Topic Courses

cells

This department teaches the formal grad courses in modules known as “Topic courses”

Most topics last for six weeks with one 2-hour session each week (i.e., 12 total hours in-class). Topics for the CBMG track consist of 24 hours in-class and are therefore the equivalent of two topics. In-class sessions generally include lectures by professors and presentations by students on current literature. Classes often involve discussion of research papers. Topics usually are evaluated through assignments and class participation. Marks are available within four weeks after the due date of the last assignment for the course.


Registration & Deadlines

Opening of registration and how to register for Topics will be communicated to students by email from the department. The deadline to register is January 15 for Winter courses and August 15 for Fall courses. Note that Topics are generally offered every other year.

Registration is not on a first-come, first-served basis. All students will be given equal consideration for registration in topics as long as they submit a request by the deadline. In cases where a topic course is oversubscribed, preference may be given to senior Molecular Genetics students. Note that Molecular Genetics Students may also enroll in courses from other departments to fulfill topic requirements upon approval from Graduate Coordinators in both departments, instructors, and their PI. In particular, the Department of Biochemistry course modules fulfills Topic requirements. Contact the Graduate Office for more information.


Non-Molecular Genetics Students

Students from other departments may enroll in Topics. However, preference is given to Molecular Genetics students. Biochemistry students may use Topics from this department to count towards the topic courses offered by the Biochemistry department (check with your home department for details). Please contact the Graduate Office for more information. Note that students from other departments must also select their topics by the deadlines above.


 

2022 Topic Courses

Winter-Fall 2022

MMG1344: Foundational Computational Biology I (Winter 2022)

Course Overview

The Foundational Computational Biology (FCB) courses are two 6-meeting topic courses offered through the Molecular Genetics Graduate program, covering foundational concepts and current applications for computational biology and bioinformatics.  The courses are targeted to first-year graduate students, with preference given to students in the CBMG track of the Molecular Genetics Graduate Program.   

Assignments will be pen-and-paper and practical assignments requiring programming (e.g., Python) or statistical environments (e.g., R).  

Instructors: Dr. Fritz Roth and Kieran Campbell

Date: April 1, 2022 - May 6, 2022

Time: 1-3 pm

Location: Online via Zoom

Enrollment: Subject to Instructor approval and will require

1) evidence of comfort with computer programming and 

2) excellence in two or more quantitative subjects, including calculus, linear algebra, probability/statistics, or other mathematics courses. 

Syllabus: Course Outline

MMG1345: Foundational Computational Biology II (Winter 2022)

Course Overview

The Foundational Computational Biology (FCB) courses are two 6-meeting topic courses offered through the Molecular Genetics Graduate program, covering foundational concepts and current applications for computational biology and bioinformatics.  The courses are targeted to 1st-year graduate students, with preference given to students in the CBMG track of the Molecular Genetics Graduate Program.   

Assignments will be pen-and-paper and practical assignments requiring programming (e.g., Python) or statistical environments (e.g., R).  

Instructors: Dr. Fritz Roth and Kieran Campbell

Date: May 13, 2022 - June 17, 2022

Time: Thursday, 1-3 pm

Location: Online via Zoom

Enrollment: Subject to Instructor approval and will require

1) evidence of comfort with computer programming and 

2) excellence in two or more quantitative subjects, including calculus, linear algebra, probability/statistics, or other mathematics courses. 

Syllabus: Course Outline

MMG1346H: Advanced imaging: techniques and application in biological systems (Winter 2022)

Course Overview:

The course provides an overview and fundamental knowledge of optical microscopic techniques and their recent applications for biological research. The course consists of six different modules involving short introductions on specific imaging techniques by instructors, followed by presentations on research papers that highlight the application of these techniques by students. By the end of the course, students will present short research proposals on a research project of their interest, utilizing at least one imaging technique covered by the course.

Course Outline: See syllabus here

Course Coordinator: Kenichi Okamoto, Mei Zhen

Course Location: 600 University Ave. Mount Sinai Hospital, 8th floor, Rm. 885A

Course Time and Date: TBD. Held April and May (Wednesdays)

MMG1347H: Cell Cycle and Growth Control (Winter 2022)

Course Overview: 

The course will serve as an in-depth exploration of mechanisms that program and maintain homeostasis of growth (hypertrophy) and cell division (hyperplasia) in metazoan biology. Different animal cell types, or cells from different animal tissues, display marked differences in cell size. Pancreatic acinar cells, for example, are over four times larger than their neighbouring pancreatic beta cells. In proliferating cells, maintenance of cell size reflects coordination of cell growth with rates of cell division. By contrast, in non-proliferating and terminally differentiated cells, size homeostasis exclusively depends on mechanisms that coordinate biosynthesis with turnover. To add to this complexity, both growth and cell division are exquisitely tuned to the balance of mitogenic (proliferative) signals, energy status and nutrient availability. 

What is the nature of the molecular program that coordinates growth, division and turnover to maintain homeostasis? While the answer to this question is not yet realized, many new and exciting mechanistic details pertaining to these processes are continuously reported. Science is a union of observations and story-telling. Driven by curiosity, we seek a narrative that weaves disparate observations into a coherent narrative.  

This course will rely on an in-depth exploration of literature to derive novel, experimentally testable, narratives on the subject of growth homeostasis. Particular emphasis will be placed on cell cycle checkpoints, cell size checkpoints and sensing mechanisms that respond to changes in metabolic status and nutrient availability. 

Course outline: See syllabus here

Course Coordinator: Drs. Jim Dennis and Ran Kafri 

Course Time and Date: TBD (Six weeks typically on Wednesday starting in March

MMG1348H: Comparative and Population Genomics (Winter 2022)

Overview

Comparative genomics is the analysis and comparison of genes and genomes from different species. Comparisons among evolutionarily related species can often help to identify functionally important and evolutionarily conserved genes or regulatory elements. In addition to protein and DNA sequences, comparative analysis can be also extended to gene expression profiles, protein-protein interactions, genetic interactions and regulatory interactions, which in turn help us understand the origin, evolution and importance of these important cellular interactions. 

In contrast to inter-species comparisons, population genomics compares the gene and genome sequences, gene expression or regulation among individuals within a population of the same species. For example, population genomics allows us to determine the level of genetic heterogeneity (variation) in the human population, and how such genetic variation correlates with both gross and molecular phenotypes. 

In this course, we will introduce the concepts, computational and experimental methods, databases and tools that are used in comparative and population genomics. The course will be a mixture of lectures and student presentations, where classical and contemporary papers will be discussed.

Course outline: See syllabus here

Course Coordinator: Lincoln Stein, Zhaolei Zhang

Course Location: TBD

Course Time: Typically Wednesdays, 2pm-4pm (April/May)

MMG1349H: Epigenetics and Transcriptional Control (Winter 2022)

Course Overview: 

In this topics course, we will explore the fascinating world of epigenetic inheritance and chromatin-based gene regulation. 

The format for this course is a little different from other topics courses you may have taken and will require a greater sustained effort but will not involve a lengthy final assignment. We’re aiming for maximal student engagement and will in fact require you to assume much responsibility for the development of the course curriculum as well as marking. Brief weekly written assignments will comprise a significant portion of your grade and will be evaluated by you. The quality of the class you lead (as explained below) will comprise another major area of evaluation. 

Course outline: See syllabus here

Course Location: TBD

Course Time and Date: TBD; typically Thursdays, 2:00 – 4:00 P.M (Feb and March)

Course Instructor(s): Marc Meneghini and Paul Delgado Olguin

MMG1350H: Fungal Drug Resistance Development and Disease (Winter 2022)

Overview: 

Fungi are the cause of scores of life-threatening diseases, are the earth’s preeminent degraders of organic matter, including the best-characterized eukaryotic model systems, and are proving to be invaluable to science and manufacturing.  This course will focus on recent advances in fungal pathogenesis, with an emphasis on understanding the unusual sexual mechanisms of pathogenic fungi as well as the molecular mechanisms by which they cause disease and evolve resistance to antifungal drugs.  Papers selected for discussion will span genomics, signalling, cell identity, interspecies interactions, evolution, and models of pathogenesis.  Introductory lectures will set the stage for class discussion of selected papers.  Student grades will be based on participation in discussions, a written NSERC-style grant application, and referee reports on two grant proposals submitted by their peers.

Course outline: See syllabus here

Course Coordinator: Leah E. Cowen, Ph.D.

Course Location: MaRS Centre West Tower, 661 University Ave, Room 1622

Course Time: TBD - typically Tuesdays, 10:30 am-12:30 pm (January  – February)

MMG1352H: Virus-Host Interactions (Winter 2022)

Course Overview: 

This course will consider new developments in understanding the ways in which viruses and viral proteins interact with host cells to generate thousands of progeny virus particles from a single infected cell.  This version of the course is for students who already have a background in virology (e.g. an undergrad or grad course).  The first class will comprise an interactive review of virus replication with particular attention to the release of progeny virions and entry into the next host cell.  Subsequent classes will consist of student presentations of selected papers from the literature, along with class discussions. Papers for the presentation will be distributed a week in advance of the presentation.  Assessment is based on the presentation of one or more papers (depending on class size), participation in class discussion and a written assignment.

This version of the course will focus on an aspect of virology that currently is attracting a lot of interest, specifically, the release of non-enveloped viruses.  In contrast to what the textbooks say, it’s not just that viruses get out when the host cells disintegrate but there is now substantial evidence that several non-enveloped viruses are released in vesicles before the cell disintegrates.  Specific topics likely to be covered include the following:  release of poliovirus, rotavirus and norovirus in vesicles from different sources, the role of autophagy in virus release, how progeny virions can benefit from autophagy but are diverted away from the degradative autophagy pathway, the transmission of viruses in vesicles not only in cell culture but between animal (and probably human) hosts, proviral and antiviral effects of vesicles produced by infected cells for communication with other target cells. 

Course outline: See syllabus here

Course Location:  TBD

Course Time and Date:  TBD

Course Instructor(s):  Martha Brown

BCH2024H: From Chaperones to CRISPR-Cas: the incredible power of phages (Winter 2022)

Course Overview

This course will cover both classical and contemporary studies involving phages that have led to major technological breakthroughs.

Your grade will be based on participation, presentation of a journal article and a written assignment (Cell Preview or Nature News & Views style paper).

Instructors: Karen Maxwell & Alan Davidson

Date: March 26, 2021- April 30, 2021

Time: 1:30-3:30 pm

Location: Online via Zoom

Enrollment: Student limit is 10

Syllabus: Course Outline

Register

Click here for more information

MMG1353H: Experimental Techniques in Developmental Biology (Fall 2022

Course Overview: 

The goal of this topics course is to get a thorough understanding of the main techniques used in Developmental Biology and their history in the lab.  The format of this course will be a journal club-style presentation and general discussion of selected review articles and primary research papers. Below, you will find the reading list for each class, which was carefully chosen to represent a variety of developmental model organisms as well as techniques that are used in Developmental Biology. All students are expected to read each of the assigned papers prior to class and come prepared to actively participate in group discussions regarding the application, merits, and limitations of experimental techniques across various animal model systems. Presentations should focus on the techniques used in the current manuscript, as well as the technology that allowed for the technique to be used (as opposed to covering the biological data in the papers)

Course outline: Syllabus

Course Location:  PGCRL

Course Time and Date:  TBD; typically Wednesdays Oct/Nov

Course Instructor(s): Dr. Sevan Hopyan

Instructor Contact Information (email): sevan.hopyan@sickkids.ca

MMG1354H: Functional Genomics – Experimental Approaches (Fall 2022)

Course Overview:
The course provides a survey of current and emerging approaches in functional genomics and proteomics, with a focus on experimental design and data interpretation.

The course consists of a series of presentations and guided discussions by researchers that are developing cutting-edge functional genomics and/or proteomics approaches. The course is designed to be highly interactive — the presentations by invited speakers provide a framework for discussion and students are expected and encouraged to engage as fully as possible. It’s a great opportunity for students to explore cutting-edge genomics methods with great invited speakers and to learn through these discussions.

Topics to be covered this year will include: a) Next Generation nucleic acid sequencing, b) Genetic interactions in model organisms, c) Proteomics and protein interactions, d) High content screening, e) CRISPR technologies, and f) Systematic assay development, g) computational analysis.

Course outline: Syllabus 

Course Location: TBD

Course Time and Date:  TBD

Course Instructor(s): Charlie Boone and Andy Fraser

MMG1355H: Growth Factor Control of Nervous System Development (Fall 2022)

Course Overview

This course will focus on selected topics in Growth Factors and Nervous System Development, with development defined in a broad sense that includes plasticity. The first class will be an introductory class, and then will be followed by 6 additional classes.  Each of these will be comprised of a short introduction followed by a presentation of selected research papers by two students.  Other students in the class will be responsible for having read the papers and for participating in the discussion.  

Students will be assessed on their paper presentation, as well as on their participation in the discussion of the other selected papers.  In addition, students will be asked to identify an important/timely topic or question in the general area, and to very briefly present ideas about how they could experimentally address their chosen topic/question. This will be considered as part of their class participation.

Course outline: Syllabus

Instructors and Contact Information: David Kaplan

Course Dates and Times: TBD

Course Location: TBD

MMG1356H: Membrane Proteomics in Biomedical Research (Fall 2022)

Course outline:

This course will cover the fundamentals of membrane proteomics from a structural, biochemical and genetic standpoint.  Among these will be cryo-EM, crystallography, NMR, and EPR methods as well as mammalian membrane two-hybrid screening and mass-spectrometry-based methods.  A number of in vivo approaches to the discovery of drugs that modulate biological systems will also be covered.  Finally, the techniques used for the development of antibodies against membrane proteins with therapeutic potential will be introduced.

The course will be completed in a total of 12 hours in two-hour blocks and will run over two weeks. In-class sessions will include lectures by professors and presentations by students on current literature. Classes will involve discussion of research papers.

Course outline: Syllabus

Course Location: TBD

Course Time and Date:  TBD, usually November (12-2 pm)

Course Instructor(s): Oliver Ernst and Igor Stagljar

MMG1357H: Viral Pathogens (Fall 2022)

Course Overview:

Given recent studies documenting the wide range of viruses, both bacterial and mammalian, found in the human microbiome, the question arises as to why some viral infections induce pathologies while others do not.  This course will examine the mechanisms underpinning the pathogenesis of a number of viruses, with emphasis on the role played by viral factors and the host response to infection.

Course outline: Syllabus

Course Location: TBD

Course Time and Date: TBD, usually October/November

Course Instructor(s): Alan Cochrane, James Rini

MMG1358H: Stem Cells I (Fall 2022)

Course Overview:

Stem cells are at the heart of development and regeneration in organisms from plants to humans. We will pursue issues of cell fate, cell division, differentiation and self-renewal (see the weekly topics below). This is a reading and discussion course, so everyone will read the papers for each week before coming to class.  This means you should come to the first meeting having read all of the week one papers or don’t bother coming to class.  Each person may be asked to give the synopsis of a paper and/or initiate the discussion by answering the first questions about the papers. For this course, you must be prepared for robust discussion and presentation.  This course will be fun, and everybody will do well if they participate in the class discussion.

Course outline: Syllabus

Course Location: Room 1112 – CCBR (11th Floor, 160 College Street)

Course Time and Date:  TBD: usually 2 pm – 4 pm, October/November

Course Instructor(s): Derek van der Kooy and John Dick

Enrollment: 15

BCH2024H: Biomolecular Dynamics and Function (Fall 2022)

The course will describe some of the experimental methods to study biomolecular dynamics and present examples of functional motions from a variety of systems.

Course Objectives: Provide the student with a moderate level of understanding of biophysical approaches used to understand the role of biomolecular motion in function.

Click here for more

2021 Topic Courses

Winter-Fall 2021

MMG1206: Cancer Genetics (Winter 2021)

Course Overview

This course will focus on recent advances in cancer molecular genetics and its application to human disease. Specifically, we will address genetic factors for cancer susceptibility (tumour suppressor and DNA repair genes), tumour-specific genomics and gene expression (tumour suppressor genes and oncogenes), and therapies targeting this knowledge. Within each area, we will emphasize clinical application and relevance. Scientific tools that enable this research will be addressed, such as statistical genetics, expression profiling, genomic screens, and siRNA approaches to targeted therapies. The course will consist of lectures and presentations, and discussion by students of selected publications. The course grade will be based on presentations, participation in discussions and a short written paper.

Instructors: Dr. Irene Andrulis and Dr. Daniel Schramek

Dates: February 18, 2021 – March 25, 2021

Time: 2-4 pm

Location: Online via Zoom

Enrollment: Class size is limited to 15 students

Syllabus: Course Outline (will be added later)

Register

MMG1217: Gene & Protein Evolution (Winter 2021)

Course Overview

This course will survey the genetic and biophysical forces that have shaped the evolutionary history of genes and proteins. The first lecture will review basic concepts in molecular evolution and mutational processes, while the latter lectures will discuss recent theoretical and experimental advances. Topics to be covered include: mutational processes; positive and negative selection; neutral theory of protein evolution; predicting deleterious protein mutations; evolution of gene expression and gene regulation; de novo mutations; biophysical models of protein evolution; protein sequence and structure spaces; mutational robustness; evolvability; epistasis and co-evolution of interacting amino acid residues; and examples of using evolutionary information to infer biophysical properties of proteins. Student grades will be based on participation in discussions, a written CIHR grant LOI, and referee reports on two grant proposals submitted by fellow students

Instructor: Zhaolei Zhang

Date: March 25, 2021 to April 29, 2021 (6 weeks)

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Location: Online via Zoom

MMG1218: Genome Duplication, Repair and Transmission (Winter 2021)

Course Overview

This discussion-based course will rely on student presentations of recent papers from the literature related to mechanisms of genome structure and function. We will take examples from model organisms to humans. Topics covered vary every year based on the very recent literature, but generally include DNA replication and repair, checkpoint control, genetic instability, fundamental genetic elements (centromeres, telomeres), chromosome structure/function and inheritance during mitosis and/or meiosis. In teams, students will present and lead discussions on 2 assigned papers during the class, and will also participate in all class discussions. Students will write a short grant proposal on a topic related to class (but unrelated to their own area of research) and participate in a peer review grant panel providing and receiving constructive feedback to/from peers on their grants.

Instructors: Dr. Brigitte LavoieDr. Daniel Durocher & Dr. Christopher Pearson

Dates: March 3, 2021 - April 28, 2021

Time: Wednesdays (3pm - 5pm)

Location: Online via Zoom

Enrollment: Class size is limited to 10 students

Syllabus: Course Outline

Register

MMG1228: Protozoan Pathogens (Winter 2021)

Course Overview

Protozoans comprise a large and diverse group of eukaryotic microbes. There are dozens of protists that infect humans, which together kill over a million people every year. Protazoan parasites that infect humans include apicomplexians, kintoplastids, amoebas, oomycetes, and giardia. There are few treatments for these pathogens and there is still much to understand about how these protists infect hosts and cause disease. Papers selected for discussion will focus on recent advances in protozoan evolution, invasion and virulence mechanisms, and the development of therapeutics. There will be a specific emphasis placed on new technologies that are driving discoveries in these challenging organisms. Student grades will be based on written assignments, presentations, and participation in discussions.

Instructor: Aaron W. Reinke

Date: February 18, 2021 – March 25, 2021

Location: Online via Zoom

Time: 10am-12pm (Thursday)

Syllabus: Course Outline

Register

MMG1344H: Foundational Computational Biology I  (Winter 2021)

Course Overview

The Advanced Computational Biology (ACB) courses are two 6-meeting topic courses offered through the Molecular Genetics Graduate program, covering foundational concepts and current applications for computational biology and bioinformatics.  The courses are targeted to first-year graduate students, with preference given to students in the CBMG track of the Molecular Genetics Graduate Program.   

Assignments will be pen-and-paper and practical assignments requiring programming (e.g., Python) or statistical environments (e.g., R).  

Instructors: Dr. Fritz Roth and Kieran Campbell

Date: April 1, 2021 - May 6, 2021

Time: 1-3 pm

Location: Online via Zoom

Enrollment: Subject to Instructor approval and will require

1) evidence of comfort with computer programming and 

2) excellence in two or more quantitative subjects, including calculus, linear algebra, probability/statistics, or other mathematics courses. 

Syllabus: Course Outline

Register

MMG1345H: Foundational Computational Biology II  (Winter 2021)

Course Overview

The Advanced Computational Biology (ACB) courses are two 6-meeting topic courses offered through the Molecular Genetics Graduate program, covering foundational concepts and current applications for computational biology and bioinformatics.  The courses are targeted to 1st-year graduate students, with preference given to students in the CBMG track of the Molecular Genetics Graduate Program.   

Assignments will be pen-and-paper and practical assignments requiring programming (e.g., Python) or statistical environments (e.g., R).  

Instructors: Dr. Fritz Roth and Kieran Campbell

Date: May 13, 2021 - June 17, 2021

Time: Thursday, 1-3 pm

Location: Online via Zoom

Enrollment: Subject to Instructor approval and will require

1) evidence of comfort with computer programming and 

2) excellence in two or more quantitative subjects, including calculus, linear algebra, probability/statistics, or other mathematics courses. 

Syllabus: Course Outline

Register

MMG1301H: Developmental Neurobiology (Fall 2021)

Course Overview

The aim of this graduate course is to discuss current issues in developmental neurobiology. Topics will include cell fate decisions in the nervous system; axon guidance/cell migrations; synaptogenesis, neuronal function; genetic analysis of behaviour, learning & memory & genetic models of neurodegenerative diseases. The format will consist of 1-2 hours class/week. Each class will consist of a lecture component and presentations from students. Students will be assessed using two criteria: presentation of current papers from the literature and an NSERC style grant on a topic discussed in class. Click here for the 2018 Syllabus. 

Instructors: Dr. Julie Lefebvre

Date: October 20, 2021 to December 1, 2021

Time: 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Location: PGCRL 5-59701

Enrollment: minimum 12 students, maximum 16 students

MMG1304H: Bacterial Pathogens (Fall 2021)

Course Overview

This course focuses on recent advances in the study of bacterial pathogens and the mechanisms by which they cause disease. Specifically, we will examine the virulence factors used by pathogens to infect their host, to subvert host innate and adaptive immune defences and transmit to new cells and new hosts. The course will consist of lectures and presentations and discussions by students of selected publications. The course grade will be based on presentations, participation in discussions and a short written paper.

Instructors: Dr. J. Brumell & Dr. J. Liu

Date: October 6, 2021 - November 10, 2021

Time: TBD

Location: Zoom (Link will be provided in class)

Enrollment: Limited to 12 Students

Syllabus: Course Outline (Please note this syllabus is from 2020)

MMG1324H: Mitochondrial Genetics in Health and Disease (Fall 2021)

Course Overview

Mitochondria are essential intracellular organelles that contain their own genomes. This course will focus on understanding how mitochondrial genomes are maintained, inherited and expressed, and how their dysfunction contributes to diseases such as cancer. Students will learn both fundamental concepts as well as recent advances in the field of mitochondrial genetics.

The structure of the course is as follows. Students will be organized into 6 groups. Each group will be assigned a topic from endosymbiotic theory to the role mitochondria play in cancer (see below). Groups will then develop and present a 30-minute power point-assisted lecture that would be suitable to teach this topic to a class of first-year graduate students.

Course Instructor(s): Neal Sondheimer and Thomas Hurd,

Date: October 6, 2021 - November 10, 2021

Time: Wednesday, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Location: MaRS or Zoom

Enrollment: Limited to 12 Students

Syllabus: Course Outline (Please note this syllabus is from 2020)

MMG1326H: Post‐Transcriptional Regulatory Mechanisms  (Fall 2021)

Course Overview

This course will cover topics related to the mechanisms underlying post-transcriptional control of gene expression. Topics change yearly, reflecting the most recent state of the field, and may include concepts such as: RNA binding proteins, alternative ribosomes, lncRNAs, phase separated RNA granules, riboswitches, small RNAs regulation, etc.

Students will be organized into 6 groups. Each group will be assigned a topic, develop a ~45 min power point-assisted lecture that would be suitable to teach this topic to a class of first year graduate students, and present the lecture to the class.

Following the presentation the class will discuss a paper related to the topic. Students (either volunteers of chosen at random) who were not involved in that week’s presentation will present individual figures from the paper.

Instructor: Dr. Julie Claycomb and Dr. Craig Smibert

Date: October 4, 2021 - December 13, 2021

Time: 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Location: Zoom (link will be provided before the course begins)

Enrollment: 18 students

Syllabus: Course Outline (Please note this syllabus is from 2020)

MMG1229: Signalling Networks in Development, Regeneration and Disease (Fall 2021)

The course will focus on the role of morphogen signalling pathways in regulating cell fate determination and patterning during development. The emphasis will be on mammalian models. Topics to be covered will include an overview of famous morphogen pathways and how they regulate gastrulation, heart and kidney development, cell and tissue polarity and pluripotency and cell fate decisions in stem cells.

Instructor: Dr. Jeff Wrana

Dates: November - December 2021 (Exact dates TBD)

Time: TBD

Place: TBD

Enrollment: Class size is limited to 12 students

Syllabus: Course Outline (Please note this syllabus is from 2020)

MMG1331H: Stem Cells II (Fall 2021)

Course Overview

Stem cells are capable of self-renewal and differentiation into functionally diverse cell types. As these cells from patients can be phenotyped in comparison to healthy cells, they have been utilized for disease modeling and drug screens. This is an advanced discussion/journal club-oriented course covering both the general concepts and translational aspects of stem cell biology. Students will learn how stem cell biology is applied not only to understand disease mechanisms but also to help develop novel therapies. Students will read and discuss assigned papers; at the end of semester, they will submit a stem cell research plan, and review their proposals in a grant panel format. Course grades will be based on journal club presentations, proposals, and the discussions of both.

Instructors: Dr. James Ellis and Dr. Tae-Hee Kim

Date: October 14 – November 18

Time: Thursdays, 1-3 pm.

Location: Zoom Meeting

Enrollment: Class is limited to 10 students

Syllabus: Course Outline

MMG1333H: Virus Replication (Fall 2021)

MMG1333H: Virus Replication

This course will consider new developments in understanding of the ways in which viruses and viral proteins interact with host cells to generate thousands of progeny virus particles from a single infected cell.  This version of the course is for students with no background courses in virology at the undergraduate or graduate level. The first class will comprise a discussion of virus replication in the context of selected viruses, to set the stage for specific papers that will be covered in the subsequent weeks. Classes consist of student presentations of selected papers from the literature, followed by class discussion. Assessment is based on presentation of one or more papers (depending on class size), participation in class discussion and a written assignment.

CoordinatorDr. Martha Brown

Date: October 22, 2021 - November 26, 2021

Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Location: MS 2278

Course Outline

Molecular Mechanisms in Psychiatric & Neurobiologic Disorders (Fall 2021)

Over the last few years molecular genetic analyses have uncovered a variety of molecular mechanisms that can lead to human psychiatric and neurobiologic disorders. Mutations that affect everything from regulated secretion of neurotrophins, biosynthetic enzyme activity, and alternative splicing to epigenetic transcriptional regulation have been shown to affect mental health. For most any molecular mechanism, nervous system function provides one of the most sensitive biologic read-outs. In this six week course, students will present and discuss the latest findings on molecular mechanisms involved in neurobiologic and psychiatric disorders, which include autism, schizophrenia, and bipolar and phobic disorders. Aside from the presentation and active participation in discussions, students are expected to write a mini review.

Coordinators: Dr. Sabine Cordes

Dates: October 27, 2021 to December 1, 2021

Time: 4:00 - 6:00 PM

Place: TBD

Graduate Professional Development for Scientists (Fall 2021)

This course is designed to empower trainees to be market-ready at a time when the job market continues to become more competitive, whether it’s in academia or outside academia. Embarking on a career path requires strategic consideration of who you are, what skills you have and what kind of value you can deliver. Importantly, many graduate-level trainees have strong technical skills as well as well-developed soft skills but may lack the ability to communicate these skills effectively during the job search process. The primary goals of this course are to broaden students’ self-awareness around their skills, interests and overall value and to teach trainees how to explore and create career options and opportunities. Students will learn how to generate a professional development plan and how to confidently market themselves during and after graduate school.

Note: This is a co-curricular topic and cannot be used for credit.

Coordinator: Dr. Bruce T. Seet

Dates: September 10, 2021 - October 29, 2021

Time: TBD

Place: TBD

Enrollment: 12 to 15 students

Course Outline