MCDB 454 - Cytoskeletal Dynamics
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)
Department: LSA Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Enforced Prerequisites:
BIOLOGY 305; and one of: MCDB 310 or BIOLCHEM 415 or CHEM 351.
Advisory Prerequisites:
MCDB 427 and/or MCDB 428.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

Have you ever wondered how cells can perform highly dynamic processes like cell migration and cell division? The cytoskeleton not only provides the structural framework for the cell but also dynamically rearranges to produce the force to drive cell migration and cell division. This course will focus on an in-depth understanding of the proteins and molecular mechanisms that underlie cytoskeletal dynamics including the cytoskeletal elements (F-actin, microtubules, and intermediate filaments), molecular motor proteins, and Rho GTPases. Then, we will examine how these proteins integrate to regulate cell migration, cytokinesis, and cell adhesion. Additionally, we will focus on how misregulation of these processes can lead to developmental defects, cancer, and other diseases.

At the end of the term, students will be able to:

  1. Read, interpret, and critically evaluate experimental data published in scientific journals.
  2. Understand the approaches and methods scientists use to study the cytoskeleton.
  3. Discuss cell biological research and be able to clearly argue their points.
  4. Develop a testable hypothesis and design experiments with appropriate controls to test the hypothesis.
  5. Be familiar with our current understanding of cytoskeletal elements, molecular motor proteins, and Rho GTPases and how they integrate to regulate dynamic cellular processes.

Course Requirements:

Students are expected to read assigned primary literature articles ahead of class, and be prepared to actively discuss these papers. Students will be evaluated based on quizzes on the assigned reading material, active participation in class discussions, presentations, and writing assignments.

Intended Audience:

The course is intended primarily for upper level undergraduates in biology concentrations, as well as first-year graduate students.

Class Format:

The class will have two ninety-minute meetings weekly. There will be a mixture of interactive lectures to introduce new topics and sessions where we discuss articles from scientific journals.

MCDB 454 - Cytoskeletal Dynamics
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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