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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Valeri Vasioukhin
MCB 539
Seattle Campus

Biological Basis of Neoplasia

Introduces the major themes in research in the biology of neoplastic change. Covers principle molecular mechanisms responsible for tumor initiation and progression, with a specific emphasis on intracellular signaling, DNA repair, cell cycle checkpoints, and loss of normal tissue homeostatis. Offered: Sp.

Class description

This course will allow students to gain experience in applying the several disciplines which comprise cellular and molecular biology toward a deeper understanding of a complex biological problem: neoplastic change. The course consists of a series of lectures and discussion meetings to introduce students to the major themes in research in the cellular and molecular biology of neoplastic change. They cover principal molecular mechanisms responsible for tumor initiation and progression, with a specific emphasis on intracellular signaling, DNA repair mechanisms, cell cycle checkpoints and loss of normal tissue homeostasis. The latest state of research in specific arrears of Cancer Biology will be presented by invited scientists, who are the experts in the relevant fields. The discussion meetings will concentrate on selected major papers in cancer biology and they will be presented and discussed by the students with the help and guidance of the instructors.

Student learning goals

This course will introduce students to the current knowledge on the mechanisms of cellular transformation, tumor initiation and progression.

General method of instruction

1. General lectures on cancer biology. 2. Specialist lectures on specific topics of cancer biology presented by invited scientists, experts in their relevant fields (see the website for more details). 3. Student-led presentations and discussions of selected high-impact papers in cancer biology.

Recommended preparation

Prerequisites: Introductory biochemistry and cell biology.

Class assignments and grading

1. Research paper presentation and discussion. 2. Written research proposal on one of the topics of cancer biology at the end of the course.

Students will be evaluated based on their overall course participation (0.2% of the grade), quality of their chosen research paper presentation (0.3% of the grade), overall group discussions (0.2% of the grade), and on a written 1-2 pages research grant proposal in their favorite field of Cancer Biology, which will be required at the end of the course (0.3% of the grade).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Valeri Vasioukhin
Date: 03/28/2013