Biochemistry Course Descriptions

Please also see Foundations in Biomedical Sciences course descriptions

GMS BI 751 Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Topics include protein structure and function; mechanisms of enzyme action; nutrition and metabolism; membrane structure and receptor signaling; cell cycle regulation; DNA and RNA structure and function; regulation of gene expression and techniques in Molecular Medicine. Clinical correlations are provided throughout the course. Course is designed for Master of Science in Medical Sciences (MAMS) students.
Course Manager: Gwynneth Offner

GMS BI 776 Gene Targeting in Transgenic Mice

Introduction to the basic theory and practice of an approach applicable to many cell biology problems. Covers the following topics: early mouse development; gene targeting into mouse embryos; homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells; review of practical aspects of the transgenic technology; review of selected studies employing transgenic mice and chimeric (gene knockout) mice. Offered alternate years.
Course Manager: Katya Ravid

GMS BI 777 Techniques in Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology

Success in biomedical research requires proposing, developing and testing a novel hypothesis. The generation of a novel hypothesis in turn requires the ability to apply the scientific method and then implement the appropriate techniques to address the experimental question. This course will complement the Foundations in Biomedical Sciences (FiBS) curriculum by providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the core experimental methods used in biomedical research. By the end of this course students will master the concepts behind a wide range of experimental techniques and technologies and then be prepared to apply the most appropriate experimental system to a given biological question. Biochemical knowledge regarding “how things work” and “how to cook from scratch in the lab” will enable students to develop their own experimental research strategies. Specific topics to be covered in the Fall 2014 include: the scientific method/lab basics, cell culture and gene transfer, protein extraction and analysis, DNA and cloning, PCR, DNA-protein interactions and chromatin, RNA and quantitative PCR, lipids, transgenic and knockout mice, mass spectrometry, flow cytometry, microarray and next generation sequencing, histology and confocal microscopy. This course is team taught and will use lectures, in class discussions, and focused problem sets. A concise final written assignment is designed to test the students’ mastery of the subject matter. Offered Fall term. Full description of course here BI777. Course Manager: Matthew Layne

GMS BI 778 Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Disease

The course deals with research topics relevant to cardiovascular disease including lipoproteins, atherosclerosis, oxidative stress, diabetes, hypertension, congenital heart abnormalities, gene therapy, stem cell therapies and others. Each session is taught by an international expert in the field. The faculty includes several visitors from other US universities. Each student presents an original paper assigned by the instructors and writes and presents a review. Offered alternate years.
Course Manager: Vassilis Zannis

GMS BI 786 Biochemical Mechanisms of Aging

Current issues and key research advances in the understanding of the biochemical processes involved in aging of mammals are discussed. Theories on aging are analyzed, and age-related changes in gene structure and expression are presented. Alterations in the function of the neuroendocrine and immune systems with aging are also discussed. Offered alternate years.
Course Manager: Peter Polgar

GMS BI 787 Molecular Mechanisms of Growth and Development

Examines the most recent advances in the molecular mechanisms involved in regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and development. Control of the cell cycle and regulation of the expression of differentiated function are discussed. The role of extracellular growth factors and nuclear transcriptional regulatory proteins are explored. Students present and actively discuss recent primary research articles. Offered alternate years.
Course Managers: Barbara Smith & Karen Symes

GMS BI 793 Mass Spectrometry, Proteomics and Functional Genomics

This course gives investigators the background necessary to effectively design mass spectrometric (MS) experiments and interpret data. Instrumentation is described at a level appropriate to graduate students in biochemistry; the structure of biological macromolecules is addressed as it applies to MS. Students gain a full understanding of modern MS and its effective use in their research. Lectures are devoted to instrumentation, ionization methods and applications to proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, glycoconjugates, nucleic acids and uses of the technology in proteomics, biotechnology and medicine. Offered Spring term
Course Manager: Catherine Costello