SCS 3031 - Introduction to Medical Microbiology (ONLINE)

Similar to MGY277 but taught to students outside U Toronto through our School of Continuing Studies.

Introduction to Medical Microbiology (SCS3031)


Taught by the Department of Molecular Genetics and delivered by the School of Continuing Studies to students who are not enrolled at U of T.  Currently enrolled U of T students should take the similar course, MGY277H1.   This course will cover the basics of medical microbiology for students wishing to pursue studies in professional schools like nursing, dentistry, or medicine.

For more information please visit:

MGY200H1: An Introduction to Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

MGY200H1: An Introduction to Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

An Introduction to Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

MGY200 provides an introduction to genetics with an emphasis on the process by which scientific discoveries are made.  Many fundamental concepts are taught from a historical point of view in order to teach both the concept and to the thought, imagination and ingenuity that is essential to scientific discovery.  The course transitions into the modern era of genetics and its ultimate impact on human health.  Lectures will walk students through topical biological problems and the cutting-edge approaches that are used to better understand biology and tackle threats to our health.  Examples will be taken from the world-class labs of Toronto-area scientists to illustrate the current state-of-the-art.  Some of the topics to be discussed include combating HIV, emerging and recurring microbial threats, the biology of cancer, the power of stem cells, distinguishing features of the human species, using CRISPR and other tools to to engineer genes and genomes, and the search for the fountain of youth, among other topics.


Prerequisite: BIO120H1, BIO230H1/BIO255H1  

Course Coordinator: Dr. Peter Roy

Offered: January to April 2020; Tuesdays and Thursdays 12PM - 1PM

Location: PB B250

MGY250H1: Introduction to Medical Genetics (ONLINE)

MGY250H1: Introduction to Medical Genetics (ONLINE)

Introduction to Medical Genetics

This course provides an introduction to the cutting-edge field of medical genetics. Learn how discoveries in medical genetics have revolutionized the way we think about, and treat, genetic disease.
From this course, you will gain a foundation in human genetics and an understanding of the mechanisms causing human diseases like cancer. This course will inform you of how we are beginning to understand the complex basis of many human diseases, the innovative ways people with genetic diseases are now being treated and some of the associated ethical issues. You will discover how complicated genetic information is communicated to patients and families with the help of genetic counsellors. Finally, this course will touch on opportunities that exist for medical genetics to improve healthcare outside of Canada.
The course material is delivered online and is approximately equivalent to 36 lecture hours. The final exam will be taken on campus or at a pre-approved site off-campus

Prerequisite: BIO120H1, BIO130H1

Distribution: Requirement: Science

Breadth Requirement: Living Things and Their Environment (4)

Offered: Jan-Apr 2020

MGY277H1: introduction to medical microbiology (ONLINE)

MGY277H1: introduction to medical microbiology (ONLINE)

Introduction to Medical Microbiology (Online Course)

An online introductory survey course that explores the agents of infectious disease including bacteria, viruses, and parasites as well as the host immune response. Other topics include the fundamentals of disease diagnosis and epidemiology. The course will use web-based delivery of lectures and tutorials and utilize a range of communication tools equivalent to approximately three lectures per week.

The final exam will require student attendance on the St. George campus.  In some circumstances students can arrange to take the final exam at a pre-approved off-campus exam facility.  This can be an option for students who, for example, wish to take this course while doing a semester abroad.

You can also visit: to view a sample video and get more information about the course.


Prerequisite: BIO120H1, BIO130H1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Jessica Hill

Offered: September 2019

MGY280H1: Specialist Research

Specialist Research Project (Second Year)

This course is for 2nd year specialists to engage in a one semester research project in a laboratory within the Department of Molecular Genetics.

Students must BE in their second year and registered as a Specialist in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology.  

Laboratory assignments are arranged by the Department in consultation with both the student and supervisor.  Specialists accepted to the program will be contacted in September of their second year to start the process of finding a suitable laboratory for research starting in January.

The course will involve a weekly seminar/group meeting and students will present their research project at the end of the year as part of their final mark.

Course Coordinator: Dr. William Navarre

Offered: January to April 2020 - Fridays 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

Location: MS 3278

MGY299Y1: research opportunity program

MGY299Y1: research opportunity program

Research Opportunity Program

Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project.

Detailed information is provided by the Faculty of Arts & Science at the link below.

MGY311Y1: molecular biology

MGY311Y1: molecular biology

Molecular Biology

The purpose of this course is to show you how science is done in the field of molecular biology. The emphasis will be on how we come to know something, rather than just what we know. Subject material includes: DNA replication, DNA repair and mutation, recombination, transcription, RNA processing, the genetic code and tRNA, translation, regulation of gene expression, functional genomics.

Prerequisite: BIO120H1, BIO130H1, BIO230H1/BIO255H1, BCH242Y1

Exclusion: BCH311H1, CSB349H1, JBC372H5(UTM), PSL350H1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Rick Collins

Offered: September 2019 to April 2020 -- Mondays (9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.)

Location:  MSB 4279

MGY314H1: principles of genetic analysis I: bacterial genetics

MGY314H1: principles of genetic analysis I: bacterial genetics

Principles of Genetic Analysis I: Bacterial Genetics

Genetics is an experimental science. MGY314H is a laboratory course in bacterial genetics; students perform and analyze genetic experiments over the 12-week period. Students will perform a variety of genetic crosses and mutant hunts, and learn phenotypic characterization in bacteria. Most of the class time is in the lab, with some tutorials and short lectures to supplement the understanding of genetics.

The emphasis in MGY314H is to learn the concepts of genetics; how to apply them and how to interpret them. The model we use in this course is Escherichia coli, which is the best studied gram-negative bacterial species. It is often the model of choice in the study of more harmful bacterial species because many principles of its biology apply to all bacteria (and in fact, to all organisms). Finally, it is also the organism that the scientific world uses for molecular biology, and many of the original genetics defined in E. coli has led to important tools for diagnosis and scientific research.

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Prerequisite: BIO230H1/BIO255H1, BIO260H1/HMB265H1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Barbara Funnell

Offered: September to December 2019 - Thursdays (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Location: DTL (MSB) 3280, 3282, 3379

Textbook: Molecular Genetics of Bacteria, 4th edition, Snyder, L., Peters, J.E., Henkin, T.M., and Champness, W. American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Press, 2013.

MGY315H1: principles of genetic analysis II

MGY315H1: principles of genetic analysis II

Principles of Genetic Analysis II

Laboratory experiments in eukaryotic genetics, using two of the most powerful eukaryotic model systems, the yeast Sacchararomyces cerevisiae and fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The course follows MGY314H1; topics include analysis of genetic networks and pathways, meiotic segregation analysis, recombination mapping, genetic crosses, and phenotypic analyses.

Prerequisite: BIO230H1/BIO255H1, BIO260H1/HMB265H1, MGY314H1/MGY340H1

Exclusion: MGY312H1

Course Coordinator: Brigitte Lavoie

Offered: January to April 2020 - Thursdays (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Location: DTL (MSB) 3280, 3379

MGY340H1: Molecular Genetics

Molecular Genetics

This course gives students an in-depth understanding of how genetics, the study of mutations and their resulting phenotypes, are used to probe and understand a variety of biological phenomena ranging from metabolism, to development, to cancer.

Prerequisite: BIO120H1, BIO130H1, BIO230H1/BIO255H1, BIO260H1/HMB265H1


Offered: September to December, 2019 - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m)

Location: NL 6

Distribution Requirement: Science

Breadth Requirement: Living Things and Their Environment (4)

MGY350H1: model organisms to disease

MGY350H1: model organisms to disease

Model Organisms to Disease

The concepts of genetics in the context of human development, disease and evolution. Topics include genetic interactions and complex traits, variation in disease phenotype, signalling and development, stem cells and epigenetic regulation.

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Prerequisite: BIO120H1, BIO230H1/BIO255H1, BIO260H1/HMB265H1

Corequisite: BCH311H1/CSB349H1/MGY311Y1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Brent Derry

Offered: January to April 2020 - Mondays and Wednesdays (3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Location: MSB 2173


MGY360H1: whole-genome sequencing and analysis laboratory

MGY360H1: whole-genome sequencing and analysis laboratory

Whole-Genome Sequencing and Analysis Laboratory

The principles and practice of whole-genome sequencing.  Each student will sequence an entire eukaryotic genome and analyze it. Topics will include: modern sequencing technologies, yeast husbandry, genomic library construction and quality control, 'next generation' sequencing and its applications, sequence assembly, mutation detection and interpretation.


Prerequisite: BIO230H1/BIO255H1, BIO260H1/HMB265H1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Atina Cote

Offered: January to April 2020 - Tuesdays (1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Location: MS 4279, 2379, 2381, 2383

MGY377H1: microbiology I: bacteria

MGY377H1: microbiology I: bacteria

Microbiology I: Bacteria

This course designed to give students with no prior experience in microbiology a fundamental understanding of central concepts in the field with a focus on bacteria.  Microbes are the most abundant life form on the planet.  They represent both a potent medical threat as well as our best avenue to solving many of the most pressing challenges including sustainable energy production, bioremediation and production of recombinant pharmaceuticals.  A solid understanding of fundamental microbiology is an excellent foundation for future studies in biomedical research, medicine, dentistry, public health, as well as biomedical, environmental, and industrial engineering.

Particular concepts and questions we will focus on include:

Bacterial Physiology and Structure. 

Bacteria are simple cells but they have very intricate subcellular architecture.  They can also be capable of metabolic tricks that “higher” organisms cannot perform including the ability to utilize a large number of compounds as energy sources.  Students will gain a solid basic understanding of bacterial architecture and metabolism.

The Human "Microbiome"

In a person, bacterial cells outnumber human cells by a factor of ten. These bacteria play critical roles in our health but only with recent advances in genome sequencing technology have we been able to explore what these bacteria are doing for us.  Several recent studies indicate that our natural bacterial flora play major roles in causing or protecting us from obesity, diabetes, cancer, autoimmunity, allergy, and  inflammatory bowel disease.

Bacterial Genetics, Genomics and Evolution.

The first genomes sequenced were from microbes and the study of microbial genomics continues drive fundamental concepts in bioinformatics and genome analysis.  Students will gain a basic understanding of how microbial genomes are sequenced, analyzed, and how our knowledge of bacterial genomes has revolutionized our understanding of everything from the impact microbes have on the environment to how they cause disease.

How Bacteria Cause Disease.

The vast majority of bacterial species are harmless.  However, the causes of tuberculosis, dysentery, cholera, diphtheria and plague are bacterial.  We will explore exactly how these bacteria cause disease and what makes pathogens different from most other bacteria.

The Emergence of Antibiotic Resistance.

The gains medical science has made in controlling infectious disease over the past few decades are rapidly being reversed by the emergence of strains that are resistant to most or all antibiotics.  We will cover what an antibiotic is, how they work, and the details of how bacteria evolve resistance.

Microbiological Mechniques.

The study of microbes, including E. coli and its phages, is the founding basis for all of molecular biology.  Throughout the course we will introduce the techniques scientists have developed to study microbes and their genes.


Prerequisite: BCH210H1/BCH242Y1; BIO120H1BIO230H1

Exclusion: BIO370Y5 (UTM)

Course Coordinator: Dr. Alan Davidson

Offered: September to December 2019 -Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.)

Location: MSB 2158


MGY378H1: microbiology II: viruses

MGY378H1: microbiology II: viruses

Microbiology II: Viruses

Detailed study of viruses in terms of structure, classsification, replication and interaction with the host. Basis for advanced study in virology. Requires some familiarity with molecular and cellular biology

*A concurrent course in immunology (IMM340/350, IMM341/351) is recommended.


Prerequisite: BCH210H1/BCH242Y1; BIO120H1, BIO230H1/BIO255H1; BIO260H1/HMB265H1

Corequisite: BCH311H1/CSB349H1/MGY311Y1

Exclusion: BIO351Y1, CSB351Y1

Recommended preparation: MGY377H1

Course Coordinator:  Dr. Alan Cochrane

Offered: January to April 2020 - Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

Location: WB 116

MGY380: Microbiology Laboratory I: Bacteria

MGY380: Microbiology Laboratory I: Bacteria

MGY380: Microbiology Laboratory I: Bacteria

A laboratory course in bacteriology. Students will perform a variety of genetic and biochemical experiments to identify and characterize unknown organisms, and learn how bacteria live together in biofilm and become resistant to antibiotics. Students will also learn important research tools and concepts including CRISPRi, transduction, and conjugation through experiments. Valuable not only for advanced work in microbiology but also in related fields that make use of bacteria and bacteriophages as research tools.

Prerequisite: BIO120H1, BIO230H1/ BIO255H1, HMB265H1/ BIO260H1
Corequisite: MGY377H1
Exclusion: MGY379Y1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Jun Liu

Offered: September - December, 2019

Lecture: Monday 11-12; Location: HS 696

Practical: Tuesday 9-12; Location: MSB 3282; MSB 3381

MGY381: Microbiology Laboratory II: Viruses

MGY381: Microbiology Laboratory II: Viruses

MGY381: Microbiology Laboratory II: Viruses

Hands-on experiments provide the opportunity to develop skills in working safely with human viruses. Important concepts are learned through analysis of results. Topics include propagation and assay of viruses, examination of viruses by electron microscopy, replication kinetics, host response to infection and viral vectors. Valuable not only in microbiology but in fields using viruses as vectors.

Please Note: The lab section P0101 is offered Tuesday 9AM-12PM. P0201 is offered Tuesday 2PM-5PM.  P0201 will be offered if numbers exceed capacity in P0101. Capacity in second term is determined by the need to work in biological safety cabinets which are limited in number.

Prerequisite: BIO120H1, BIO230H1/ BIO255H1, HMB265H1/ BIO260H1, MGY380H1
Corequisite: MGY378H1
Exclusion: MGY379Y1
Course Coordinator: Dr. Martha Brown

Offered: January - April, 2020

Lecture: Monday 11-12; Location: HS 100

Practical: Tuesday 9-12; Location: MSB 3282; MSB 3284; MSB 3381; MSB 3383

MGY420H1: regulation of gene expression

MGY420H1: regulation of gene expression

Regulation of Gene Expression

The participants in this course will discuss selected topics dealing mainly with regulatory mechanisms that control gene expression by RNA polymerase II in eukaryotes.  Topics will include: assembly of the initiation complex; roles of transcription factors, co-activators and cis-acting regulatory elements; promoter escape; mechanisms that control elongation and termination of transcription; chromatin control of transcription; regulatory RNAs; and chromosome conformation.  The course will be structured so as to have an introductory lecture on a specific topic in one class followed by the next class being a participatory discussion of pre-assigned research papers in which all students will have prepared themselves to present any of the individual figures from the assigned papers.

Exclusions: BIO477H5 (UTM)

Prerequisites: MGY311Y1/MGB311Y1/BCH311Y1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Jack Greenblatt

Offered: September to December 2019 - Mondays and Wednesdays 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (11:00 am for lectures; 11:00 am or 12:00 noon for discussions)

Location: HS 108


MGY425H1: signal transduction and cell cycle regulation

MGY425H1: signal transduction and cell cycle regulation

Signal Transduction and Cell Cycle Regulation

This course presents and integrates molecular aspects of signal transduction and cell cycle regulation in eukaryotic cells from yeast to humans. Emphasis is on recent advances in growth factor receptor signallin, modular protein domains, and teh recurrent role of protein phosphorylation and protein-protein interactions in cell regulation.

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Prerequisite: BCH311H1/MGY311Y1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Sean Egan

Offered: January to April 2020 - Mondays and Wednesdays (9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.)

Location: MSB 3278

MGY428H1: functional genomics

MGY428H1: functional genomics

Functional Genomics

A broad-ranging course that covers many aspects of genomics and functional genomics, which is the discipline of defining and attributing function to all of the heritable material of an organism on a genome-wide scale, as applied to invertebrates and vertebrates. The primary and review literature will be the basis of all lectures

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Prerequisite: BCH210H1/BCH242Y1; BIO260H1/HMB265H1; MGY311Y1/CSB349H1/BCH311H1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Tim Hughes

Offered: September to December 2019 - Tuesdays and Thursdays (1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.)

Location: MSB 4279


MGY440H1: virus-host interactions

MGY440H1: virus-host interactions

Virus-Host Interactions

Analysis of virus-host interactions at the molecular level with a view to understanding how viruses cause disease. Course material is based on recent research publications. Topics may include: virus entry and intercellular trafficking, activation of host cell signalling pathways, viral and host determinants of tissue tropism within the host and transmission between hosts.

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Prerequisite: BCH311H1/CSB349H1/MGY311Y1, CSB351Y1/MGY378H1

Recommended Preparation: IMM340H1/IMM341H1, IMM350H1/IMM351H1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Martha Brown

Offered: September to December 2019 - Thursdays ( 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Location: MSB 2173