Scholarly Concentration: Molecular Basis of Medicine


James Chen, PhD

Objectives and Goals

Molecular Basis of Medicine (MBM) is one of the seven Scholarly Concentration Foundations. It is designed to serve future practicing physicians by providing them with training in basic science concepts and research, with a focus on the molecular mechanisms that underlie fundamental biological processes. Medical students participate in coursework and laboratory research side-by-side with PhD and MSTP students and are exposed to the rigor and structure that support first-rate scientific investigation.



MBM Scholars are required to complete 12 course units when enrolled in the Foundation alone. If the MBM Foundation is combined with a Scholarly Concentration Application, 6 MBM course units are required. All courses for the MBM curriculum are taken as electives, and they should emphasize basic science. Coursework options include both didactic classes and independent research.


MBM Scholars will identify a research project and mentor that focuses on basic science. Total MBM research time typically spans at least one year.


All students are expected to present their research at least once in an approved forum. Students are also expected to produce a written report of their research results.

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.