An interdepartmental program in Health: Science, Society, and Policy

Last updated: September 10, 2014 at 3:13 p.m.

Objectives

The major in health: science, society, and policy (HSSP) is designed to provide interdisciplinary study of health and health care. The major has three objectives: (1) to expand students' understanding of the biological, behavioral, social, and environmental factors that promote health or cause illness; (2) to introduce students to the political, economic, legal, public health, and organizational dimensions of health care systems in the United States and throughout the world; (3) to provide students with hands-on experience in either an internship (in a health care delivery, public health, or advocacy organization), a laboratory (studying the biological basis of health, behavior, or disease), or a field-based research project (investigating aspects of health or illness in a social context). This major draws upon courses in the social sciences, life sciences, and the fields of policy and management and is especially appropriate for students preparing for careers or further study in health and medicine as well as students who want to examine the issues and concerns of this important sector in society. The major can be completed with either a BA or BS degree.

The minor in HSSP is designed to provide an introduction to interdisciplinary study of health and medicine and to supplement a student's major.

Learning Goals

Health: Science, Society and Policy (HSSP) is an interdisciplinary undergraduate major that focuses on health, health care and health policy. Launched in 2003, HSSP is a unique program that draws from three of the major strengths of Brandeis: the life sciences, the social sciences, and the health policy expertise of the Heller School. In addition, the required “hands on experience” enables students to engage academic material experientially in a setting related to either health or health care. Students may fulfill this with a summer or semester internship, a field or lab based research project, or through a study abroad program. One of the core requirements is a course in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, an important perspective rarely offered to undergraduates.

There are few programs like HSSP in the country; the emphasis is studying multiple perspectives on health and health care. Many HSSP graduates eventually go on to graduate or professional school in medicine, public health, nursing, health administration, physical therapy, health law, and other health related fields.

In pursuing the major, students can chose to do the BA version of the program or the more science intensive BS version. The BS students take at least four Biology courses while the BA students take one Biology course and two BISC courses (science courses for non-science majors) and/or additional BIOL courses as part of their program. In both cases, students take four core courses, four or five electives, a “hands on experience”, and a senior capstone course. This includes courses that emphasize social science perspectives about health and illness, others that examine health policy issues, and courses that present scientific views of disease and treatment.

Knowledge: The HSSP major emphasizes knowledge and awareness of health from the perspectives of science, society and policy in both US and global contexts. Students completing the major will achieve significant competency in understanding:

  • The nature of disease and illness from a basic scientific perspective;
  • The social and cultural contributions to health and illness;
  • The impact of health care system in diverse social and cultural settings;
  • How public policies in health and health care are developed, implemented and evaluated.

Core Skills: Students completing a major in HSSP will also acquire important core analytic thinking and quantitative reasoning skills including the ability to:

  • Synthesize information and perspectives from different disciplines, especially but not exclusively about health and health care;
  • Critically think about and evaluate health care system organization and delivery;
  • Provide a first hand experience with a health related organization; this teaches students how to function in and evaluate a “real world” situation beyond the classroom.
  • Critically evaluate health issues with epidemiology, basic biostatistics and quantitative reasoning;
  • Research health-oriented problems and analyze and communicate findings in both written and oral presentations.

Social Justice: The HSSP curriculum provides the tools for those committed to the Brandeis ideal of learning in service of social justice. The HSSP graduate will come away with a strong understanding of:

  • The social determinants of health and disease and health disparities and the impacts of social inequality on health;
  • Issues related to access of health care and health reform options;
  • Social and cultural differences as they pertain to health;
  • Selected major bioethical issues.

Upon graduating many of our students take different health-related routes:

  • Enter graduate and professional schools for health-related professions and occupations including medicine, nursing, medical social work, podiatry, physical therapy and others;
  • Seek careers in public health and in public policy related to health and health care, often ultimately pursue further education in Public Health, Law, Government, Business, and Public Policy;
  • Embark on careers in health-oriented research (often beginning with entry level positions and sometimes seeking advanced academic degrees);
  • Work in health-related domestic or international public sector agencies or NGOs or become involved with health services or health advocacy organizations, both domestic and international.

How to Become a Major or a Minor

Students can begin study in the HSSP major or minor with virtually any course in the program except HSSP 100b, HSSP 110a, and the Hands On Experience courses: HSSP 89a, 98a/b, or 99d. Although students are encouraged to take their Core Science Course, SOC 191a and HS 104b* early in their pursuit of an HSSP degree, electives may also be taken concurrently. Students interested in majoring or minoring in HSSP should make an appointment with the program’s Undergraduate Advising Head to declare their chosen HSSP degree and be assigned an HSSP adviser. Those interested in lab experience and senior research should contact prospective mentors about these opportunities. The complete listing of all HSSP degree requirements and all program and course options are listed below. NOTE: For students seeking an HSSP minor degree, entrance into senior year HSSP core courses can only be guaranteed to those students who declare their HSSP minor before the end of their junior year, regardless of the number of satisfactorily completed courses.
* LGLS 114a can be substituted for HS 104b.

Faculty (Executive Committee)

Sara Shostak, Chair (on leave spring 2015)
(Sociology)

Darren Zinner, Associate Chair
(Heller School)

Sarita Bhalotra, Study Abroad Liaison
(Heller School)

Peter Conrad (on leave spring 2015)
(Sociology)

Sarah Curi, Undergraduate Advising Head
(Legal Studies)

Andrew Hart, Internship Instructor
(Heller School)

Sarah Lamb
(Anthropology)

James Morris
(Biology)

Sacha Nelson
(Biology)

Cindy Parks Thomas, Honors Coordinator
(Heller School)

Judith Tsipis
(Biology)

Affiliated Faculty (contributing to the curriculum, advising and administration of the department or the program)
Stuart Altman (Heller)
Susan Birren (Biology)
Wendy Cadge (Sociology)
Joe Cunningham (Psychology)
Elaine Lai Fulton (Biology)
Deborah Garnick (Heller)
Laura Goldin (American Studies)
Anita Hannig (Anthropology)
K.C. Hayes (Biology)
Liz Hedstrom (Biology)
Eli Hirsch (Philosophy)
Dominic Hodgkin (Heller)
Constance Horgan (Heller)
Derek Issacowitz (Psychology)
Nina Kammerer (Heller)
Margie Lachman (Psychology)
Walter Leutz(Heller)
Eve Marder (Biology)
Elizabeth Merrick (Heller)
Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson (Heller)
Joan Press (Biology)
Sharon Reif (Heller)
Nicolas Rohlader (Psychology)
Lindsay Rosenfeld (Heller)
David Sherman (English)
Neil Simister (Biology)
Melissa Stimmel (Legal Studies)
Gina Turrigiano (Biology)
Larry Wangh (Biology)
Mick Watson (Psychology)
Jutta Wolf (Psychology)

Requirements for the Minor

To complete the minor, students must complete the four required courses as noted in part A below (BIOL 14a or 15b or 16a; SOC 191a; HS 104b*; HSSP 100b) and two additional elective courses from different “focal areas” listed below for a total of six courses. Entrance into senior year HSSP core courses can only be guaranteed to those students who declare their HSSP minor before the end of their junior year, regardless of the number of satisfactorily completed courses.
* LGLS 114a can be substituted for HS 104b.

Among courses offered to fulfill the requirements for this minor, no course may be taken pass/fail and all grades counting toward an HSSP must be at least a C-.

Requirements for the Major

A. All students are required to complete four core courses plus a hands-on experience, a senior seminar, and elective requirements which vary for the BA and the BS degrees. The core courses are: SOC 191a, HS 104b, HSSP 100b, and one of four biology courses: BIOL 14a, 15b, 16a, or 42a. All students working toward a BS degree must take BIOL 42a as a core biology course. LGLS 114a may be substituted for HS 104b.

To fulfill the hands-on experience requirement students must complete either HSSP 89a, HSSP 98a or b, or HSSP 99d. Students may also petition to use a Health-related JBS or internships through ENVS 89a, LGLS 161b, PAX89a, WMGS 89a, or certain JBS programs as substitution for HSSP 89a with prior written approval from the HSSP Internship Instructor.

HSSP 110a is the capstone course, taken in the final spring semester of the senior year. Students must choose one of the two tracks described below. Option I leading to the BA in HSSP or Option II leading to the BS in HSSP.

Among courses offered to fulfill the requirements for this major, no course may be taken pass/fail and all grades counting toward an HSSP degree must be at least a C-.

With prior approval from the HSSP Undergraduate Advising Head students may transfer up to eight credits taken outside Brandeis. Transferred courses may only count toward Focal Area electives for the HSSP BA degree and Focal Area electives or Basic math/Science courses for the HSSP BS degree.

Option I: The BA Degree in HSSP

Students wishing to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree must complete all the requirements listed in part A above, plus four elective courses, including one each from “focal areas” A, B, and C. The BA option requires ten courses to complete.

Option II: The BS Degree in HSSP

Students wishing to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree must complete all the requirements listed in part A above, plus five electives from focal areas A, B, and C and twenty-four course credits of additional science and/or math electives at or above the 10-level. Specifically, these five focal area electives must include three electives at or above the 10-level from focal area A, one elective from focal area B, and one elective from focal area C.  Students must also enroll in and satisfactorily complete all laboratories that accompany electives used to satisfy any HSSP degree requirements. These corresponding lab courses are worth 2 credits (a half course) each, and may be used toward fulfilling the twenty-four credits (6 courses) of basic math or science electives at or above the 10-level required for the HSSP BS degree.

PSYC 51a may count as one of the six additional basic math/science courses.

B. Honors Program

In order to enroll for honors courses, a student must have a 3.25 overall GPA or a 3.5 GPA from a minimum of five HSSP electives and three HSSP core courses.  Students wishing to graduate with honors in HSSP will be required to take HSSP 99d for which the formation of a three-faculty member committee and a formal defense before that committee is required. The committee will consist of the student’s adviser, as well as two members decided upon by the student and the adviser, and must be approved by the chair of HSSP.

Special Notes Relating to Undergraduates Interested in Premedical Studies

The HSSP major is not meant to fulfill premedical requirements, but HSSP students could satisfy the prerequisites for medical school in one of two ways: (1) by majoring in one of the life or physical sciences and choosing HSSP as a minor, or (2) by majoring in HSSP and selecting the BS option of HSSP. To assess their options, premed students should consult the Web site www.brandeis.edu/as/prehealth/.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

HSSP 89a Internship and Analysis
[ wi ]
Prerequisite: Open only to HSSP majors.
A supervised internship in a health care or policy organization. Internships may include work in a department of public health, hospital or health care agency, health advocacy organization, or other appropriate government or private-sector organization; but regardless venue, the internship itself must focus on some aspect of health and public service and be approved by the HSSP internship instructor prior to receiving a registration permission code. Students are required to attend a weekly internship course and write several 7-10 page papers that require reflection on and analysis of your experience. Usually two sections are offered in the fall semester and one section is offered in the spring semester.
Staff

HSSP 92a Internship and Analysis
Staff

HSSP 98a Independent Research in Health: Science, Society, and Policy
Under the direction of a member of the HSSP faculty or faculty sponsor approved by HSSP chair, students conduct an intensive laboratory- or field-based project that culminates in a twenty- to twenty-five-page research paper. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HSSP 98b Independent Research in Health: Science, Society, and Policy
Under the direction of a member of the HSSP faculty or faculty sponsor approved by HSSP chair, students conduct an intensive laboratory- or field-based project that culminates in a twenty- to twenty-five-page research paper. Usually offered every year.

HSSP 99d Senior Research
Under the direction of a member of the HSSP faculty, students conduct a year-long, original, health-related research project (laboratory- or field-based) and write a thesis.
Staff

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

HSSP 100b Introduction to Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Population Health
[ qr ss ]
Core course for the HSSP major and minor. Open to junior and senior only.
Provides an orientation to the science of epidemiology, the quantitative foundation for public health policy. As a comprehensive survey course, students from varying academic backgrounds are introduced to biostatistics and major epidemiological concepts, and provided with training in their application to the study of health and disease in human populations. Case studies examine how environmental, physical, behavioral, psychological, and social factors contribute to the disease burden of populations. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

HSSP 102a Global Perspectives on Health
[ ss ]
A primer on major issues in health care in developing nations. Topics include the natural history of disease and levels of prevention; epidemiological transitions; health disparities; and determinants of health including culture, social context, and behavior. Also covers: infectious and chronic disease incidence and prevalence; the role of nutrition, education, reproductive trends, and poverty; demographic transition including aging and urbanization; the structure and financing of health systems; and the globalization of health. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HSSP 104b Health Economics
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: ECON 2a or 10a.
Emphasizes the concepts and tools of health economics applicable to both developed and developing countries. Topics include: cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis, the demand for health services, insurance and risk, managed care, provider reimbursement, national health insurance, and an overview of health care systems in other countries. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hodgkin

HSSP 106a Managing Medicine
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: HS 104b or LGLS 114a.
Overview of the principles of management within health-care organizations. Through case studies of real hospitals, insurers, and firms, the class examines choices of clinicians and managers aimed at improving quality, containing costs, driving technology adoption, or promoting new ventures. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Zinner

HSSP 107b Health Care Technology: Evaluating Emerging Medical Services, Drugs and Devices.
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: HS 104b or permission of the instructor. Priority given to HSSP majors and minors.
An overview of the role of medical technology in the U.S. health care system, with a focus on the impact of prescription drugs on the health care system, their promise for the future, and inherent risks. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Thomas

HSSP 110a Integrative Seminar on Health
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: Senior status in the HSSP major.
The capstone course is designed to bring all HSSP seniors together to integrate their academic course work and fieldwork/laboratory experiences across a range of health-related disciplines. Each year the course focuses on a single issue that lends itself to examination from a variety of perspectives. Topics vary from year to year at the discretion of the faculty who teach the course. Refer to the Schedule of Classes for specific topics. Course is usually team-taught by faculty in different disciplines. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HSSP 112b Perspectives on Child Health and Well-Being
[ ss ]
Introduces students to health principles as they apply to child health and well-being. It includes a review of the health and development of infants, children and youth and explores the determinants of the health and well-being of children and families, including the physical environment, social conditions, health behavior and public policies. Selected topics such as childhood disability, special health care needs, infant mortality, school readiness, adolescent pregnancy, disparities by race, ethnicity and neighborhood, their distribution across the population and the policies and programs to address them. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Earle and Ms. Rosenfeld

HSSP 114b Racial/Ethnic and Gender Inequalities in Health and Health Care
[ ss ]
An examination of the epidemiological patterns of health status by race/ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic status. Addresses current theories and critiques explaining disparities in health status, access, quality, and conceptual models, frameworks, and interventions for eliminating inequalities. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Jefferson

HSSP 115b Perspectives on Behavioral Health: Alcohol, Drugs, and Mental Health
[ ss ]
A survey course which focuses on the science and biological basis of substance use and mental disorders, and linkages between behavioral health and general health. Consequences of behavioral health on society are discussed. Policy responses and the treatment system are assessed for their effectiveness. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Merrick and Ms. Reif

HSSP 118b Viewing Health Policy Through the Lens of Literature
[ ss ]
Enriches students' understanding of health policy through the lens of literature—fiction, memoir, poetry, and drama. Studying American literature will enhance their understanding of health policy issues by harnessing the power of authors' imaginations, insights and compelling stories. Students will also read related research or health policy articles. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Garnick

HSSP 120bj Health Care Landscapes
[ ss wi ]
Focuses on developing skills and understanding of health care landscapes, with an emphasis on experiential learning in specific communities. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Zincavage

HSSP 128a Disability Policy
[ ss ]
Focuses on exploring the principles and provisions of disability service programs in the United States and on developing an understanding of the complexities surrounding the financial, ethical, and legal issues related to current disability policies and the consequences of these policies. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Parish

HSSP 135a Special Topics in Public Health: U.S. History and Policy
[ ss ]
With an interdiscplinary focus, this course examines the complex history of efforts in the U.S. to improve our populations' health. Key topics include promoting sanitation / environmental health, managing chronic / infectious diseases, and enhancing emergency preparedness as well as the role of law / government. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Curi

HSSP 192b Sociology of Disability
[ ss ]
In the latter half of the twentieth century, disability has emerged as an important social-political-economic-medical issue, with its own distinct history, characterized as a shift from "good will to civil rights." Traces that history and the way people with disabilities are seen and unseen, and see themselves. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Gulley

HSSP Core Courses

HS 104b American Health Care
[ ss ]
Examines and critically analyzes the United States health care system, emphasizing the major trends and issues that have led to the current sense of "crisis." In addition to providing a historical perspective, this course will establish a context for analyzing the current, varied approaches to health care reform. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Altman

HSSP 100b Introduction to Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Population Health
[ qr ss ]
Core course for the HSSP major and minor. Open to junior and senior only.
Provides an orientation to the science of epidemiology, the quantitative foundation for public health policy. As a comprehensive survey course, students from varying academic backgrounds are introduced to biostatistics and major epidemiological concepts, and provided with training in their application to the study of health and disease in human populations. Case studies examine how environmental, physical, behavioral, psychological, and social factors contribute to the disease burden of populations. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

HSSP 110a Integrative Seminar on Health
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: Senior status in the HSSP major.
The capstone course is designed to bring all HSSP seniors together to integrate their academic course work and fieldwork/laboratory experiences across a range of health-related disciplines. Each year the course focuses on a single issue that lends itself to examination from a variety of perspectives. Topics vary from year to year at the discretion of the faculty who teach the course. Refer to the Schedule of Classes for specific topics. Course is usually team-taught by faculty in different disciplines. Usually offered every year.
Staff

SOC 191a Health, Community, and Society
[ ss ]
This course offers a 2-credit optional practicum.
An exploration into interrelationships among society, health, and disease, emphasizing the social causes and experience of illness. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Conrad

Focal Area A: Biological Dimensions of Health and Illness

ANTH 116a Human Osteology
[ sn ss ]
Anthropology majors have priority for enrollment. Students wishing to enroll during early registration should waitlist themselves.
Skeletal anatomy and application of forensic techniques to archaeological problems. Hands-on laboratory sessions focus on methods of estimating age at the time of death, determining sex, assessing skeletal variability, detecting instances of bone remodeling, and identifying cultural and natural modifications to bony tissue. Case studies exemplify bioarchaeological approaches. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Urcid

BCHM 172a Cholesterol in Health and Disease
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: BCHM 100a.
Considers cholesterol from the perspectives of biophysics, biochemistry, cell biology and physiology by analyzing primary research literature, historical reviews, and popular literature. Throughout this course, we will learn about the much-maligned molecule cholesterol. Students will give oral presentations. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Westover

BIBC 126b Molecular Mechanisms of Disease
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: BCHM 100a. May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 126b in prior years.
Explores biochemical changes—in proteins, enzymes and metabolic pathways—that underlie human diseases. Examines molecular mechanisms for a variety of diseases, with a particular focus on molecular mechanisms for therapies. Draws heavily on current literature.
Ms. Westover

BIOL 14a Genetics and Genomics
[ qr1 sn ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 22a in prior years.
Studies fundamentals of genetics, genomics, molecular biology and biological problem-solving. Topics include heredity, meiosis, molecular basis of phenotypic variations in individuals and populations, as well as an introduction to the tools and techniques used by past and current researchers in genetics and genomics. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Woodruff

BIOL 15b Cells and Organisms
[ sn ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 22b in prior years.
Introduces contemporary biology with an emphasis on cells, organs, and organ systems. Topics include the forms and functions of macromolecules, organelles, and cells, the integration of cells into tissues, and the physiology of fundamental life processes. The course is intended to prepare students to understand the biology of everyday life, and to provide a strong foundation for those who continue to study the life sciences. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Simister

BIOL 16a Evolution and Biodiversity
[ qr sn ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 60b in prior years.
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," Dobzhansky said famously. Evolution is the unifying theory of biology because it explains both the unity and diversity of life. This course examines processes and patterns of evolution, including the sources and fate of variation, natural selection and genetic drift, the species concept and the origin of species, species interactions and the evolution of sociality, biogeography, and the history and diversity of life on Earth. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Morris

BIOL 42a Physiology
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b. CHEM 25a and b are recommended.
Introduces basic physiological principles. Topics include the physiology of human nervous and endocrine systems, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, water and electrolyte regulation, digestion and absorption, reproduction, and immunology. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 43b Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: BIOL 15b or 22b.
Provides a solid basis for understanding of vertebrate and, in particular, human anatomy. The gross and microscopic morphology of each organ system is considered in depth. Comparative anatomy, embryology, and relationships between structure and function are emphasized. Lectures, laboratory dissections, and clinical cases are used to illustrate the structure and function of vertebrates. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Morris

BIOL 44a The Biology of Human Sports and Exercise
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: BIOL 42a or BIOL 43b. BIOL 42a or 43b may be taken concurrently.
Examines the physiology and anatomy behind exercise science looking specifically at how the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems respond to physical activity. We will consider how the body reacts differently depending on activity type, environment and age. Special one-time offering, fall 2014.
Ms. Miara

BIOL 55b Diet and Health
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b must be successfully completed prior to taking BIOL 55b.
Reviews the current evidence concerning dietary impact on the chronic diseases of humans. Topics include genetics and nutrition, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. Students also examine the involvement of specific nutrients; for example, fat and cholesterol, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and alcohol in these disease processes. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Lai

BIOL 70a Immunology
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: BIOL14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b. CHEM 25a is recommended. May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 125a in prior years.
Topics include properties and functions of cells involved in innate and adaptive immunity; genes, structure and function of immunoglobins, B cell receptors and T cell receptors; lymphocyte differentiation; genetic regulation; MHC restriction; cell interactions and signaling; pathogen immunity (bacteria, viruses) and vaccines; tolerance and autoimmunity. Usually offered year.
Ms. Press

BIOL 71a General Microbiology
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b, and CHEM 25a. May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 132a in prior years.
Topics include the physiology and properties of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms; microbial nutrition, metabolism, growth; bacterial genetics; horizontal gene transfer; microbial pathogenesis; immunity; antibiotics and other means of microbial control. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Lovett

BIOL 75b Infectious Disease
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
Discusses infectious disease with a focus on host-microbe relationships and disease pathogenesis. Topics include characteristics of microbial agents, immune responses, concepts in epidemiology and infectious disease, and factors influencing whether microbes are 'perceived' as commensals or pathogens. Emerging infectious diseases and system-specific diseases are discussed. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Press

BIOL 128a Human Genetics
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
Survey of topics, including: mutation and polymorphism; molecular methodology; single-gene inheritance and complexities thereof; multifactorial conditions, risk assessment, and Bayesian analysis; cytogenetics; hemoglobinopathies; population genetics; gene mapping; cancer genetics; ethical considerations in genetics; immunogenetics; pharmacogenetics; genetics of development; biochemistry of selected genetic diseases; gene therapy, genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 149b Molecular Pharmacology
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b and CHEM 25a and b. NBIO 140b strongly recommended.
Covers the essentials of pharmacology and the study of the actions of chemical agents (drugs, toxins, neurotransmitters, and hormones) that interact with living systems. Emphasizes molecular mechanisms of neuropharmacology. Topics include pharmacokinetics, hormone action, autonomic pharmacology, and the psychopharmacology of drugs of abuse and mental disorders. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Griffith

BIOL 160b Human Reproductive and Developmental Biology
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
Course deals with hormonal, cellular, and molecular aspects of gametogenesis, fertilization, pregnancy, and birth. Pathological and abnormal variations that occur and the available medical technologies for intervention, correction, and facilitation of these processes are discussed. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Jackson

BIOL 172b Growth Control and Cancer
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b and CHEM 25a.
Covers the fundamental rules of behavior of cells in multicellular organisms. Examines the research that has revealed the molecular basis of cancer development, including the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern cell growth, differentiation and survival in normal cells, and how this regulation is disrupted in cancer. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Woodruff

BISC 1b Biology for Poets, Lawyers and Budding Scientists
[ sn ]
Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Modern biology and genetics offer answers to enduring questions about who we are and our relationship to other organisms. This course will explore how these findings should affect how you think about yourself and the biological world around you. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Rosbash

BISC 2b Genes and the Human Story
[ sn ]
Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Correlates findings from a wide variety of genetic sources with anthropological, cultural, historical, and religious information about human origins, human reproduction, infectious diseases, and lineages of human populations. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Wangh

BISC 4a Heredity
[ sn ]
Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Explores genes and their functions. Examines how genes are inherited, how they work, and how changes in genes can cause inherited diseases. Also investigates recent biological developments such as the Human Genome Project, gene therapy, stem cells, and the new medical and ethical challenges these developments pose in the twenty-first century. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

BISC 4b Food, Nutrition, and Health
[ sn ]
Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Nutrition is the science of food and its role in health and disease. This course will introduce the biological background to provide students with tools to better understand everything from how we choose food to how our diet influences our long-term health. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Lai

BISC 4bj Food, Nutrition, and Health
[ sn ]
Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Nutrition is the science of food and its role in health and disease. This course will introduce the biological background to provide students with tools to better understand everything from how we choose food to how our diet influences our long-term health. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Lai

BISC 5a Pathogens and Human Disease
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: High school chemistry and biology. Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
This course discusses the life cycle, pathogenesis, transmission, and epidemiology of certain organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) that cause important human diseases. Other topics include emerging diseases, host defense mechanisms, vaccines, and public health concerns. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Press

BISC 5b Diseases of the Mind
[ sn wi ]
Prerequisite: High school chemistry. May not be taken by students who have completed BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b. Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
An exploration of biology of several protein folding diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, ALS, and mad cow disease and their effect on normal brain function. Examines the medical and ethical challenges of therapies, drug design, and clinical trials on patients afflicted with these disorders. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Kosinski-Collins

BISC 6bj Environmental Health
[ sn ]
Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation. Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
An introduction to the science and tools of environmental health, giving students hands-on skills to explore directly current issues experienced by local communities. Students will become familiar with the environmental health paradigm, the conceptual model of the field, including underlying principles of hazard identification, exposure assessment, toxicology, risk assessment, and characterization and interpretation of epidemiological studies. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Goldin and Mr. Stewart

BISC 8a Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: High school biology and chemistry. Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Examines the science, history, policies and ethics behind this biomedical field. Although stem cells and regenerative medicine are touted as the next breakthroughs in human therapies, they have also engendered much argument and controversy. This course provides the scientific context for understanding the debate over stem cell research, and discusses the promises and pitfalls of the field. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Lau

BISC 9b Biology of Cancer
[ sn ]
Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Introduces the fundamental aspects of cancer development, progression and treatment with an emphasis on the cellular and molecular changes thought to lead to cancer. Both genetic and lifestyle factors and their impact on the predisposition to develop and recover from cancer will be discussed. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Woodruff

BISC 10aj Diabetes
[ oc sn ]
Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Studies the rising prevalence of diabetes that has taken an alarming human and societal toll. This course explores the science behind Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes plus gestational diabetes, the contribution of modern Western lifestyle to disease development, current diabetes treatments including insulin and non-insulin drugs and bariatric surgery, future treatment such as stem cell therapy, the increasing diabetes treatment cost and impact on current healthcare policy. Emphasis will be placed on discussion of molecular genetic research that has illuminated our understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. A new food lab is included to further inform about the importance of food and nutrition (together with exercise) in the management and prevention of Type 2 diabetes. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Lai

CBIO 106b Chemical Biology: Medicinal Enzymology
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Prerequisites: Satisfactory grade in BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b, CHEM 25a and 25b, and BCHM 100a or the equivalent.
Introduces students to the conceptual framework and experimental methods in medicinal chemistry. Topics include mechanisms of drug-target interactions, strategies for lead optimization and issues in metabolism, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Readings drawn from textbooks and the original scientific literature. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Hedstrom

NBIO 140b Principles of Neuroscience
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Prerequisite: Sophomore standing, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b, and one of the following. One year of college-level chemistry with lab, one year of college-level physics with lab, or any math course above 10a,b. AP scores are not accepted to meet the prerequisite.
Examines the basic principles of neuroscience. Topics include resting potentials, action potentials, synaptic transmission, sensory systems, motor systems, learning, neural circuits underlying behavior, neurological diseases, and mental illness. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Turrigiano

NBIO 145b Systems Neuroscience
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Prerequisite: NBIO 140b.
Explores a fundamental question in neuroscience about how our brains extract and compute features and functions--such as direction of motion from visual stimuli--and how experience allows the microcircuits within our brains to become better tuned to such features. Understanding these processes requires insight into the cellular and network mechanisms that give rise to them. We will examine classical literature and recent advances in understanding the cellular and network properties of brain microcircuits. The course emphasizes reading from original papers, exploration of neural circuit simulations, and extensive class discussion. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Van Hooser

NBIO 146a The Neurobiology of Human Disease
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Prerequisite: BIOL100b, BIOL103b or NBIO 140b.
A lecture- and literature-based overview of the neurobiological underpinnings of neurological and psychiatric disorders including autism, mental retardation, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other developmental and degenerative disorders. Usually offered every second year.
Ms Rodal

NBIO 150a Autism and Human Developmental Disorders
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Prerequisite: BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
Autism and other developmental disorders are characterized by cognitive and behavioral deficits and by subtle changes in brain development. This course takes an integrative approach to investigate the biological, behavioral, medical, and social aspects of human developmental disorders. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Birren

NPSY 141a Stress, Physiology, and Health
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Prerequisites: NPSY 11b, NBIO 146a, PSYC 38a, or NPSY 199a.
About a third of all diseases in western society are related to stress. The study of psychosocial determinants of health is a growing field, in which biological and psychological research is combined to understand pathways between CNS processes and health. We will study these processes in this course. sually offered every year.
Mr. Rohleder

NPSY 199a Human Neuropsychology
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Prerequisite: Psych 10a (formerly PSYC 1a) or Math 10a and at least sophomore standing.
Designed as an introduction to human neuropsychology. Topics include cerebral dominance, neuroanatomical mapping, and localization of function, with special reference to language, memory, and related cognitive function. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Wingfield

Focal Area B: Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Health and Illness

ANTH 111a Aging in Cross-Cultural Perspective
[ nw ss wi ]
Examines the meanings and social arrangements given to aging in a diversity of societies, including the U.S., India, Japan and China. Key themes include: the diverse ways people envision and organize the life course, scholarly and popular models of successful aging, the medicalization of aging in the U.S., cultural perspectives on dementia, and the ways national aging policies and laws are profoundly influenced by particular cultural models. This course offers a 2-credit optional Experiential Learning practicum (EL 94a) Sages and Seekers, Aging and the Real World. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Lamb

ANTH 127a Medicine, Body, and Culture
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Examines main areas of inquiry in medical anthropology, including medicine as a sociocultural construct, political and economic dimensions of suffering and health, patients and healers in comparative medical systems, and the medical construction of men's and women's bodies. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Lamb or Ms. Hannig

ANTH 142a AIDS: Science, Society, and Policy
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An examination of the AIDS pandemic from cross-cultural and anthropological perspectives. Topics include biosocial approaches to disease, epidemiology of transmission, national and international institutions, prevention and treatment, and ethical issues; case studies from the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Kammerer

ANTH 154a Culture and Mental Illness
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Without underestimating the importance of biological causes and treatments, this course challenges the hegemony of bio-medical models in psychiatry by seeking to conceptualize emotional problems and mental illness as historically situated and culturally constructed. Examines how factors related to political circumstances, social institutions, religious belief systems, socio-economic status, and ethnic background participate in shaping forms of distress and the ways they are dealt with in various socio-cultural settings. The course will also consider alternative therapies such as art therapy, community-based treatments, and culturally specific approaches to emotional healing and accommodation. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Schattschneider

ANTH 160b Dirt, Disgust, and Contagion: The Anthropology of Pollution
[ nw ss ]
Explores the anthropological concepts of dirt and pollution. What makes things repulsive to us and why? We examine the culturally-specific significance of bodily boundaries, fluids, and smells with particular emphasis on the intersections between gender, race, hygiene, and morality. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Hannig

ANTH 164a Medicine and Religion
[ nw ss ]
Prerequisite: ANTH 1a or equivalent.
Considers the convergence of two cultural spheres that are normally treated as separate: medicine and religion. The course will examine their overlap, such as in healing and dying, as well as points of contention through historical and contemporary global ethnographies. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Hannig

ENG 58a Literature and Medicine
[ hum wi ]
How has literature grappled with illness, healing, and the patient-doctor encounter? How can poetry and storytelling communicate with experience of bodily pain--and how does the body seek to communicate its suffering without language? We examine literary responses to the body's biological vulnerabilities, and seek to contextualize the vulnerable body within the cultural and political fields that shape medical knowledge and practice. Readings in fiction, poetry, essay, and drama will suggest the art, or craftsmanship, involved in the healing sciences, as well as the diagnostic nature of literary criticism. Reading for new approaches, generated by the literary imagination, to controversial issues in medical ethics. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Sherman

ENVS 102aj Field Research and Study Methods: Environmental Health
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Comprises the skills and methods component of the four-course Environmental Health and Justice JBS. Students will be trained in environmental health study design, sampling methodology, field research and equipment techniques, data interpretation, statistical analysis, risk communication and presentation. The course will equip students to design and carry out a semester-long environmental health research study integral to the themes of Environmental Health and Justice JBS. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Goldin and Mr. Stewart

HSSP 114b Racial/Ethnic and Gender Inequalities in Health and Health Care
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An examination of the epidemiological patterns of health status by race/ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic status. Addresses current theories and critiques explaining disparities in health status, access, quality, and conceptual models, frameworks, and interventions for eliminating inequalities. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Jefferson

PHIL 23b Biomedical Ethics
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An examination of ethical issues that arise in a biomedical context, such as the issues of abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, lying to patients, and the right to health care. The relevance of ethical theory to such issues will be considered. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hirsch

PSYC 33a Developmental Psychology
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Prerequisite: PSYC 10a (formerly PSYC 1a).
An examination of normal child development from conception through adolescence. Course will focus on theoretical issues and processes of development with an emphasis on how biological and environmental influences interact. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Watson

PSYC 37a The Psychology of Adult Development and Aging
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Prerequisite: PSYC 10a (formerly PSYC 1a).
Describes the sensory, cognitive, personality, health, and social changes that occur during early, middle, and later adulthood. Emphasis is on pathways to successful development and healthy aging in the context of a shifting balance of gains and losses in psychological and physical functioning. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Lachman

PSYC 38a Health Psychology
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Prerequisite: PSYC 10a (formerly PSYC 1a).
An examination of the social and psychological factors important for well-being, physical health, and effective medical care. Psychological perspectives are applied to such topics as health promotion and compromise, the stress-illness relationship, social relations, chronic illness, death and dying, and health care provider and patient interactions. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Rohleder and Ms. Wolf

PSYC 126a Pathways and Mechanisms Linking Emotions to Mental and Physical Health
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Prerequisite: PSYC 10a (formerly PSYC 1a).
Emotions are associated with mental and physical healthy and disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cardiovascular disease. This course surveys concepts of emotion and the physiological processes linking emotions to health, emphasizing stress as a mediator. Special one-time offering, spring 2015.
Ms. Lupis

PSYC 130b Life Span Development: Early and Middle Adulthood
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Prerequisites: PSYC 10a (formerly PSYC 1a), 31a or 33a, 51a, 52a, or permission of the instructor.
Seminar on advanced topics in life span developmental theory and methodology. Substantive emphasis will be on cognitive, personality, social, and physical changes that occur in early adulthood and midlife. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Lachman

PSYC 142a Sport Psychology: A Health Psychology Perspective
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Prerequisite: NBIO 140b, NPSY 11b, NPSY 199a, or PSYC 38a, and permission of the instructor.
Applies health psychology to topics central to sport psychology and relevant to athletes, athletes' performance, such as optimal arousal levels, team cohesion, injury rehabilitation, imagery, burnout, and goal setting. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Wolf

PSYC 169b Disorders of Childhood
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Prerequisites: PSYC 10a (formerly PSYC 1a), 33a, and permission of the instructor. Seniors and juniors have priority for admission.
Issues of theory, research, and practice in the areas of child and family psychopathology and treatment are reviewed in the context of normal developmental processes. Usually offered every semester.
Mr. Cunningham

SOC 117b Sociology of Science, Technology, and Medicine
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From the moment we are born, to when we die, our lives are shaped by science, technology, and medicine. This course draws on both historical and contemporary case studies to examine how science and medicine enter into our ideas about who we are as individuals and members of social groups (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity), understandings of health and illness, and ideals regarding what constitutes a good life, and a good death. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Shostak

SOC 165a Living and Dying in America: The Sociology of Birth and Death
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Not open to first year students. Not open to students who had a death in their immediate family in the past year.
This course introduces the tools and concepts central to the sociological study of birth and death in the United States. It is discussion-based and includes guest speakers, field trips, and interactive assignments. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Cadge

SOC 177b Aging in Society
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Explores the social context of aging by using sociological theory, empirical research, and literature. Examines such topics as aging in residential settings, the aging experience of minority groups, health and illness, the economics of aging, gender, work, and retirement. Also examines the definition of aging in other societies in order to understand the contemporary Western response to aging. Contains a field research component. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

SOC 189a Sociology of Body and Health
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Explores theoretical considerations of the body as a cultural phenomenon intersecting with health, healing, illness, disease, and medicine. Focuses on how gender, race, class, religion, and other dimensions of social organization shape individual experiences and opportunities for agency and resistance. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Shostak

SOC 193a Environment, Health, and Society
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This course draws on sociological perspectives to examine two key questions: (1) How does social organization enter into the production of environmental health and illness? and (2) How do scientists, regulators, social movement activists, and people affected by illness seek to understand, regulate, and intervene in relationships between the environment and human health? Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Shostak

SOC 194a Sociology of Mental Health and Illness
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Examines sociological approaches to mental health and illness. The focus is on the history, definitions, social responses and consequences of conceptualizations and treatment of mental illness. This will include some discussion of social factors related to mental disorder and types of mental health treatment. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Conrad

WMGS 156b Sexuality and Healthcare
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Considers how ideas about gender and sexuality affect healthcare, with a particular focus on queer and trans communities. Examines the creation of "the homosexual" and "the transsexual" as medicalized categories; the recent expansion of access to healthcare; and medicine's role in constructing certain kinds of bodies. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Luis

Focal Area C: Health Care Policy and Practice

Undergraduates in the HSSP program may be admitted to the graduate-level courses below (numbered above 200) with the permission of the instructor.

HS 124a Dilemmas of Long-Term Care
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Fifty million Americans have a disability. What kinds of help do they want? What are the responsibilities of families, friends, and communities to help? Current U.S. approaches to service delivery, financing, and organization are reviewed and alternatives considered. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Leutz

HSSP 102a Global Perspectives on Health
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A primer on major issues in health care in developing nations. Topics include the natural history of disease and levels of prevention; epidemiological transitions; health disparities; and determinants of health including culture, social context, and behavior. Also covers: infectious and chronic disease incidence and prevalence; the role of nutrition, education, reproductive trends, and poverty; demographic transition including aging and urbanization; the structure and financing of health systems; and the globalization of health. Usually offered every year.
Staff

HSSP 104b Health Economics
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Prerequisite: ECON 2a or 10a.
Emphasizes the concepts and tools of health economics applicable to both developed and developing countries. Topics include: cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis, the demand for health services, insurance and risk, managed care, provider reimbursement, national health insurance, and an overview of health care systems in other countries. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hodgkin

HSSP 106a Managing Medicine
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Prerequisite: HS 104b or LGLS 114a.
Overview of the principles of management within health-care organizations. Through case studies of real hospitals, insurers, and firms, the class examines choices of clinicians and managers aimed at improving quality, containing costs, driving technology adoption, or promoting new ventures. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Zinner

HSSP 107b Health Care Technology: Evaluating Emerging Medical Services, Drugs and Devices.
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: HS 104b or permission of the instructor. Priority given to HSSP majors and minors.
An overview of the role of medical technology in the U.S. health care system, with a focus on the impact of prescription drugs on the health care system, their promise for the future, and inherent risks. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Thomas

HSSP 112b Perspectives on Child Health and Well-Being
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Introduces students to health principles as they apply to child health and well-being. It includes a review of the health and development of infants, children and youth and explores the determinants of the health and well-being of children and families, including the physical environment, social conditions, health behavior and public policies. Selected topics such as childhood disability, special health care needs, infant mortality, school readiness, adolescent pregnancy, disparities by race, ethnicity and neighborhood, their distribution across the population and the policies and programs to address them. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Earle and Ms. Rosenfeld

HSSP 115b Perspectives on Behavioral Health: Alcohol, Drugs, and Mental Health
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A survey course which focuses on the science and biological basis of substance use and mental disorders, and linkages between behavioral health and general health. Consequences of behavioral health on society are discussed. Policy responses and the treatment system are assessed for their effectiveness. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Merrick and Ms. Reif

HSSP 118b Viewing Health Policy Through the Lens of Literature
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Enriches students' understanding of health policy through the lens of literature—fiction, memoir, poetry, and drama. Studying American literature will enhance their understanding of health policy issues by harnessing the power of authors' imaginations, insights and compelling stories. Students will also read related research or health policy articles. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Garnick

HSSP 120bj Health Care Landscapes
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Focuses on developing skills and understanding of health care landscapes, with an emphasis on experiential learning in specific communities. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Zincavage

HSSP 128a Disability Policy
[ ss ]
Focuses on exploring the principles and provisions of disability service programs in the United States and on developing an understanding of the complexities surrounding the financial, ethical, and legal issues related to current disability policies and the consequences of these policies. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Parish

HSSP 135a Special Topics in Public Health: U.S. History and Policy
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With an interdiscplinary focus, this course examines the complex history of efforts in the U.S. to improve our populations' health. Key topics include promoting sanitation / environmental health, managing chronic / infectious diseases, and enhancing emergency preparedness as well as the role of law / government. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Curi

HSSP 192b Sociology of Disability
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In the latter half of the twentieth century, disability has emerged as an important social-political-economic-medical issue, with its own distinct history, characterized as a shift from "good will to civil rights." Traces that history and the way people with disabilities are seen and unseen, and see themselves. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Gulley

JOUR 130b Science and Journalism in Society
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Scientific progress has brought extraordinary medical advances and serious environmental crises. Good medical and science journalism has never been more important in understanding our world and how to fix it. This course is an introduction to the skills needed to cover medical and science news. It focuses on how to report and write daily news stories and longer features. It also explores the ethical, social, and political issues raised by the press coverage of science and medicine. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Weintraub

LGLS 114a American Health Care: Law and Policy
[ ss ]
Not recommended for freshmen.
Focuses on individual rights, highlights how our laws and policies affect American health care. Traces the evolution of the doctor-patient relationship; explores access issues, including whether health care is or should be a fundamental right; assesses the quality of care and the impact of malpractice; and examines the cost of having (or not having) adequate health insurance. Concludes with options and prospects for meaningful reform. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Curi

LGLS 114aj American Health Care: Law and Policy
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Emphasizes the interplay of law, public policy, and social justice, focusing on health care reform. After considering the background leading up to passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the policy innovations it promotes, particularly with regard to cost, quality, and access, students will consider the current challenges to implementing this ambitious law. By examining the complex structure of the American health care system, in contrast to systems in other advanced countries, we will explore to what extent the ACA promotes the just distribution of quality health care. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Ms. Noble

LGLS 131b Patient Autonomy: Law, Medicine, and Ethics
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Focuses on patient rights, examines how health care decisions are made, and by whom. Explores a range of current issues in the field of biomedical ethics, including the legal and ethical aspects of the physician-patient relationship, the doctrine of informed consent, medical futility, assisted reproduction, physician-assisted suicide, personhood, the right-to-die, clinical research, and emerging technologies. Analyzes hard and often tragic choices involving life, quality of life, and death. Assesses the ability of the legal system to set standards and resolve conflict. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Curi

LGLS 131bj Patient Autonomy: Law, Medicine, and Ethics
[ ss ]
Focuses on patient rights, examining how difficult health care decisions are made, and by whom. Together, by examining the law and a range of ethical theories, we will explore current issues in biomedical ethics, including informed consent, reproductive rights, physician-assisted suicide and the right-to-die, personhood, end-of-life care, and genetics and other emerging technologies; consider the conflicting roles and responsibilities for medical professionals, caregivers, and family members; analyze hard and often tragic choices involving life, quality of life, and death; and assess the ability of the legal system to set meaningful standards and resolve conflict. Offered as part of the JBS program.
Ms. Curi

LGLS 138b Science on Trial
[ qr ss ]
Surveys the procedures and analytic methods by which scientific data enter into litigation and regulation/policy making. Introduces basic tools of risk analysis and legal rules of evidence. Case studies of tobacco litigation and regulation; use of DNA and other forensic evidence in the criminal justice system; the Woburn ground-water contamination case; and other topics to be selected, such as genetics in the courtroom, court-ordered Cesarean sections, polygraph testing, alternative medicine, and genetically modified foods. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

LGLS 149b Genetics, Law and Society
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Explores the social policy implications of new genetic technologies, including legal, ethical, and political challenges. Topics include privacy and discrimination, changing definitions in family law, information technology and intellectual property, forensic implications of DNA testing, regulation of reproductive technology. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Noble

SOC 176a Nature, Nurture, and Public Policy
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Examines the impact of heredity or genetic theories of human problems on developing public policy, including the viability and validity of theories and evidence. Historical and contemporary cases such as gender, IQ, mental illness, and alcoholism are studied. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Conrad

WMGS 106b Women in the Health Care System
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Explores the scientific, social, and policy issues surrounding the role of women in health care throughout the human life span. We will examine the challenges faced, and successes achieved, by women in the healthcare system as providers, teachers, researchers, managers, policy-makers, care-givers, and recipients of health care. Usually offered every spring.
Ms. Klerman or Ms. Bhalotra