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Course Descriptions

BIOL 69600 Stem Cells and Disease

Session Offered:

Spring Credit 1


graduate students


Course Description - For many years cell, molecular and developmental biologists have studied how embryonic cells commit to a particular cell lineage and terminally differentiate into a specialized cell type.  A wealth of information has been obtained by identifying genes that define the differentiated cell and how these genes are transcriptionally regulated.  Having "conquered" this important biological problem, investigators have now begun to focus on manipulating differentiated cells to reverse their developmental history and regain their original pluripotent state or to directly transdifferentiate into a different cell type.  For example, it is now possible to reprogram terminally differentiated cells directly to an alternative differentiated state or to a stem cell state where the cells can be induced to form other cell types.  In both cases, wholesale alterations in gene expression patterns occur, revealing the complexity of these molecular changes. 

During the semester students will be asked to research a particular topic in stem cell biology, cancer stem cell biology, animal disease models, and transgenic mouse strategies for addressing key issues on how altering the phenotype of adult cells may be used to treat human diseases.  Each student will be assigned a single topic to research and to present to the class.  For each topic the lead student is to provide the class with several articles to read in advance and also lead a discussion on their specific topic.  Participation in discussions is an essential component of this class and attendance is mandatory.  A final course grade will be determined by attendance, active participation and presentation of specific topics. 


Stephen Konieczny



no text required


A final course grade will be determined by attendance, active participation and presentation of specific topics. 

Course Format:
CRN SEC Type Cred Day Time Location

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