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.

Summer 2017 Courses

Fundamentals of Health Services Research—CCTS 45200/PPHA 47900/PBHS 35000
Instructors: David Meltzer, MD, PhD, and Marshall Chin, MD, MPH; others TBA
Time: Mondays/Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays/Fridays, 1:00-2:30 pm
Location: Billings Hospital, H300
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the fundamentals of health services research. The basic concepts of health services research will be taught with emphasis on both their social scientific foundations and the methods needed for their practical application to empirically relevant research. Theoretical foundations will draw on principles from economics, sociology, psychology, and the other social sciences. Methodological topics to be covered will include techniques for data collection and analysis, including outcomes measurement, survey methods, large data set research, population-based study design, community based participatory research, research based in clinical settings, qualitative methods, cost-effectiveness analysis, and tools of economic and sociological analysis. The theoretical and empirical techniques taught will emphasize those relevant to the examination of health care costs, quality, and access. Major applications will include: measurement and improvement of health care quality, analysis of health disparities, analysis of health care technology, and analysis of health care systems and markets. Students prepare a grant proposal as the final assignment for this course. 

Introduction to Biostatistics— PBHS 32100/CCTS 45000
Instructors: John Cursio, PhD
Time: 3:00-4:30 PM, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
Location: TBA
This course will provide an introduction to the basic concepts of statistics as applied to the bio-medical and public health sciences. Emphasis is on the use of interpretation of statistical tools for data analysis. Topics include (i) descriptive statistics; (ii) probability and sampling; (iii) the methods of statistical inference; and (iv) an introduction to linear and logistics regression.

Clinical Epidemiology—PBHS 30700/CCTS 45100
Instructors: Diane Lauderdale, PhD, and Brian Chiu, PhD
Time: 9:00-11:00 am, Tuesdays and Thursdays
Location: TBA
Clinical epidemiology is the “application of epidemiologic principles and methods to problems encountered in clinical medicine.” This course introduces the basic principles of epidemiologic study design, analysis and interpretation, with a particular focus on clinical applications. The course includes lectures and discussions based on critical appraisal of significant research articles.

Spring 2017 Courses

CCTS 21003
Topics in Clinical Research

Instructor: Valerie Press
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:30-2:50 pm
Location: Billings P315
This course provides an overview of clinical research subject matter from the history and ethics of clinical research to the types and practice of contemporary clinical research. How does clinical research differ from other research traditions? What is special about clinical research? What types of questions can be answered by clinical research (what questions not)? What types of ethical oversight over the responsible conduct of research have arisen over the years? We will learn how to read and critique clinical research, survey the major types of clinical research designs, and the differences between hypothesis generation and hypothesis testing. Finally, we provide an overview of the mechanics of developing and implementing clinical research, including grant writing, regulatory issues, and quality assurance. Along the way, we will be teaching core statistical concepts including prevalence, risk ratios, and sensitivity and validation techniques. The objectives are for students to obtain an understanding of how and why to perform clinical research and to do so in an ethical and responsible manner.

CCTS 38300
Health Economics and Public Policy

Instructor:  David Meltzer
Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:30-2:50 pm
Location: TBD
This course analyzes the economics of health and medical care in the United States with particular attention to the role of government. The first part of the course examines the demand for health and medical and the structure and the consequences of public and private insurance. The second part of the course examines the supply of medical care, including professional training, specialization and compensation, hospital competition, and finance and the determinants and consequences of technological change in medicine. The course concludes with an examination of recent proposals and initiatives for health care reform.

CCTS 40006
Pharmacogenomics: Discovery and Implementation
Instructor: Barbara Stranger, R. Stephanie Huang
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30-11:50 am
Location: BSLC 305
Pharmacogenomics is aimed at advancing our knowledge of the genetic basis for variable drug response. Advances in genetic knowledge gained through sequencing have been applied to drug response, and identifying heritable genetic variants that predict response and toxicity is an area of great interest to researchers. The ultimate goal is to identify clinically significant variations to predict the right choice and dose of medications for individuals—"personalizing medicine." The study of pharmacogenomics is complicated by the fact that response and toxicity are multigenic traits and are often confounded by nongenetic factors (e.g., age, co-morbidities, drug-drug interactions, environment, diet). Using knowledge of an individual's DNA sequence as an integral determinant of drug therapy has not yet become standard clinical practice; however, several genetics-guided recommendations for physicians have been developed and are highlighted. The ethics and economics of pharmacogenomics are also discussed.

Undergrads (3rd & 4th years only) must have taken BIOS 20187 and are required to email instructors for approval ( & prior to registering. Meets requirement for Bio Majors as part of Cancer Specialization.

CCTS 43200
Infectious Disease Epidemiology; Networks and Modeling

Instructor: Michael David
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:00-4:20pm
Location: TBD
This intermediate-level epidemiology course directed by two infectious disease epidemiologist-physicians will provide an up to date perspective on forgotten, contemporary and emerging infections. The course lectures and readings will provide a rigorous examination of the interactions among pathogens, hosts and the environment that produce disease in diverse populations. In addition to the demographic characteristics and the behaviors of individuals that are associated with a high risk of infection, we will examine complex aspects of the environment as they pertain to disease transmission. These include poverty, globalization, social networks, public health, and racial and ethnic disparities. Methodologic approaches to infectious disease epidemiology that will be covered include traditional study designs, molecular epidemiology, social network analysis, modeling, and network science. Local and global approaches will be applied to case studies from the United States, Asia and Africa.

PBHS 30700 or PBHS 30900 or introductory epidemiology or consent of instructor. For Biology majors: Completion of three quarters of a Biological Sciences Fundamentals Sequence.

CCTS 47007
Methods in Health and Biomedical Informatics III

Instructors: David McClintock and Samuel Volchenboum
Time: Thursdays, 1:30-3:30 pm, From January 12 until March 9
Location: Varies between Northwestern downtown campus, UIC, and UC
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.

Prerequisites: CCTS 47005 during Fall 2016 and 47006 in Winter 2017.


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.