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To be at the top of the field and acquire the capacity to analyze the literature in a critical manner, students participate in a journal club on a regular basis (weekly or bi-weekly). The journal club will offered each fall and spring semester. Each student will register and participate in the journal club each semester. Journal club will be taken for zero credits each semester; journal club will receive two credits in the student’s final semester. A grade of Pass/Fail will be assigned each semester based on the student’s attendance and active participation.
A faculty member will coordinate and run the class. At least one other programmatic faculty member will attend a journal club session on a rotating basis. All program students are required to attend all sessions. After the first year in the program, students will be required to present papers at a frequency determined by the number of students in the program. Papers selected for presentation must be approved by the responsible faculty member. The paper will focus on relevant cancer biology topics but should not be restricted necessarily to high-impact factor journals. Technical or controversial papers may sometimes provide better grounds for a productive discussion. The specific paper will be announced at least two weeks prior to the date it is to be presented. All students are expected to read the paper. The student presenter will randomly (with a predetermined algorithm) request other students to describe every individual figure. A short explanation will follow, and students will be encouraged to intervene at any time, raising questions and points of interpretation/clarification, which leads to a discussion of the paper. Every student is expected to contribute and participate.
Any student who misses more than two journal club sessions in a semester for any reason will be required to write a critical review of all the papers presented during the missed sessions. Such reviews will be critiqued by the faculty member responsible for the journal club to determine if the review is satisfactory. If deemed unsatisfactory, the faculty member will discuss the review with the student who must correct and resubmit the review.
The microscope in the image belonged to William E. Horner, M.D., a collaborator with Caspar Wistar, M.D., in the early 1800s.
Dr. Horner, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, was a pioneer of the use of microscopes in anatomical and medical research. He authored Special Anatomy and Histology, a seminal text on the subject.