Scientific Foundations of Medicine

Scientific Foundations of Medicine (SFM) runs from the end of the Foundations of Human Anatomy course through early January after winter break. The purpose of this course is to present the language and principles of biomedical science that students will be using throughout their study of human health and disease. Course methods include lecture, readings, journal clubs, virtual microscopy, small-group problem-solving sessions and clinical correlations.

Course Goals

After the course, students will:

  • Know the fundamental principles governing the assembly and function of macromolecules.
  • Know the fundamental principles underlying gene expression in eukaryotes.
  • Know the fundamental principles of cell physiology and histology.
  • Know the fundamental principles of human metabolism.
  • Know the fundamental principles of genetics.
  • Know the fundamental principles underlying pharmacology.
  • Know the fundamental principles of pathobiology.
  • Know the fundamental principles of neoplasia.
  • Begin to make the connections between basic scientific information and clinical medicine.

Course Director

Brendan P. Cormack, PhD

  • Director, Infectious Disease, Translational Science Intersessions
  • Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics

SFM Macromolecules

Jie Xiao, PhD

  • Professor of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry

SFM Cell Physiology

Takanari Inoue, PhD

  • Professor of Cell Biology

SFM Histology/Pathobiology

Zahra Maleki, MD

  • Associate Professor of Pathology

SFM Genetics

Jeremy Nathans, MD PhD

  • Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics

SFM Metabolism

Michael J. Wolfgang, PhD

  • Professor of Physiology

SFM Pharmacology

  • Craig Hendrix, MD

    • Wellcome Professor and Director, Division of Clinical Pharmacology
    • Professor of Medicine
  • Ron Lee Schnaar, PhD

    • John Jacob Abel Professor of Pharmacology
    • Professor of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences

SFM Neoplasia


Kubweba Bugase, M.B.A
Medical Training Program Administrator
Email: [email protected]

Time Commitment and Course Length

Course meets for seven weeks from October to early January. Usual weekly schedule runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. The course is broken into seven sections that reflect the learning goals above.

Typical weekly schedule of Scientific Foundations of Medicine:

Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Disparities and Inequities in Health and Health Care
Foundations of Human Anatomy Scientific Foundations of Medicine
Clinical Foundations of Medicine
  Foundations of Public Health