Academic Courses

Committee on Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS)

The Committee on Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) is an independent academic unit based in the University's Biological Sciences Division (BSD). With support from CHeSS and the Institute for Translational Medicine, we advance multidisciplinary training in clinical and translational science at the University of Chicago and develop high-quality coursework for researchers and students committed to significantly impacting medical science and practice.

The CCTS supports the development of curriculum in clinical and translational science at the University. Courses are designed to provide undergraduates, graduate-level trainees, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty with state-of-the-art skills in the field. For more information, please contact Kelsey Bogue, CHeSS Associate Director of Training Programs & Communications, at

Current Areas of Concentration include:

  • Comparative Effectiveness Research
  • Translational Informatics
  • Health Services Research
  • Quality and Safety
  • Clinical Research
  • Community-Based Research
  • Global Health
  • Pharmacogenomics

View Past CCTS courses here.

Winter 2018 Courses

CCTS 20400/40400/BIOS 25327
Health Disparities in Breast Cancer

Instructors:  Eileen Dolan, Suzanne D. Conzen
Time: Monday and Wednesdays, 3:00-4:20 PM
Location: BSLC 240
Across the globe, breast cancer is the most common women’s cancer. In the last two decades, there have been significant advances in breast cancer detection and treatment that have resulted in improved survival rates. Yet, not all populations have benefited equally from these improvements, and there continues to be a disproportionate burden of breast cancer felt by different populations. In the U.S., for example, white women have the highest incidence of breast cancer but African-American women have the highest breast cancer mortality overall. The socioeconomic, environmental, biological, and cultural factors that collectively contribute to these disparities are being identified with a growing emphasis on health disparities research efforts.  In this 10-week discussion-based course students will meet twice weekly and cover major aspects of breast cancer disparities.

PQ: BIOS 25108

CCTS 21004
Christian Traditions and Medicine in the Late Modern World

Instructors: John Yoon, Daniel Kim
Time: Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10:30-11:20 AM
Location: BH-M214
What is the meaning of medicine in our contemporary world? How has it changed over time, and what are its normative conditions and challenges? What religious and spiritual resources might Christian traditions bring to bear on such questions? This course rests on the assumption that contemporary challenges in medicine stem from a moral pluralism reflecting the cultural conditions of late modernity, as well as from a growing inability to maintain clinical excellence in an increasingly complex and bureaucratic health care system. We will first examine this assumption and its sociological, historical, and theological significance. In parallel, we will engage guest speakers throughout the course who will help us comparatively explore several Christian responses to modernity and to diverse domains of medicine. Lastly, we will critically explore James Hunter’s constructive proposal of “faithful presence,” and what that might mean in the context of medicine. Our goal, ultimately, will be to reflect on the conditions and challenges of modern medicine and to appraise the historical and theological resources that the Christian traditions may offer.

PQ: Complete SOSC sequence

CCTS 21408
History of Medicine
Instructor: Jennifer Pegg
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:50 PM
Location: 5737 S. University Ave. 104
This course surveys the history of medicine from the medieval period to the present. How did medicine emerge as a defined body of knowledge? To what extent do diseases and disorders have an independent existence, and to what extent are they cultural constructs? How have social mores-particularly those related to religion, class, nationality, race, and gender-influenced the ways in which health was and is understood and maintained, and illness treated? What does it mean to practice medicine ethically, and how has that changed over time? Topics include the emergence and evolution of the medical profession, the history of medical research and method, the interpretation and treatment of the unhealthy and healthy alike, eugenics, euthanasia, the quest for immortality, and the changing relationship between technology and disease.

CCTS 40200/CABI 30900
Cancer Bio-2: Molecular Mechanisms Cancer Biology
Instructor: Donald Vander Griend
Time: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10:30 AM-12:20 PM
Location: BSLC 240
This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of how key cellular processes are deregulated in cancer and the molecular mechanisms underpinning these defects. The course covers cell cycle checkpoint control, cell death, tumor suppressor and oncogene function, DNA repair mechanisms, epigenetics of cancer, nuclear hormone receptor activity in cancer, tumor metabolism, hypoxia responses, angiogenesis and metastasis. In addition to material covered in formal lectures, discussion sessions cover tumor stem cells, "oncogene addiction," inflammatory responses, cancer therapeutics, mouse models of human cancer and other topical subjects relevant to understanding tumor initiation and progression, as well as how current research may facilitate cancer treatment.

CCTS 43000
Introduction to Global Health

Instructors: Christine Babcock and Nana Fenny
Time: Tuesdays Thursdays, 12:30-1:50 PM
Location: BSLC 324
This course provides an overview of global health from the historical perspective to the current state of global health. The course features weekly guest lecturers with a broad range of expertise in the field: topics include the social and economic determinants of health, the economics of global health, global burden of disease, and globalization of health risks, as well as the importance of ethics, human rights, and diplomacy in promoting a healthier world. The course is designed for graduate-level students and senior undergraduates with an interest in global health work in resource-limited settings.

PQ: Open to advanced Undergraduates and Graduate Students. This course does not meet the requirements of the Biological Sciences Major

CCTS 47002
Advanced Community Based Participatory Research Training Program 2

Instructors: Deborah Burnet and Doriane Miller
Time: TBA
Location: TBA
The goal of health-related research is to improve the lives of people in the community studied. In traditional research, the community is not actively involved in designing the projects. Community-based participatory research is a partnership approach to research that equitably involves community members, organizational representatives, and academic researchers in all aspects of the research process. The Advanced CBPR Training Program is designed to help meet the growing need and demand for educational resources that help build the knowledge and skills needed to develop and sustain effective CBPR partnerships. The Program consists of six sessions that are offered on various Fridays throughout the year.

Registrants who wish to receive 025 units of course credit must enroll through the University Registrar's office for CCTS 47001 in the fall and CCTS 47002 in the winter. Participants must also register online here whether or not they choose to take the course for credit. 

CCTS 47006
Methods in Health and Biomedical Informatics II

Instructor: Samuel Volchenboum
Time: Thursdays 1:30-3:30 PM
Location: BH-M214
Most Health and Biomedical Informatics (HBMI) Graduate Programs around the country have independently come to the conclusion that the computational methods that informatics graduate students need to be familiar with is too broad and numerous to be addressed by a series of independent courses. Therefore, most programs have created a set of integrated courses that expose the students to a wide variety of informatics methods in short modules. Typically, these required methods series are organized as a series of required courses taken during the first year of graduate study. This course is the result of discussions by Health and Biomedical Informatics researchers and educators from the Chicago Biomedical Informatics Training (CBIT) initiative. This course is designed as the third course of a year-long sequence and is worth 100 units. Registration for the full year is expected.

Must have taken CCTS 47005 during Fall 2017. Course runs 01/12 - 03/09. Location rotates between Northwestern's downtown campus, UIC and UC.


The CCTS provides quality clinical and translational science training to postdoctoral BSD fellows; advanced graduate students in the biological and social sciences; and junior faculty. However, many courses may be relevant to undergraduates, medical students, and/or more advanced faculty. We encourage interested students, fellows, or faculty members to consider our offerings. Please contact Kelsey  Bogue, CCTS administrator, at with any questions. 

How to Enroll

Interested trainees may take advantage of CCTS offerings in any of the following ways:

  • Enroll in the individual course(s) most relevant to their planned research or field of study;
  • Complete an Area of Concentration curriculum in conjunction with a master’s degree through the Department of Public Health Sciences;
  • Attend any of our ongoing lectures or seminar series.

There is no formal application process for participation in most CCTS courses, but we encourage trainees to reach out to faculty instructors prior to enrolling in a course. Students who wish to take courses for academic credit must enroll through the University Registrar. Some courses will also have a separate registration form that you can find on this webpage or in the CHeSS newsletter. For more information on how to enroll, please contact CCTS administrator Kelsey Bogue at


The CCTS is supported by the Institute for Translational Medicine, which is funded by an NIH-sponsored Clinical & Translational Science Award (CTSA). Additional support is provided by CHeSS.