Fall 2017 - MBB 431 D100

Cells and the Environment (3)

Class Number: 3810

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We, Fr 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    BLU 10011, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    MBB 322 and 331, with a minimum grade of C.



The cellular processes at the interface of cells and the environment will be explored in-depth. Through the use of lectures and group discussions and an emphasis on the primary literature, the focus will be on recent developments in molecular cell biology through the study of symbiosis and adaptation.


An exploration into the cellular basis of a few select chronic diseases, such as cancer and polycystic kidney disease. The course relies on reading primary literature and will consist of overview lectures and class discussions in which we will critically analyze current research papers. Students will be expected to read 2 papers per week, and be prepared to present them in class or discuss them in an informal setting. A background in genetics, developmental and molecular biology is required. We will focus on a few topics and will explore them in depth, emphasizing the most recent developments.


  • Midterm Exam 30%
  • Presentation 20%
  • Class Participation 20%
  • Short Essay 30%



We will read review articles and primary research papers.  A basic cell biology textbook may be useful as a refresher on certain topics.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  • Students are advised to review the plagiarism tutorial found at
  • For help with writing, learning and study strategies please contact the Student Learning Commons at
  • Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability, must contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities (778-782-3112 or e-mail:  csdo@sfu.ca)

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html