Spring 2023 - MBB 871 G100

Directed Readings in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (1)

Class Number: 3809

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



Programs of directed readings and critical discussions offered to individual students according to their needs. Except under exceptional circumstances, the readings should not be offered by the senior supervisor or directly related to the student's thesis research topic. Study programs must be approved by the MBB graduate studies committee.


CLASS TIMES: Thursdays, 1 - 2 pm, SSB 7172 (March 30th class will be in SSB 8114) - starting January 5th


In accompaniment with the weekly MBB Departmental seminar series, students will read relevant literature from the speaker’s laboratory to participate in the scientific discussion that follows each seminar. Approaches for providing effective seminar presentations will also be discussed. Students must enrol in this mandatory course for the first Fall and Spring (or Spring and Fall) terms of enrolment in the MBB graduate program.

Prior to each weekly MBB Departmental seminar, a class will be held in which selected student/s will give a 20-minute presentation based on the research of that week’s seminar speaker. By exploring the seminar speaker’s recent papers and other information about the seminar speaker’s lab, an overview of the topic and research of a weekly seminar speaker will be presented by each student once during the period of the 2 courses. The presentation will provide a general introduction to the upcoming seminar topic, discuss related research hypotheses and models, and describe details of any techniques with which the student group might be unfamiliar. To encourage diverse knowledge, students will select seminar topics that do not overlap with their own thesis or lab research. In addition, prior to each Department seminar, every student will write potential questions that might be asked of the seminar speaker. Prior to each class, the questions will be submitted to the instructor for discussion during class time. During each class, students will also discuss and critique the previous week’s seminar to debate what makes for a clear and effective seminar. Each student is required to ask questions to speakers at the MBB Department seminar. The objective of the course is how to critically engage in scientific discussions and learn how to give clear oral presentations.


  • Attendance (classes and MBB Department seminars) 40%
  • Participation in weekly class discussion and asking questions during MBB Department seminars 25%
  • Quality of weekly questions to potentially ask seminar speakers 15%
  • Single presentation of a seminar speaker’s research topic and/or recent paper 20%


This course is only for new MBB graduate students.
Mandatory for all new graduate students enrolled in the MBB graduate program. The MBB Department Seminar Series must be taken twice within the first year of graduate studies in the MBB Department.



Primary literature based on the research of each weekly MBB Department seminar speaker.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

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 website 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