A range of elective courses are recommended for trainees by the faculty of the Research Training Program in Sleep, Circadian and Respiratory Neurobiology as opportunities for specific formal training in areas that may be important for their individual research, or to give them a broader education (for example, as required to understand and implement translational research). These courses often complement the student’s informal training within their preceptor’s laboratory. 

Trainees are encouraged to take one of the several elective courses that are taught by our faculty, including:

MCB186, Circadian Biology: From Cellular Oscillators to Sleep Regulation (Harvard University)
This seminar is taught by Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD, FRCP and Frank A.J.L. Scheer, PhD of the DSM.
Fall term: Wednesdays, 2:00-5:00pm, location TBA.

This seminar addresses the properties, mechanisms, and functional roles of circadian (daily) rhythms in organisms ranging from unicells to mammals. Cellular and molecular components, regulation of gene expression and physiological functions, genetic and biochemical analyses of circadian rhythms, and neurobiology of the mammalian circadian pacemaker. Mathematics and modeling of oscillatory systems and applications to circadian rhythms. Experimental studies of human rhythms, including the sleep-wake cycle and hormone rhythms, with applications to sleep disorders.

Many other worthwhile elective courses are available at Harvard and beyond, including Respiratory Pathophysiology, Neural Systems and Behavior, Neurobiology, Modern Cell Biology, Biomedical Informatics, and Methods in Computational Neuroscience. Examples of other courses include the following:

Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) Summer Course
The MBL offers several summer courses in topics of interest to trainees in our program. These courses include: Neurobiology; Physiology: Modern Cell Biology Using Microscopic, Biochemical and Computational Approaches; Neural Systems & Behavior. We anticipate that 1 advanced pre-doctoral (year G3lG4) and 2 post-doctoral trainees will enroll in an MBL course each year. 
Society for Neuroscience (SFN) Short Courses and Satellite Symposia
The actual Short Courses and Satellite Symposia offered at the SFN annual meeting vary from year-to-year, but in the past have included: Basic and Advanced Molecular Techniques for Neuroscientists; Visualizing Large-Scale Patterns of Activity in the Brain: Optical and Electrical Signals; Using Zebrafish to Study Neuroscience; Dynamical Neuroscience XIV: Frontiers in Neural Signal Processing; Network Analyses for the Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences: Surveys and Critiques of fMRI, PET, and MEGIEEG Applications; Professional Skills Workshop; Writing, Editing, and Publishing in Science.
Presenting Data and Information: A One-Day Course Taught by Edward Tufte
This course is taught entirely by Edward Tufte.  Topics include: fundamental strategies of information design, evaluating evidence used in presentation, statistical data, business, scientific, legal, financial presentations, complexity and clarity, multi-media, internet, and websites, credibility of presentations, and design of computer interfaces and manuals.

The one-day course (10 AM to 4:30 PM) is offered in Boston. Early registration is suggested; these are large courses which often fill up quickly. Please visit the course website for additional information.

It is also possible for trainees to complete a clinical rotation elective in Sleep Disorders Medicine.

Download a more extensive list of Recommended Courses and Activities (doc 222kb) prepared by the Training Program Faculty.

It is expected that through exposure to a wide range of core and elective seminars, lectures, demonstration series, and formal didactic sessions, trainees will be better equipped to engage in meaningful basic science, patient-oriented or translational research. The training faculty also believe that this exposure will foster cross-fertilization of ideas among the trainees involved in this program.

In addition to the regular required lectures and seminars, there are a variety of other lectures on important aspects of sleep, circadian and respiratory neurobiology occurring at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and affiliated institutions (e.g., medical grand rounds, endocrine grand rounds, neurology grand rounds and pulmonary grand rounds). These didactic sessions are conducted by members of the senior staff of the Training Program, by individuals in one of the nearby institutions, or by visiting professors. Trainees are encouraged to seek out and attend all such lectures.

Related Links
Academic Requirements (courses)
Other Required Activities
Recommended Courses and Activities (doc 222kb)
Certificate Program requirements