Courses

Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular, and Biomedical Studies

Required Courses

Molecular Genetics (CMBS G4150)

This fall-semester course is required for all first-year students and covers aspects of molecular biology and genetics, from prokaryotes to mammals, including regulation of gene expression, molecular genetics of bacterial viruses, plasmids, and transposable elements, as well as modern molecular genetic approaches to complex biological phenomena. Format: four to five hours of lecture and discussion per week. Course Director: Jonathan Dworkin.

Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology I (BCHM G6300)

This fall-semester course is required for all first-year students and covers basic biochemical and experimental principles, such as protein and nucleic acid structure and chemistry, thermodynamics and enzyme kinetics, and bioinformatics. Also included are biochemical processes common to all cells, such as genome replication and repair, regulation of gene expression, cell-cycle control, and cell membrane and receptor biochemistry. Course Director: Stavros Lomvardas.

Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology II (CMBS G6301)

Required for all first year-students, this spring-semester course is an introduction to eukaryotic cell biology and covers such topics as membrane trafficking, mitochondria, nuclei, viral biology, and apoptosis, as well as the cytoskeleton and its role in various cellular processes, including mitosis, cell migration, cell polarity, and cell adhesion. Course Directors: Gregg Gundersen and Dritan Agalliu.

Statistics for the Basic Sciences (PHAR G8012)

This spring-semester course provides an introduction to the basic statistics commonly used in biomedical research laboratories. Students are provided with a statistical software package for use during the course. Exercises based on relevant experimental data sets use the software to reinforce the lecture material. Topics covered include the role of statistics in biomedical research, principles of statistical analysis, and selecting and applying the appropriate statistical tests. Course Director: Arthur Palmer.

Responsible Conduct of Research and Related Policy Issues (CMBS G4010)

This spring-semester course explores a variety of ethical and policy issues that can arise during basic and clinical scientific research. Course sessions include lectures, discussion periods, and analyses of case studies. Columbia requires that all graduate students share in the discussions. Course Directors: Arthur Palmer and Jaime Rubin.

Small Group Discussion - Responsible Conduct of Research (CMBS G4011)

Course Directors: Ai Yamamoto and Alejandro Chavez.

Representative Elective Courses

Mechanisms of Human Disease (PATH G6003)

This course provides an in-depth analysis of several organ systems and as well as the diseases associated with each organ system. The course contains four modules, each describing the basic physiology, nutritional status, and anatomy of an organ system, and the genetics, cell and biochemical mechanisms, and pathologies associated with the system's disease, as well as basic pharmacology and therapeutics to treat the disease. Course Directors: Ronald Liem and Steven Spitalnik.

Molecular Biophysics (BCHM G4250)

Methods and principles involved in studying the structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids, membranes, and their macro-molecular assemblies. Noncovalent forces and conformational analysis; ultracentrifugation, viscometry, circular dichroism, fluorescence, magnetic resonance; conformational changes in proteins and nucleic acids, topological properties of macromolecules. Course Director: Arthur Palmer.

Biological Sequences Analysis (BINF G4013 letter grade, CMBS G4020 pass/fail)

Basic Unix, website usage, sequence comparison, database searching, multiple sequence alignment, profile methods, secondary structure prediction, mapping, primer design, genomic analysis, and functional genomics, including micro-array analysis. Course Director: Richard Friedman.

Computational Systems Biology: Proteins, Networks, Function (BINF G4015)

Required for C2B2 students in the spring semester, this course will present computational approaches of reconstruction, analysis, and simulation of cellular networks. Metabolic, signaling, and protein-interaction networks will be covered. The networks will be discussed at several levels of structural organization: overall network, functional and structural modules, network motifs. We will emphasize how specific biophysical and biochemical properties of different networks lead to conceptual simplifications for analysis and simulation. Network evolution and similarities between cellular and nonbiological networks will be discussed. Course Director: Dennis Vitkup.

 

Advanced Eukaryotic Molecular Genetics (GEND G4050)

Advanced treatment of the principles and methods of the molecular biology of eukaryotes, emphasizing the organization, expression, and evolution of eukaryotic genes. Topics include reassociation and hybridization kinetics, gene numbers, genomic organization at the DNA level, mechanisms of recombination, transposable elements, DNA rearrangements, gene amplification, oncogenes, recombinant DNA techniques, transcription and RNA splicing. Students participate in discussions of problems sets on the current literature. Course Director: Tim Bestor.

 

Cellular and Molecular Biology of Cancer (PATH G4500)

An integrated and critical review of cancer biology, emphasizing recent research. Topics discussed include: natural history and epidemiology of cancer; morphology and behavior of cancer cells; DNA and RNA tumor viruses; oncogenes; tumor suppressor genes; signal transduction; the genetics of cancer; cancer and cellular differentiation; cancer causation: physical and chemical agents; multistage carcinogenesis; hormones, nutrients, and growth factors in cancer. Readings are largely original research papers and review articles. One 2-hour seminar per week. Course director: Richard Baer.

 

Stem Cells and Cell Lineage Specification (BCHM G6100)

The Course will comprise general lectures, analyses and discussions of primary literature on stem cell and cell lineage specification biology as well as student presentations. The themes to be presented include basic cell and molecular biological characterization of stem cells, regulation of self-replication versus lineage restriction and differentiation of cells, model systems used in studies of stem cells, and the relevance of tissue formation, regeneration and disease states. Course Directors: Stephen Tsang and Dietrich Egli.

Introduction to Immunology (G4020)

Survey of the major topics in basic immunology with an emphasis on the molecular basis for immune recognition and regulation.

Structure and Function of Membrane Channels (G4600)

This course provides a detailed analysis of the biophysical and structural properties of ionic channels in biological membranes. In addition, the physiological role of such channels in regulating neuronal excitability is covered. Course Director: Steven Siegelbaum.