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Academic & Coursework Information

Fall 2024


The schedule for Orientation will be full-including welcomes, introductions, and the general administrative housekeeping necessary to start your time at Vanderbilt.  We will begin orientation on Monday, August 12, 2024. All students are required to attend the orientation in its entirety. New students will also complete all the necessary safety training courses to work in a lab.


The IGP Bioregulation I class will begin on Friday, August 16, but students will be fully booked beginning on the first day of orientation, August 12. Classes are held Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m with programming and statistics coursework taking place in the afternoon.

The Bioregulation course is designed by the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program Executive Committee along with associated sub-committees for curriculum development. The course curriculum has been restructured for the 2024-25 school year based on insights from faculty and students and educational experts.  Each year, feedback is collected and the curriculum is updated to meet the educational needs of students. The course will continue to be based on the most recent literature in the subject fields of the sections of the course. This means that lectures and discussions are heavily dependent on recently-published journal articles.


Bioregulation- Textbooks primarily serve as background and general reference material.

  • Biochemistry, Voet and Voet, 4th ed.
  • Genetics: From Genes to Genomes, Hartwell et al 6th ed.
  • Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts et al. 6th ed.
  • Introduction to Protein Structure – Branden and Tooze 2nd ed.

We have a few copies of each of these books available for check out in 340 Light Hall. There is a two hour maximum for checkout. If you already have one of these books and the edition is different, then it will be up to you to find the corresponding chapter in your edition. Online books are also acceptable, if available.

Statistics Section

Required Course Text (online, free textbooks):

  • Concepts and Applications of Inferential Statistics, by Richard H. Lowry.  Available at:
  • Handbook of Biological Statistics, by John H. McDonald. Available at:

Alternative and useful (but not required) text:

  • GraphPad Statistics Guide, Principles of Statistics. Available at:—_principles_of_statistics_-.htm
  • Intuitive Biostatistics (3rd Ed.), by H. Motulsky; Oxford University Press, 2009, 540pp. (this is written by the creator of our software, Prism, so you might find it helpful.)

And a couple more helpful (not required) resources:

  • (use search bar in top right to search blog posts)
  • (an awesome overview from a biologists perspective…especially if you love C. elegans)
  • (a great site with research suggestions from the community. Try not to use for stats questions…you’re advanced enough to use the next one)
  • (a stats Q&A site with lots of great responses/interpretations)


DO NOT start the free subscription until instructed to do so.  If you do so now, the free 1 month trial won’t last!

  • GraphPad Prism- we will sign up for a 1 month free subscription during the Biostats portion of Bioregulation.  Many of the labs through which you rotate will likely have a subscription to Prism, but if not, you can use some of the free online tools available from Prism (
  • GraphPad (makers of Prism) free software:


Please be aware that the IGP academic year is uniquely developed to match the objectives of the program and may not mesh with the items listed for the Graduate School on the University calendar. Please check the schedule daily to find out what days you will have off.


Your faculty adviser during the first year IGP is Barbara Fingleton.