A fully online, self-paced & faculty-evaluated medical research experience course designed to provide pre-health (pre-doctoral) students a structured opportunity to learn about, conduct, and author literature-based scientific medical research to help discover new therapies for modern human aging-associated diseases.  

Motivated Pre-Doctoral  Students Enroll In This Online Course To:

  • Help advance human health by conducting original scientific medical research.

  • Gain modern literature-based medical research skills & experience.

  • Gain authorship in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

  • Gain hands-on experience using modern internet-based scientific research tools provided by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) . 

  • Receive an academic letter of recommendation signed by Doctoral Course Faculty verifying topics learned & the description of the medical research conducted (upon successful course completion).

Course Mission:

The Mission of this innovative Course is to serve as a broadly-accessible educational opportunity that enhances the medical research skills & credentials of pre-health students that are planning to pursue doctoral study relevant to the biomedical & health sciences (PhD, MD, PsyD, PharmD, DNP, DO, DDS, DC, DPM, DPT, OD, ScD).  To fulfill this mission, this Course is designed & administered so that through its successful completion, the participant will:

  1. Achieve the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) published below.

  2. Gain socially-valuable medical research skills & experience.

  3. Gain authorship in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, so to formally recognize contribution to advancing human health through medical research scholarship. 

  4. Receive an academic letter of recommendation from Doctoral Faculty describing what was learned & the quality of medical research conducted. 

Course Curriculum & Learning Outcomes:

Curriculum Overview:

Students enrolled in this course utilize their own internet-enabled computer to access this course's online-classroom from anywhere in the world to access & complete a set of 3 assignments in a self-paced manner.  It is expected that students can finish this course within 16-weeks if they dedicate 3-6hrs of work per week on completing these course assignments.  Faculty members that are active & published biomedical scientists provide students with written constructive feedback on their submitted assignments to foster successful course completion.  An overview of the 3 course assignments is conveyed below:

Students study expert-composed & curated written material about modern foundational principles of human anatomy & physiology, and then demonstrate their understanding of these principles through composing written reports that are faculty-evaluated for accuracy.

Assignment 1



Students study expert-composed & curated material about modern scientific methods & tools of literature-based medical research, and then demonstrate their understanding of these methods & tools through composing written reports that are faculty-evaluated for accuracy.

Assignment 2

 Methods & Tools of Literature-Based Medical Research

Students conduct an original medical research project that supports the discovery of new therapies for modern human diseases, and communicate their research findings in the form of a written scientific paper that is publishable in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.  

Assignment 3




Student Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of the aforementioned 3 program assignments, students will have demonstrated their capacity to effectively:

  • Describe general principles of human anatomy & physiology.

  • Describe the biological basis & epidemiology of one or more modern human diseases.

  • Conduct medical research utilizing modern literature-based scientific research methods [Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis]. 

  • Communicate medical research findings through a scientific manuscript worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. 

Course faculty:

Dr. Taruna Ikrar, MD, MPharm, PhD

Dr. Ikrar is a physician-scientist & science educator with more than 25 years of biomedical research training & experience.  His scientific research has been published in world-class peer reviewed scientific journals & continue to be cited by scientists & clinicians on an international scale. He currently serves as Professor and Dean at the International School of Biomedical Sciences (ISB) of the Pacific Health Sciences University.

Dr. Walter Francesconi, PhD

Dr. Francesconi is a biomedical scientist & science educator with more than 40 years of biomedical research training & experience.  His scientific research has been published in world-class peer reviewed scientific journals & continue to be cited by scientists & clinicians on an international scale. He previously served as an Associate Professor at the world-class Salk Institute and now serves on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) as a Research Professor.

Course Admission & Cost:

Course Admission Criteria:

The Medical Research Experience (MRE) Course is open for admission to individuals that are planning to pursue doctoral study relevant to the biomedical sciences (PhD, MD, PsyD, PharmD, DNP, DO, DDS, DC, DPM, DPT, OD, ScD).

Cost of Course: 

The cost of this Course is $473.00.  Payment plans are available upon request. 

How to Enroll: 

The Medical Research Experience (MRE) Course is open for enrollment on a continuing basis throughout the year (as space permits). Individuals seeking enrollment into this Course are invited to complete & submit the online Course Admission Application Form found below.  All applications will be responded to within 1-2 days.

Additional Course Information:

  • This is a fully online course, in which students utilize their personal or public internet-enabled computer to access the course's online classroom to gain access to the 3 course-assignments.  Course-faculty communicate with students via email to help ensure that each student is accessing and successfully completing course-assignments.

  • This course is self-paced, meaning that the student completes the 3 course-assignments at a pace that they are comfortable with.  

  • Assignment 3 of this course involves the student independently conducting a literature-based, scientific medical research project with the constructive feedback & guidance of their course advisors (students use internet-based biomedical research tools provided by the US National Library of Medicine to conduct a research project). The scientific research project students conduct in this course is a component of a larger multi-person & multi-institutional research program that aims to discover new therapies for human aging-associated diseases (cancer, atherosclerosis, cataracts, neurodegeneration, osteoporosis, & arthritis). This research program will publish at least 2 papers within 12 months in 1 or more peer-reviewed scientific journals.  The student's name would be listed as an author on at least 1 one of them during that 12 month period, and s/he will be credited for conducting a portion of the research.  The main purpose of such publications is to share & document the scientific work of our faculty & students in a formal peer-review-mediated manner that is available to the public for constructive use to advance human health.

  • The type of scientific medical research that students conduct in this Course is known as "Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis" (SRMA), which utilizes internet-based & computer-based scientific tools and resources (see chart below):

  • Upon successful completion of this course, the student receives an academic recommendation letter signed by our academic dean and the course-faculty, verifying that the student has demonstrated an understanding of modern literature-based medical research methods and has taken the time to apply that understanding to conduct a scientific medical research project that aims to advance/support therapeutic discovery.  The main purpose of such a letter is to formally convey the student's understanding & contribution to modern medical research. 

Types of Medical Research.jpg

Chart Source: Types of Study in Medical Research by Dr. Bernd Rohrig, Dr. Jean-Baptist du Prel, and Dr. Maria Blettner: Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009 Apr; 106(15): 262–268.