Elective Modules

All PhD students are required to pass elective modules (worth 16 modular credits) that can be chosen from those offered by:
  • Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine or
  • Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies or
  • Master of Public Health or
  • Other Faculties and Research Institutes/Centres affiliated with NUS
 
 

Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

MDG5102 Techniques in Biomedical Research (4MC)
This module will expose students to current techniques in biomedical research. The course will include techniques in molecular biology, protein analysis, cell biology and microscopy.
Coordinator Dr Yvonne Tay, Department of Biochemistry
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 50
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5204 Advanced Topics in Pharmacology (4MC)...
The module aims to help students gain in-depth understanding of a range of topics including: receptor biology, signal transduction, inflammation, autophagy, pharmacology of antivirals and neuropharmacology, using lectures and journal clubs given by clinical and basic science experts.
Coordinator Dr Lai Kim Peng Mitchell, Department of Pharmacology
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 25
S/U option Allow
MDG5205 Neuroscience (4MC)
This module develops the foundations of neuroscience essential for further research and clinical application. It begins by introducing students to the morphology and cell biology of the nervous system. This is followed by discussion of the molecular events that occur during nerve conduction and synaptic transmission, and more complex levels of sensory, motor, and cognitive functions. The fundamental and clinical aspects of common neurodegenerative diseases and strategies to promote neural regeneration are then explored. Students will be introduced to common research techniques and shown examples of how these can be applied to solve problems in neuroscience. Suitable clinical problems will be introduced throughout the course to show the clinical context and application of scientific knowledge, as well as to integrate across disciplines.
Coordinator A/Prof Ong Wei Yi, Department of Anatomy
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 50
S/U option Allow
MDG5207 Advanced Topics in Cellular & Translational Immunology (4MC)
This module provides a comprehensive knowledge of the human immune system from the molecular to the more complex organism level. This includes a detailed account of natural and inducible immune surveillance mechanism(s) for evading or neutralizing microbial challenges and tumorigenesis. Another critical element of this module is to familiarize students with immunogenetics of disease processes, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and others, and to discuss the basis for the development of autoimmunity and the role of autoimmune phenomenon in disease physiology.
Coordinator Adjunct Dr Leung Pui Lam Bernard, Department of Physiology
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 35
S/U option Allow
MDG5214 Research Skills (4MC)
This module equips students with essential relevant research skills. The students will learn how to perform a comprehensive literature review of the current evidence, critique journal articles, use software such as Endnotes to compile references, and learn how to write scientific papers and grants. Students will be taught how to develop a scientific poster or prepare oral presentations of scientific findings. In addition, students will learn about the major funding agencies and the Institutional Review Boards in Singapore, and the principles of research ethics.
Coordinator Dr Chen Ee Sin, Department of Biochemistry
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 135
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5215 Applied Bioethics and Biolaw (4MC)
This module provides the tools necessary for students to develop and reflect critically upon contemporary issues in bioethics, medicine and the biosciences. Students will be taught aspects of local and transnational regulatory regimes that pertain to biomedical sciences and technologies. The module aims to develop skills of critical thinking and ethical analysis; to explore the impact of developments in medicine and the biosciences; and to encourage interdisciplinary dialogue between science and humanities. Key components of this module will relate to:
  • Introduction to Ethical and Legal Theory
  • Ethics, Medicine and Biotechnology;
  • Regulatory norms and practices in Singapore and overseas; and
  • Key Issues in Research Ethics.
Coordinator Dr Ho Wai Loon, Calvin, Centre for Biomedical Ethics
Dr Tamra Maree Lysaght, Centre for Biomedical Ethics
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 15
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5216 Bioethics in Asia: An Introduction to the Ethical Legal and Economic Evaluation of Health Policies (4MC)
This module will serve as an introduction to major developments in the bioethical aspects (specifically, its ethical, legal and economic components) of health and healthcare in select health systems in Asia. Students will be introduced to a bioethical framework to understand the roles that ethics, law and economics play in health policies and health systems across Asia. This framework will also help students understand the changing nature of supply-demand scales in health care, access to medicines and healthcare services, and relationships among patients, healthcare providers and health systems. Key components of this module will relate to:
  • Identifying the goals of health care
  • Health policy and systems research
  • Resource allocation
  • Healthcare financing, costs control and efficiency
  • Access to high-cost interventions (including medicines and biologics)
  • Quality of care and professional governance
  • Accountability in healthcare
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Health systems development
Coordinator Dr Calvin Ho Wai-Loon, Centre for Biomedical Ethics
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 15
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5218 Biochemical and Genetic Approaches to Understanding Cell Biology (4MC)
In the module, principles of cell biology and signal transduction will be discussed, by using various signalling pathways as examples. The focus of the module is on applying the scientific method to define research questions, devise experimental strategies to test hypotheses and to critically analyze data. To this end, the module will consist of paper discussions, small group presentations and research proposal development. The module will primarily focus on basic cell biology and signalling but also include clinical research related aspects. Assessment is based on small group presentation, research proposal writing and class participation.
Coordinator A/Prof Thilo Hagen, Department of Biochemistry
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 20
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5219 Medical Mycology: Core Principles and Recent Interests (4MC)
This module serves to highlight issues surrounding fungal infections that are becoming increasingly relevant to human health. This module begins with an introduction to the basic biology of fungal cells that make them a unique class of microbial pathogens. We also examine key molecular events in host-cell interactions and the different strategies by which fungi can evade immune-surveillance and establish pathogenicity. The significance of fungal pathogens in nosocomial infections and among the aged and immunocompromised will be discussed. There will also be a survey of the various aspects of diagnostic and therapeutic advances in the field to conclude the module.
Coordinator A/Prof Yeong Foong May
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 15
S/U option Allow
MDG5220 Array and Omics (2MC)
The dawn of the human genome project in the 1990s has fuelled advances in 2 key technologies. They are the microarray technology for genomics and mass spectrometry for proteomics. From these platforms, many other sub-specialty fields have emerged including array comparative genomic hybridization, microRNA array, phosphoproteomics, protein arrays and metabolomics, etc. These tools have and will continue to propel discoveries in basic, translational and clinical research. The module will educate students on these tools and their applications in this era of functional genomics. It is the intent of this module that students will benefit by engaging these state-of-the-art technologies thus enhancing their research capabilities.
Coordinator Dr Lim Yoon Pin, Department of Biochemistry
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 40
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5221 Viral Vectors for Manipulating Gene Expression (2MC)
The ability to manipulate gene expression in a cell, an organ or a whole organism is an important aspect in the delineation of the molecular mechanisms in health and disease. Hence, many conventional as well as newly developed techniques for gene expression manipulation are being used in biomedical research. One of the most used strategies involves the use of genetically engineered viruses to infect mammalian cells. This module will highlight the principles and practical considerations on the research use of viral gene delivery vectors for (i) exogenous expression of genes, and (ii) knockdown of genes by RNA interference. To this end, the module will consist of lectures, paper discussion and group presentation.
Coordinator A/Prof Tan Yee Joo, Department of Microbiology
Co-Coordinator A/Prof Justin Chu Jang Hann, Department of Microbiology
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 30
S/U option Allow
MDG5222 Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases (4 MC)
This module will equip students with the fundamental concepts in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The curriculum approaches the diseases from both the scientific and clinical perspectives and is conducted by leading clinicians and cardiovascular scientists in their respective fields. Students will have the opportunity to visit the National University Heart Centre's Angiography Centre to watch how angiography is carried out and if available, ballooning and stenting procedures as well.


At the end of the module, students are expected to gain good fundamental understanding of the following:

  1. Pathophysiological processes involved in atherosclerosis.
  2. How cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are diagnosed and managed clinically and surgically
  3. Genetic basis of cardiovascular diseases and how advances in genetics and genomics are contributing to better risk assessment.
  4. State-of-the-art cardiovascular imaging techniques
  5. Latest advancement in the field of vascular regenerative medicine
Coordinator A/Prof Heng Chew Kiat, Department of Paediatrics
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 30
S/U option Allow
MDG5223 Stem Cells And Regenerative Medicine (2MC)
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine aims to deliver in depth understanding of embryonic and adult stem cells in development and regenerative medicine. This module is designed to introduce students to the biology of stem cells, their origins, properties, and function in tissue regeneration/repair. In addition, students will be introduced to the principles of regenerative medicine. The hope and the hype of stem cell based therapies in human disease will be discussed.
Coordinator A/Prof Reshma Taneja, Department of Physiology
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 30
S/U option Allow
MDG5224 Animal Models of Human Diseases (2MC)
This module is designed to introduce students to commonly-used animal replica of key human diseases including cancer, muscle diseases, neurological and immune disorders. Major topics to be covered include non-mammalian models as well as rodent and non-human primate models of human diseases, with an emphasis of mammalian disease models. The final lecture will be conducted by a representative from the Pharmaceutical industry (e.g. GSK-Singapore) on how animal disease models are used in drug discovery.
Coordinator A/Prof Thiruma Valavan Arumugam, Department of Physiology
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 25
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5226 Antimicrobial Resistance and Drug Discovery (4MC)
Multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strains are responsible for deadly outbreaks and hospital-acquired infections around the globe, undermining advances in health and medicine. This has lead World Health Organization (WHO) to draft the global action plan to mitigate the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) (http://www.who.int/antimicrobial-resistance/global-action-plan/en/ ), which includes more investment in drug discovery and clinical development of new antibiotics and novel interventions. Following a brief introduction to antimicrobial resistance and its impact on the clinic and healthcare, we discuss different approaches to antimicrobial drug discoveries from screening to clinical trials. Finally, we explore alternative therapies that are rapidly gaining interest based on recent technological advances and the growth of personalized medicine.
Coordinator A/Prof Pablo Bifani, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 25
S/U option Allow
MDG5227 Bio-Innovation & Entrepreneurship (4MC)
This course aims to develop future entrepreneurs and industry leaders in bio-businesses with tacit knowledge and important core values. These individuals and teams will help advance medicine, usher the transformation that genomics, proteomics, molecular biology and personalized medicine can bring to human health. The course covers comprehensively the important elements required to build and develop a bio-business through a series of lectures and highly interactive tutorials, workshops and panel discussions with experts. Students will learn how to transform a scientific idea into a real product, the challenges of building a technology company, issues in dealing with intellectual property, fund-raising, regulatory approvals, manufacturing and commercialization. A diverse team of lecturers will bring in expert practitioners' experience and knowledge on different aspects of a bio-business. The course will guide the students through the process of generating an idea and developing it to a business pitch.
Coordinator Dr Volker Patzel, Department of Microbiology
Adjunct Dr Ong Siew Hwa, Department of Microbiology
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 25
S/U option Allow
MDG5229 Advanced Topics in Signal Transduction (4MC)
This module is designated to introduce our graduate students the cutting-edge knowledge of the key signal transduction pathways in cell biology and their implications in health and disease. The main topics include PI3K-MTOR pathways, MAPK pathways, tyrosine kinase pathways, GPCR, small GTPase, TNF signalling pathways, NF-kB pathways, Jak-STAT pathways, TGFb-Smad pathways, Hippo signaling, Hedgehog signalling, AMPK signaling, ubiquitination and protein degradation, to be taught by leading experts in the field, via lectures and tutorials.
Coordinator Prof Shen Han-Ming, Department of Physiology
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 30
S/U option Allow
MDG5230 Topics in Bioethics Research Methods (4MC)
This is a practical module that will provide students with the methodological tools necessary to analyse and reflect critically upon contemporary issues in bioethics, medicine and the biosciences. Students will be taught about various research methods that are commonly applied in bioethics and learn how to apply them to theoretical frameworks.
Coordinator Dr Tamra Lysaght, CBmE
Course offer date Aug 2015
Maximum class size 20
S/U option No
MDG5231 Topics in Biomedical and Behavioural Research Ethics (4MC)
This module will expose students to the history and theoretical foundations of ethics in biomedical and behavioural research as well as examination of major ethical issues arising in the conduct of such research. Topics covered include history of research ethics, theories and concepts in research ethics review, ethical issues relating to various research methodologies, and ethical issues arising in various types of biomedical and behavioural research.
Coordinator Dr Voo Teck Chuan, Centre for Biomedical Ethics 
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 12
S/U option No
MDG5232 Current practices in Biotechnology (2MC)
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the approaches and technologies that are used by successful biotechnology companies in Singapore and abroad, and to familiarize the students with the individuals and companies that act as leaders in this sector. This will be done by examining specific companies as “case studies”. Each case study will involve the evaluation of the company’s technology and the market environment, followed by direct contact with one or more principles of the company.
Coordinator Dr Deron Herr, Department of Pharmacology
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 20
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5233 Current Topics in Drug Design and Development (4MC)
The purpose of the module is to introduce students to a range of existing and emerging therapy modalities including how compounds are identified and developed. This will lead into the mechanism of drug action, drug delivery and drug metabolism specific to each class of drug. Additionally, an emphasis on advanced techniques for drug design and development specific to each class of drug will also be given. Furthermore, drug candidate selection, patenting, clinical trial design, objectives and roles of regulatory bodies will be covered.
Coordinator Dr Pieter Eichhorn, Department of Pharmacology
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 50
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5234 Independent Study Module (CBmE) (4MC)
PhD and MSc candidates may undertake independent study of a topic in bioethics under the supervision of a Centre for Biomedical Ethics (CBmE) faculty. They can formulate a topic of interest in advance and approach their prospective supervisor (with relevant research interests) to discuss and write a proposal for the Independent Study Module (ISM). They are advised to start working on the project several weeks before the start of the semester so that they can have sufficient time for any project revision if necessary. Students and supervisors are required to submit the CBmE ISM Contract agreeing to a plan of work and assessment. Students may check with CBmE to check for the list of ISM projects and prerequisites.
Coordinator Dr Calvin Ho Wai Loon, Centre for Biomedical Ethics
Dr Tamra Maree Lysaght, Centre for Biomedical Ethics
Course offer date January
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5236 Principles & Concepts in Translation Research
This course covers the various pathways from fundamental to applied research in the biomedical field. Using major diseases as a backdrop, dynamic researchers with established track records in interdisciplinary and translational research will teach on various topics, with the objective of illustrating the evolution of projects from bench to bedside/ industry.
Coordinator A/Prof Kevin Tan Shyong Wei, Department of Microbiology
Course offer date January 2017
Maximum class size 20
S/U option Allowed
MDG5237 Biomedical Innovation Capstone
The purpose of the Capstone Project is for the students to engage in research and apply multi-disciplinary knowledge they have acquired from their graduate program, to a real-world problem focused on clinical health issues. During the project, students utilise the entire process of solving a real-world team-based project, from collecting to processing the actual data, to applying suitable analytic methods to the problem. Students will work in small teams on a project supervised by a mentor from various departments of NUH and NUS. The final project will be delivered in a written report and a formal presentation.
Coordinator A/Prof Kevin Tan Shyong Wei, Department of Microbiology
Course offer date August 2017
Maximum class size 20
S/U option Allowed
MDG5238 Clinical Pharmacology I (4MC)
This module aims to prepare students (in particular, the Master of Nursing students) with the general principles and concepts of pharmacokinetics (body’s handling of drug) and pharmacodynamics (principles/mechanism of drug action) in humans. A sound understanding of these foundation principles, which constitute the scientific basis of therapeutics, will promote the safe and rational use of drugs in disease conditions. The module will then progress to the study of the pharmacological properties of various classes of clinically useful drugs, starting with autonomic and central nervous systems, pain management and followed by gastrointestinal system. In addition, it will cover legal and ethical principles underpinning the advanced practice nurse’s role in administration of drugs.
Coordinator A/Prof Bian Jinsong, Department of Pharmacology
Co-Coordinator Dr Judy Sng, Department of Pharmacology
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 50
Co-requisites NUR5102 Applied Pathophysiology or
NUR5602 Applied Pathophysiology (Paed)
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5239 Clinical Pharmacology II (4MC)
The module is a continuation from MDG5238 Clinical Pharmacology I on the study of pharmacological properties of various classes of clinically useful drugs. It is organized according to drugs acting on various body systems; namely the cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrinology. The whole group of antimicrobials for the treatment of infections and anti-cancer drugs will also be included. The scientific basis of the therapeutic applications of these drugs will be demonstrated to the students, thus promoting the safe and rational use of drugs in clinical therapeutics.
Coordinator A/Prof Bian Jinsong, Department of Pharmacology
Co-Coordinator Dr Judy Sng, Department of Pharmacology
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 50
Pre-requisite MDG5238 Clinical Pharmacology I
S/U option Not Allowed
MDG5240 Independent Study Module - Innovation Capstone Project
The purpose of the Independent Study Module is for the students to engage and promote self-study, critical thinking and independent research abilities, to a real-world problem focused on clinical health issues. The team-based project, from solving a real-world clinical health issue to commercialising the product or process, must be relevant to industrial and clinical areas. Students will work in small teams on a project which must be approved by the module coordinator before they are allowed to proceed. The students should identify a supervisor/mentor who is willing to oversee the projects and obtain their approval before submitting the proposal for consideration.
Coordinator A/Prof Kevin Tan Shyong Wei, Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Course offer date January 2018
Maximum class size 20
Pre-requisite MDG5236 Principles and Concepts in Translational Research
or
MDG5237 Biomedical Innovation Capstone
S/U option Allowed
CDM5101 Fundamentals of Cancer Biology (4MC)
This module provides students with a comprehensive overview of aberrant cell growth control mechanisms in cancer. The major lecture topics will include introduction/history of cancer, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, epigenetics, angiogenesis, metastasis, tumor immunology, cancer stem cells, animal models, DNA repair and regulation of the cell cycle, cell death and cell signaling. This module is an essential prerequisite for the Translational Cancer Research Module.
Coordinator Prof David Marc Virshup, Department of Biochemistry
Co-Coordinator Dr Takaomi Sanda, Department of Medicine
Course offer date January
Maximum class size 50
S/U option Allow
CDM5102 Translational Cancer Research (4MC)
This course aims to apply knowledge of the molecular and cellular basis of cancer to improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this disease. Topics that will be covered include histopathology of cancer, molecular markers of early detection, molecular prognostic and predictive markers, mutation detection methods, drug discovery, targeted cancer treatments, familial cancers and pharmacogenetics. The major cancer types in the Asian region (breast, colorectal, lung, gastric, liver) will also be covered in depth, including etiology, molecular pathways and novel treatment approaches.
Coordinator Dr Anand D Jeyasekharan, Department of Medicine and CSI
Co coordinator Dr Takaomi Sanda, CSI
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 50
Pre-requisite CDM5101 Fundamental of Cancer Biology for CSI PhD students and CDM5101 or lifescience/clinical background for others
S/U option Allow
CDM5103 Advanced Topics in RNA Biology and Human Diseases (4MC)
This module will expose graduate students to cutting-edge knowledge of RNA biology and its implications in human diseases. Landmark studies in the field will be discussed in order to offer a historical perspective, and publications from the latest issues of scientific journals will be referenced to learn about recent findings in this rapidly-evolving field. In addition, through lectures and interactive journal clubs conducted by clinical and basic science experts, students will discover how cell processes are regulated by RNA, RNA-binding proteins and the ribonucleoprotein complex, how changes in RNA can lead to disease, and how we can explore the therapeutic potential of RNA.
Main Coordinator Dr Polly Chen Leilei, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore
Coordinator Dr Yvonne Tay, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore
Course offer date August
Maximum class size 50
S/U option Allowed
 
 

Elective modules offered by Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

Students may choose their elective modules offered by the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies Graduate Research Programme.

Elective modules offered by Master of Public Health, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health

Students who are interested in clinical or epidemiologic research may also choose their elective modules from the Master of Public Health Programme offered by the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.

Department of Biological Sciences

Students may choose their elective modules offered by the Department of Biological Sciences. They may refer to the DBS website http://www.dbs.nus.edu.sg/education/graduates/ for the details.

Other Research Institutes/Centres/Faculty

Courses offered by other Research Institutes/Centres/Faculties are announced through emails when available.

Important Information

The electives for fulfillment of PhD coursework requirement must be graded. Students may take Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (Pass/Fail) modules to widen their knowledge but such modules cannot be used towards their CAP calculation. They should check with the respective departments/Research Institutes/Centres for the course offer dates and further details.

Students should check with the respective Research Institutes/Centres for the details of the courses which are not listed herein.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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