The CELL Program offers ‘Process’ courses, which focus on developing critical thinking abilities and communication skills, and ‘Content’ courses, which focus on the scientific fundamentals and methodologies of contemporary cell and developmental biology. Summaries are provided below; additional information about the courses can be found here.

Process Courses

Students entering the M.Sc. program and students entering the Ph.D. program directly from a B.Sc. are required to take both of these courses.

BIOL 530 – The Biology of the Cell. This course focuses on developing students’ oral communication skills and ability to critically evaluate research papers in the cell and developmental biology literature. The exercises require students to deliver clear, effective and polished oral and poster presentations describing data and summarizing important topics in cell and developmental biology.

CELL 501 – Cell and Developmental Biology Research Literature. This course builds on BIOL 530 to focus on the design and implementation of hypothesis driven research, through lectures, class presentations and hands-on exercises. Students learn to apply a multi-disciplinary approach to their own research questions, and are guided through writing a rigorous research proposal outlining their own proposed graduate work.

Content Courses

Students choose which courses they would like to take from the list. The modular format allows students flexibility to receive instruction in the topics and methodologies that are of most relevance to their specific research areas, individual backgrounds and goals.

CELL 502 – Current Topics in Developmental Biology. Fundamental concepts and major stages of development, and an introduction to ‘model’ systems used in developmental biology.

CELL 503 – Current Topics in Cellular Communication. The scientific fundamentals of cellular communication and an introduction to communication inputs, signal transduction mechanisms and signaling outputs.

CELL 504 – Current Topics in the Cytoskeleton and Cell Motility. The structure and function of the cytoskeleton and its involvement in various forms of cell and intracellular motility.

CELL 505 – Current Topics in Intracellular Trafficking. Organization of membranes and organelles within cells and how intracellular trafficking targets molecules to intracellular sites.

CELL 506 – Fluorescence Microscopy. Principles and applications of fluorescence microscopy in biological research and an introduction to advanced techniques in fluorescence microscopy.

CELL 507 – Special Techniques and Protocols in Cell & Developmental Biology. The methodologies employed for the analysis of RNA and proteins from the single molecule to the whole genome, including high-content and high-throughput screenings, and an introduction to strategies used to investigate gene function.

CELL 508 – Molecular Genetic Analysis. Methodologies and resources for the genetic analysis of cellular function.–Not offered in 2023W

CELL 509 – Systems Cell Biology. Techniques, approaches, and goals in modern Systems Biology, and how to incorporate elements of systems biology into students’ own work.

CELL 510 – Molecular Embryology. Examination of the molecular interactions and transcriptional networks that underlie the later stages of embryological development, and how to apply bioinformatics to developmental processes.–Not offered in 2023W

CELL 511 – Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Human Disease. The use of multiple approaches to determine the mechanisms underlying human diseases and an understanding of their strengths and weakness.–Not offered in 2023W

CELL 512 – Gene and Cell Based Therapies for Disease. The development of gene and cell based therapies and their translation into clinical use.–Not offered in 2023W