Programs by Campus


Translational Science

School of Medicine

Departmental Email: cahansel [at] iupui [dot] edu

Departmental URL:

Program Director

Professor R. Mark Payne*

(Please note that when conferring University Graduate School degrees, minors, certificates, and sub-plans, The University Graduate School’s staff use those requirements contained only in The University Graduate School Bulletin. Requirements may or may not be reflected identically in departmental URLs.)


(An asterisk [*] denotes membership in the University Graduate School faculty with the endorsement to direct doctoral dissertations)

Degree Offered

Master of Science Track 1 & Track 2, Graduate Certificate, Ph.D. Minor

Special Departmental Requirements

(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)

Master of Science in Translational Science

Indiana University’s Translational Science Program focuses on biomedical research techniques – how to translate a basic science discovery into a treatment or diagnosis protocol that physicians and clinicians can use to treat their patients. The objective of the Translational Science Program of Indiana (TSPI) is to jointly train scientists, engineers, and physicians or clinicians in the methodology of translational research (basic science and medicine working to advance care for patients). Using a unique model of dual mentorship from a clinical discipline, such as medicine, and basic science, this interdisciplinary program will prepare future leadership in translational research by integrating training in cutting edge basic science with human health and disease. This training program is focused on how to collaboratively apply scientific findings to health-related problems, and operates at the T0 – T1 range of the Spectrum of Translational Research. The product of this training program is expected to meet the rapidly growing need for highly trained scientists, engineers, and clinicians who can work collaboratively to advance new findings into patient care in both academic centers, as well as the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Course Requirements

The Master of Science program is divided between two main components: (1) completion of the formal curriculum, and (2) active involvement in translational basic science research under the dual mentorship of faculty scientists – one in the basic science arena and the other in the clinical science field.

Both elements are critical in preparation of the candidate for successful research following graduation.  Besides didactic classes, there is substantial research training in scientific writing and grant preparation. The curriculum is designed to cover core competency areas through a combination of course work and mentored research. The two-year M.S. program consists of a 30 credit hour curriculum, which includes the following core courses—G504/G505/G555, G651/G652, G667, G668, N802, and approved electives.  Additionally, Track 1 requires the completion of G669 & G670; whereas, Track 2 requires the completion of G671.


An overall average of at least a B (3.0) is required.


Track 1 requires both research experience (GRAD-G669 Mentored Basic Science Translational Research) and a thesis (GRAD-G670). Track 2 requires a clinical rotation experience (see GRAD G671 Clinical Rotations for Translational Scientists and Engineers) is completed in lieu of thesis.

Graduate Certificate in Translational Science
This is an 18 credit certificate with 4 required courses (G667: Tools & Techniques in Translational Research, G668: Quantitative Aspects in Translational Research, G504/G505/G555: Research Ethics, and G651 or G652: Biostatistics I or II). These 4 courses will constitute 10-12 credits; the remaining 6 – 8 credits will consist of graduate-level elective courses that are relevant to the student’s research interests. Electives (6 – 8 cr.:approved by program director) include graduate-level courses in more advanced biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical pharmacology, genetics, molecular biology, computer sciences, or other courses relevant to the individual student’s field of research.


Tools and Techniques in Translational Research (G667):  3 credits.  This course is offered in the fall semester and provides the advanced student with an understanding of the basic technologies and techniques used in translational research today. Key to this training is understanding how and when to use these technologies, and how to interpret their results and pitfalls. The trainees develop an understanding of the components for protecting human subjects, and how to move a novel concept from the lab to a patient. Finally, the student will understand how to identify and measure target endpoints in patients, and how to assemble a multi-disciplinary team to conduct translational research. The course will uses a case-based approach whereby specific technologies and problems are demonstrated in readings drawn from the textbook. This course is a new offering (initiated spring 2009) and is supported by the Indiana CTSI. Course Director: R. Mark Payne. 

Quantitative Aspects of Translational Research, (New - Grad-G668): 3 credits. Quantitative Aspects of Translational Research is an interdisciplinary weekly seminar series offered in the spring semester. Targeted toward the advanced graduate student and clinical or research based postdoctoral fellows, it will provide a forum for both Level 1 (bench to bedside) and Level 2 (clinical studies to practice) translational researchers to work together in learning both the key concepts and principles required to develop medically relevant solutions. Through a systematic exploration of diabetes mellitus, students will be exposed to the process of learning about any disease. Lecturers will represent the multiple disciplines with a stake in dealing the various aspects of disease; thus, providing students with a better global understanding. Course Director: Robert Bies.

Research Ethics (Responsible Conduct of Research - RCR) (G504/ G505/P555): 1 - 3 credits.  All M.S. students must enroll in coursework related to RCR if they have not already done so.

  1. Introduction to Research Ethics (G504): 2 - 3 credits.  More intensive course than G505. Taught by the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics and The IU Center for Bioethics. Course Director: Kimberly Quaid de Cordon.  Offered 3 times in the past 3 years (every fall).
  2. Introduction to Research Ethics (G505): 1 credit. Offered in the fall semester, G505 includes lecture and small group discussion formats and covers important issues in biomedical research, such as: 1) Scientific misconduct, 2) Conflict of interest, 3) Animal rights and welfare, 4) Ownership of data, intellectual property, and copyright management, 5) Authorship and scientific manuscripts, and 6) Informed consent and human subjects. Course Director: Michael J. Klemsz. Offered 3 times in the past 3 years (every fall).
  3. Ethical and Policy Issues in International Research (PHIL P555): 3 credits.  If students are contemplating international research, they may opt for this course. This course examines ethical and policy issues in the design and conduct of transnational research involving human participants.  Topics discussed include: economic and political factors; study design; the role of ethics review committees; individual and group recruitment/informed consent; end of study responsibilities; national and international guidelines. Course Director: Eric M. Meslin.  Offered 3 times in the past 3 years (every fall).

Biostatistics I (G651 or approved equivalent): 3 credits.  G651 is an introductory level biostatistics course designed for healthcare professionals. It is the first in the G651 and G652 series on biostatistics methodology. The course covers topics such as data description and presentation techniques, probability and probability distributions, sampling distributions, statistical inferences from small and large samples, analysis of categorical data, analysis of variance, correlation and simple linear regression analysis. Upon completion of the course, students will achieve a basic understanding of the concepts and techniques of data description and statistical inferences. Students will also acquire a working knowledge of SPSS, a commonly used statistical computation program. Students will be able to understand and interpret the statistical analyses in research articles published in medical journals. Course Director: B. Katz. Offered 6 times in the past 3 years (spring and fall semesters).


Biostatistics II (G652 or approved equivalent): 3 credits. G652 is an advanced applied biostatistics course designed for students with an interest in the health sciences. Students are expected to have completed at least one semester course of basic biostatistics. Knowledge of probability and probability distributions, concepts of estimation and hypothesis testing are assumed. Topics covered in this course include multiple linear regression, multi-factor analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, analysis of repeated measures, logistic regression model, and survival analyses. Upon completion of the course, students are expected to understand the appropriate statistical models for various outcomes and be able to interpret results using statistical techniques covered in this course. Course Directors: S. Gao & P. Monahan. Offered 3 times in the past 3 years (every fall).

Techniques of Effective Grant Writing (N802 or approved equivalent): 3 credits. This is an intensive course / workshop designed to teach fellows and graduate students how to write and review an NIH application. Trainees will write an NRSA, R03, or K-award application. Course Directors: Paul Lysaker & Alan Breier. Offered 3 times in the past 3 years (every fall).

Electives (3-7 credits)

Example electives include graduate level courses in more advanced biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical pharmacology, genetics, molecular biology, and computer sciences.  However, enrollees may select electives from the entire offering of graduate courses at both Indiana University and Purdue University at Indianapolis as well as IU at Bloomington.  Must be approved by Program Director.

Requirements for MS in Translational Science for people with clinical background (i.e., MD)

Mentored Basic Science / Translational Research (GRAD-G669): 9 credits  This mandatory course requires the student to construct an organized translational research project under dual mentorship (M.D. and Ph.D.) by faculty. The capstone experience is the completion of a grant in the NIH format suitable for peer-review and presentation before one’s peers. This course will be conducted in the fall, spring, and summer terms, graded by faculty, and should be in a format supporting submission to a funding organization. Students will enroll for 3 credits per semester for up to 3 semesters. Course Director: R. Mark Payne

Thesis in Translational Research (GRAD-G670): 3 credits.  This mandatory course requires the student to complete a research thesis based on their mentored basic science / translational research project. Course Director: R. Mark Payne

Requirement for MS in Translational Science for people with Basic Science background (i.e. PhD)

Clinical Rotations for Translational Scientists and Engineers (GRAD-G671): 9 credits Students rotate in pairs through all rotations, and an effort is made to only have 2 students on each rotation at a time to maintain a high quality experience. These courses serve to both introduce the students to clinical medicine, and acclimatize them to the language and environment of hospital-based and out-patient medical care. Designed as practicums, these courses are particularly aimed at non-clinician scientists intending to conduct translational research.

Ph.D. Minor in Translational Science

This is a 12-credit program which focuses on biomedical research techniques—how to translate a basic science discovery into a treatment or diagnosis protocol that physicians and clinicians can use to treat patients. All students expressing interest will be encouraged to speak with the program director or one of the Executive Committee members. The minor program will be approved by the student’s advisory committee, which will take into consideration the student’s total didactic experience. The advisory committee may approve additional and/or substitution of appropriate courses to complete the degree requirements. The minor representative on this Committee will be selected from outside the student’s major department.

(See course descriptions above.)

Tools and Techniques in Translational Research  (G667):  3 credits.   
Quantitative Aspects of Translational Research (G668):  3 credits.
Research Ethics (Responsible Conduct of Research - RCR) (G504/ G505/P555):  1 - 3 credits.
Biostatistics I (G651 or approved equivalent): 3 credits
Biostatistics II (G652 or approved equivalent): 3 credits
Electives (up to 3 credits): Must be approved by Program Director.

Academic Bulletins

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