Advanced Topics Courses

BBS 737:  MAMMALIAN DEVELOPMENT and STEM CELLS

The potential of stem cells in therapeutic applications has ignited a fiercely competitive field of research aimed at the isolation, maintenance and differentiation of stem cells into specific pathways of differentiation. The use of stem cells in clinical application, however, requires an understanding of the molecular and cellular and epigenetic events that transform pluripotent cells into differentiated ones. Mammalian embryogenesis can be conceived as a sequence of developmental decisions that result in progressive restriction in cell potency. Because all the cells of a future individual are derived from a single cell, the zygote, the differences between cell types are due to epigenetic events established as the embryo develops. The process for generating these epigenetic marks is equally important for embryogenesis as well as for stem cell research. In this course we will use the cellular and molecular mechanisms of mammalian development as a framework for understanding the origin and differentiation of multiple pluripotent cells and their role in stem cell research and human disease.

Course Coordinator: Jamie Rivera 
Semester Offered: Fall, even 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.

Course Coordinator:  Craig Peterson 
Credits:  2 credits
Semester Offered:  Spring, odd numbered years 

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.

Course Coordinator: Nicholas Rhind
Credits:  2 credits 
Semester Offered: Spring semester

 

Other IGP Courses

 

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.

Course Coordinator: Victor Ambros
Credits:  1 credit
Semester Offered:  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.

Course Coordinator: Heidi Tissenbaum
Credits:  1 credit
Semester Offered: 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.

Course Coordinator:  Marian Walhout and Job Dekker
Credits:  1 credit
Semester Offered:
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.

Course Coordinator:  Tony Ip
Credits:  1 credit
Semester Offered: 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.

Course Coordinator: William Theurkauf
Credits:  Various credits
Semester Offered:  Spring, Summer and Fall semesters

BBS 844:  TUTORIAL IN INTERDISCIPLINARY GRADUATE PROGRAM 

Tutorial arranged with individual faculty.

Course Coordinator:  Craig Peterson
Credits: 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.

Course Coordinator:  Faculty member in whose lab student is working
Credits:  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.

Course Coordinator:  William Theurkauf
Credits:  Up to 4 credits
Semester: 
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.

Course Coordinator: Student’s Thesis Advisor
Credits:  Various credits
Semester:  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.

Course Coordinator:  Staff
Credits:  Various credits
Prerequisite:  Successful completion of Qualifying Exam

 

 

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