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: 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)

(highly recommended)

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: 80
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

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: Allowed

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: Dr 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 Antibiotic Resistance and Antibacterial Drug Discovery (4MC)

With the dramatic increase in antibiotic resistance and the paucity in the development of new drugs we are in a transition phase to a pre-antibiotic like era with major implications for public health and clinical practice. Here, we will discuss two major topics: i) mechanisms of action of antibiotics and resistance, ii) concepts of antibacterial drug discovery, including target product profile, target and lead finding, and lead optimization. Through this module students will i) appreciate the threat that bacterial infections and the resistance problem pose to developed as well as developing countries, ii) learn about our current understanding of molecular mechanisms of antibiotics and resistance, and a paradigm shift in the making, and iii) comprehend the conceptual framework of the drug discovery process, including its multidisciplinary nature. This will enable students to put current issues in antibiotic mechanism / resistance and discovery into a context. If they decide to work in one of the areas discussed, the module will give them a good foundation.

Coordinator: A/Prof Thomas Dick, Department of Microbiology
Course offer date: January
Maximum class size: 20
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.

Coordinators: 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: August
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 (CBmE)
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

MDG5235 Topics in Clinical Ethics (4MC)

This module focuses on the ethical analysis of cases that present live issues in everyday clinical decision-making. Topics include discussing and using patient preferences, truth-telling, uncertainty about patient’s decision-making capacity, decisions involving minors, decisions about potentially life-sustaining treatments, family involvement in healthcare decisions, financial consequences of treatment, resource allocation, home care, nursing home care, recurrent hospital emergencies.

Coordinator: A/Prof Jacqueline Chin, Centre for Biomedical Ethics
Course offer date: January
Maximum class size: 15
S/U option: Not allowed

MDG5236 Principles & Concepts in Translation Research (2MC)

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: Not allowed

MDG5237 Biomedical Innovation Capstone (2MC)

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: Not 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: 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: 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

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: A/Prof Koji Itahana, Duke-NUS
Co-Coordinator: Dr Wai Leong Tam (Adjunct), Department of Biochemistry
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 Takaomi Sanda, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore
Course offer date: August
Maximum class size: 50
Pre-requisite: CDM5101 Fundamental of Cancer Biology (for CSI students)
CDM5101 Fundamental of Cancer Biology or other life sciences/clinical background recommended for non CSI students
S/U option: Allow
 

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 program.

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 program offered by the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.

Department of Biological Sciences

http://www.dbs.nus.edu.sg

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.