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 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.

Spring 2020 Courses 

The Challenges Of The “Good Physician”: Virtue, Wisdom and the Practice of Medicine (Scholars in Ethics and Medicine Cohort)—CCTS 21005/41005
Instructor: John Yoon, Michael Hawking
Time: TBA
Location: Online
Notes: This is a yearlong course. Students must register for Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters to receive 100 units at the end of Spring 2020.

The Scholars in Ethics and Medicine (SEM) program is a yearlong opportunity for a select group of students to collaborate with exemplar physician-scholars and medical ethicists to think through the features required of a good health care clinician. Members of the group collaborate with invited speakers through participation in seminars and small group dinner discussions. Throughout the program, students will think through issues in medical ethics related to the year’s theme will be Virtue, Wisdom, and the Practice of Medicine. The practice of medicine focuses on actions that are intended to promote health and healing, and to do so in ways that are respectful and compassionate. To be aimed at health and to be consistent with our ethical obligations, these actions need to be of a certain kind regarding the ends they pursue and the means they employ. This is to say that these actions need the virtue of practical wisdom, by which we identify the best means to achieve worthwhile ends. How we understand which ends are worthwhile and which means are best will depend on the virtues that guide not only our thoughts and motivations, but also our vision. For virtue influences not only our actions and motivations, but how we see world.  The Scholars in Ethics and Medicine will together explore deep connections between action, vision, wisdom, and virtue as they relate health and healing, in particular how wisdom and virtue are important for seeing patients as whole people, not just bodies to be fixed, in offering compassionate care, among others. More information can be found here:


Clinical and Health Services Research: Methods and Applications—CCTS 21007/43007
Instructor: Gregory Ruhnke
Time: TBA
Location: Canvas and Zoom

This course will introduce the interdisciplinary field of clinically-oriented health services research with a focus on policy-related implications. We will cover the manner in which science conducted across the translational medicine spectrum informs policy through purveyors of clinical services (e.g. physicians, hospitals), government, insurers, and professional societies. We will use the examples of COVID-19, postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy and autologous bone marrow transplantation to illustrate pitfalls in the adoption into clinical medicine that can complicate the creation of evidence-based practice guidelines, reimbursement policies, and clinical practice. The COVID-19 pandemic will serve to demonstrate the challenges that varied clinical presentations, diagnostic accuracy, and high-fidelity case definition create in the formulation of health statistics (e.g. case-fatality rates and age-specific mortality rates) and defining study populations for clinical research.  Using a highly interactive approach, students will gain experience in selection of research study designs, assessment of health status, measurement issues (e.g. socioeconomic status), risk adjustment, and causal inference.

Selected sessions will focus on:

  • Measuring the risks associated with advanced age and comorbid conditions
  • Hospital information systems
  • Ethical issues surrounding the conduct of clinical investigations
  • Using results for clinical care, quality assessment, and health policy
  • Peer-reviewed journal article publication and critique of literature


Global Health Sciences III: Biological And Social Determinants Of Health—CCTS 22003/42003 and BIOS 29814
Instructor: Christopher Olopade, Olufunmilayo Olopade
Time: TBA
Location: Online
Notes: Admission to Paris Global Health Program.

Global health is an interdisciplinary and empirical field, requiring holistic and innovative approaches to navigate an ever-changing environment in the pursuit of health equity. This course will emphasize specific health challenges facing vulnerable populations in low resource settings including in the United States and the large scale social, political, and economic forces that contribute to them through topical events and case studies. Students will study the importance of science and technology, key institutions and stakeholders; environmental impacts on health; ethical considerations in research and interventions; maternal and child health; health and human rights; international legal frameworks and global health diplomacy. Students will gain skills in technical writing as they construct position statements and policy briefs on global health issues of interest. Career opportunities in global health will be explored throughout the course.



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.