This course is designed to introduce students to a range of experimental techniques that are in routine use in a functioning biochemistry laboratory with the objective that they can understand basic principles behind these techniques and are able to understand their applicability in their future research. Whenever possible, the course combines lectures illustrating the scientific principles underlying a particular technique with the demonstration of the methodology in the laboratory.
The field of Molecular and Cellular Biology has given scientists unprecedented control over species manipulation and development. This course will have an in-depth coverage of the structure, function, and synthesis of DNA, RNA, and proteins. In this course, we will discuss the nature of genes and chromosomes (the repositories of genetic information) and the mechanics of DNA synthesis and genome replication, followed by discussions on repair, recombination and transposition. We will also discuss the pathways of gene expression (transcription, RNA processing, and translation) and the mechanisms of regulating these pathways, with special emphasis on transcriptional control. Latest literature on these topics will be covered.
This course will focus on the cellular biochemistry of higher organisms: mechanisms of cellular communication, intracellular signaling, cell growth and oncogenic transformation. During the course, two basic cellular structures will be discussed: membrane and mitochondria, two important key players in cell signaling and cell death. Concepts like cell signaling, cell cycle, oxidative stress and cell death will be reviewed. The course will end with an introductory lecture on stem cell biology. Recent experimental findings and new approaches used to investigate how cells work will be emphasized. Students will also be taught how to explore the cell biology literature and to critically evaluate scientific publications in some of the topics.
This course is designed to prepare students in learning advanced cellular biochemistry and metabolism under physiological and pathophysiological conditions for successful careers in academia and biotechnology industries. The course also provides enhanced education opportunities for students who wish to extend their knowledge, experience, and opportunities as independent scientists in academic research at universities, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, health/biomedical science management or teaching. In this course, advanced cellular biochemistry will be explained to signify the importance of metabolism in normal physiology and pathophysiological conditions. Faculty lectures and students reports will focus on these.
Dysfunction of the human brain can produce a wide variety of neurological and psychiatric illnesses. Over the past decades, neuroscientists have begun to unravel the basic underlying mechanisms of a number of important diseases of the nervous system, at the cellular, molecular and genetic levels. None of these disorders are completely understood, and, perhaps more importantly, none are yet susceptible to either total prevention or cure, so that these conditions remain among the most important health problems of our society. These lectures are designed to familiarize the students with basic information about two important neurological disorders Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington's disease, and Prion diseases, focusing on a relatively brief clinical description of the condition and a more in depth discussion on current hypotheses about the mechanisms underlying these diseases.
This course will provide students the chance to rotate through the laboratory of a potential supervisor to learn about the various projects in progress in that laboratory with emphasis on acquainting themselves with the type of research work and techniques being used. Regular attendance (one hour per week) and active participation of the student in observing and learning about these projects is of great importance. The students should study the literature provided by their respective supervisors and familiarize themselves with the research activities being carried out in the laboratory chosen by them.
The field of Molecular and Cellular Biology has given scientists unprecedented control over species manipulation and development. This course will have an in-depth coverage of the structure, function, and synthesis of DNA, RNA, and proteins. We will discuss the nature of genes and chromosomes (the repositories of genetic information) and the mechanics of DNA synthesis and genome replication, followed by discussions on repair, recombination and transposition. We will also discuss the pathways of gene expression (transcription, RNA processing, and translation) and the mechanisms of regulating these pathways, with special emphasis on transcriptional control.
This course aims to give a broad but comprehensive introduction to the majority of the important techniques used today in biomedical research. It aims to give a background in the theory, practise and applications of the various techniques, as well as their limitations and pitfalls. It is hoped that, after having completed the course, students will be well equipped to embark upon research projects with a useful knowledge of the techniques covered and how to apply them to address specific research-based questions, and also how to interpret the data derived from these applications. It is not the aim of the course to teach students how to perform various procedures - this can only be achieved with extensive, repeated, supervised, hands-on laboratory training which is obviously not feasible in this context. The format of each session may vary according to the individual needs of each topic or presenter. Most session will commence with a tutorial covering the principles and practice of the technique at hand, followed by a less formal session where instrumentation can be seen in operation, experimental examples can be examined, and raw data can be viewed and discussed.
The course is mainly General histopathology, which deals with the basic concept of the various disease processes. This program offers the students a comprehensive review of the theoretical and practical aspects of general histopathology. The students will be exposed to formal lectures and laboratory practicals, which will emphasize the most modern concepts and methodologies in the fields of cell injury, inflammation, tissue repair, infection, hemodynamic changes, vascular disorders, environmental disorders and neoplasia.
This course will explore ways in which microbial pathogens, particularly bacteria and viruses, interact with their hosts. Topics that will be covered include bacterial-host cell interactions, role of bacterial toxins in pathogenicity, viral infections and escape strategies, emerging and re-emerging viral infections, host defense and innate/adaptive immunity, exaggerated immune responses and immunopathology, virus-host cell interactions in cancerogenesis, and strategies for vaccine development.
Pharmacology is an interdisciplinary field. This PhD course tackles major recent findings in divers’ area of pharmacology with a focus on cancer pharmacology, neurodegeneration and cognitive functions, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. This course emphasis is on the molecular mechanism of action of the most recent applied and experimental drugs including monoclonal antibodies, tissue engineering advances, and genome editing progress. Therefore, the contents of the course will remain dynamic and evolve from year to year depending on what is viewed as significant advances in that year. It is intended that the seminar should provide a more didactic and interactive meeting. During this course, students will also be introduced to the most advanced research methodologies and will have extensive training to develop their skills, including ethics and communication that will be achieved via written assessments and oral presentations and discussions.
This course is designed to cover selected topics and recently published articles that are influencing in a significant manner our understanding of human genetics and genomics with emphasis on recent advances in genomic technologies and disease mechanisms. Therefore, the contents of the course might vary from year to year depending on what is viewed as a significant advance in that year.
This course will focus on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cancer progression, metastasis, and recurrence. Advances in cancer treatment, including targeted therapy and immunotherapy will also be discussed. This course will be based around seminars and interactive discussion sessions focused on the latest developments in the field accompanied by critical evaluation of published research articles. The content of the course will evolve from year to year depending on the latest advances in the field. During the interactive group sessions, there will be a round table discussion of selected research papers (which will be pre-circulated to all students) concerning important topics in cancer. The students will learn to dissect the study’s major aims, methodology and logic employed to address the question, the strengths and weaknesses of the results, and their implications. The emphasis will be on the methodological, conceptual and practical aspects of the research papers in the field. An important part of this course will be to develop the student’s ability to critically evaluate published research papers. The manuscript for evaluation will be selected by the course coordinators and provided to each student at the beginning of the course. In consultation with the course coordinator and co-coordinator, each student will also select a research paper/topic and prepare it for presentation to the whole class at the end of the course.
This course will guide students in learning advanced information on the microscopic structure of the cells and tissues of the human body and the biological features of their components. The correlation of structure and function at the cellular and molecular levels will be emphasized in lectures and laboratory sessions. The application of cell and tissue biology to research and clinical disciplines will be emphasized. For each topic, an introduction to the cellular architecture and specialized function of a given tissue will provide the necessary background that will explore contemporary research into the molecular and cellular basis of human diseases involving that tissue.
Advanced Topics in Neuroscience is a course that focuses on specific contents that are particularly relevant to modern neuroscience and pathophysiology of the nervous system, allowing students to discuss, critique, and interpret primary research literature in the field. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate comprehensive and integrated knowledge at the frontier of this discipline and explain critically the highly complex and diverse matters in this field. In addition, the course will explore training and practice on translational idea generation and refinement. It is a modular course that provides broad base to sample contemporary understanding and developments on normal and abnormal brain functioning, allowing each student to focus on selected topic of interest. The course will focus on specific contents that are especially relevant to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, how the nervous system works and what controls our behaviors, including consciousness learning and memory, brain plasticity, and motor functions. However, it also covers the most recent developments in the neurobiology of diseases, including neurodegeneration, movement disorders, autism, depression, stress related diseases and other neurological and psychiatric diseases. The course will also cover principles of the most recent cutting-edge technologies available to study brain function like connectomics, super-resolution microscopy, functional MRI, EEG, electrophysiology and calcium imaging. The course is composed of weekly seminar series in which various topics about modern neuroscience are discussed. Seminars are also presented by students or when suitable by visiting outside neuroscientists. At the end of the course, student will submit a reflection paper on a chosen topic of special interest/thesis relevance. The reflection paper can be structured as a literature synthesis, opinion paper, theoretical paper, or a research grant proposal. Together, the seminars and reflection paper will prepare the student for the course assessment during which the candidate will be examined on deep comprehension and critical thinking of a broader research topic/paper.
Pathophysiology identifies the changes that occur when a function of the body is compromised by disease, injury or other abnormality. In Advanced Pathophysiology course students will explore the application of advanced knowledge of the complex physiological functions and pathophysiological processes to understand the fundamental mechanisms of organ health and disease. The course will be focusing on pathophysiology of three bodily systems, including the cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal system as major focus points of research in the department. Selected topics from other bodily systems will also be explored. The course will enable students to discuss, critique, interpret and eventually contrast primary research literature in each and between those fields. At the end of the course students will be able to demonstrate comprehensive and integrated knowledge at the frontier of pathophysiology and explain critically the highly complex and diverse matters in this field. The course has modular structure with up 30% of the topics modifiable aiming to provide broad yet targeted knowledge and understanding of abnormal bodily functioning. Particular attention is given to the most recent cutting-edge technologies available to examine the alterations in function as well as adaptive, integrative and regulatory mechanisms of bodily dysfunction at the molecular, cellular, organ and system levels. The course combines seminars, lectures and presentations, and focused integration sessions led by students and faculty. At the end of the course, students will have to submit a reflection paper on a chosen topic of special interest/thesis relevance. The reflection paper can be structured as a literature synthesis, opinion paper, theoretical paper, or a research grant proposal. Finally, the course will insert a small focused discussion, training and practice on translational idea generation and refinement; here the main emphasis will be on comparative research of underlying pathophysiological processes across bodily systems. At the end of the course, students are expected to demonstrate deep comprehension and critical thinking of a pathophysiologic processes.
Computational sciences and artificial intelligence have been integrated in ubiquitous applications in the fields of sciences and medicine. This technology serves as a powerful tool to mark advancements in research, discoveries and medical practice. This course is composed of two parts: Computational Biochemistry and Artificial Intelligence. The first part covers computational sciences with focus on molecular docking, molecular dynamics, and quantum mechanics. It is a combination of theory and computational practical sessions. The theory will include the fundamentals and limitations of each of the methods, and the practical sessions will involve hands-on applications on chemical or biochemical systems. The second part covers artificial intelligence and its applications. It includes the fundamentals of statistics and machine learning algorithms. The theory of this part will be complemented by hands-on sessions that involve model building, technique validation and decision analysis, with focus on medical applications.
This course covers the fundamentals of Molecular Biology. The first part introduced the students to the fundamentals of DNA and RNA and how they are used to make proteins. This part of the course consists of the structure/function of nucleic acids, how DNA is assembled into chromatin, replicated, transcribed into RNA, and translated into proteins. Alongside, students are introduced to the concept of genes and how gene expression is regulated, followed by how this process differs in prokaryotes that do not have a nucleus, and eukaryotes, organisms with nucleus. The second part of the course introduces the students to how problems with DNA replication and expression can lead to "errors" that result in disease and how one can study DNA/RNA/proteins in "Molecular Medicine". Thus, this part of the course discusses mutations, how mutations are repaired in the body, and how changes in the structure of DNA can be introduced via specific recombination systems to create diversity. This is followed by a series of lectures on how one can study DNA, RNA, and proteins at the molecular level to study and diagnose diseases and even use these methods for cloning and creating new types of DNA molecules. The course ends with a lecture on how the body uses RNA (RNAi) to control gene expression, a new area that is revolutionizing Molecular Biology.
This course covers foundational concepts in general chemistry to enable students to understand the physiology and biochemistry of the human body in health and disease which they will study in subsequent courses. During the Chemistry practicals, students will be introduced to the principles of safe laboratory practice and will become familiar with the equipment commonly used in the chemistry laboratory. Students will become familiar with scientific writing in terms of completing laboratory reports.
This course is divided into three parts. During the first part, students will be introduced to the different classes of the basic molecules of life (amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and lipids) the differences in their structure and function and how these form into biochemical complex compounds. The second part will discuss the biology of cells of higher organisms: the structure and function of cellular membranes and organelles; the chromatin structure and genes; the cytoskeleton, the extracellular matrix and cell movements; the cell death and cell junctions. Finally, the third part will introduce the concept of nutrition describing the importance of vitamins and minerals. In addition, cellular physiology areas such as pH, buffers and enzyme mechanisms will also be discussed.
This course covers cellular communication and metabolism for successful progress in organ system. The course will provide basic knowledge of cellular communication and receptor based cell signalling by hormones and intracellular signalling mechanisms which control cellular growth and metabolism. The course will also introduce you with basic concept of cellular metabolism (anabolism i.e. synthesis of biomolecules and catabolism i.e. breakdown of biomolecules) in different compartments of cells using carbohydrate (sugars), nucleotides, lipids, and amino acid metabolism as examples. You will also learn about the metabolism and excretion of the important metabolic waste products such as urea and bilirubin. Since liver is a central organ for nutrient metabolism, synthesis, storage and secretion/excretion of metabolic products, you will also learn many functions of the liver in maintaining metabolic homeostasis. During this Course, the students will learn in details, the processes by which cells metabolize their nutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleotides). They will also learn how cells are communicating with each other and how their metabolism are controlled and regulated.
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