MGY200H1: current topics in molecular genetics and microbiology

MGY200H1: current topics in molecular genetics and microbiology

Current Topics in 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 2019 - Tuesdays and Thursdays  (12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

Location: SF 1105

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 2019 - Fridays 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

Location: MS 2173

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 2018 to April 2019 -- Mondays (9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.)

Location:  MSB 2172

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 2018 - Thursdays (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Location: DTL

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

Location: DTL

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, 2018 - Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m)

Location: MSB 4279

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 2019 - 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 team will sequence an entire eukaryotic genome and analyze it. Topics will include: modern sequencing technology, yeast husbandry, genomic library construction and quality control, 'next generation' sequencing, sequence assembly using a reference genome, principles of genome organization, mutation detection and interpretation.


Prerequisite: BIO230H1/BIO255H1, BIO260H1/HMB265H1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Atina Cote

Offered: January to April 2019 - Tuesdays (1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Location: GB 221

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 2018 -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 (IMM340/341, IMM350/351) 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 2019 - Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

Location: PB150

MGY379Y1: microbiology laboratory

MGY379Y1: microbiology laboratory

Microbiology Laboratory

Laboratory experiments will teach important concepts and provide students with hands-on experience in working safely with medically-important bacteria and viruses. Valuable not only for advanced work in microbiology but also in related fields that make use of bacteria and viruses as research tools. Topics include molecular techniques for identification and characterization of bacteria and viruses, biofilms, antibiotic resistance, host response to infection, viral vectors, how bacteria communicate with each other and their environment.

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Please Note: The lab section P0101 is offered Tuesday 9AM-12PM in both terms. P0201 is offered Tuesday 9AM-12PM in the first term, and Tuesday 2PM-5PM in the second term. 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; BIO260H1/HMB265H1

Corequisite: MGY377H1, MGY378H1

Exclusion: MGY376H1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Martha Brown

Offered: September 2018 to April 2019

Lecture: Mondays 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in HA401; Tuesdays 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. MS3381;
Tuesdays 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm MS3381.


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; and regulatory RNAs.  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.

Prerequisite: BCH311H1/CSB349H1/MGY311Y1

Exclusion: BIO477H5 (UTM)

Course Coordinator: Dr. Jack Greenblatt

Offered: September to December 2018 - 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: MSB 4171


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 2019 - Mondays and Wednesdays (9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.)

Location: WB 219

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 2018 - Tuesdays and Thursdays (1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.)

Location: RS 211


MGY434H1: bacterial signalling and physiological regulation

MGY434H1: bacterial signalling and physiological regulation

Bacterial Signalling and Physiological Regulation

How bacteria sense their environment and signal to regulatory systems when to adapt to environmental stimuli. Topics discussed include the bacterial cell cycle, carbon/energy metabolism, catabolite repression, bacterial development, sporulation stress responses, regulatory two-component systems and quorum sensing.

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Prerequisite: BCH210H1/BCH242Y1, BCH311H1/CSB349H1/MGY311Y1, MGY377H1

Course Coordinator: Dr. Andrew Bognar

Offered: January to April 2018 - Tuesdays and Thursdays (12:00 p.m. to 1:30 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 2018 - Thursdays ( 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Location: MSB 4171