Biology | Special Topics in Zoology
Z620 | 5239 | Kumar, J

Spring 2010
Z620 Tissue Specification and Patterning
Instructor Justin P. Kumar
1.5 credits 2nd half of Spring Semester

The focus of this course will be to introduce graduate students to
the molecular mechanisms that underlie the specification and
patterning of tissues and organs. Specific topics will include the
role that selector genes and gene regulatory networks play in tissue
specification, the establishment of compartment boundaries, and the
contribution that cell-cell interactions and signal transduction
pathways make to individual cell fate decisions. These subjects will
be discussed in the context of several model systems including
Drosophila, zebrafish and mouse. For each topic the instructor will
present a lecture that covers the basic background of the field as
well as a journal club style lecture on a recent key paper. Each
student will be assigned a paper related to the topic and will be
required to present a journal club style dissection of the paper in
which the key findings, experimental techniques and broader impacts
will be discussed. Grades in the course will be determined by the
quality of the presentation, in class participation and discussion
as well as performance on a short written assignment.