptualize a therapeutic agent, and consider strategies for delivery and potential toxicities and off-target effects.

After completion of the course, the student should understand advantages and disadvantages of drugs versus antibodies versus siRNA etc and know how to move from test tube to organism with a therapeutic agent.

SCHEDULE TYPE: Independent reading/ lecture/discussion/presentation

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Seminars in Investigative Medicine
Elective

COURSE LEADER: Thomas L. Rothstein MD, PhD

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  
Credit Hours: 1 per semester
Offered every semester.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This seminar meets weekly on an ongoing basis.  The purpose of the program is to provide current state-of-the-art knowledge of biomedical research.  Each session consists of a research seminar by an invited scientist who is a recognized expert in his/her respective field, followed by a question and answer period.  Topics vary, with guest speakers invited by faculty in the department of molecular medicine and investigators in the Feinstein Institute.

Students attending the seminars should gain solid general knowledge of current advances in these fields, and a thorough understanding in depth of those areas that impact directly or indirectly on their thesis topic.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Seminar

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Work-In-Progress Seminars
Elective

COURSE LEADER: Marc Symons, PhD

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  
Credit Hours: 1 per semester
Offered every semester.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Each session consists of two presentations of current research, given by faculty in the Department of Molecular Medicine and investigators within The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, followed by a question and answer period.  Students present their research at least once each year in this format.

Students in this course should have a complete base of information about the various types of research studies being conducted in the medical school and the Feinstein Institute, a better foundation of information about the topics presented, and be able to effectively organize and present their own studies to a scientific audience.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Seminar

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AUD 503 - Anatomy, Physiology and Neurology of the Auditory—Vestibular System

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Carole Ferrand

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every spring at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   The course will provide students with a thorough understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the human auditory and vestibular systems. The underlying psychoacoustical and electrophysiological characteristics of these systems will be revealed through anatomical and  electrophysiological measures such as Otoacoustic Emissions, Acoustic Immittance and Electronystagmography. Application of these measures for the assessment, diagnosis and management of auditory and vestibular disorders will be discussed. 

Prerequisite(s)/Course Notes: Matriculated students enrolled in the Au.D. program have priority if class is filled.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture

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BIO 237 - Biochemical Mechanisms in Cell Biology

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Peter Daniels

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered periodically at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   This course covers recent research concerning the biochemical mechanisms involved in regulating various processes in cell biology. Selected advanced topics may include: transcellular signaling, vesicle traffic, quality control of protein synthesis, protein translocation, nuclear transport, extracellular matrix, cytoskeletal function and G-protein function. Students analyze recent reviews and journal articles from the primary literature.

Prerequisite(s)/Course Notes: An undergraduate course in cell biology or genetics, or permission of instructor. May not be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture

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LAW 3734 - Bioethics and the Law

COURSE LEADER:   Dr. Janet Dolgin

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every year at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   This seminar explores contemporary problems involving law, medicine and ethics. The rights of patients, the responsibilities of physicians and the interests of society are examined in the contexts of medical treatment, death and dying, abortion, the new reproductive technologies, genetics, research on human subjects and organ transplants.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Seminar/ Writing credit is available

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BIO 273 - Genomics and Bioinformatics

Course Leader: Dr. Peter Daniels

Credit Hours/Class Meeting: 3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered periodically at Hofstra University.

Course Description:  Large-scale, genome-wide studies produce vast amounts of biological data (e.g., DNA and protein sequences, 3-D structures, and changes in gene expression). The fields of genomics and bioinformatics apply computational tools and skills to how these data are stored, accessed, manipulated, and most importantly, used to answer biological questions related to, for example, evolution, population dynamics, and gene expression. In this course, students will learn, by completing an advanced genomics project, how genome-scale data are generated and analyzed using bioinformatics tools and databases. Students will also lead discussions of the applications of genomics and bioinformatics to medicine, evolution, and biomedical research.

Prerequisite(s)/Course Notes: An undergraduate course in genetics or molecular biology and permission of instructor.

Schedule Type: Lecture/ group activity/independent project 

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BIO 244 - Biology of the Cancer Cell

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Peter Daniels

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered periodically at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   This course concerns various aspects of cancer cell biology on the histological, cellular and molecular levels. Emphasis is on basic research problems including cancer as a misprogramming of normal development, alterations in cell-cell recognition, changes in nuclear events, the oncogene theory and the mechanisms of action of chemical carcinogens.

Prerequisite(s)/Course Notes: An undergraduate course in genetics and either cell biology or biochemistry, or permission of instructor.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture

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BIO 212 - Chromosome Biology

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Peter Daniels

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered periodically at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   This course concerns the structure, function and behavior of chromosomes in eukaryotes, prokaryotes and viruses. Also considered are lampbrush and polytene chromosomes in differentiation, the mitotic apparatus, and the synaptonemal complex.

Prerequisite(s)/Course Notes: A course in genetics or permission of instructor.  May not be taken Pass/Fail basis.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture 

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AUD 515 - Deafness

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Carole Ferrand

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every Spring at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   An intensive investigation of the nature of hearing impairment along a continuum from mild loss to profound deafness. Aspects of deafness are discussed with respect to the acquisition and maintenance of language via the auditory modality. The effects of hearing loss on the production and perception of speech in children and adults are explored. Issues regarding hearing impairment, deafness, and deaf culture are discussed.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture 

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AUD 513 - Electrophysiology II

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Carole Ferrand

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every year at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   An intensive study of auditory evoked potentials, their measurement by means of Auditory Brainstem Response technology (ABR), and their role in the objective assessment of hearing sensitivity and diagnosis of audiologic pathologies of the peripheral and central auditory system. The course features lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on workshops using ABR instrumentation. The course also explores Otacoustic Emissions (OAE) technology. Participants pay special attention to pediatric and geriatric populations.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture

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PSY 201 - Graduate Statistics I

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Mitchell Schare

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every Fall at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   A first-level graduate course designed to cover such topics as exploratory data analysis, sampling and probability theory, statistical inference (hypothesis testing and confidence intervals) for one- and two-samples, correlation, partial correlation, and multiple regression, and issues in power and robustness.

Preference given to matriculated students in a graduate psychology program if course is full.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture

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PSY 202 - Graduate Statistics II

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Mitchell Schare

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every Spring at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   Designed to provide in-depth coverage of analysis of variance (ANOVA). Topics covered are: one-way and two-way ANOVA, multivariate approach to the repeated measures and split-plot designs, multiple comparison and trend analysis, issues in probing an interaction (partial interaction and interaction contrasts vs. simple main effects tests), and issues in power and robustness.

Preference given to matriculated students in a graduate psychology program if course is full.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture

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LAW 3844 - Health Law

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Janet Dolgin

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every year at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   This seminar examines a variety of legal problems arising out of the American health care system. Among the topics discussed are the regulatory mechanisms aimed at promoting better quality in health care and the scope of relationships among participants in the health care system. The course also examines issues in the organization of the health care delivery system, in access to this system and in controlling its costs.

There are no prerequisites.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Seminar

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LAW 2904 - Legal Decision Making for Children and Incompetent Adults

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Janet Dolgin

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every year at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   This advanced seminar will focus on one of the most important and controversial questions at the intersection of health and family law: How are legal decisions made on behalf of children and incompetent and/or sick adults in need of protection? The course uses traditional and skills-based approaches in presenting students with practical and conceptual questions occasioned by the need to make choices for and about people not deemed capable of exercising legal autonomy.

Prerequisites & Notes Family Law; Family Law (with Skills); Health Law; Bioethics and the Law or Child, Family and State.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Advanced seminar structure

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PSY 204 - Multivariate Statistics in Psychological Research I

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Mitchell Schare

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every semester at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  Introduces students to multivariate statistics. Topics covered are: multiple regression, multivariate analysis of variance, discriminant analysis, path analysis with manifest and latent variables.

Preference given to matriculated students in a graduate psychology program if course is full.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture 

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AUD 546 - Pharmacology/Ototoxicity

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Carole Ferrand

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every summer at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   This course explores theories in pharmacology, including drug absorption, bioavailability, administration and treatment, mechanisms of interaction and toxicity related to the ear, hearing and the vestibular mechanism. Methodologies and technologies for monitoring use of ototoxic medications will be explored.

Offered on a Pass/Fail basis.  Matriculated students enrolled in the Au.D. program have priority if course is filled.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture

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AUD 505 - Psychoacoustics

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Carole Ferrand

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered in the Fall at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   Detailed study of the factors underlying the perception of auditory stimuli. Topics include psychological scaling, loudness, pitch, binaural hearing, masking, adaptation, absolute threshold and differential thresholds; the transformer action of the middle ear, the analytical function of the cochlea, the electrical activity of the auditory system, cortical responsiveness to complex stimuli as well as theories of hearing.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture

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LAW 3956 - Scientific Evidence

Course Leader: Dr. Janet Dolgin

Credit Hours/Class Meeting: 2/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered every year at Hofstra University.

Course Description:
This seminar focuses on the effective presentation and critique of scientific information in the context of legal decision making.  It examines the logical structure of scientific reasoning, as well as the logical structure of legal reasoning when decision-makers assess the probative value of proffered scientific evidence.  It also examines generic strategy and tactics for presenting scientific evidence in civil litigation, administrative proceedings and criminal proceedings, taking into account the evidentiary and procedural problems peculiar to each of these areas.  No prior background in science is necessary. 

There is no examination, but students are required to write an analytic paper examining the use of actual scientific information in a current problem area of their choice (e.g., in toxic tort litigation, products liability litigation, criminal identification, or administrative rulemaking).

Schedule Type: Seminar/writing workshop

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BIO 201 - Statistical Analysis of Biological Data

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Peter Daniels

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered periodically at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   Practical application of statistical techniques to the analysis of data typically encountered by researchers in the life and health sciences. Students learn practical and intuitive approaches to choosing statistical techniques appropriate for particular experimental designs. Parametric statistical tests covered include single and two-way ANOVA, regression and correlation. Tests of “messy” or nonparametric data are considered as well, including analysis of frequencies and substitutions for ANOVA.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  2 hours lecture, 1 hour recitation.

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BIO 240 - Virology

COURSE LEADER:  Dr. Peter Daniels

CREDIT HOURS/CLASS MEETINGS:  3/ approximately 18 weeks. Offered periodically at Hofstra University.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:   This course concerns molecular and clinical aspects of viruses that infect humans, including replication, gene expression, changes in host cells, pathogenesis, and transmission. Particular attention is paid to Human Immunodeficiency Virus – the cause of AIDS.

Prerequisite(s)/Course Notes: An undergraduate course in cell biology or genetics, or permission of instructor.

SCHEDULE TYPE:  Lecture

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