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 combating HIV, 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: Dr. Mikko Taipale


MGY250H1: Introduction to Medical Genetics (ONLINE)


This course provides an introduction to the cutting-edge field of medical genetics. Learn how discoveries in medical genetics have revolutionized the way we think about, and treat genetic disease.

You will gain a foundation in human genetics and an understanding of the mechanisms causing human diseases like cancer. This course will inform you of how we are beginning to understand the complex basis of many human diseases, the innovative ways people with genetic disorders are now being treated, and some associated ethical issues. You will discover how complicated genetic information is communicated to patients and families with the help of genetic counsellors. Finally, this course will touch on opportunities for medical genetics to improve healthcare outside of Canada.

The course material is delivered online and is approximately equivalent to 36 lecture hours. Students will take the final exam 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, and parasites, as well as the host immune response. Other topics include the fundamentals of disease diagnosis and epidemiology. The course will use web-based lectures and tutorials and utilize a range of communication tools equivalent to approximately three 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.  This can be an option for students who, for example, wish to take this course while doing a semester abroad.

You can also visit: to view a sample video and get more information about the course.


Course Coordinator: Dr. Elizabeth Polvi

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 bacterial genetics; students perform and analyze genetic experiments over 12 weeks. Students will perform a variety of genetic crosses and mutant hunts and learn phenotypic characterization in bacteria. Most of the class time is spent in the lab, with some tutorials and short lectures to supplement the understanding of genetics.

The emphasis in MGY314H is to learn the concepts of genetics, how to apply them and how to interpret them. The model we use in this course is Escherichia coli, which is the best-studied gram-negative bacterial species. It is often the model of choice in studying more harmful bacterial species because many principles of its biology apply to all bacteria (and, in fact, to all organisms). Finally, it is also the organism that the scientific world uses for molecular biology. Many of the original genetics defined in E. coli have led to important diagnoses and scientific research tools.

Download course outline

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

Textbook: Molecular Genetics of Bacteria, 4th edition, Snyder, L., Peters, J.E., Henkin, T.M., and Champness, W. American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Press, 2013.

Course Coordinator: Dr. Barbara Funnell

MGY315H1: Principles of Genetic Analysis II


Laboratory experiments in eukaryotic genetics, using two of the most powerful eukaryotic model systems, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The course follows MGY314H1; topics include analysis of genetic networks and pathways, meiotic segregation analysis, recombination mapping, genetic crosses, and phenotypic analyses.

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


Course Coordinator: Brigitte Lavoie

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