Department of
Cellular and Structural Biology

Departmental Course Descriptions

 

Required:

INTD 5000: Fundamentals of Biomedical Sciences
INTD 5008: IMGP Laboratory Rotations
CSBL 5077: Scientific Writing
CSBL 5089: Graduate Colloquium
CSBL 5095: Experimental Design and Data Analysis
INTD 6002: Ethics in Research
CSBL 6071: Supervised Teaching
CSBL 6090: Seminar
CSBL 6097: Research Independent
CSBL 6098: Thesis
CSBL 7099: Dissertation

 

Track Specific Courses:

INTD 5007: Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology
CSBL 6048: Biology of Aging
CSBL 6058: Neurobiology of Aging
CSBL 6064: Genes and Development
CSBL 6068: Cancer Biology Core 1
CSBL 6069: Cancer Biology Core 2

 

Electives:

CSBL 6021: Animal Models
CSBL 6020: Concepts in Vertebrate Development
CSBL 6165: Medical Genetics
INTD 5043: Fundamentals of Neuroscience
CSBL 5007: Methods in Cell Biology
CSBL 5011: Gross Anatomy and Human Embryology
CSBL 5015: History of Anatomy
CSBL 5019: Gross Human Anatomy for Graduate Students
CSBL 5031: Histology - Medical
CSBL 5032: Histology - Dental
INTD 5041: Neuroscience - Medical
CSBL 5083: Practical Optical Microscopy

 

 

Course Descriptions:


Required Courses:

    INTD 5000: Fundamentals of Biomedical Sciences
    This is a core course covering the fundamentals of biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology, immunology, and organismal & systems biology. The course is designed for first year graduate students matriculating into the integrated, multidisciplinary graduate program. (8 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    INTD 5008: IMGP Laboratory Rotations
    This course is required of all first year students in the IMGP. It provides an opportunity for students to participate in research activities in the laboratories of faculty members in different tracks to learn laboratory skills and to gain an introduction to the research fields of faculty members. Students participate in 4 six-week rotations, each 2 credit hours. A student may opt to do two rotations in the same lab, which may or may not be back-to-back. (2.0 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    CSBL 5077: Scientific Writing
    This course will develop skills in scientific writing and the presentation of research results. It will emphasize learning-by-doing and re-doing. Students will write something every week. The capstone project for students will be writing a grant proposal and defending it in front of the class. One hour per week will be devoted to lecture and critique of published work, the other hour will consist of critique and revision of student writing by other students as well as by the course director. Topics to be covered include: (1) fundamentals of writing clearly; (2) principles of revision; (3) effective presentation of data; (4) fundamentals of oral presentation; (5) writing/presenting to the appropriate audience; (6) how to write background/introductory sections; (7) how to write materials and methods; (8) how to write the discussion section; (9) how to constructively critique one's own and other's writing. (2.0 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    CSBL 5089: Graduate Colloquium
    This course is designed to provide graduate students with training in evaluating the scientific literature and in presentation of research in a seminar or journal club format. The course will focus on critical thinking, including evaluation of existing literature, interpretation of experimental results, and comparison of alternative models and interpretations. These tools are essential both for oral presentations and for writing grant proposals and manuscripts. Emphasis will be placed on evaluation of the science, organization of the manuscript, and on oral presentation skills. (2.0 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    CSBL 5095: Experimental Design and Data Analysis
    The purpose of the course is to provide an introduction to experimental design and statistical analysis. The emphasis of the course will be on the selection and application of proper tests of statistical significance. Practical experience will be provided in the use of both parametric and nonparametric methods of statistical evaluation. Among the topics to be covered are: data reduction, types of distributions, hypothesis testing, scales of measurement, chi square analysis, the special case of the comparison of two groups, analysis of variance, a posteriori multiple range tests, tests of the assumptions of parametric analyses, advanced forms of the analysis of variance, linear regression and correlation analysis. (2.0 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    INTD 6002: Ethics in Research
    This course will deal with topics relevant to ethics in scientific research. The course will be taught on a "case study" basis, dealing with real and hypothetical situations relevant to the conduct of scientific research. Topics discussed will include, but will not be limited to: data management, peer review, recognizing scientific misconduct, authorship, and The University of Texas regulations relevant to human and animal research. (0.5 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    CSBL 6071: Supervised Teaching
    Participation in the teaching program of the medical, dental, graduate or allied health curricula. (Semester hours vary depending on the time spent in teaching.)

     

    CSBL 6090: Seminar
    Attendance and participation in the regularly scheduled Department seminar series is required during each fall and spring semester. During the first spring semester students are required to write a literature review on a topic of their choice and a research grant proposal. During the second spring semester students must write and orally defend a mock postdoctoral proposal (qualifying exam). During all subsequent spring semesters students are required to present a seminar covering their progress in research. (1.0 Semester Credit Hour)

     

    CSBL 6097: Research
    Independent, Original research under the direction of a faculty advisor. (Credit to be arranged)

     

    CSBL 6098: Thesis
    Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy for Master of Science degree. Instruction in the preparation of the thesis. Registration for at least one term is required of M.S. candidates. (Credit to be arranged)

     

    CSBL 7099: Dissertation
    Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy for Doctor of Philosophy degree. Registration for at least two terms is required of Ph.D. candidates. (Credit to be arranged)

 

Track Specific Courses:

    INTD 5007: Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology
    This course offers students the opportunity to gain in-depth fundamentals of cell and molecular biology necessary to critically read, understand, and evaluate the current research on each of the topics covered. The topics include cell surface receptor-mediated signal transduction, nuclear receptor signaling, mitochondria and apoptosis, stem cell and differentiation, and DNA damage response and cell cycle checkpoints. An important focus of this course is to help students bridge the gap between didactic learning and analytical thinking as a graduate student. The course faculty uses a variety of techniques to introduce students to a critical reading and discussion of the current research literature. INTD 5007 is a 4 credit hours class that can also be taken as two, 2 credit hour modules: INTD 6007 Cell Signaling and CSBL 6009 DNA Damage and Cell Cycle.

     

    CSBL 6048: Biology of Aging
    Biology of Aging is the core course of the Biology of Aging Track. This is a 4 credit hour course that can also be taken as two, 2 credit hour modules: CSBL 6049 Cellular & Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and CSBL 6050 Aging and Longevity Mechanism. The purpose of this course is to provide students with the most up-to-date information on the current understanding of the aging process. This advanced interdisciplinary graduate course provides experimental understanding of the interrelated areas of aging and age-related diseases. Faculty from the Departments of Cellular & Structural Biology, Physiology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Medicine will be involved in teaching this course, which will cover the molecular and cell biology of aging, model systems used for aging studies, age-related changes in organs and tissues, and age-related diseases.

     

    CSBL 6058: Neurobiology of Aging
    The nervous systems of many species, including humans, show obvious decline in function as a result of age. In addition to the gradual decline observed in neural function, it is clear that increasing age also results in increased susceptibility of the nervous system to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The course will focus on recent findings and topics related to the underlying pathology of aging in the nervous system and the relationship of aging to neurodegenerative disease. (Semester Credit Hours: 2.0)

     

    CSBL 6064: Genes and Development
    Genes and Development is the core course of the Genetics, Genomics and Development Track. The course consists of four modules: genetics, genomics, developmental biology, and stem cell biology. Basic concepts in genetics such as cytogenetics, mitochondrial genetics, cancer genetics, linkage analysis, complex traits, population genetics, animal models, sex determination and epigenetics will be presented. The genomics section will include historical aspects of the genome project and high throughput analysis. The students will be introduced to new techniques in global analysis as well as have hands on experience. The developmental biology section provides a survey of concepts in developmental biology (induction, cell-cell interactions, morphogen gradients, morphogenetic movements, transcriptional regulation, organogenesis) using experimental examples from both invertebrate and vertebrate embryos. The stem cell biology section includes the following topics: basic biology of stem cells, including embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, stem cells in different tissues and model systems; microenvironment-mediated and epigenetic regulators of stem cells; stem cells in medicine, including regenerative medicine, cancer and aging; and ethics. Each of the 4 sections will also be offered as a one credit course (CSBL 5025 Genetics, CSBL 5024 Genomics, CSBL 5023 Development, and CSBL 5026 Stem Cell Biology). (4 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    CSBL 6068: Cancer Biology Core 1
    This is the first part of the Cancer Biology Track core course. This course will provide an overview of current areas of research in the molecular biology of tumor formation. Areas that will be covered include oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, telomere biology, DNA repair pathways and maintenance of genomic stability. The alteration of normal cellular pathways in the multi-step process of tumorigenesis will be discussed, as well as modes stem cells in cancer. (2.0 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    CSBL 6069: Cancer Biology Core 2
    This is the second part of the Cancer Biology Track core course. This course provides an overview of different cancers including lung, breast, prostate, colorectal, pancreatic, hematological and tumors of the nervous system. The pathology of the cancers as well as their molecular basis is presented. The basis for therapies and an introduction to clinical trials is discussed as well as chemoprevention. Current experimental approaches that will be presented include animal models, molecular diagnostics and tumor profiling. (2.0 Semester Credit Hours)

 

Electives:

    CSBL 6021: Animal Models
    The relevant biology, applicability and practical use of a number of animal models to biomedical research is covered. Invertebrate (e.g. C. elegans) and vertebrate (e.g. fish and rodents) model systems are included in the course. Strengths and weaknesses of each organism that render them particularly valuable as animal models are emphasized. Experimental approaches and tools that are utilized in conjunction with each animal model are rigorously examined. The course is taught from primary scientific literature using classic historical publications and recent publications. (3.0 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    CSBL 6020: Concepts in Vertebrate Development
    This course will employ classical experimental embryology as a background for presenting recent advances in molecular and cellular aspects of vertebrate development. Topics include: gametogenesis and fertilization, cleavage and midblastula transition, gastrulation, neural induction, neural crest migration, CNS patterning, limb development, and inductive events in endodermal differentiation. Emphasis will be placed on mechanisms of morphogenesis and differentiation at the molecular level. (3.0 semester credit hours)

     

    CSBL 6165: Medical Genetics
    This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of medical genetics and current areas of medical genetic research. The course reviews basic genetic concepts including the principles of Mendelian and nontraditional inheritance, cytogenetics, molecular genetics, quantitative and population genetics, and discusses important medical aspects of genetic counseling and pedigree analysis, dysmorphology, cancer genetics and counseling for inherited cancers, developmental genetics, prenatal diagnosis, newborn screening, and pharmacogenetics. Diagnosis and current research toward treatment and cure of common genetic disorders affecting metabolism, reproduction, the endocrine system, the functioning of the eye and the nervous system are discussed. An important aspect of the course will be a discussion of ethical issues in medical genetics. A basic background in genetics, cell biology and biochemistry is assumed. (3.0 semester credit hours) Genetics, Genomics & Development Track

     

    INTD 5043: Fundamentals of Neuroscience
    This course is intended to introduce the student to a broad survey of the basic concepts of neuroscience. The course is organized into a series of modules discussing levels of neurobiological functions that range from molecular through behavioral and cognitive processes, and covering topics such as the action potential, molecular mechanisms of synaptic release, neurotransmitter systems, autonomic regulation, the limbic system, sensory and motor processing, emotion, cognition and neuropsychiatric disorders. While this is an introductory graduate course, a basic background in organismic biology, cell biology and chemistry is assumed. (3.5 semester credit hours)

     

    CSBL 5007: Methods in Cell Biology
    Through a combination of lectures and demonstrations, the instructors will introduce students to techniques, which are currently being used in cellular biology laboratories. The emphasis will be on the applications themselves, their uses, limitations, and the necessary controls. The following topic areas will be covered: imaging and microscopy, immunological techniques, bioinformatics (DNA and protein), rodent anatomy and histology, cytogenetics, and in vitro cell growth and transfection. (1 Semester Credit Hour)

     

    CSBL 5011: Gross Anatomy and Human Embryology
    Lectures, conferences and laboratory work covering normal human developmental and gross anatomy. Lectures on early embryonic development and implantation are presented at the beginning of the course. Lectures and laboratories on the development of the systems are correlated with the presentation and dissection of the gross structure of the adult. Groups of four students dissect a cadaver under supervision of the Cellular and Structural Biology Staff. Prosections, demonstration specimens, x-rays, films and other learning aids supplement the laboratory work. Applied anatomy and malformations are discussed by clinical specialists. (7.5 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    CSBL 5015: History of Anatomy
    The History of Anatomy course studies the physicians and scientists who made great discoveries in the field of anatomy from the early Egyptian and Greek scholars to recent anatomists in America with an overview of the discoveries and state of medicine during the time they lived. Emphasis is placed on reviewing primary literature (or translations) where possible. Included in the course is a visit to the Nixon Library collection of rare books with a display of anatomical illustration and important anatomical texts. (2.5 Semester Credit Hours)
    View History of Anatomy Photo Gallery of Visit to P.I. Nixon Medical History Library.

     

    CSBL 5019: Gross Human Anatomy for Graduate Students
    This course will teach structural and functional anatomy of the normal human body. Lectures will serve as introductory information for the laboratory dissections to follow and to clarify the interactions of the various anatomical components to accomplish the function of the body. The course will cover the central and peripheral nervous systems, vertebral column and back, head and neck, body wall, thorax, abdomen, pelvis and perineum, and the upper and lower limbs. Special emphasis will be placed on the laboratory experience in which the learner will perform a detailed dissection of the entire human body in order to achieve an understanding of the three-dimensional relationships and thus the interactive function of the body. These dissections will be supplemented by the study of prosected specimens, models skeletons and other demonstration materials. (6.0 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    CSBL 5031: Histology - Medical
    This course is the lecture-based Medical Histology course required for first year medical students. The course consists of lectures and teaching laboratories which cover the microscopic anatomy of the human body from cell biology to histology at the light microscopic level. Histology topics are correlated with their concurrent study of human embryology, human gross anatomy and human physiology. Teaching laboratories follow each of the major lectures and consist of staff-supervised sessions utilizing Virtual Microscopy for Health Professionals (VMHP) as well as supplemental audiovisual materials. VMHP is a set of digitized color images of normal and pathological human tissue specimens. The images are constructed as a near-seamless montage of images encompassing a complete tissue or organ specimen. VMHP is provided on an external hard drive in both PC- and Mac-compatible formats and can be used on any computer both on and off campus. Students are able to explore the tissue specimen within x-y (across the tissue section) as well as x-y-z (across the tissue section + through 2-3 different magnifications) planes exactly as they would utilize a traditional light microscope and glass specimen slides. Using the capture-screen image feature of VMHP, students are required to complete an images portfolio by the end of the semester. Medical Histology provides graduate students with a solid foundation of knowledge of normal human microscopic structure and function.

     

    CSBL 5032: Histology - Dental
    Lectures, conferences, demonstrations and laboratory work studying the microscopic structure of the tissues and organs of the human body. Lectures will emphasize the correlation of structure and function while laboratory work will be devoted to the recognition of normal human tissue. (5.0 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    INTD 5041: Neuroscience - Medical
    Lectures, conferences, and laboratories deal with study of the anatomy and function of the brain and spinal cord. The course will include presentations of neurological cases and will be taught by an interdisciplinary task force from the Departments of Cellular and Structural Biology, Physiology, Medicine and Surgery. (5.0 Semester Credit Hours)

     

    CSBL 5083: Practical Optical Microscopy
    This course will be a one-hour elective for graduate students consisting of eight (8) one-hour lectures plus eight (8) one-hour laboratories. The course focuses on the practical aspects of using optical microscopes. The objectives are to teach students the fundamental principals of optical microscopy and to provide them with hands-on experience using the optical instrumentation in the Institutional Imaging Core. (1.0 Semester Credit Hour)