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 or Absera Melaku.

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.

Autumn 2021 Courses

Scholars in Ethics and Medicine Cohort (SEM) – CCTS 21005
Instructor(s): Kathryn Rowland 
Time: TBA
Location: TBA

This multi-disciplinary course draws insights from medicine, sociology, moral psychology, philosophy, ethics and theology to explore answers to the unique challenges that medicine faces in the context of late modernity: How does one become a “good physician” in an era of growing moral pluralism and health care complexity? Students will engage relevant literature from across these disciplines to address issues regarding the legitimate goals of medicine, medical professionalism, the doctor-patient relationship, vocation and calling, the role of religion in medicine, and character development in medical education. The course will first introduce the challenges that moral pluralism in contemporary society presents to the profession of medicine along with the subsequent calls for a renewed pursuit of clinical excellence in today’s complex health care system. It will then survey the resurgence of a philosophical discipline (virtue ethics) that has begun to shape contemporary debate regarding what types of “excellences” are needed for a good medical practice dominated by medical science and technology.

Note(s): This course is limited to those who have been accepted into the Emerging Scholars Cohort in Bioethics (Hyde Park Institute, Depending on space availability, other students interested in enrolling will need prior approval from Course instructor(s). This course is a yearlong course with several 2-hour lecture discussions throughout the year, 2 all-day Saturday sessions (Fall/Spring), and an off-site practicum. Registration in Autumn, Winter, and Spring Courses is required. The spring quarter course will be worth 50 units.
Equivalent Course(s): CCTS 41005

Advanced Clinical Pharmacology I – CCTS 40004
Instructor(s): Mark Applebaum
Time: Tuesday 02:00 PM-03:20 PM
Location: TBA 

This course provides an interactive introduction to fundamental principles of the practice of clinical pharmacology relevant to drug development and personalized therapeutics. Topics include: pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, protein binding, absorption and renal and hepatic elimination, pharmacodynamics, introduction to modeling methods, evaluation of adverse events, and pre-clinical and clinical elements of drug development.

Spring 2021 Courses 

The Making Of The “Good Physician”: Virtue, Ethics and the Development of Moral Character in Medicine — CCTS 21005/41005
Instructor(s): 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 2021.

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:

Justice, Solidarity, and Global Health — CCTS 21009
Instructor(s): Daniel T. Kim
Time: Tuesday/Thursday from 1:00pm – 2:20pm
Location: Online

Global health, it is said, is “one of the great moral movements of our time.” Health inequalities around the world are staggering, as is their toll on human suffering. What does a just response entail? What moves us to be just, and why do we so often fail? What do our failures of response tell us about the moral complexities involved, and importantly, about ourselves? In this course, we will consider these questions critically in terms of a basic problem of solidarity. Solidarity rests on our capacity for other-regard—for sympathy toward another—but how do we do that for distant others who are worlds apart? Is it possible, and what are the moral dangers of assuming that we can or cannot? We will test the importance of such questions for a just global health by examining some key theories of health justice, the insights of cultural and religious studies, and the question of what moves us to be just.

Intersectionality in American Medical Ethics — CCTS 21010
Instructor(s): Caroline Anglim
Time: Tuesday/Thursday from 9:40am – 11:00am
Location: Online

In this course, we will investigate the history of medical ethics and how the field has been framed around universal principles and rooted in secular philosophies. We will give a hearing to the voices most often silenced through the processes and procedures of medical ethics decision-making and evaluate the social and political impacts of this silencing on particular individuals and minority groups. We will discuss issues of gender, race, and religion and investigate how those identities intersect with one another to impact discrimination, power, and privilege in modern medical ethics. We will conclude the class with an evaluation of the field as a discourse, discipline, practice, or social reform movement, thinking about issues of authority and legitimacy in the public sphere.

Clinical Research Design and Interpretation of Health Data — CCTS 21011/41011
Instructor(s): Gregory Ruhnke
Time: Monday/Wednesday from 4:10pm – 5:30pm
Location: Online

This course will introduce the interdisciplinary field of clinically-oriented health services research with a focus on the interpretation of health-related metrics and policy-related applications. We will examine how translational medical science informs healthcare providers, payers, and professional societies. COVID-19 and postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy will illustrate the challenges of data interpretation, translation of research findings into clinical medicine, and the adoption of evidence-based guidelines. Using a highly interactive approach, students will gain experience in selection of research study designs, measurement of health status, risk adjustment, causal inference, and understanding the placebo effect. We will discuss how clinicians, administrators, and public reporting entities judge and use information derived from investigations. The COVID-19 pandemic will demonstrate the challenges that varied clinical presentations, diagnostic accuracy, and case definition (identification of diseased patients) create in the formulation of health statistics (e.g. case-fatality rates and disease attribution of mortality). We will also discuss methods of defining study populations for both clinical research and public health reporting.



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.