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Required Courses

Required Biomedical Science courses

For the first year, students take common courses with other Biomedical Science students.  There is an elective in each semester the first year.  Students with a strong interest in cancer are encouraged to take electives which are cancer related and/or fill gaps in knowledge. 

Required Core CBIO Courses

Graduate students are required to complete these CBIO Program core courses (listed below) prior to taking the Comprehensive Examination. (On rare occasions, core courses may be completed after the Comprehensive Examination; e.g., if a course is not available in a feasible manner. The student should make such arrangements in consultation with their mentor, the Program Director, and the Student Advisory Committee.)  Topics in cancer biology (CBIO:    5500) and Seminar: cancer biology (CBIO: 6000) are repeated every semester in Years 1 and 2 for credit.  Students are expected to continue to participate in these two courses every year after as no credit courses.

Graduate students must achieve a grade of “B” or better in core courses in order to satisfy this requirement.  If a student receives a grade of less than a “B” in a core course, the course may have to be repeated or a student may have to perform remedial work as specified by the Student Advisory Committee, mentor, and Program Director.  Based on courses undertaken prior to entering the CBIO Program, some core CBIO course requirements may be waived.


Core Courses

BMED: 5207

Principles of molecular & cellular biology, 3 s.h.

FRRB: 7001

Molecular & cellular biology of cancer, 3 s.h.

PCOL: 5204

Basic biostatistics & experimental design, 1 s.h.

BMED: 7270

Scholarly integrity/responsible conduct 1, 0 s.h.

BMED: 7270

Scholarly integrity/responsible conduct 2, 0 s.h.


Topics in cancer biology, 1 s.h.


Seminar: cancer biology, 1 s.h.

CBIO: 6500

Research in cancer biology, Arranged s.h.

CBIO: 7000

Clinical connections, 1 s.h.

CBIO: 7500

Crafting a scientific proposal, 1 s.h.

Cancer Biology (CBIO) course descriptions:

CBIO:7000    Clinical Connections in Cancer Biology

Students will have arranged clinical shadowing experiences with oncologists who are treating cancer patients at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

CBIO:7500    Crafting a Scientific Proposal

This course will provide training for students in the areas of scientific writing and the development of a scientific proposal.  The proposal developed by the students in this course will be related to, but not identical to the proposal for the comprehensive exam.

CBIO:6500    Research in Cancer Biology

Students will have research rotations in laboratories conducting cancer research.

CBIO: 6000   Seminar in Cancer Biology

Students will attend seminar presentations of cutting edge science in the field of cancer biology, given by experts in the field as well as trainees.

CBIO: 5500   Topics in Cancer Biology

New literature reports will be presented and discussed in a journal club format.