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CAMB/BIOL 480 Advanced Cell Biology

Instructor: Wei Guo -- 304 Lynch Laboratories; 8-9384,

TA: Lisa Witmer -- 103 Leidy Labs; 8-3574,

Class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 - 10:30; Room 109, Leidy Laboratories

Course description

This course is designed for beginning graduate students and advanced under­grad­uates with a particular enthusiasm for Cell Biology. Biology 480 does not attempt to cover all aspects of cell biology, and is therefore not appropriate for students seeking a lecture course that provides a comprehensive survey of the field.  Rather, the primary objective of this course is to teach those students considering a career in the biomedical sciences how to read, discuss, and question research papers effectively. Intensive classroom discussions focus on the experi­mental methods used, results obtained, interpretation of these results in the context of cell structure and function, and implications for further studies. There is no assigned text; students learn to critically evaluate current and classic literature by read­ing original papers on selected topics in modern cell biology.

Exams and grading

Class­room discussion is essential, and will contribute 25% of your final grade.  In addition, there will be two in-class exams, each contributing 25% of your final grade.  Finally, a paper will be handed out in the semester for you to critique and this assignment will be counted toward the final 25% of your grade.

Topics and schedule

Please note that this schedule is subject to extensive revision, depending on the nature of classroom discussions, student interests, etc.

  Sep 6   Cells structure--an overview                                            25   Cell signaling

       11   Protein transport in living cells                                         30   Cell Polarity

       13   Cell fractionation & reconstitution                               Nov 1   Epithelia

       18   Genetics in cell biology                                                       6   Organogenesis

       20   Membrane fusion                                                              8   Cytokinesis

       25   GTPases                                                                         13   Pathogen exploitation of host cells

       27   Golgi                                                                               15   Immunosynapse

 Oct 2    Cytoskeleton (I)                                                              20   Tumor invasion

         4   Cytoskeleton (II)                                                             27   Cilium and diseases

         9   Motor protein                                                                 29   No class**-Thanksgiving

       11   Cell migration                                                             Dec 4    Muscular dystrophy

       18   Focal adhesion                                                                  6   Diabetes


       23   Exam 1                                                                         11   Exam 2