CGAB 501: Syllabus

CGAB 501 Principles in Applied Biosciences: Systems Biology

Pre-requisite: CGET 501 Integrated Life Sciences

3 Credits

Course Information

Biological networks make it possible for organisms to engage in complex functions. This course introduces the concepts of systems biology, in which biological networks operate at the levels of the cell, tissues and the organism. The class is taught in parallel with CGAB 502, which presents the experimental approaches of modern applied biology, and CGAB 504, which presents pathophysiology. Students in the three courses will work together as a team to formulate an original research proposal. The topic this year is the role of inflammation in diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Course Topics

The course will cover the following topics:

  1. Molecular Level: Central Dogma and DNA Replication
  2. Molecular Level: Transcription
  3. Molecular Level: Translation
  4. Molecular Level: Spontaneous and Induced Mutations as Drivers of Evolution
  5. Molecular Level: MMR and Evolution
  6. Molecular Level: Cancer
  7. Cellular View of Cancer
  8. Cell Level: Innate Immunity
  9. Cell Level to Organ Level
  10. Cells to Tissues
  11. Cancer at the Clinical Level

Recomended textbook

Lodish H et al. (2008) Molecular Cell Biology, 6 edn. W. H. Freemann and Company, New York.

Course Format

The course will mainly use lectures to impart knowledge and understanding of the aforementioned topics, complemented by a class project. The course has no text, but requires a firm background in biochemistry. Readings from the primary literature will be assigned. Some of class time will be devoted to discussion of key primary journal articles describing important contributions to hierarchical systems biology.

A term project undertaken by subgroups of the class working as integrated teams will involve the preparation of a structured research project, similar to a thesis proposal, in an area of biological networks. The topic will change yearly, and the written product of the case study will be evaluated by a committee of experts.

Course website

Evaluation and Grading

The term grade will derive from the exams, home-assignments and written paper and oral presentations along with participation in class-period discussions.

Grade will be weighted as follows:

Exam 1&2
Class participation
Presentation 1
Presentation 2
Final Presentation
Proposal writing
Participation in proposal discussion


Classroom Rules of Conduct

Be on time. Class will start at the indicated time. Late attendance will affect your grade.

Plagiarism is not an acceptable behavior.