Spring 2016 - MBB 839 G100

Special Topics in Molecular Biology (3)

Cells and Disease

Class Number: 9130

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    RCB 8100, Burnaby

    Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 3149, Burnaby



Consideration of recent literature concerning selected contemporary research topics. Can be taken more than once with permission of instructor.


Cells and Disease

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%
  • Performance in informal discussions 20%
  • Short essay 30%



None. We will read review articles and primary research papers only.


A basic cell biology textbook may be useful as a refresher on certain topics.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

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