Advanced Topics Courses

  

BBS 732:  THE IMAGE WORKS:  PRINCIPLES OF LIGHT AND ELECTRON MICROSCOPY 

Principles and applications of microscopy in biomedical research for graduate students at all levels. Demonstrations and laboratory exercises will be incorporated into some blocks of instruction. This course is designed to teach the biologist how microscopes work and how to optimize image quality.

G. Sluder and M. Sanderson.  2 credits.  Spring, odd numbered years. 

 

BBS 733:  CYTOSKELETON AND DISEASE 

This course studies the functions of actin- and microtubule-based cytoskeleton systems in the context of human disease and will be organized as a series of seminars with presentations by students and faculty.  Discussions will include how molecular information contributes to diagnosis and treatment of disease, and how clinical phenotypes elucidate protein functioning in whole organisms. 

G. Witman, E. Luna, G. Sluder.  2 credits.  Fall, odd numbered years. 

 

BBS 738:  EUKARYOTIC GENE EXPRESSION 

Current topics in eukaryotic gene regulation will study and discuss current research articles dealing with important areas in eukaryotic gene regulation.  The goals are two-fold:  first, to improve skills in reading, presenting, discussion and critically analyzing research articles, and second, to obtain an up-to-date understanding of some key topics in eukaryotic gene regulation.

M. Green.  2 credits.  Spring, odd numbered years 

 

BBS 739:  DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY 

This course will provide basic instruction in contemporary developmental biology with an emphasis on animal development.  The course will familiarize students with development in each of the major model systems (worms, flies, frogs, fish, and mouse) and expose them to commonly used techniques (genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry) in the context of animal development.  The class will meet twice per week and each week will cover a different topic.  Each topic will be introduced by a lecture and subsequently explored in depth by discussion of relevant articles from the literature.  Each student will be expected to lead at least one group discussion. 

C. Sagerstrom and M. Brodsky.  3 credits.  Fall semester.  Prerequisite:  Completion of the first semester of the core course or permission from course coordinator. 

 

BBS 760:  INTRODUCTION TO NEUROSCIENCE 

This course gives an overview of the fundamental principles of molecular, cellular, developmental and integrated neuroscience, including state-of-the-art experimental approaches. Required for all students in the Neuroscience Program.

D. Kilpatrick.   3 credits.  Spring semester.  Prerequisite:  Completion of Core Course Block I & II or permission from instructors. 

 

BBS 761:  MOLECULAR BIOLOGY OF CELL CYCLE 

Defects in cellular proliferation contribute to the pathology of many diseases.  Consequently, the molecular mechanisms that contribute to normal cellular proliferation have been intensively studied.  The purpose of this course is to provide background information about current concepts and also in-depth analysis of selected topics.  It will include presentations by faculty and paper discussions and will cover genetic, biochemical and cellular mechanisms of cell cycle control.  Topics include genetic screens for cell cycle regulators, cell cycle checkpoints, cell cycle regulation of DNA replication and chromosome structure, and the cell cycle in development and cancer.

W. Theurkauf and N. Rhind.  2 credits.  Spring semester. 

 

BBS 762:  GENETIC SYSTEMS 

This course will focus on critical analysis of genetic model systems for the study of numerous biological processes.  The course will consist primarily of critical reading and discussion of research articles.  Drosophila and C. elegans genetics will be a major thrust of the course, but other eukaryotic genetic systems will also be included.  A final project will consist of a written and oral scientific proposal.

M. Brodsky, Additional Faculty.  3 credits.  Fall semester.  Prerequisite:  Completion of Block II of core course or faculty approval. 

 

BBS 763:  DNA REPAIR AND GENOME STABILITY 

This lecture/paper discussion course focuses on mechanisms by which cells protect their genomes from endogenous and exogenous DNA damage using examples from the molecular to the cellular and from bacteria to humans. Lectures on a specific topic are followed by a discussion of recent papers from the literature. Lecturers are drawn from a variety of departments to ensure a multidisciplinary approach.

M. Volkert.  2 credits.  Fall, odd numbered years.  Prerequisite: Core course. 

 

BBS 787:  STEM CELL BIOLOGY

This lecture and paper discussion, led by a student/participant, focuses on recent information of stem cell biology, tissue regeration and potential therapeutics - the ultimate stem cell. 

T. Ip.  2 credits.  Fall semester, odd numbered years. 

 

BBS 801:  RNA BIOLOGY JOURNAL CLUB

A discussion of recent and classical papers covering various topics in RNA biology.  Students will choose from a list of papers provided by course coordinators or from recent literature with approval from coordinators.

V. Ambros and D. Conte.  1 credit.  Fall and Spring semesters.

 

BBS 802:  CELL DYNAMICS JOURNAL CLUB 

The Cell Dynamics Journal Club covers molecular mechanisms underlying the movements of cells and organelles; morphology, proteomics, and mutagenesis of functional cytoskeletal structures; and the dynamics of actin-, microtubule-, and intermediate filament-associated proteins. Related signaling mechanisms and disease processes--including those associated with muscular dystrophies, developmental abnormalities, and the formation and spread of tumors--also are appropriate. To obtain course credit, students read and help discuss the papers covered during the semester and present a paper of their choice. Grades are based on participation and the presentation. The course coordinator and other faculty members in the Cell Dynamics Group guide students through the process, as needed, and provide scientific feedback. The Journal Club meets throughout the academic year.  Auditors are welcome. 

B. Luna.  1 credit.  Fall and Spring semesters. 

 

BBS 803:  CURRENT TOPICS IN AGING 

This is a journal club offered every two weeks to discuss papers on aging and genomic stability.  The topics will be mechanisms of aging; with a focus on genetics.  The objectives are to cover a large number of papers that identify genes that act to promote or limit life span and theories of aging.

H. Tissenbaum.  1 credit.  Fall and Spring semesters 

 

BBS 804:  GENOME BIOLOGY JOURNAL CLUB 

Papers published in high-profile journals relating to Systems Biology, Genomics, Chromosome Structure and Gene Expression are discussed.  Each participant is required to present one paper and to participate in the discussion for the other papers.

M. Walhout, J. Dekker.  1 credit.  Bi-weekly Spring semester. 

 

BBS 812:  IGP STUDENT RESEARCH SEMINAR 

The seminar series is designed to give students an opportunity to learn scientific information and presentation skills.  Students are required to attend the weekly IGP seminars and to write a short critique on each one.  The goal is for the students to understand the important elements such as style, interaction, and organization that constitute a successful presentation.

T. Ip.  1 credit.  Fall and Spring semesters. 

 

BBS 843:  EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH TO HIGH SCHOOLS AND MIDDLE SCHOOLS 

Middle and high school educational outreach coordinated through the IGP, Worcester Pipeline, and Regional Science Resource Center.  IGP coordinated activities include development  of in-class presentations and experiments in collaboration with high school teachers, and one-on-one and small group mentoring of high school science students.  The Worcester Pipeline Collaborative coordinates a range of programs with the Worcester Public Schools dedicated to educating and challenging minority and/or economically disadvantaged students for success in the health care and science professions.  The Regional Science Resource Center at the Worcester Foundation Campus provides lab space, technical support, and materials for area teachers interested in implementing more inquire-based, student-center science in all classrooms.

W. Theurkauf.  Various credits.  Spring, Summer and Fall semesters. 

 

BBS 844:  TUTORIAL IN INTERDISCIPLINARY GRADUATE PROGRAM 

Tutorial arranged with individual faculty.

Faculty.  1-2 credits.  Fall and Spring semesters. 

 

MS 850:   LABORATORY ROTATION, IGP 

Laboratory rotations are defined periods of research experience under the direction of a faculty member.  They are intended to familiarize the student with concepts and techniques in several areas of research and to assist the student in evaluating research laboratories and projects that might be developed into a dissertation project.  The student will participate in an on-going research project, gain familiarity with concepts underlying the research, acquire a working knowledge of techniques used in the research, and write a report and present an oral summary of the results of the research.

Various faculty.  3 credits in Fall and Spring; 4 credits in Summer. 

 

MS 765:   QUALIFYING EXAM COURSE, IGP 

Students devise a research proposal, write a paper describing their proposal and defend it in an oral exam.

W. Theurkauf.  Up to 4 credits.  Fall and Spring semesters. 

 

MS 870:   PRE-QUALIFYING RESEARCH 

This course is for students who have selected a Program and Thesis Advisor but who have not yet passed their Qualifying Exam.

Student’s Thesis Advisor.  Various credits.  Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. 

 

MS 900:   THESIS RESEARCH IN THE IGP 

Students register for Thesis Research after passing a Qualifying Exam.  They will take Thesis Research each semester until they have accumulated 90 credits.

Staff. Various credits. Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Qualifying Exam.