Harvard Medical School Post-Graduate Certificate Program



This program uses live presentations, on-demand lectures, peer-to-peer projects, and individual study to deliver up-to-date views of how and why cancer develops and how new interventions are designed and developed for both prevention and therapy.


The Cancer Problem
The worldwide cancer problem
Introduction to clinical cancer problems
Neoplasia and the pathology of cancer
Introduction to cancer epidemiology
introduction to cancer therapy
The ten most important cancer research papers published in the past year
Hallmarks of cancer, a central paradigm of cancer biology

Characteristic Biology of Tumors and Cancer Cells
Cell proliferation and cell cycle control
Oncogenes and signal transduction
Inherited predisposition
p53 And Li-Fraumeni syndrome
Programmed cell death
Mitochondria and metabolism
Tumor microenvironment
Invasion and metastasis (EMT)
Protein homeostasis and autophagy
Tumor heterogeneity and clonal evolution
Non-coding RNAs and cancer
Mutational signatures
RNA expression profiles
Prevention and Risk Identification
Epidemiology and cancer risk identification
Environmental carcinogenesis
Diet, obesity, and cancer
Global tobacco epidemic
Tobacco control strategies
HPV vaccine and how it works
Potential impact of the oncovirus vaccine across the globe
State-of-the-Art Approaches to Cancer Study 
Animal models: from mouse to man
Zebrafish models of cancer
Cell Llnes, NCI 60, CCLE, and newly derived lines
Human tumor models
Therapy and Drug Development
Surgical therapy
Radiation therapy
Small molecule discovery and chemical biology
Clinical trials: IRB, Phase I, II, and III
Government oversight
Challenges and opportunities in development of molecularly-defined basket trials
From -Omics to target identification
Drug discovery: nanotechnology, targeting, and RNA therapeutics
Opportunities and challenges in developing first-in-class innovative agents
Development of biomarkers for precision cancer medicine
Antibody-based therapeutics in oncology
Innovation: new therapeutic strategies
Therapeutic targeting of ubiquitin ligase activity
Polymeric nanoparticles: tumor microenvironment variability and implications for new nanoparticle design and development
Role of venture capital in the creation of new oncology therapeutics companies
Case Studies:

  • The CML story
  • The BCL-2 inhibitor story
  • Proteasome inhibitors: discovery and development of Velcade

Immunology as a basis to understand immunotherapy
Immunogenomics: neoantigens to vaccines
Rational targeting of Hodgkin disease with immuno-oncology approaches
Clinical trials for immunotherapy
Mouse models for immunotherapeutics
Immuno-oncology aspects and function of myeloid cells
CAR-T Cells
Discovery of novel targets for cancer immunotherapy
T cell exhaustion
Next-generation immunotherapy companies
Infection from Carcinogenic Organisms
Infectious causes of cancer overview
Viral oncology: RNA viruses and oncogenes
Viral oncology: DNA viruses and tumor suppressor genes
EBV: the first human cancer virus
Hepatocellular cancer: the role of viruses and inflammation
Breast Cancer
Cellular and molecular heterogeneity in breast cancer
Clinical predispositions to breast and ovarian cancer
Breast cancer screening
Breast cancer triple negative
HER2-driven breast cancer
Hormone-responsive breast cancer
Breast cancer metastasis and metastatic niches
Disparities in breast cancer
Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer: historical perspectives
Cervical cancer: clinical perspectives
Cervical cancer screening
Lung Cancer
Introduction to lung cancer
Genomic approaches in lung cancer
Identifying and overcoming resistance to therapy in cancers
Lung cancer: resistance to targeted therapies and impact on therapeutic strategies
Combination therapies in lung cancer
RAS, lung cancer, and the hunt for new therapeutic strategies
Childhood Leukemia and Young Adult Solid Tumors
Childhood leukemia
Young adult cancers
Leukemia and Lymphoma
Hematological malignancies
Hematological disorders
Transplantation therapies
Hematological stem cells
Leukemia-initiating cells
The leukemic niche
Targeted therapy: CML and Gleevec
Myeloid neoplasms (AML, MDS, Pmpns)
Role of genetics and clonal evolution
B-cell lymphomas (including Hodgkin lymphoma)
Plasma cell neoplasms
Colon Cancer
Clinical introduction to colon cancer
Progression and tumor evolution
Screening for colon cancer
DNA damage and repair
BRAF therapy
Immunotherapy in melanoma