BIOL 370 (Fall)

Human Genetics Applied


Instructors:
R. Palmour (Coordinator)
Irving Ludmer Bldg
(514) 398-7303
roberta.palmour@mcgill.ca
& Staff
Administrative Office
N5/13
(514) 398-3600
Workload:
3 credits (3-0-6)
Prerequisites:
BIOL 200, BIOL 201 or ANAT 212 / BIOC 212, and BIOL 202.
Content:
The extraordinary expansion in the applicability of human genetics to human welfare has created not only exciting possibilities for reducing disease and improving health, but also real and potential problems -- ethical, moral and practical.  This course will summarize the factual basis of the issues at a level intelligible to second- and third-year undergraduates, using the following topics, and drawing upon examples from the experience of the lecturers.

1.  GENETIC VARIATION (2 lectures)
      Phenotype, protein, DNA
                                         
2.  THE HUMAN GENOME  (2 lectures)
      Sequencing and mapping the human genome
      The genetics of gene expression

3.  MENDELIAN AND NON-MENDELIAN TRAITS (7 lectures)
     Linkage analysis; genotype-phenotype relationships;
      Defining and mapping complex traits; whole genome association

4.  EPIGENETICS (1 lecture)
     Post-natal modifications of the somatic genome and its effects on gene expression

5.  BEHAVIOUR (2 lectures)
     Behavioral traits; major psychiatric disorders

6.  POPULATION GENETICS (2 lectures)
      Basic concepts; mutation and selection; founder effect and genetic drift

7.  DEVELOPMENTAL AND REPRODUCTIVE GENETICS (3 lectures)
      Basic concepts; dysmorphologies; preimplantation diagnosis

8.  SCREENING AND THERAPY OF GENETIC DISEASE (2 lectures)
     Theory (sensitivity; specificity; cost-benefit); practice
      Phenotherapy, genotherapy, ethics/eugenics

9.  CANCER GENETICS (1 lecture)
      From families to genes; clinical applications

10.  GENE THERAPY (1 lecture)
        Approaches and methodologies; promises and risks

11. GENETIC COUNSELLING (1 lecture)
       Risks (empirical, Bayesian, chromosomal); prenatal diagnosis; ethical and social issues

 
Readings:
Human Molecular Genetics 4th ed by Strachan & Reed
Method:
Two 1.5 hour lectures per week
Evaluation:

Mid-term, Take-home paper; Final exam

McGill University values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offences under the Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (see http://www.mcgill.ca/integrity/ for more information).

Last update: March 22, 2017