The course will serve as an in depth exploration of mechanisms that program and maintain homeostasis of growth (hypertrophy) and cell division (hyperplasia) in metazoan biology. Different animal cell types, or cells from different animal tissues, display marked differences in cell size. Pancreatic acinar cells, for example, are over four times larger than their neighboring pancreatic beta cells. In proliferating cells, maintenance of cell size reflects a coordination of cell growth with rates of cell division. By contrast, in non-proliferating and terminally differentiated cells, size homeostasis exclusively depends on mechanisms that coordinate biosynthesis with turnover. To add to this complexity, both growth and cell division are exquisitely tuned to the balance of mitogenic (proliferative) signals, energy status and nutrient availability.

What is the nature of the molecular program that coordinates growth, division and turnover to maintain homeostasis? While the answer to this question is not yet realized, many new and exciting mechanistic details pertaining to these processes are continuously reported. Science is the a union of observations and story-telling. Driven by curiosity, we seek a narrative that weaves disparate observations into a coherent narrative. 

In this course, will rely on an in-depth exploration of literature to derive novel, experimentally testable, narratives on the subject of growth homeostasis. Particular emphasis will be placed on cell cycle checkpoints, cell size checkpoints and sensing mechanisms that respond to changes in metabolic status and nutrient availability.

Coordinators: Dr. Jim Dennis and Dr. Ran Kafri
Dates: Wednesday - March 27, April 3, 10, 17, 24 & May 1

Wed, March 27, 2019:  9:30–11:30 am, Mt. Sinai, Rooms L3-201-202-203, 3rd Floor, 60 Murray Street

Wed, April 3, 2019:  10:00 am–12:00 pm, SickKids PGCRL, Multi-Media Room, 3rd Floor, 686 Bay Street 

Wed, April 10, 2019:  10:00 am–12:00 pm, SickKids PGCRL, Multi-Media Room, 3rd Floor, 686 Bay Street 

Wed, April 17, 2019:  10:00 am–12:00 pm, SickKids PGCRL, Event Room 1, 2nd Floor, 686 Bay Street

Wed, April 24, 2019:  10:00 am–12:00 pm (wrap-up 11:50 am), SikKids PGCRL, Room 05.9701, 5th Floor, 686 Bay Street (PGCRL security to be notification for each student entry)

Wed, May 1, 2010:  10:00 am–12:00 pm, SickKids PGCRL, Multi-Media Room, 3rd Floor, 686 Bay Street

Enrollment: Class size limited to 16 students

Course Syllabus