Boot Camp Courses, January 2018

[NOTE: Bootcamp information is currently being updated from 2017 to 2018. The information on this page may be temporarily incorrect or incomplete.]

What are Boot Camp Courses?

Boot camp courses merge hands-on lab experience with lectures over a one to three week period. These courses typically run during the January term. As with full-semester courses, boot camp courses should be added to your study card in the spring. Some programs (Cancer Biology, DRB, and LHB for example) require these courses as part of their curriculum; please refer to the specific BBS areas of concentration for additional information.

Course Credit:
Boot camps count for quarter course credit. 

Course Registration:

Pre-registration for January 2018 bootcamps will be open from November 1st, 2017 until 9AM on December 1st, 2017.

Registration for boot camp courses requires 2 steps.  First, you must pre-register to take the course by following the link on this website.  You will then get an email telling you your position on the class list or waitlist.  By December 1 at 5pm, you will recieve an email from the Curriculum Fellow associated with the course telling you whether or not you have a position in the course.  To officially enroll in the course and receive credit, you must put the course on your Spring study card. If you preregister on this website and then decide you do not want to take the course, please remove your name from the list so that others on the waitlist can secure a position in the course.

PLEASE NOTE: You may sign up for more than one bootcamp, but if you get into more than one bootcamp, you must drop one and notify the CFs associated with both ASAP.

To check your enrollment:
Please log in or create a new account (bottom of page) then click on My account (see link at right) and then click on the signups tab.  This will show you only what you have enrolled in on this site for this semester.

To un-enroll from a course.
You can do this two ways - from the My account link on right, or by going to the individual course listing under the Boot camp links.  Click Enroll and then cancel sign up.

Important dates to know:

  • Boot camp preregistration opens on November 1st, 2017
  • Boot camp preregistration closes on December 1st, 2017 at 9am
    • You will be informed by 5pm on December 4th to let you know whether you are in the class or on the waitlist
  • The drop deadline for all boot camps is December 11th, 2017 at 5pm

Important information to know:
If a class is full with a waitlist the instructor reserves the right to give students required to take these courses by their program priority over other students.  These courses are for graduate students except by permission of the instructor.  HB 301qc is only open to students in the LHB program of study.

Questions?  Concerns?  Please contact  2-4134

[NOTE: Bootcamp information is currently being updated from 2017 to 2018. The information on this page may be temporarily incorrect or incomplete.]

1a. Genetics 390qc: Experimental Approaches in Genetic Analysis

Click here for information from the 2017 Genetics 390qc boot camp

The goal of this course is to provide a survey of major topics and themes in genetics and genetic analysis in conjunction with exposure to a variety of experimental techniques, technologies, and model systems. Building on fundamental principles learned in Genetics 201, students will gain knowledge and hands-on experience in using genetic approaches to address biologically relevant questions in a variety of experimental systems, such as Drosophila, yeast, C. elegans, and humans.  The course will combine lectures and hands-on laboratory activities emphasizing experimental methods, hypothesis generation and testing, and data analysis.

Curriculum Fellow: Rachel Wright (

Course Dates for 2018: January 4 – January 12

Note: Limited to 8 students. Priority will be given to G1 graduate students in the BBS Department. 

Prerequisite: Students must also enroll in, or have taken Genetics 201.

2018 Schedule:

Day 1: Thursday, January 4. Mike Blower: Introduction to Xenopus

Day 2: Friday, January 5. Alexander Gimelbrant: Introduction to RNA-seq

Day 3: Saturday, January 6. Cynthia Morton: Introduction to Clinical Genetics

Day 4: Monday, January 8. Dragana Rogulja and Mike Crickmore: Introduction to Drosophila

Day 5: Tuesday, January 9. Len Zon: Introduction to Zebrafish

Day 6: Wednesday, January 10. David Sinclair: Introduction to Mice

Day 7: Thursday, January 11. Scott Kennedy: Introduction to C. elegans

Day 8: Friday, January 12. Marc Vidal: Introduction to Yeast


2. HB301qc (HB233): Case Studies in Human Biology and Translational Medicine (January G1 Year)

Preregister here for HB301qc (HB233)

Enrollment in HB301qc is required for, and restricted to, students in the Leder Human Biology and Translational Medicine program. LHB students enroll in HBTM 301qc during January of the G1 year, and receive credit for a quarter-course upon satisfactory completion of the course, which includes mandatory attendance. The course is led by editors of the New England Journal of Medicine in collaboration with investigators from industry and academia. The course meets every weekday morning for 60-90 minutes per day during 2 weeks in January, and the curriculum is designed to allow students to perform a lab rotation concurrently with HBTM 301qc.  Course meetings include lecture and small-group discussion formats, and all course meetings are held at the NEJM editorial offices, on the 6th floor of the Countway Library at HMS.  

Each week of the course focuses on a different case study in translational medicine. These case studies highlight examples of fundamental discoveries in human disease biology that provided new insights into the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of human disease, and led to development of new therapeutic approaches. Through the process of reviewing these case studies and critically reading selected papers, students will gain familiarity with research methods in human biology and also learn about fundamentals of clinical trial design and experimental design, clinical epidemiology, and biostatistics. In the first week, Dr. Mark Goldberg will describe the research establishing the molecular defect causing Fabry Disease (alpha-galactosidase A deficiency), and the development and clinical testing of effective treatment of the disease with alpha-galactosidase beta. In the second week, Dr. Jeffrey Drazen will review how basic discoveries in the enzymology of leukotrienes led to the development of new therapeutic agents used to treat asthma. Course directors Drs. Caren Solomon and Mary Beth Hamel (associate editors at NEJM) will introduce cohort studies and randomized control studies. Thus, HBTM301qc provides students with essential background for obtaining the statistical power of experimental observations in both basic and clinical investigations, assessing the outcomes of novel therapies, and dissecting the complexities of genetic and environmental effects.

Curriculum Fellow: Chris Burtner

Course Dates for 2017: January 9 - January 20; M - Th 9:00am - 10:30am; F 9:00am - 10:00am


3. Developmental & Regenerative Biology 330qc: Experimental Approaches in Developmental Biology Harvard College/GSAS: 6590

Quarter Course

Tentative Course Dates for 2017: January 4th- January 18th; 10:00am* - 6:00pm

Location: Variable (Longwood, Cambridge and MGH)
Course Director: Ya Chieh Hsu (
Co-Course Director: David Van Vactor (
Curriculum Fellow: Ted Feldman (

This course is designed to provide a survey of major topics and contemporary research in developmental and regenerative biology. Students will rotate in the laboratories of DRB faculty across the Harvard campuses and affiliated hospitals. Students engage with faculty and gain hands on experience in a variety of model systems, experimental techniques and research areas. Each day of the course will consist of a lecture followed by hands-on laboratory activities and interactive discussions.

Students in the DRB program are required to complete DRB 330. Space in the courses is limited; priority will be given to G1s and G2s interested in the program.

The course will culminate in a DRB New Year's celebration.

See last year's course website here

* some sessions may begin at 9:45 

Previous Topics included:

John Rinn: Transcriptome Regulation During Development

Matt Pecot: Neural circuit Assembly in the Drosophila nervous system

Doug Richardson (HCBI): Imaging theory and Practice

Trista North & Wolfram Goessling: Vessel Development in Zebrafish

Jay Rajagopal: Lung regeneration

Eric Greer: Mechanisms of Heritable Epigenetics in C. elegans 

Ya-Chieh Hsu: Mammalian Skin and Hair follicle regenaration

Jeffrey Macklis: Neurogenesis in Mammalian Central Nervous System

Senthil Muthuswamy: Tissue Morphogenesis and Polarity in Organoid Cultures

Jessica Whited: Regeneration of vertebrate limbs (axolotl)

Location and exact schedule along with background readings and detailed information for each day will be posted on the course Canvas site.  

Preregister for Developmental & Regenerative Biology 330 here                        

4. Microbiology 302qc. Introduction to Infectious Disease Research: Infectious Diseases Consortium Boot Camp

Dates: January 2018. Exact dates TBD (approximately 9AM-5PM each day)

For details of the January 2017 Micro 302qc bootcamp, click HERE

The Infectious Diseases Consortium (IDC) bootcamp provides an introduction to the breadth of infectious disease research carried out at Harvard. Students will learn techniques for studying infectious diseases, more about different types of infectious diseases, and meet faculty, students, and postdocs in infectious diseases labs at Harvard. 

On each day of the course, you learn about the different aspects of infectious disease research going on here at Harvard. The day will include a mixture of didactic lectures centered around a particular topic in ID research with some more hands-on or discussion-based activities. 

Curriculum Fellow: TBD (in the meantime, contact with questions)

5. BCMP 301qc. Translational Pharmacology

Catalog Number: 97487 Donald M. Coen (Medical School) 7617 and David E. Golan (Medical School) 1558

January 9, 2017 -- January 20, 2017

Click HERE to preregister for BCMP 301qc

This is an intensive course held during ten full days in January covering basic principles of pharmacology and how they are translated into the development of new drugs. Students participate actively in project groups composed of both graduate students and post-graduate M.D.'s to propose a strategy for drug development from target choice through clinical trials. There are two hours of lectures each of the first eight mornings; in the afternoons, there are case studies discussed by guest faculty from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, or time to work on the group project. Evaluation is based on the project and class participation. Enrollment may be limited.

Contact: Catherine Dubreuil (

 6. Cell Biology 301qc: The Epidemiology and Molecular Pathology of Cancer

Course Directors: Massimo Loda, PhD and Kathryn Penney, PhD
Curriculum Fellow:
Megan Mittelstadt, PhD (

Register HERE

An in-depth introduction to the epidemiology and molecular pathology of cancer. We will explore multiple types of cancer: prostate, lung, brain, colorectal, breast, and heme, through a series of lectures and hands-on practice tutorials. These tutorials will include training in molecular pathology techniques, state of the art image analysis of human biomarkers, tissue processing, immunohistochemistry, and tumor histology. In addition, the epidemiology, genetics and relevant signal transduction pathways of cancer will be highlighted.

Roughly, the mornings will be didactic - lectures on the epidemiology, pathology, and molecular pathology of each cancer type. Additional lectures on cytogenetics, cancer screening, and molecular pathology techniques will be included. Most afternoons will be spent in the lab: first, you will be led through a proper mouse dissection and practice isolating tissues of interest. Tissues will be processed, paraffin embedded, and slides will be made. Slides will be stained and visualized. Data analysis using the information collected will be introduced.

7Virology 301QC Advanced Topics in Virology - Viral Oncology

James DeCaprio

2 Units Enrollment: Limited to 12

Tuesday and Thursday 4:30-6:00 PM

Introduction to viral oncology and critical evaluation of key papers in viral oncology. Requirements include presentations, written critiques and class participation.

Preregister HERE

 January Session 2017
Meeting Dates: January 3, 2017 to January 19, 2017
First Meeting: Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Final Meeting: Thursday, January 19, 2017
Location: requested
Course Instructor: James DeCaprio,

8. SHBT 203 Anatomy of Speech and Hearing
Barbara Fullerton, James Heaton, and James Kobler
4 Units. Enrollment: Limited to 12, instructor consent required
Lecture: Monday - Friday, 9:30-10:30 Lab: 10:30-1:30
This course covers anatomy of the head and neck, with cadaver dissection, stressing structures important in speech and hearing. Lecture topics also include basic neuroanatomy, imaging, surgery, and cancer of head and neck.
 Note: This is an intensive January course. Offered jointly with MIT as HST 718. Classes to be held at the Harvard Medical School campus (HMS).
Prerequisite: Introductory biology or equivalent and permission of the course director, if not an SHBT
Preregister HERE 
January Session 2017
Meeting Dates: January 3, 2017 to January 26, 2017
First Meeting: Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Final Meeting: Thursday, January 26, 2017
Location: TBD
Course Instructor: Barbara Fullerton, BFULLERTON@PARTNERS.ORG, James Heaton,, and James Kobler,