This course will examine in detail the mechanisms that underlie important cellular processes. Major topics include: membrane traffic in protein synthesis and endocytosis; cell polarity; signal transduction; cytoskeleton and cell motility; extracellular matrix and cell adhesion; cell cycle control; stem cells. These topics will be covered through lectures, readings, and discussions of relevant journal articles. Given the breadth of “cell biology” and the pace at which new information is accruing, this course is not intended as a comprehensive overview of the field. Rather, several key areas of cell biology will be explored in detail using example-based methods to illustrate how cells are thought to function and how new discoveries are made.
Credit hours: 4
Semester Offered: Fall
Lonnie Lybarger, PhD, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Medicine (Course Director).
Samantha (Sam) Harris, PhD, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Ghassan (Gus) Mouneimne, PhD, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Greg Rogers, PhD, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Jean Wilson, PhD, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Carol Gregorio, PhD, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Donata Vercelli, PhD, Dept. of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
The prerequisites are courses in biochemistry and molecular biology at the advanced undergraduate level. Additional or more advanced courses will be beneficial. Students must have a sound foundation in the structure and function of proteins, the structure of nucleic acids, enzyme and chemical reaction kinetics, and molecular biology and molecular genetics.
The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:00 – 3:45 p.m., in Sarver Heart Center, Room 4137.
The text for the course is Molecular Biology of the Cell, by Alberts, et al. The text serves as a foundation for many of the lectures, which incorporate figures from the book. You are strongly encouraged to buy a copy as you will find it a valuable reference for many years after you have completed this course.
In addition, there will be considerable emphasis on the primary literature. Assigned readings consist of both primary journal articles and review articles. These are assigned by each Instructor in advance of their respective lectures. It is expected that students will come to class having read the assigned articles required for that session.
Grades are based primarily on three exams. Exams are not cumulative, though concepts from earlier lectures may be revisited by subsequent Instructors. Class participation is required for discussions and journal clubs.
This course is intended for graduate students, but qualified undergraduates can be admitted with the consent of the Course Director. Enrollment is capped at 30 students.