BIOL 551 (Winter)

Principles of Cellular Control

J. Vogel
Bellini 269
(514) 398-5880
P. François Rutherford Physics (514) 398-1635
3 credits (3-0-6)

CHEM 115 or CHEM 120; MATH 133 and MATH 141; PHYS 142; or equivalents; BIOL 201 or ANAT 212 / BIOC 212. COMP 202, PHYS 230 and BIOL 319 / PHYS 319 are recommended


This course attempts to overview fundamental principles of cellular control. Cell cycle control is a major theme. Biological and physical concepts will be brought to bear on control systems in healthy cells, largely based in studies using model organisms. Concepts are related to human cells with relevance to disease (cancer), but disease and cancer are not a focus of this course. It should be remembered that understanding what constitutes a healthy system, and how that state is maintained, is just as critical as understanding the basis of disease. This course is designed with the understanding that students come from both the biological/biomedical sciences and physical sciences and thus the material covered must be accessible to all regardless of their background.

Topics include:

- Signalling
- Switches, thresholds in biological systems
- Oscillators
- Methods of analysis
Assigned readings are primarily research articles and reviews. Readings from Physical Biology of the Cell (PBoC) will be posted on myCourses. Cell Cycle: Principles of Control (POC; Morgan, Sinauer press) is a general review for cell cycle concepts. An online version of Molecular Biology of the Cell is available through PubMed and is recommended as a general cell biology reference. POC and PBoC are available through the Life Sciences library.
Faculty lectures and student presentations Two 1.5 hr sessions per week

Assignments, project, presentation and participation.

Last update: March 22, 2017

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