Advanced Topics of Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Cancer Biology

This course provides students with a rigorous and comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the genesis and progression of human cancers. It builds on the basic science knowledge acquired in the core curriculum and the appreciation of cancer as a disease obtained from the Pathology and Cancer Medicine courses. The salient topics covered include stem cells, oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, tumor-host interactions, invasion, metastasis and angiogenesis. A major theme of the course is to integrate the biology of cancer with the clinical behavior of tumors. Faculty from the Department of Cancer Biology and other basic science departments participate in the teaching of this course. 
Catalog number: BBS725
Course Coordinator: Arthur Mercurio
Semester Offered: Fall
Last Taught: Fall 2013

Principles of Light and Electron Microscopy

This course covers 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. 
Catalog number: BBS732
Course Coordinator: Michael Sanderson
Semester Offered: Spring, Odd Years
Last Taught: Spring 2013

Cytoskeleton and Disease

This course focuses on functions of actin- and microtubule-based cytoskeleton systems in the context of human disease, 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. 
Catalog number: BBS733
Course Coordinator: Elizabeth Luna
Semester Offered: Fall, Odd Years
Last Taught: Has not been taught within past two years

Eukaryotic Gene Regulation

This course encompasses current research in important areas of eukaryotic gene regulation. The goals are two-fold: to improve skills in reading, presenting, discussing and critically analyzing research articles, and to obtain an up-to-date understanding of some key topics in eukaryotic gene regulation. Format involves student presentations and faculty-student discussions. 
Catalog number: BBS738
Course Coordinator: Michael Green
Semester Offered: Spring, Even Years
Last Taught: Has not been taught within past two years

Developmental Biology

This course concentrates on salient papers in areas of developmental biology that are presently under intensive investigation. Probable topics to be covered include maternal inheritance, establishment of the body plan, cell-cell signaling, neurogenesis, limb development and left-right asymmetries. The organisms that are used most extensively for these investigations, including Drosophila, zebrafish, Xenopus, C. elegans and the mouse, will be emphasized. 
Catalog number: BBS739
Course Coordinator: Michael Brodsky
Semester Offered: Fall
Last Taught: Has not been taught within past two years

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 program. 
Catalog number: BBS760
Course Coordinator: David Weaver
Semester Offered: Spring
Last Taught: Spring 2014

Molecular Biology of the Cell Cycle

This course covers 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. 
Catalog number: BBS761
Course Coordinator: William Theurkauf
Semester Offered: Spring, Odd Years
Last Taught: Has not been taught within past two years

Genetic Systems

This course introduces students to genetic techniques used in yeast, flies, worms and mice. Forward and reverse genetic approaches and genetic screen design are illustrated through an analysis of journal examples, and the advantages and limitations of each system are discussed. The course combines faculty lectures and student presentations. 
Catalog number: BBS762
Course Coordinator: Michael Brodsky
Semester Offered: Fall
Last Taught: Fall 2012

DNA Repair and Genome Stability

DNA repair is vitally important to protect the genome from endogenous and exogenous DNA damage. This course explores the various mechanisms cells employ to protect their DNA using examples from the molecular to the cellular and from bacteria to humans. 
Catalog number: BBS763
Course Coordinator: Michael Volkert
Semester Offered: Fall, Odd Years
Last Taught: Has not been taught within past two years

Educational Outreach to High Schools and Middle Schools

Middle and high school educational outreach is coordinated through the IGP, Worcester Pipeline Collaborative 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 Shrewsbury Campus provides lab space, technical support and materials for area teachers interested in implementing more inquiry-based, student-centered science in the classroom.  
Catalog number: BBS843
Course Coordinator: William Theurkauf
Semester Offered: Fall, Spring ans Summer
Last taught: Spring 2014

Seminars, Tutorials and Journal Clubs

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. 
Catalog number: BBS801
Course Coordinator: Victor Ambros
Semester Offered: Fall, Spring
Last Taught: Fall 2012

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 objective is to cover a large number of papers that identify genes that act to promote or limit life span and theories of aging. 
Catalog number: BBS803
Course Coordinator: Heidi Tissenbaum
Semester Offered: Fall, Spring
Last Taught: Spring 2014

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 other paper discussions. 
Catalog number: BBS804
Course Coordinator: Marian Walhout
Semester Offered: Spring
Last Taught: Spring 2013

Student Research Seminar

This course offers students an opportunity to learn scientific information and presentation skills. Students are required to attend the weekly IGP seminar series and to write a short critique on each seminar. The goal is for students to understand the important elements of a successful presentation including style, interaction and organization. 
Catalog number: BBS812
Course Coordinator: Tony Ip
Semester Offered: Fall, Spring
Last Taught: Spring 2014

Tutorial in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

Individual instruction on selected topics is arranged by student and instructor. 
Catalog number: BBS844
Course Coordinator: William Theurkauf
Semster Offered: Fall, Spring
Last Taught: Spring 2014