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Curriculum

A high quality fundamental science and engineering education is the foundation from which translational research must be based. We provide this foundation through a rigorous curriculum that teaches key principles and approaches critical to the development of biological delivery technologies. Required science and engineering courses are distributed among three thematic threads: quantitative fundamentals, biological systems and modeling and transport phenomena. In addition, students develop a strong understanding of entrepreneurial principles by completing courses in Tulane’s Schools of Business (through the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship) and Law and participating in the New Orleans Business Plan Competition.

An additional component of the Bioinnovation fellow experience is a summer internship at the FDA in Silver Springs, MD. There, they will acquire the necessary experiences to understand the practical and regulatory considerations that are required for the successful development of biomedical technologies and devices. In addition, they will develop strong collaborations with researches in industry or government while expanding their understanding of career paths available to PhDs outside of academia.

The following outline provides a sample distribution of courses available to Bioinnovation PhD students at Tulane. It is not all-inclusive, and students are encouraged to work with their mentors to develop a curriculum of sufficient breadth to satisfy the Bioinnovation Program requirements and depth to establish a focus in their area of interest and research. For a more complete course listing and set of directives, please consult the Student & Faculty Handbook.

Thread 1: Quantitative Fundamentals

Each student will develop a foundation in biological and engineering fundamentals that is the cornerstone of the theoretical, computational and experimental analyses of biomedical systems (2 courses required).

BIOS 6030 Introductory Biostatistics
Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, School of Public Health
This course provides an introduction to statistical methodology used in the health field. Topics include presentation of data (graphs and tables), descriptive statistics, concepts of probability, estimation of parameters, hypothesis testing, simple linear regression, correlation, and the analysis of attribute data. It is recommended for students with any mathematical or statistical background and those needing a firm foundation in statistical methods either for their careers or preparation for further quantitative courses.

BIOS 7080 Design of Experiments
Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, School of Public Health
Topics covered in Design of Experiments include simple and multiple linear regression, matrix notation, analysis of variance and quadratic forms, variable selection, polynomial regression, class, dummy variables, Analysis of Covariance, and regression diagnosis. Through this course, students will be able to: 1. describe basic principles of experimental designs; 2. distinguish the difference between “design factor” and “noise factor;” 3. analyze data using multiple designs; 4. interpret diagnostic analyses; 5. analyze post hoc analyses using multiple comparison test on means; 6. estimate sample sizes and power analysis; and 7. interpret and demonstrate results of analysis of variance designs.

GBCH 7250 Biomedical Statistics
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, School of Medicine
The objective of this course is to provide biomedical graduate students with the knowledge needed to apply statistical tests and analyses to their own data and with the knowledge to understand the statistical analyses they are likely to encounter in the literature.  Subjects include single and multiple parameter analyses for measured and counted variables, as well as linear and non-linear regression. Grades are based on exams that require students to apply what they learned to solving statistical problems.

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Thread 2: Biological Systems

Each student will develop experience in experimental and theoretical analyses of biosystems (2 courses required).

BMSP 6070 Advanced Cell Biology
Biomedical Sciences Program, School of Medicine
This course provides students with fundamental knowledge of tissue architecture, cell signaling, cell organization and function, cell growth, protein processing, basic anatomy and physiology of organ systems, and principles of medical therapeutics.

BMEN 6070 Quantitative Physiology
Biomedical Engineering Department, School of Science and Engineering
This course places emphasis upon the chemical basis of life; cells and cellular metabolism; histology and tissues; the endocrine, skeletal and nervous systems; respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, lymphatic and reproductive systems; nutrition and metabolism; water, electrolyte and acid-base balance, and human growth and development.

CELL 6750 Cell Biology
Cell and Molecular Biology Department, School of Science and Engineering
This course examines the structure and function of eukaryotic cells. Emphasis is placed on mechanisms of intracellular and transmembrane transport, cellular control, and intercellular and intracellular signaling. Experimental methods and applications will be discussed. At the completion of this course, students will be able to describe the relationship between the structure and function of cellular components on the molecular scale. The student should also be able to describe the relationship between extracellular signaling and genetic control of cellular behavior. Further, the student will be able to make educated predictions of simple experiments and interpret data from experimentation testing concepts of intracellular transport and signal transduction with an appreciation of the modern methods of scientific inquiry.

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Thread 3: Modeling and Transport Phenomena

Each student will develop knowledge of modeling and simulation methods and biological delivery processes (2 courses required).

CENG 6120 Graduate Transport Phenomena
Chemical and Biomolecular Department, School of Science and Engineering
This course explores the mathematical formulation and solution of problems involving theoretical concepts in fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics and elementary reaction theory. Emphasis is placed upon transient transport processes and the associated partial differential equations.

BMEN 6330 Advanced Biofluid Mechanics
Biomedical Engineering Department, School of Science and Engineering
This course will cover general intermediate/advanced fluid mechanics and will provide a foundation from which to base one’s studies of biofluid mechanics. Issues pertinent to the study of biofluid mechanics will be emphasized. Topics to be studied include kinematic principles, the Navier-Stokes equations, boundary conditions for viscous flows, basic solutions to steady and unsteady Navier-Stokes equations, turbulence, analysis of the vorticity equation, and interfacial phenomena. Whenever possible, problems of a biological nature will be used as examples.

BMEN 6420 Transport in Cells and Organs
Biomedical Engineering Department, School of Science and Engineering
Fundamental principles of mass and momentum transport will be applied to physiological problems. The topics of this course will be the cardiovascular, respiratory and urinary systems, transmembrane and transvascular transport, transport within the cell, cell adhesion, drug transport and pharmacokinetics, and transport-related diseases (atherosclerosis, sickle cell disease, embolism, cancer metastasis, and urologic disease).

BMEN 6820 Fundamentals of Mathematical Modeling and Analysis of Biological Systems
Biomedical Engineering Department, School of Science and Engineering
The objective of this course is to teach basic mathematical modeling constructs and analysis techniques that are used for studying biological processes. Topics to be covered include ordinary differential equations, compartment systems, basics of dynamic systems, stability, statistical inference and model construction. These will be applied to study models of chemical kinetics, physiological control, AIDS transmission, population dynamics, and growth. Students will use Mathematica to develop and analyze models.

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Thread 4: Entrepreneurship

Each student will build a foundation in business plan development and intellectual property. In this process they will work with students of Law and Business (3 courses + FDA Internship required).

SCEN 6000 Entrepreneurship in Bioscience: A New Way of Inventing
School of Science and Engineering
This course explores the major economic and technological developments that are shaping the world, how to develop and sustain a competitive biotech start up firm, how to write a competitive business plan and the proper interaction with venture capitalists, lawyers and investment bankers through the entire business cycle. All through this process, the importance of ethics is continually studied, stressed and examined. Additionally guest speakers will be incorporated throughout the semester including a venture capitalist, a business ethicist, startup attorney, investment banker and several bioscience entrepreneurs.

MGMT 6240 Practice of Management – New Venture Planning
School of Business
The primary objective of this course is to teach students to apply the skills learned in their functional area courses toward the goal of becoming an entrepreneur. Working alone or in teams, students learn to plan, finance, launch, manage, and harvest a new venture. Students will present their completed plans to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs and may enter the Tulane Business Plan Competition. 

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Bioinnovation PhD Program, 605 Lindy Boggs Bldg, New Orleans, LA 70118, (504) 865-5718, ajacob@tulane.edu