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Master in International Translational Medicine course structure

Master in International Translational Medicine (MITM)

Course Structure



Semester 1

Semester 2

Year 1


Translational Medicine: From Unmet Need to Cure


From need to target


From target to treatment


De-risking discoveries

Year 2


Entrepreneurship for TM researchers


One 4 credit module to be selected from existing Duke-NUS graduate school offerings, tailored to one’s own interests.


Networking in International Translational Medicine



Course Overview


GMS5801: Translational Medicine: From Unmet Need to Cure
This foundational module explores the challenges faced by key stakeholders along the Translational Medicine continuum (including patients, epidemiologists / data scientists, basic scientists, clinician scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, and regulators, etc.) by examining real-life case-studies representing the barriers that each face in their quest to develop a solution for an unmet health care need.

GMS5802: From Need to Target
This module focuses on harnessing technology to identify therapeutic targets.  Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Genomics, and Machine Learning have reshaped the ways in which potential therapeutic targets are identified.  Topics will include the drug discovery process from computer modeling to clinical application, resistance mechanisms, pharmacogenomics of hosts that determine sensitivity to drugs, gene therapy strategies and limitations. 

GMS5803: From Target to Treatment
In this module, students will be exposed to the clinical development process including exploration of the design, analysis, and ethical issues related to establishing causal relationships between treatments and effects in patients.

GMS5804: De-Risking Discoveries
In this course, students will explore the types of risks encountered in the TM continuum and the implications for patients, researchers, funders, and society.  Strategies for reducing risks will be examined through case-based analyses.

GMS5805: Entrepreneurship for Translational Medicine Researchers
This module will expose students to key issues related to the profitability of discovery, including: protecting intellectual property, working with industry partners, and seeking and accepting funding to develop businesses.  

GMS5806: Networking in International Translational Medicine – Eureka Merlion School
This module will immerse students in a week-long intensive program as part of the Eureka Institute’s Merlion School, where students will conduct fieldwork on a self-directed learning activity that focuses on enhancing their skills and competencies in Translational Medicine.  Students will engage with Translational Medicine researchers, policy makers, financers, technologists, and other scholars to explore the business, scientific, and regulatory aspects of Translational Medicine and building their network of local and international collaborators. Topics include: ideation and design thinking, international networks, communication skills, presentation skills, enhancing creativity in science, mentorship, and entrepreneurialism.

GMS5849: Thesis
In this module, students produce a thesis after conducting an academic, scholarly project that demonstrates their mastery of the core content of the MITM.  The thesis includes a comprehensive synthesis and review of the literature related to the topic, discussion of the significance and potential impact of a focused question, the methods and measures used to address the question, the results and discussion of those results taking into account their strengths and limitations, how they fit with and extend existing knowledge, implications for future practice, and the next steps to be taken as a result of this activity.

The elective can be selected from one of the following four-credit modules

1. Duke-NUS Certificate in Health Services Innovation Modules:
GMS5201: Implementation Science for Health Services
GMS5203: Health Technology Assessment, Cost-Effectiveness and Decision-Making
GMS5204: Data Science & Healthcare

2. Duke-NUS PhD in Clinical Sciences:
GMS6813:  Biostatistics for Clinical Research
GMS6812:  Principles of Precision Medicine