Curriculum

The Curriculum is designed for 2 years of course work and one year for dissertation. There are no breaks. A distance learning program, particularly at the doctoral level, requires commitment and discipline on the part of the student. Commitment to work hard and complete the program. Discipline to plan and maintain study times for yourself.  Self-learning can be difficult at times because you are alone with your decision to proceed and cannot enjoy the camaraderie of fellow students attending an on-campus class.

Our program is designed for and is best suited for working adults, lab technicians, medical technicians, science educators, physicians, biomedical engineers, research scientists, biologists, and anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge of this exciting field of stem cell biology.  Consequently, the program is structured for part-time study over 3 years.

Throughout the program, you will have an academic advisor who will help you through the educational program. You will have someone to take problems to. We want all students to succeed, and to complete the program so you can further your career, and make important future contributions that will reflect well on the College.

This is the Curriculum with Course Descriptions effective for new students after January 1, 2021:

Title of Program: PhD in Stem Cell Biology

Year 1-Term 1

Course #619: PCCS Review of Molecular Biology and Cancer Biology – Introduction to cancer biology with emphasis origin of cancer, growth signals, blood vessel growth, and metastases. The different theories of cancer causation are compared, including the new theory of the parasitic cause of cancer. Also reviewed is the synthesis, structure and function of proteins and nucleic acids, and fatty acids in various systems such as viruses, bacteria, and animal cells. Structure and function of mitochondrial DNA. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #612: PCCS Embryology and Developmental Biology– Consideration of the development of a complete organism from a single fertilized zygote, with emphasis on human embryology and the development and identification of human stem cells.  The course covers differentiation, types of early developmental cells, in vitro fertilization, the development of blast cells and germ layers, as well as the development of antigenic determinants as related to fetal stem cells. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #614: PCCS Enzymology – The purpose of the course is to study enzymatic reactions, and components such as enzyme, substrate, cofactor, coenzyme, activators, and inhibitors. Also covered are reaction rates. Review of enzyme assays and enzyme purification techniques.
3 Credits. Grade:

Term 2

Course #616: PCCS Virology – Although the course touches upon bacteriophage and plant viruses, emphasis is on animal virology. Viral structure and replication, viral recombination, virus-host interactions, antiviral drugs, vaccines, relation to immunology, and other similar topics are covered. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #626: PCCS Hormonal Rejuvenation – Review and discussion of the hypothesis that aging is a disease. Characteristics and role of hormones in regulating human bodily function, with emphasis on hormone replacement therapy. The relationship between hormones and stem cell production and maturation is also explored. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #624: PCCS Immunology – The physical, chemical, and physiological characteristics of the human immune system, in vitro, in situ, and in vivo. Humoral and cellular immune response, autoimmune disease, hypersensitivities, immune difficiency, and transplant rejection. Also covered is the immunology of fetal stem cells and fetal cell transplantation, the immunology aspects of autologous stem cell transplantation, and embryonic stem cell transplantation. 3 Credits. Grade:

Term 3

Course #630: PCCS Fundamentals of Stem Cell Biology – The course covers fundamental properties of human stem cells, and their differentiation into specialized cell types. The course presents an overview of embryonic stem cells isolated from the developing mass of blastocyst, as well as adult stem cells and progenitor cells. Overview of bone marrow and umbilical cord blood sources, and creation and characterization of cloned cell lines. Self-renewal mechanisms, cell potency and potency definitions are also covered. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #632: PCCS Stem Cells (Embryonic) – The course looks at the isolation of human embryonic stem cells, cell culturing techniques, characteristics, development into the 3 primary germ layers, embryonic stem cell lines, difficulties of control, cell surface antigens and immunological considerations. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #634: PCCS Stem Cells (Adult and Fetal) – Tissue sources of human adult stem cells and fetal stem cells. Pluripotent vs multipotent cell types, and advantages in human treatment using multipotent stem cells. Comparison of autograft rejection to embryonic stem cells. Characteristics of stem cell wall antigenic determinants. The development of antigenic determinants in umbilical cord blood and fetal tissue. Amniotic stem cells. A review of techniques for inducing pluripotent stem cells, and significance of the procedure. 3 Credits. Grade:

Year 2-Term 1

Course #621: PCCS Blood – Components, Separation, Labeling, and Cell Culture: Because of the importance of blood to the study and use of adult hematopoietic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells in therapy, this course focuses on the component cells found in blood, isolation and separation of stem cells, cell labeling, and the cell culture of stem cells found in the blood.
3 Credits. Grade:

Course #636: PCCS Stem Cell Laboratory Protocols – The course covers techniques for isolating, collecting, and culturing human stem cells. Amniotic stem cell banks. Cryopreservation and Stem Cell Manufacturing are included. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #638: PCCS Human Regenerative Biology –As current as we can make it, this important course covers Bioreactors and Stem Cell Manufacturing as well as Tissue Engineering.
3 Credits. Grade:

Term 2

Course #642: PCCS Disease Treatment with Autologous Stem Cells – The course covers international treatments available using autologous stem cells (collected from the patient) including the very latest treatments for ALS. The primary international treatment centers are reviewed. The mechanism of action is studied. The purpose of the course is to bring to light the many curative techniques being used internationally, such as the repair of severed spinal cord using neural stem cells isolated from the patients nose. It is hoped that the student can gain insight to the fact that these current international treatments are no longer “hypothetical”, and hopefully will inspire the students to generate their own ideas for future work in their careers. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #644: PCCS 644: Fetal and Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment – A review of the techniques of using stem cells derived from human fetal tissue, and what diseases can be particularly controlled or cured. The course also includes a review of the current status of human embryonic stem cell treatments, why the international medical community has abandoned its interest in using embryonic stem cells, and also covering the two major drawbacks to embryonic stem cell therapy: Tendency toward proliferation (differentiation), making stem cells almost impossible to control once injected into another body, resulting in  a differentiated cell ball of many types referred to as a teratoma; and the problem of cell rejection due to having “foreign” cell membrane antigenic determinants requiring a patient to take immune suppressing drugs. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #647: PCCS Growth Media, Growth Factors, and Paired Mice Experiment- This course presents a review of growth media for purposes of expansion of a patient’s collected stem cells, including with the use of autologous serum. The importance and identity of stem cell growth factors is presented in context to the very important paired-mice experiment. The course concludes with a discussion of exogenous growth stimulants such as Neupogen (filgrastim). 3 Credits. Grade:

Term 3

Course #646: Exosomes and the New Stem Cell Medicine.Following the previous course relating to serum factors in therapy, we dive deep into exosomes: what are they, how are they collected, what do they do, why they are necessary in therapy. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #641: PCCS Mixed Cell Regenerative Medicine-We cover the new terminology for stem ell therapy, with emphaisis on the 21st Century Cures Act: The Law Authorizing Adult Stem Cell Therapy in the United States. We review the many new developments in stem cell therapy taking place in the United States that really gained momentum begining in 2016 including the use of and use of Platelet Rich Plasma and Stromal Vascular Fractions We look at the early history of stem cell therapy worldwide, juxtaposed to what was occurring in the US. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #670: PCCS Practical Lab- The Collection, Purification, and Use of the PRP and SVF Fractions. This is a laboratory course in which the student will learn step by step, through use of videos and other material, how the Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Stormal Vascular Fraction (SVF) are collected from the patient’s blood or fatty tissue, concentrated through various centrifugation steps and enzymatic clean up, and final preparation for use in patients. 3 Credits. Grade:

Year 3-Term 1

Course #681: PCCS Commercial Sources Supporting Stem Cell Science: This course has always been styled as a Colloquium, for the exchange of ideas and for looking at different subjects that may interest us or be timely and new, which will change every year. Generally, the “commercial sources” we had in mind were two-fold: Systems for autologous stem cell expansion; and Growth Factors. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #683: PCCS Research Methodology and Writing/Select Thesis Topic and Outline – Using examples, this course will review the scientific method, the basic format of a research paper, the importance and use of controlled experiments, and scientific writing practice. Finally, the student, with the guidance of the Faculty, will prepare an outline for an independent work suitable for publication. 3 Credits. Grade:

Course #684: Dissertation Preparation I. 3 Credits.

Terms 2-3

Course 686: Dissertation Preparation II. 3 Credits.

Course 700: Dissertation Completion: 6 Credits

Total Number of Trimester Credits: 72

Final Grade Average: ___ [Equivalent to ____, or ___on 4 point Scale]

Degree Awarded: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Stem Cell Biology,_____________

 

A description of most courses can be found in our Course Handbook 2020 CourseHandbook2020 

The program concludes with the completion of the Dissertation (Click on Dissertation section below Academics  in above navigation bar).

In addition, students are encouraged to seek out training sessions, and various stem cell lab projects which occur from time to time in their home countries. Such hands-on lab training is certainly beneficial, and if completed during the student’s study with the College, is added to the official academic record of the student. Lastly, although we have no laboratory, we do train students in laboratory procedures. Here is a Sample Assignment Concerning Growth Media of one of our students discussing the procedures and equipment for expanding adult stem cells ex vivo. We are confident that our graduates can be comfortable and capable of discussing stem cell issues in any environment. 


5 Year Combination Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Philosophy (B.S./Ph.D.) in Stem Cell Biology for High School Graduates and Non-Traditional Students

The following shows the 2-year online Bachelor Degree portion of the program. Upon satisfactory completion of the first two years, students will move on to the 3-year PhD program Curriculum shown above.

Note: A Bachelor Degree is only issued upon completion of the entire 5 year program. We do not offer a B.S. Degree except in combination with the 3 year doctoral degree.

An undergraduate biology degree program with No General Education Requirements and No Second Language Requirements. 

General education? That’s for High School. Instead of two years of worthless general education courses, we get you prepared and slide you into a doctoral program so that you graduate in 5 years with BOTH an Bachelor’s degree and a PhD degree in Stem Cell Biology!!

This program introduces the student to basic biology concepts and then proceeds into the doctoral program where the student will learn the basic science of stem cell biology, and also the practical applications to patient treatment today, through the exploration of international therapies using adult stem cells. The program is excellent for those that may be interested in not only a research career, but also a career in clinical medicine or pharmacology, biomedical engineering, or health care management.

We operate on a trimester schedule, which means that our academic year is divided into 3 segments of 4 months each. In each 4 month period, students take three courses. For some terms, or as determined by the University, students may be assigned courses in sequence, lasting about 1 month each. In that event, for any approximate one month period, a student will be studying one course.

Years 1 and 2 Shown Here are Used for the Bachelor Degree Part of the Program:

Year 1

Year 2

Term 1

Term 1

Introduction to Biology – Provides an overview of biology systems, water ecology, waste water management, agricultural methods including plant grafting, plant biology, soil biology, deep water organisms, the six kingdoms of classification. 4 Credits

Cell Biology– Presents study of the structure, function, and interaction of cells, cell cycles, cell death, and cell propagation in vitro. 4 credits

Biochemistry– The study of biological molecules and main biological interactions, including Amino Acids, Peptides, Proteins, Carbohydrates, Lipids and Membranes, Nucleic Acids, Glycolysis, Citric Acid Cycle, Photosynthesis, Lipid Metabolism, DNA/RNA Structure and Replication, Protein Biosynthesis. 4 Credits

Plant Biology– Examines plant cell structure and growth, including elementary plant cell tissue culture in vitro. 4 credits

Math Review:A course designed to polish your math skills. 4 credits

Marine Biology– A study of common marine organisms, biological aspects of marine communities, properties of sea water, and fisheries biology.

4 credits

Term 2

Term 2

Pond Water Biology – This course studies the fascinating world of pond water from various viewpoints. 4 credits

Microbiology – Bacterial and viral classification, structure, physiology, genetics, molecular biology, pathogenicity and immunology, including clinical lab testing and batch preparation of bacteria for specialized protein harvesting. 4 credits

Biology Lab Techniques and Protocols-Presents an overview of the tools of biology including microscopy, cell counting and separation, immunoassays, review of laboratory glassware and equipment. 4 credits

History of Medicine – The course is intended to review the history of past medical advances as compared to the new field of stem cell treatments for disease. The “new medicine” that is human autologous stem cell treatment is placed in context to prior advances. The history of the international development of autologous adult stem cell treatments which have occurred at a rapid pace is contrasted to the failure of the USA to embrace and adopt this new treatment modality. A pattern of suppression of non-prescription medicine cures will be investigated. 4 Credits

Digital Portfolio Independent Study #1. Basic Website Set-up in which requires each student to create their own professional website on the WordPress platform (for free) with staff guidance. The purpose of the course is for each student to develope a digital portfolio which presents and highlights their education, training, independent studies, relevant work experience and activities of interest relevant to their field of study. To qualify for graduation, each student must eventually publish their digital portfolio on the internet. 4 Credits.

Digital Portfolio Independant Study #3:Presentation. In this course the student finalizes their personal website for preesentation to the Faculty. 4 credits

Term 3

Term 3

Research Methodology and Writing – Using examples, this course will review the scientific method, the basic format of a research paper, the importance and use of controlled experiments, and scientific writing practice. 4 credits

Biology Seminars- What Are Stem Cells?Introduction to the discovery of human stem cells and their characteristics. 4 credits

Introduction to Genetics– Fundamental principles of genetics, including an exploration of the principles of genetics as they apply to human beings, as well as population genetics, genetic engineering. 4 credits

Basic Biostatistics-Review of the scientific method, introduction to sampling, experimental design, analysis of data, and testing of hypotheses, with emphasis on methods applied to biological investigations. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, correlation and regression. 4 credits

Digital Portfolio Independent Study #2:Students continue to create their individual Online Portfolio by demonstrating deeper learning of techniques for manipulating and improving the student’s personal website, with staff guidance. 4 credits

Independent Research Report– Students engage in independent literature research and prepare a scientific paper with proper citations. The course is designed for the student to demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and to demonstrate scientific writing skills.  4 credits

End of Curriculum Page