Molecular Biology & Microbiology (MBIO)

MBIO 420. Current Topics in Cancer. 3 Units.

The concept of cancer hallmarks has provided a useful guiding principle in our understanding of the complexity of cancer. The hallmarks include sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth suppressors, enabling replicative immortality, activating invasion and metastasis, inducing angiogenesis, resisting cell death, deregulating cellular energetics, avoiding immune destruction, tumor-promoting inflammation, and genome instability and mutation. The objectives of this course are to (1) examine the principles of some of these hallmarks, and (2) explore potential therapies developed based on these hallmarks of cancer. This is a student-driven and discussion-based graduate course. Students should have had some background on the related subjects and have read scientific papers in their prior coursework. Students will be called on to present and discuss experimental design, data and conclusions from assigned publications. There will be no exams or comprehensive papers but students will submit a one-page critique (strengths and weaknesses) of one of the assigned papers prior to each class meeting. The course will end with a full-day student-run symposium on topics to be decided jointly by students and the course director. Grades will be based on class participation, written critiques, and symposium presentations. Offered as BIOC 420, MBIO 420, PATH 422, and PHRM 420. Prereq: IBMS 453 and IBMS 455.

MBIO 435. Seminar in Molecular Biology/Microbiology. 1 Unit.

Graduate students will attend the departmental seminar given by all graduate students in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, in the Molecular Virology Program, and in the Cell Biology Program, as well as give a seminar on their own thesis research. Students will be evaluated by the faculty member in charge of that student's seminar with input from the students' own thesis committee. After each seminar, the student presenter will meet with other graduate students for peer-review of the content, delivery, and style of the seminar. Peer reviewers will also be evaluated for the quality of their input. Offered as CLBY 435 and MBIO 435 and MVIR 435. Prereq: CBIO 453 and CBIO 455.

MBIO 445. Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis of RNA and DNA Viruses. 3 Units.

Through a combination of lectures by Case faculty and guest lecturers, along with student discussion of current literature, this course emphasizes mechanisms of viral gene expression and pathogenesis. RNA viruses to be discussed include positive, negative, and retroviruses. DNA viruses include SV40, adenovirus, herpes, papilloma, and others. Important aspects of host defense mechanisms, antiviral agents, and viral vectors will also be covered. Students will be evaluated based on their quality of presentation of course papers assigned to them and their overall participation in class discussions. Offered as MBIO 445 and MVIR 445.

MBIO 450. Cells and Pathogens. 3 Units.

Modern molecular cell biology owes a great debt to viral and bacterial pathogens as model systems. In some instances pathogens operate by faithful mimicry of host proteins, and other cases represent the result of extensive molecular tinkering and convergent evolution. This course will also explore numerous mechanisms utilized by pathogens to subvert the host and enhance their own survival. Topics covered include nuclear regulatory mechanisms, protein synthesis and stability, membrane-bound organelles, endocytosis and phagocytosis, and factors that influence cell behavior such as cytoskeleton rearrangements, cell-cell interactions, and cell migration. Additional topics include cell signaling and co-evolution of pathogens and host cell functions. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss pre-assigned readings consisting of brief reviews and seminal papers from the literature. Student assessment will be based on effective class participation (approximately 80%) and successful presentation of an independent research topic (approximately 20%). Offered as CLBY 450, MBIO 450, and MVIR 450. Prereq: CBIO 453 and CBIO 455 or permission of instructor.

MBIO 488. Yeast Genetics and Cell Biology. 3 Units.

This seminar course provides an introduction to the genetics and molecular biology of the yeasts S. cerevisiae and S. pombe by a discussion of current literature focusing primarily on topics in yeast cell biology. Students are first introduced to the tools of molecular genetics and special features of yeasts that make them important model eukaryotic organisms. Some selected topics include cell polarity, cell cycle, secretory pathways, vesicular and nuclear/cytoplasmic transport, mitochondrial import and biogenesis, chromosome segregation, cytoskeleton, mating response and signal transduction. Offered as CLBY 488, GENE 488, MBIO 488, and PATH 488.

MBIO 513. Bacterial Virulence and Host Interactions. 3 Units.

The goal of this seminar course is to familiarize students with bacterial virulence mechanisms and how they interact with the host. The focus will be on current literature pertaining to this field. While the molecular basis of bacterial virulence mechanisms will be the main focus, some time will be spent on the host immune response. Topics covered will include adhesins/pili, secretion mechanisms, AB toxins, bacterial invasion and intracellular survival, regulation of virulence gene expression. Prereq: CBIO 453 and CBIO 455 or equivalent courses.

MBIO 526. Cell Biology and Human Disease. 3 Units.

This course is designed to provide broad base of knowledge regarding cell structure and function. The basic structure of the cell will be discussed, as will the various functional systems that are superimposed upon and interact with this structure. The course will discuss organelle biogenesis, materials movement inside cells, cell interaction with the external environment, cell cycle and cell death regulation, cytoskeleton dynamics, quality control mechanisms, and basic signal transduction concepts. The course will also discuss how abnormal cell function may lead to human disease, and how basic cell function may be harnessed by intracellular pathogens to provide favorable intracellular environments for replication. The major goals of this course are to provide students with a working knowledge of the cell to facilitate understanding of the scientific literature, and to familiarize students with modern experimental approaches in cell biology. The course will rely heavily on student participation. Students will be provided with study guides with the expectation they will come to class prepared to lead interactive group discussions with minimal input from instructors. Offered as CLBY 526, MBIO 526 and MVIR 526.

MBIO 601. Research in Molecular Biology and Microbiology. 1 - 18 Units.

MBIO 701. Dissertation Ph.D.. 1 - 9 Units.

(Credit as arranged.) Prereq: Predoctoral research consent or advanced to Ph.D. candidacy milestone.