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.

Autumn 2019 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: TBA
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:


Health Systems In Low- And Middle-Income Countries—CCTS 21008/41008
Instructor: Veena M Sriram
Time: Tuesday, and Thursday 2:00-3:20 PM
Location: Social Sciences Research Building 401
Notes: Open to graduate and 3rd- and 4th-year undergraduates. 1st- and 2nd-year undergraduates interested in taking the course may write to the course instructor ( for permission.

Strengthening health systems in low- and middle-income countries is imperative to achieving lasting improvements in health. Recent experiences with viral epidemics, including Ebola, H1N1 and Zika have highlighted the importance of building health systems that are responsive to a variety of health conditions in a timely, effective and inclusive manner. Global health researchers and practitioners have called for integration of programs and interventions with national and subnational health systems, in order to improve coverage and sustainability. Yet, despite the increasing invocation of the term, conceptual and empirical understandings of ‘health systems’ remain ambiguous. This course will help students develop a comprehensive and holistic understanding of health systems in low- and middle-income countries. We will explore the core components of health systems, including service delivery, human resources for health, health financing, supply chain systems, governance, community engagement and information systems. Each class draws upon contemporary case studies from a variety of low- and middle-income countries to illustrate challenges, controversies and opportunities in these contexts. We will systematically unpack the influence of diverse stakeholders, policies and contextual factors, such as colonialism, politics and conflict, on the structure and functioning of health systems. Finally, recognizing the convergence between global and local, we will situate current challenges in the U.S. health system in a global context.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze and assess the structure and functioning of health systems in low- and middle-income countries by drawing upon key frameworks, concepts and analytic tools
  • Identify and analyze key stakeholders and contextual factors at the local, subnational, national and global level that impact health systems in low- and middle-income countries
  • Design a sample research or intervention proposal to investigate and/or improve health systems in a low-and middle-income country

The course consists of interactive lectures, group work, and assessments that test their understanding of core concepts, including reflections on readings, a midterm paper and a final project built around grant writing.


Advanced Clinical Pharmacology I—CCTS 40004
Instructor: Mark Applebaum, Randall Knoebel
Time: Thursday 1:00-2:20 PM
Location: TBA
Notes: Equivalent Intro to Pharm approval. Course starts 10/1.

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.


Fundamentals Of Quality Improvement And Patient Safety—CCTS 46001
Instructor: Andrew Davis, Laura Botwinick
Time: Tuesday 5:00-6:30 PM
Location: Billings Hospital H300
Note: The class will be held between November 5th and December 17th

Quality Improvement & Patient Safety was designed for faculty and staff at University of Chicago Medicine with the support of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). The course provides an overview of concepts and methodologies for improving the quality and safety of care. Participants will design quality improvement projects using skills learned in class. In addition, UCMC leaders will speak on key topics throughout the course. Participants will become familiar with tools for improving quality of care and service delivery, such as the Model for Improvement and Lean Performance Improvement. Participants will design an actual quality improvement project and complete a personal improvement project using skills learned in the class. Participants will understand the factors impacting the delivery of safe and high quality care in health care organizations such as teamwork, good communication and organization culture. Participants will understand “Systems Thinking” and other key concepts in patient safety such as Human Factors and Reliability. Participants will understand the key role of QI in today’s health care environment as a mechanism for improving organizational effectiveness and the patient experience. The course is comprised of seven classes total. Faculty, staff, and students/trainees at the University of Chicago Medical Center are welcome to audit the course and should contact Kelsey Bogue at to register.


Advanced Community Based Participatory Research (Cbpr) Training Program 1—CCTS 47001
Instructor: Deborah Burnet, Doriane Miller
Time: Friday 12:00-1:00 PM
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.


Methods In Health And Biomedical Informatics—CCTS 47005
Instructor: Samuel Volchenboum
Time: Thursday 1:30-3:30 PM
Location: TBA
Notes: Send questions about enrollment to Course runs from 9/27 to 12/08. Location rotates
between Northwestern’s downtown campus and UIC.

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 first course of a year-long sequence and is worth 100 units. Registration for the full year is expected.


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.

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