Spring 2020 - MBB 839 G100
Special Topics in Molecular Biology (3)
Class Number: 2843
Delivery Method: In Person
Consideration of recent literature concerning selected contemporary research topics. Can be taken more than once with permission of instructor.
Emerging concepts in epithelial cell biology, including the establishment and maintenance of epithelial cell polarity and cell adhesion leading to the sculpting of developing organisms, roles in wound healing, birth defects and microbial defense, and insights into the maintenance of epithelia by stem cells will be explored.
In this lecture/seminar course, we will examine the primary research literature on epithelial biology. Epithelia are critical tissues in the development and function of multicellular eukaryotes, and depend on the ability of epithelial cells to adhere to each other and form almost impermeable sheets. These sheets separate the inside of the body from the outside and separate different compartments of the body from each other. We will consider the remarkable plasticity of epithelia, examining how cell shape change and rearrangement in epithelia are used to sculpt developing organisms, and how failures in epithelial morphogenesis underlie many birth defects. We will examine how epithelial cells are generally polarized along the apicobasal axis and in the plane of the tissue. The repair and maintenance of epithelia are essential for organismal survival and we will examine how wound healing and epithelial stem cells keep these tissues functional. Classes will consist of lectures and student presentations and discussion of recent research articles.
1. Evolution of epithelia
2. Techniques for studying epithelia
3. How to build an epithelium: emergence of apicobasal and planar cell polarity
4. How to bring an epithelium to its final form: epithelial morphogenesis
5. Breaking down and reassembling epithelia: epithelial-mesenchymal transition and mesenchymal-epithelial transition
6. Epithelial fusions: Developmental sealing of epithelia and wound healing
7. Maintaining an epithelium: epithelial stem cells
8. Epithelia and microbial defense
- 2 Midterm Exams (2 x 30%) 60%
- Paper presentation and participation - a written proposal aimed at answering a biological question using the concepts and tools developed in class will be evaluated 40%
We will read review articles and primary research papers only. A basic cell biology textbook may be used by students 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.
SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/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
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS