Scholarly Concentration: Molecular Basis of Medicine


James Chen, PhD

Objectives and Goals

Molecular Basis of Medicine is one of the seven Scholarly Concentration Foundations. Required course work is designed to serve future practicing physicians by training them in how scientific data are generated and evaluated in the research laboratory, with a focus on the molecular mechanisms that underlie fundamental biological processes. Medical students participate in coursework and laboratory research side-by-side with graduate students and MSTP students pursuing the PhD and are exposed to the rigor and structure that support first-rate scientific investigation.



MBM students are required to complete:

• CSB 210
Cell Signaling
(4 units)

MBM students are to complete the remaining 8 units through elective courses that emphasize basic science. Students are encouraged to devise a course plan to present to the Director.


The vast majority of MBM students will complete the equivalent of a year of full time laboratory research, and will therefore pursue a five-year graduation plan. Some students elect to continue their research by entering a PhD program. Support for time spent in the lab may be obtained by application to the MedScholars Program, and students are also encouraged to apply for funding from outside sources, such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Students will also be expected to present the results of their work in a public forum, to produce a written report of their work (this may be in the form of a manuscript for publication), and to meet at least once annually with the Director.

Scholarly Concentrations & the MD Program

The Scholarly Concentration (SC) program is a required, structured program of study in the Medical Student Curriculum that promotes in-depth learning and scholarship. The SC's provide medical students with faculty-mentored scholarly experiences in areas of individual interest combined with structured coursework to support this scholarship.