Core courses provide essential background in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, and biotechnology, followed by three lecture-based, advanced graduate courses. Two of these advanced courses are focused on basic mechanisms of cancer biology. The third provides an understanding of the process of drug discovery. This course will include lectures about intellectual property, marketing, and communication to prepare students for an alternative industrial occupation or to partner with industry in future academic careers.

Educational tools complement the program, including student-directed critical review of topics related to the curriculum (journal club), as well as a hands-on lab component involving the Molecular Screening Facility, associated with the third block of the curriculum in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. 

Program students are required to take all three advanced courses, and pass exams as short essays or questions at the end of each course. They will also be required to participate in journal club. In addition, all students will pass a comprehensive examination, intended to test their potential as future scientists. Additionally, unless specifically exempted, the students and faculty of this program will follow the policies and procedures of the College of Graduate Studies of University of the Sciences.

This integrated learning platform combines up-to-date basic mechanistic understanding of cancer pathways with translational, disease-relevant topics in cancer therapy and drug discovery.

Core Required Courses

Courses offered by USciences:

* BS 761 Advanced Cell Biology – 3 semester credits (prerequisite: one semester of cell biology, biochemistry, or genetics) FALL
* BS 763 Cell Biology Methods – 3 semester credits (prerequisites: one semester each of cell biology and biochemistry) SPRING
* BS 764 Biotechnology – 3 semester credits (prerequisites: one semester each of genetics and biochemistry) FALL
* BS 765 Biotechnology Laboratory – 2 semester credits (prerequisite: BS764) SPRING
* BS 898 Graduate Seminar – 1 semester credit SUMMER
* CH 728 Advanced Biochemistry – 3 semester credits (prerequisites: two semesters of undergraduate biochemistry) FALL

Courses offered by The Wistar Institute:

* CB 785 Introduction to Research – 2-4 semester credits; designed for students who are beginning the research phase of their thesis project, the course consists of at least 2 rotations in the laboratories of program faculty (prerequisites: permission of instructor and program director)
* CB 811 Cancer – 1 semester credit (prerequisites: BS 761, BS 763, BS 764, CH 728)
* CB 812 Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer – 1 semester credit (prerequisite: CB 811)
* CB 813 Molecular Cancer Therapeutics – 1 semester credit (prerequisite: CB 812)
* CB 880 Molecular Screening – 2 semester credits (prerequisite: CB 813)
* CB 890 Journal Club – 0 credits in all semesters except 2 credits in student’s terminal semester; required each fall and spring semester of all program students; Pass/Fail
* CB 899 Doctoral Research – Must complete a minimum of at least 20 credits of CB 899 Doctoral Research. While the stated minimum for research is 20 credits, at least 2 additional years of research after completion of course work is expected of the students.


Other courses as required by research advisor and/or advisory committee

Other Requirements

* At least two research presentations at appropriate scientific meetings
* Pass Comprehensive Examination (Preparation of grant proposal in NIH format, proposal presentation, and proposal defense)
* Publication of at least two publications (author/coauthor) in peer-reviewed journals
* Write and successfully defend dissertation