CONJ 650: Practice & Ethics of Science
Course Directors: Bruce Schnapp and Robert Duvoisin
Required for all incoming graduate students. This course is designed to provide an introduction to basic principles of scientific conduct and practice for graduate students pursuing careers in biomedical research. Specific topics include: laboratory safety, professional standards, use of laboratory animals and human subjects, research funding and career development. Course material will be presented primarily in the form of lectures and panel discussions, with opportunities for student discussion.
CONJ 660: First Year Rotation Talks
This course covers presentation skills for scientific talks, including how to structure presentations, how to create effective slides and other visual aids, speaking skills, timing of talks and "commanding the room". The class meets 5-6 times during the Winter Term.
CONJ 661: Structure and Function of Biological Molecules
Course Director: Dave Farrens
This course is designed to provide students with an in depth understanding of macromolecular structure/function including: 1) protein structure; 2) thermodynamic considerations of protein folding; 3) nucleic acid structure and topology; 4) the functions of proteins as enzymes and in macromolecular assembly, including quantitative analyses of ligand binding phenomena and enzyme kinetics; 5) structural and biochemical properties of lipids, membrane assembly and dynamics, and characteristics of membrane proteins; and 6) the principles of bioenergetics and metabolism. Prerequisites: Undergraduate organic chemistry and biochemistry.
CONJ 662: Genetic Mechanisms
Course Directors: Doris Kretzschmar & Betsy Ferguson
This course is designed provide students with a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that underlie inheritance. The course will rely primarily on lectures and literature reading and a text will be suggested for any remediation the students might feel that they need. The lectures will cover prokaryotic transmission genetics and gene regulation emphasizing genetic approaches. They will also include discussions of mitosis and meiosis, DNA recombination (homologous, non-homologous and site specific mechanisms), mutagenesis, DNA repair, genetic dissection of biological processes (e.g., design of mutant screens, complementation and epistasis analysis, suppression, and synthetic enhancement in various model systems), developmental and cancer genetics, gene therapy, and population/quantitative genetics. Prerequisites: Undergraduate genetics or equivalent.
CONJ 663: Bioregulation
Course Directors: Amanda McCullough and Mitchell Turker
This course aims to develop a deeper understanding of gene regulation in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Lectures will be based on textbook material and selected papers from the current literature, and will cover all aspects of gene regulation including: genome organization, chromatin structure, transcriptional regulation, RNA and protein metabolism, DNA synthesis, and cell cycle regulation. An important goal of this course is to provide insight into how research methods have been applied to achieve our current understanding of these processes.
CONJ 664: Cell Structure and Function
Course Directors: Peter Mayinger and Caroline Enns
This course is designed to introduce students to key aspects of cell structure and function as well as the macromolecular components and physiological mechanisms that underlie structure and function of cells. Lectures will focus on recent scientific discoveries involving: i) organelle biogenesis structure and function, ii) intracellular compartmentation and protein/vesicular transport, iii) cytoskeleton architecture, cell motility and adhesion, iv) mechanisms of membrane transport and excitability, v) molecular mechanisms of signal transduction. In addition to addressing current scientific questions in cell biology, efforts will be made to familiarize students with recent technical advances in molecular, biochemical, microscopic, spectroscopic and electrophysiological techniques that have led to the explosive growth of this field.
CONJ 665: Development, Differentiation and Disease
Course Directors: Melissa Wong and Lisa Coussens
Orchestration of development requires precise timing, spatial coordination, and reciprocal signaling between cells to result in proper tissue generation and remodeling. Disruption of these normal cellular homeostatic mechanisms occurs in cancer and in many cases has led to discoveries about the function of normal genes and interacting signaling pathways in development. In this class, mechanisms of growth and development of higher eukaryotes are covered, including important signaling events, pattern formation and cell movements resulting in the fully differentiated tissues and organisms. Consideration will be given to how stem cell population are positioned and maintained, as well as mechanisms that underlie the maintenance and function of individual tissues in the fully developed organism. Moreover, aberrations in these events are covered relative to their underlying contributions to the etiology and progression of specific cancers.
CONJ 667: Organ Systems
Course Directors: Owen McCarty
This course provides an introduction to the interactions between cells, tissues, whole-organism mammalian physiology, and immunology. During this course, the student is expected to gain a better understanding of the interplay and communication that coordinates cells into organ systems and complex organisms. Different biological systems including the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, nervous system, cardiovascular regulation, reproductive system, and the immune system will be discussed emphasizing how these systems interact and how physiological and immunological homeostasis is maintained or challenged under conditions of disease and stress.
CONJ 668: Molecular Biophysics and Experimental Bioinformatics
Course Directors: David Farrens & Ujwal Shinde
This course will cover the range of research using problem-based approaches. Topics will include 1) molecular biophysics: Introduction to the analysis of biomolecules in solution. Emphasis will be placed on widely used contemporary techniques, especially spectroscopic methods used for structural and dynamic studies. These lectures will provide a basis for the subsequent lectures in the class. 2) experimental bioinformatics: Theory of key bioinformatics tools and algorithms, their applications towards databases, data analysis and mining, alignments, 3-D structure prediction/visualization and genome analysis. Theory and application of approaches to analyze gene and protein expression using high-throughput methods.
CONJ 669: Principles of Chemical Biology
Course Directors: Francis Valiyaveetil, Xiangshu Xiao
This is a survey course designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of chemical biology - a modern merger of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology. The first two weeks will focus on review of the appropriate principles in organic chemistry and pharmacology needed for understanding the future topics. Next, various strategies for designing, discovering, and optimizing small molecule probes will be presented with an emphasis on the central principles of targeting biological macromolecules. This will lead into detained discussion of the various important biological targets for small molecule intervention and drug design. The course will conclude with a discussion of detailed case histories of the discovery and development of selected drugs.
CONJ QB1: Foundations of Measurement Science
Students will be taught the scientific basis for the state-of-the-art measurement instruments. For each instrument, this includes the underlying physics, the key assumptions, the hardware, and critical analyses of the data. Four instruments, including light microscopy, electron microscopy, MRI, and Parallel Sequencing will selected to demonstrate the principles of measurement science. This will involve 3 hours of lecture, and one hour of discussion of corresponding journal articles.
CONJ QB2: Analysis in Quantitative Bioscience
The course will examine, in depth, a selection of techniques applied to gene analysis, molecular modeling and cellular anatomy, as vehicles for understanding the pivotal roles of theory and computational algorithms in analysis of biological data. Students will learn how a priori constraints are used to complement empirical data and how biomedical insights depend on this and on appropriate choices of analytical algorithms.