Course Goals

  • Identify the fundamental concepts in translational biomarker research, from discovery science to assay development and regulatory qualification
  • Differentiate the role of biomarkers in evaluating safety, efficacy, and therapeutic decision-making
  • Identify solutions to potential problems in biomarker science from innovation, biostatistical, clinical, and regulatory perspectives
  • Recognize the use of biomarkers in various disease states
  • Differentiate possible roles and opportunities as a biomarker scientist, paying particular attention to diverse career paths

The goal of Understanding Biomarker Science is to educate clinical and translational investigators who conduct, or who are planning to conduct, basic, translational, or clinical biomarker research. This tenth iteration of the course now includes:

  • More than 30 sessions that cover a range of topics, from biomarker discovery to validation and entrepreneurship
  • Hands-on webinars that teach statistical analysis for biomarker evaluation
  • Career guidance in biomarker science
  • Networking with course participants and speakers

This seven-week course, offered virtually, will provide an overview of the translational biomarker development pipeline from discovery to application and commercialization.

What your colleagues are saying about this course:

“This was one of the best programs I have ever attended in terms of structure, content, and schedule. I thank you for the opportunity.”

“The program confirmed a lot of my thinking and exposed me to real-life challenges that I would be thinking about as I jump into development of companion diagnostics.”

Session dates

May 7 – June 14, 2021

Please see the course schedule for more details about each session.

Time commitment

  • Each Monday, a course kickoff video will available for viewing. This video will preview session content, as well as provide helpful pre-reads and speaker bios.
  • Session videos will be released at noon on Wednesdays. Participants will watch the videos in preparation for the live events on Friday mornings.
  • We expect participants to spend four hours per week on course content.


MD, DMD, PharmD, or PhD, and be poised to begin or be actively engaged in basic or clinical research; or BS/MS with more than seven years of experience in biomarker science.

We believe that the research community is strengthened by understanding how a number of factors including gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, culture, religion, national origin, language, disability, and age shape the environment in which we live and work, affect each of our personal identities, and impacts all areas of human health.


  • Free for Harvard-affiliated schools and institutions
  • CTSA member: $112.50 per session OR $562.50 for all seven sessions
    (Note: this is a 25% discount off the standard fee.)
  • Non-CTSA member: $150 per session OR $750 for all seven sessions
  • Cancellation and Refund Policy [PDF]
View Available Discounts

Accreditation Statement

The Harvard Catalyst Education program is accredited by the Massachusetts Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Harvard Catalyst Education program’s policy requires full attendance and the completion of all activity surveys to be eligible for CME credit; no partial credit is allowed.


The application process is closed. Please check back for future opportunities.