Experimental Pathology: Understanding the Molecular Basis of Human Disease

Course Description

This is a Course-based Research Experience (CRE) class that will provide you with the chance to propose, design, and conduct your own research project, working on topics and seeking answers to questions that are currently unknown to science.

The investigation of real-world medical problems using critical thinking, hypothesis-driven experiments, and data analysis requires you to have a strong desire to learn how to conduct independent research, be highly motivated and resilient. The course will explore fundamental concepts in research design using human diseases, such as cancer and liver disease as examples. You will work individually or in small teams to develop a question relevant to experimental pathology.

This CRE course will be conducted in a Hybrid format. The first 2 weeks will be virtual with you researching your chosen topic and learning about various scientific techniques that can be used to test your hypothesis. There will be two live sessions each week where we will discuss your projects and provide feedback on the experimental design. You will spend the next 3 weeks on-campus at Brown performing your experiments in our laboratory facilities. The course will culminate with you preparing a formal laboratory report and flash talk on your project.

The course will employ a flipped classroom. Concepts will be taught using recorded mini-lectures, video clips, and reading assignments. Group discussion and individual meetings with the instructors will be conducted online to aid in the design of a novel experiment that has the best chance to produce meaningful, defensible data. You will be taught the scientific techniques relevant to your project upon arrival to campus and will then spend the rest of the course conducting independent research under the mentorship of the instructor and graduate-level teaching assistants.


Students must be 16 by June 19, 2022 to participate in this course. Coursework in biology/chemistry is required. Additional coursework in Honors or AP biology/chemistry would be useful, but not required. Resiliency, motivation, and dedication are a must for this course as students will develop and perform individual or small team novel research experiments.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 05, 2022 - August 05, 2022
Duration: 5 Weeks
Meeting Times: Online - Blended 7/5-7/17 with required live sessions every Wednesday from 6:00PM - 7:00PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) and On-Campus 7/18-8/5 M-F 8:30A-11:20A
Status: Closed
Format: Hybrid
Instructor(s): Jennifer Sanders
John Santiago
Course Number: 10138