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MCB 522 Developmental Basis of Human Disease: Assignments

Time & Location

Jan. 4 - Mar. 7

Tuesdays and Thursdays

3:30 - 4:50 PM

In person (no hybrid option).


70% Class participation including round-table discussions and primer presentations
30% Final paper (see Assignments tab)

Student Presentations

Each week there will be one or occasionally two papers to read. Papers will be posted in the e-reserves one week in advance. Everyone should be prepared to discuss the paper, as figures will be assigned to students or small groups of students at random for presentation. Students do not need to prepare anything other than their thoughts and ideas – Cecilia will prepare a powerpoint with the figures.

When you are reading the paper, focus on the findings that are most pertinent to the main message of the paper - we will not have time to discuss each panel of each figure. Nevertheless, do assess any supplementary data, particularly movies, as they often contain key information. Ask whether the data supports the claims, but don’t get sidetracked with critiquing experimental details or the way in which they are presented. Don’t hesitate to ask questions in class, but at the same time if there are key concepts in the introduction to the paper that are unfamiliar, do take some time before class to research some basic knowledge you are missing. This can include dropping by my office (B2-159, above the coffee bar in the Weintraub building) or lab (B2-123, above the cafeteria) to talk to me.

Additionally, for literature review days Individual students will be assigned specific topics for "primers" —short 3-5 minute introductions of key concepts in the papers. For example, "introduce the nodal signaling pathway" or "what is a UMAP?". Students can prepare short presentations (one or two slides) or can just use the white board. Be concise!

Final Paper

The final assignment for the course is a “News and Views”-type article summarizing a paper from the literature relating to the topic of the course. See the Word document for detailed instructions.