Kenneth L. Custer
Weekly journal club in neurobiology. Students read and discuss original research articles in neurobiology, centered around a specific topic each quarter. Credit/no-credit only. Prerequisite: BIOL 220.
Broadly speaking the class will focus on the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmission. We’ll be reading the landmark scientific articles that identified key components of generic membrane trafficking, as well as papers which have defined the molecular components unique to regulated secretion of neurotransmitters. Towards the end of the quarter we will talk about pharmacological manipulation of synaptic vesicle fusion for the potential treatment of epilepsy and neurodegenerative diseases.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
This is a journal club style class. The first class will be an informal lecture covering techniques in neuroscience research, including whole cell voltage clamp techniques, immunoelectron microscopy, live cell imaging, and basic biochemistry methods.
The remainder of the classes will involve discussion of one article each week selected from the primary literature. Two students will team up each week to give an introduction and guide discussion of the paper.
Class assignments and grading
This class is credit/no credit. Passing the class is based on presenting one paper, as well as active participation in weekly dicussions.