Courses

Cell 606: Developmental Biology and Cell Biology Journal Clubs
This journal club discusses recent advances in Developmental and Cell Biology (broadly defined). Papers are chosen such that at least some of the data come from in vivo studies in a developmental model organism (as opposed to cell culture, or purely in vitro methods for example). Junior students (second year and/or limited experience with this journal club) will receive a written critique of their journal club presentation that is meant to provide constructive criticism. Faculty members may assist with presentations if necessary.

CELL 613/CANB 613: Tissue Biology (4 credits). Winter term, yearly (depending on enrollment). 
The mission of this course is to introduce students to tissue biology, a cutting edge subject at the intersection of stem cell, cancer, developmental and cell biology.  Through this course students will gain an in depth understanding of the cellular architecture and physiology of tissues and organs, all in the context of modern biology’s most provocative questions.  This “flipped classroom” course begins with a comprehensive (12 classes) survey of basic histology. Before each class students watch one of a series of high quality on-line lectures made by course faculty using “green screen” technology. Each lecture is supported by a detailed outline.  In class, students examine histological slides using a fully annotated “digital slide box” program, guided by a comprehensive set of lab exercises and direct face-to-face discussion with course faculty.  The course culminates with 8 student-led discussions of histology-related, cutting edge journal articles that proceed organ by organ thematically.  The theme for 2016 is stem cells and tissue homeostasis and repair.  We welcome students who have taken histology (e.g. through this course or through the medical school) to enroll in the “journal discussion” segment of the course (called “CELL/CANB 613”b”), for two credits.

CELL 615: Advanced Topics in Developmental Neuroscience (3 credits). Spring term, alternate years. 
Advanced graduate course designed to provide an overview of the major aspects of nervous system formation, plus more in-depth presentations of specific topics in the field of neural development and differentiation. Emphasis will be on recent insights into the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie specific aspects of neural development, including patterning of the early nervous system, neurogenesis, neuronal migration and axonal outgrowth, synaptogenesis and plasticity, cell death, and neural stem cells in regeneration. Readings will be based selected reviews and articles from the current literature. Interactive discussion sections will involve critical analyses of recent research papers.

CELL 616: Advanced Topics in Cancer Biology (4 credits). Spring term, yearly.
The course consists of a comprehensive coverage of topics in cancer biology including mechanisms of carcinogenesis, the roles of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, molecular targets for novel therapeutic strategies, and an understanding of the pathogenesis of specific cancers such as breast, prostate, gastrointestinal, skin, and blood.

CELL 618: Mechanisms of Development (3 credits). Spring term, alternate years. 
This course offers an advanced and in depth overview of a selected “hot” topic in the field of Cell and Developmental Biology. Topics covered in previous course offerings include noncoding RNAs, asymmetric stem cell division and endocytic regulation of signal transduction. The topic is explored primarily through student- and postdoc-led discussions of the current literature. Each participant contributes to writing a section of a mini-review focused on the topic, with the goal of submitting the review for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Participants have the option of enrolling in the course for credit or auditing the course with permission. All participants will be expected to contribute to discussion and writing of the mini-review.

CELL 620: Model Systems Biology (3 credits). Summer term.
This course provides an introduction to the biology and genetics of the major animal model systems as well as laboratory demonstrations of state-of-the-art techniques. Students will gain a solid understanding of how mice, zebrafish, Xenopus, chickens, and flies are used as tools to study key cell and molecular biology problems. This will help students better interpret the results of the many papers coming out each day in major journals. This course should also aid in making informed choices of thesis and qualifying exam topics. Grades will be based on student presentations of current topics and a final exam. Students at all levels are encouraged to participate.

CELL 601NN Nano Courses

Definition: A nano course refers to a short course, offered for 0.5 credits. They are intended to be special topics courses that capitalize on timely subject matter, visiting expertise, and/or highlight new developments in a field. Flexibility in scheduling and course leadership (i.e. not part of the permanent curriculum) will ensure these courses are nimble. Nano courses are only offered once.

Previously offered Nano Courses (courses may be repeated in future years).

Novel 3D Cell Culture Platforms for Studying Cellular Biology and Disease Mechanisms (Spring 2015)
Recent advancements in 3D cell culture methods are rapidly creating new approaches for addressing critical mechanistic questions for both normal and disease cellular processes in various organ systems. This course will highlight the power and utility of these approaches in regards to the types of questions they are currently being used to address and the experimental paradigms in which 3D culture models can be tailored to various research topics. This course will be composed of both a lecture series and hands-on laboratory workshops using a 3D intestinal epithelial culture system.
 
CRISPR-Cas9 system (Fall 2015)
This course will discuss the design and various applications of cutting-edge genome editing technologies. The students will be taken through steps of designing guide RNAs, ways to introduce gRNAs and Cas9 into various animal models, and how to screen for resulting mutations. Advanced applications of the CRISPR-cas9 technology, including knock-ins, RNA editing, and others will also be discussed.
 
Biology and Pathology of Extracellular Vesicles (Spring 2016)
This course will discuss the biology of extracellular vesicles as cell-cell signaling devices. The students will become familiarized with differences in vesicle types and biogenesis as well as the diversity of EV cargo. We will also review available evidence for the action of EV vesicles on target cells, with emphasis on their role in the cancer microenvironment. In addition, students will become familiarized with technologies currently used in analysis of EV.
 
A Hands-On Introduction to RNAseq (Spring 2017)
This This course will discuss design of biomedical experiments including generation of RNAseq data; genome alignment and bias reduction of RNAseq data; basic differential expression analysis; and biological interpretation of expression differences based on curated knowledge of biological systems such as pathways, ontologies and networks. The students will be taken through hands-on exercises to design an RNAseq study, work with raw and processed RNAseq data, explore differential expression and interpret results.