Students focus their studies on Master of Science in Applied Life Sciences further by choosing one of five concentrations.
A total of 15.0 credits comprising all the required courses in the concentration and a selection from the electives are required in partial fulfillment of the 39.0 total elective credits necessary for graduation. Students are encouraged to consult with the MS program director for course selection. To complete the MS degree with a Translational, Clinical, Infectious Diseases, Public Health or Bioprocessing Research thesis, students must complete 12.0 or 6.0 credits of ALS 495 Research Thesis capstone. Thesis contracts must be submitted within the first week of the fall semester of the 2nd year of studies. Please refer to the ALS 495 Research Thesis syllabus for more information.
The Translational Research Thesis concentration is designed to give students a panoramic perspective of the translation of a basic research idea into a pragmatic or advantageous product for the biopharmaceutical industry, academia, or healthcare fields.
Why is Translational Research Important?
Despite landmark breakthroughs in the fields of drug discovery development, there are tens of thousands of diseases without any treatments or cures. Translational scientists partner with interdisciplinary teams of pharmacists, bioinformaticists, engineers, and others by taking basic discoveries in disease causation and transforming them into new drugs, devices, and diagnostic interventions. Translational research allows scientists to utilize a “bench to bedside” perspective in the development of new medications, diagnostic tools, and treatment strategies.
80-90% of drug development research projects fail before they get tested on humans.
For every drug that ultimately receives approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, some 5,000 to 10,000 compounds don’t make it through the process.
Why pursue the Translational Research Concentration?
Translational Research Thesis concentration students participate in curriculum that is both diverse and interdisciplinary to prepare them to meet the demands of industry as well as areas of research deficit.
Students will build a strong foundation for future careers and academic pursuits in:
Past and current Translational Research Thesis concentration projects include:
Translational Research Thesis students will have the opportunity to conduct research at the USDA Western Regional Research Center within the following project areas:
More information on the research project areas can be found on the USDA website.
Our Faculty and Research Labs
Course Offerings in the Translational Research Concentration – 15.0 credits
Students are required to identify their thesis capstone project site during their first year of studies and must commit to a minimum of 18 hours per week to work on their thesis.
Note: Students planning to pursue the Translational Research Concentration are strongly recommended to enroll in Independent Research / Independent Study during their first year of studies.
The Clinical Research Thesis concentration is designed to give students the ability to identify and problem solve healthcare-related issues, which in turn allows them to provide solutions in increasing healthcare access, improving patient outcomes, and other quality improvement needs.
Students apply research methods learned to solve healthcare issues in our partner clinical sites. In partnership with COPE Health Solutions, KGI graduate students complete their Clinical Research Thesis projects within one or more of the hospital sites within the COPE Health Scholars program.
Graduates of this concentration are uniquely positioned for future careers as medical researchers (clinical and academic), hospital administrators, or for the pursuit of doctoral studies or a medical or healthcare professional degrees. Students have the opportunity to conduct research in the areas of nosocomial infections, blood stewardship and usage, antibiotic stewardship, ICU cost control, staff performance, pain management, and case costs.
Through this research project, students will actively engage in projects that align with their field of study and learn from their on-site advisor how to identify hospital and/or health system needs to provide solutions to address gaps in quality and patient outcomes. Students will be assisting in data collection and statistical analytics, as well as tracking progress of existing or pending hospital projects. Students will not be assisting with hands-on patient care or delivery, but instead gain exposure to various careers in healthcare by going participating in rounds with nurses, doctors, and/or hospital administrators to gather the necessary data for their focused project.
Course Offerings in the Clinical Research Concentration – 15.0 credits
Students planning to pursue the Clinical Research Thesis concentration must apply to participate in the program through the KGI-COPE application website by May 1.
Students must dedicate a minimum of 18 hours/week to work on their thesis.
Note: Students planning to pursue the Clinical Research Concentration may apply through the KGI-COPE application website or consult with the MS program director to identify a project. The MS program director must approve the projects.
Sample Project Topics
Examples of hospital site placements
Clinical Research Thesis Requirements
The Public Health Research Thesis concentration prepares students to examine public health issues through a science lens, blending lab work with global and community health issues.
Why is Public Health Important?
Public health initiatives improve the lives of millions worldwide through addressing not only immediate health crises, but also workig to prevent future illness and injury. Public health professionals work tirelessly to ensure the health of the population as a whole by examining the root causes of disease and how to affect change on a large scale.
Areas of action and research in public health today include epigenetics, chronic disease, mental health, nutrition, and more.
Why pursue the Public Health Research Concentration?
Public Health Research concentration students participate in curriculum that builds their skills in the sciences and provides a strong foundation in public health principles.
Students will build a strong foundation for future careers in:
Graduates will be able to pursue numerous careers in public health, including:
Our Partners in Public Health
In partnership with California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) and the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), Public Health Research concentration students have the opportunity to conduct their thesis within the following projects:
Course Offerings in the Public Health Research Concentration – 15.0 credits
Note: Students planning to pursue the Public Health Concentration should consult with the MS program director to identify a project. The MS program director must approve the projects.
Why pursue Infectious Diseases Research Concentration?
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated to the entire world the impact that infectious diseases can have on human health, communities, and the global economy. The MS Infectious Diseases Research Thesis concentration provides graduate-level training in the fundamentals of molecular and cellular biology, immunology, as well as basic, translational, and clinical aspects of infectious diseases caused by important pathogens.
More specifically, the curriculum is designed to emphasize the biology of host-pathogen interactions, host immune response, pathology, evolution, transmission, laboratory methods, and epidemiology of infectious diseases. Students participate in classroom activities, online learning, and research experiences to cover the fundamentals of pathogenic agents and infectious diseases they cause. Infectious diseases concentration students are prepared to pursue doctoral degrees, or professional education focused on medicine and infectious disease.
Course Offerings in the Translational Research Thesis Concentration is 15.0 credits. The Infectious Diseases concentration will be offered in two options: 12.0 or 6.0 credits of ALS 495 Research Thesis capstone.
Infectious Diseases Research Concentration (Option A)
Infectious Diseases Research Thesis Concentration (Option B)
Note: Students enrolled in the Infectious Diseases Concentration must work on the thesis project related to infectious diseases (drug discovery, medical devices, bioinformatics, the molecular basis of a disease, etc.). The MS program director must approve the projects.
Bioprocessing Research Concentration (Option A)
Bioprocessing Research Concentration (Option B)
Note: Students enrolled in the Bioprocessing Research Concentration must enroll in the concentration-required courses starting from the 1st year. The MS program director must approve the projects.
The Team Masters Project (TMP) concentration prepares students for working in cross-functional teams to work with sponsoring companies to solve real-life problems. The TMP ideally includes both business and technical aspects; for example, students may be asked to validate a new technology and to develop a strategy for market penetration of the technology. The actual deliverables for each TMP are negotiated by the student team and the company liaison.
More information about TMP can be found here.
Course Offerings in the TMP Concentration – 15.0 credits
Students from KGI’s PPC or PPA programs who aspire to work in healthcare can enroll in the “pre-health track” within the MS program. Within that track, students participate in postbac courses and experiences in the first year, and in the second year, select from one of the five concentrations above to focus their studies on.
Learn more about the postbac MS pre-health track: PPC | PPA
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