Neuroscience Graduate Group

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BEHAVIORAL GENETICS - INSC 600-008/INSC 578 - 2008

Course meets Tuesdays beginning January 22 from 1:30 to 4:30 pm in the Barchi library (140 John Morgan Bldg.)

Course Summary

Overview:
This course focuses on the use of genetic techniques to study the molecular and cellular bases of behavior. Particular emphasis will be given to the role of genetic approaches in understanding the biological processes underlying learning, memory storage, circadian rhythms and drug abuse. Reverse genetic approaches utilizing gene knockout and transgenic technology and forward genetic approaches using mutagenesis and quantitative genetic techniques will be discussed, as well as application of these studies to different model organisms (fly, zebrafish, mouse). Genetic approaches to behavior and complex disease in humans will be illustrated with the series of lectures on, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (Module 1) and neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders, such as mental retardation, autism and Asperger syndrome, Alzheimer's disease and tauopathies (Module 2).

Course Format:
This course meets once a week for three hours. Half of this time will be devoted to a lecture that will provide a general overview of the topic to be discussed and the approaches used in these studies. A discussion will follow the lecture. Discussions after the second and third lecture will involve solving genetic problems. In subsequent lectures, the discussion will be based on primary readings from the literature and will be led by students who have been given primary responsibility for presenting these papers. All students are required to turn in one discussion question for each paper at the beginning of each class to either Maja or Ted. These questions will then be used to guide the discussion. It is critically important that everyone participates in the discussion. We will be discussing cutting edge research that is often complex and controversial!

Grading:
There are four components that will be used in determining grades for this course:
  1. Class participation (10%): Ask critical questions and participate actively in discussions
  2. Paper presentations (30%): Each paper presentation is a maximum of 15 minutes long, including a maximum of five overheads or Powerpoint slides. A major purpose of these presentations is to initiate discussion.
  3. Midterm Exam (30%): A midterm take home exam.
  4. Final Exam (30%): A take home final exam will be given during finals period.

Lecture Videos - Spring 2008

The videos are in "Real" format. You need RealPlayer. You can only access the videos from this password protected website.

Lecture Title Lecturer Date Video Links
INTRODUCTION INTO BEHAVIORAL GENETICS; GENE MAPPING AND NATURE OF MUTATIONS Ted Abel, PhD January 22, 2008 link to video
REVERSE AND FORWARD GENETICS AND POSITIONAL CLONING Maja Bucan, PhD January 29, 2008 not available
ANALYSIS OF QUANTITATIVE TRAIT LOCI Ted Brodkin, MD February 5, 2008 not available
INTRODUCTION TO STATISTICAL AND LINKAGE ANALYSIS Mingyao Li February 12, 2008 link to video
GENETIC APPROACHES TO LEARNING AND MEMORY Ted Abel, PhD February 19, 2008 link to video
MOLECULAR BASIS OF CIRCADIAN BEHAVIOR Amita Sehgal February 26, 2008 link to video
NARCOLEPSY AND SLEEP DISORDER Sigrid Veasey March 4, 2008 link to video
Spring Break   March 11, 2008  
GENETIC STUDIES OF PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS Wade Berrettini, MD, PhD March 18, 2008