MGY200H1: An Introduction to Molecular Genetics and Microbiology


An Introduction To Molecular Genetics And Microbiology

MGY200 provides an introduction to genetics with an emphasis on the process by which scientific discoveries are made.  Many fundamental concepts are taught from a historical point of view to teach both the concept and the thought, imagination, and ingenuity essential to scientific discovery—the course transitions into the modern era of genetics and its ultimate impact on human health.  Lectures will walk students through topical biological problems and the cutting-edge approaches used to better understand biology and tackle threats to our health.  We will take examples from the world-class labs of Toronto-area scientists to illustrate the current state-of-the-art.  Some of the topics to be discussed include emerging and recurring microbial threats, the biology of cancer, the power of stem cells, distinguishing features of the human species, using CRISPR and other tools to engineer genes and genomes, and the search for the fountain of youth, among other topics.

Course Coordinator: Jessica Hill


MGY250H1: Introduction to Medical Genetics (ONLINE)


An introduction to the medical genetics and genomics revolution. Topics include the fundamentals of human genetics and genomics, the basis of human genetic disease, treating genetic disease and ethical issues surrounding human genetics. Course material is delivered online and is equivalent to approximately 36 lecture hours. The final exam is taken on campus or at a pre-approved site off-campus. 


MGY277H1: Introduction to Medical Microbiology (ONLINE)


An online introductory survey course that explores the agents of infectious disease, including bacteria, viruses, fungal pathogens and parasites, as well as the host immune response. Other topics include the fundamentals of disease diagnosis and epidemiology. This online, asynchronous course is equivalent to 3 lectures per week. 

The final exam will require student attendance on the St. George campus.  In some circumstances, students can arrange to take the final exam at a pre-approved off-campus exam facility.


Course Coordinator: Jessica Hill

MGY280H1: Specialist Research


This course is for second-year specialists to engage in a one-semester research project in a laboratory within the Department of Molecular Genetics.

Students must be in their second year and registered as a specialist in molecular genetics and microbiology.

The department arranges laboratory assignments in consultation with both the student and the supervisor. Specialists accepted to the program will be contacted in September of their second year to start the process of finding a suitable laboratory for research beginning in January. The course will involve a weekly seminar/group meeting, and students will present their research project at the end of the year as part of their final mark.

Course Coordinator: Dr. William Navarre

MGY299Y1: Research Opportunity Program (ROP)


Credit course for supervised participation in a faculty research project.

Detailed information is provided by the Faculty of Arts & Science at the link below.

Research Opportunity Program

MGY311Y1: Molecular Biology


The purpose of this course is to show you how science is done in molecular biology. The course will emphasize how we come to know something rather than just what we know. Subject material includes DNA replication, DNA repair and mutation, recombination, transcription, RNA processing, the genetic code and tRNA, translation, regulation of gene expression and functional genomics.

Course Coordinator: Dr. Rick Collins


MGY314H1: Principles of Genetic Analysis I


Genetics is an experimental science. MGY314H is a laboratory course in prokaryotic (bacterial) and eukaryotic (yeast) genetics; you will perform several experiments over the 12-week period. Students will work in teams of 2 (sometimes 3) to carry out a variety of crosses, mutant hunts, and phenotypic characterization in bacteria, phage, and yeast, and learn to analyze and interpret the genetic data that you obtain.  During this course, you will generate mutants, deduce gene function from phenotypic analysis, identify genetic suppressors, characterize mutant alleles (dominant or recessive), perform meiotic segregation analysis, order genes in a genetic pathway (epistasis analysis) and generate genetic interaction profiles.  Most of your time will be in the lab, with some tutorials and pre-lab lectures to discuss experimental results and to supplement your understanding of genetics.  

The emphasis in MGY314H is to learn the fundamental concepts of genetics:  mutation, complementation, recombination, genetic suppression and regulation (epistasis)--notably, how to apply the tools of genetic analysis and how to interpret them. The models we use are Escherichia coli, the best studied gram-negative bacterial species that reproduce asexually, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (also known as baker's or brewer's yeast), the best characterized eukaryotic model that reproduces through both asexual (mitotic) and sexual (meiotic) cycles. E.coli and budding yeasts are often the models of choice in the study of more harmful bacterial/fungal species because many principles of their biology are generally applicable, and both have contributed much to our understanding of the core principles of inheritance and genetic interaction. Finally, both organisms are broadly used as workhorses for molecular biology (cloning, expression, genetic interactions), and much of the original genetics defined in E. coli and budding yeast has led to important tools for diagnosis and scientific research.

course outline 

Department-based Ancillary Fees: (subject to change) $25.00 - Laboratory equipment and materials

Textbook: none required, but keep hold of your genetics notes from HMB265 and MGY340.  An on-line lab manual will be made available to students through Quercus.

Course Coordinator: Dr. Bri Lavoie 

MGY315H1: Principles of Genetic Analysis II


Laboratory experiments in animal (invertebrate) genetics, using two of the most powerful invertebrate model systems, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Students are expected to develop competencies in handling invertebrates with small tools, setting up crosses, analyzing phenotypes using microscopes, and carrying out genetic experiments. The course follows MGY314H1. Topics include analysis of genetic networks and pathways, recombination mapping, and phenotypic analyses.  

Department-based Ancillary Fees: (subject to change): $25.00 - Laboratory equipment and materials

Instructors: Thomas Hurd and Peter Roy

Course Coordinator: Thomas Hurd

MGY340H1: Molecular Genetics


This course gives students an in-depth understanding of how genetics, the study of mutations and their resulting phenotypes, are used to probe and understand a variety of biological phenomena ranging from metabolism to development, to cancer.

Course Coordinator: Dr. Andrew Spence


MGY350H1: Model Organisms To Disease


The concepts of genetics in the context of human development, disease and evolution. Topics include genetic interactions and complex traits, variation in disease phenotype, signalling and development, stem cells and epigenetic regulation.

Course Coordinator: Dr. Brent Derry