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Model Systems in Cancer Research: Class Schedule

Course describing model organisms and examples of their use in cancer research

Course Coodinator

Shibani Mukherjee, Ph.D.

Basic Sciences, FHCRC

Hutch Teaching Fellows Program


Phone: 206-667-5052

Course Description

This course provides an overview of several model systems used in basic cancer research. For each organism, a critical lesson in cancer biology that was learned using that model will be emphasized. In addition, the history of each model system, its pros and cons, techniques used, and future resources highlighting FHCRC scientists working on that organism will be integrated into the course.



Prerequisites: B.S. in biology or specialized biological topic. Contact the course coordinator if you want to take the course but lack the prerequisite.

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Time & Location

Class: Thursdays: 2-3 p.m.,  Room C1M-015

Office hours: Alternate Thursdays, 3-4 p.m.     

Lecture Schedule

Lecture 1
Brief overview of class organization
Model system:
Saccharomyces cerevisae (yeast)
Cancer context: Cell cycle (Cell proliferation)
Lecturer: Shibani Mukherjee, Postdoc, Basic Sciences

Lecture 2

Model system:
Caenorhabditis elegans (worm)
Cancer context: Apoptosis (Cell death)
Guest lecturer: Giana Angelo, Postdoc, Basic Sciences

Lecture 3
Model system: Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly)
Cancer context: Cell growth and differentiation
Guest lecturer: Laura Buttita, Postdoc, Basic Sciences

Lecture 4
Model system: Mus musculus and Rattus rattus (mouse and rat)
Part I: History, Model system development, techniques
Guest lecturer: Erik Eide, Postdoc, Basic Sciences

Lecture 5

Model system: Mus musculus  (mouse)
Part II: Application, analysis of models 
Cancer Context: Angiogenesis  

Guest lecturer: Michael Davis, Postdoc, Clinical Research


Lecture 6

Model system: Danio rerio (zebrafish)
Cancer context: Metastasis, high-throughput screening
Lecturer: Shibani Mukherjee


Lecture 7
Model system: Homo sapiens: 2D and 3D cell culture
Cancer context: Tumor microenvironment
Lecturer: Shibani Mukherjee

Lecture 8

Model system:
Schmidtea mediterranea (Planaria/flatworm)
Cancer context: Stem cells
Other topics: summary of course, discussion of take-home exam answers, future directions in cancer model systems (implications in the 'omics era)

Lecturer: Shibani Mukherjee