CB 399: Genetic Influences on the Developing Central Nervous System Spring 2014

Genetic Influences on the Developing Central Nervous System

Nanocourse Director: Dr. Fred Winston
Curriculum Fellow: Emily Gleason, Emily_Gleason@hms.harvard.edu
                                and Abha Ahuja, Abha_Ahuja@hms.harvard.edu

Lecturers: 

  • Dr. Connie Cepko, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
  • Dr. Davie Van Vactor, Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
  • Dr. Elizabeth Engle, Professor of Neurology and Ophthalmology, Boston Children's Hospital

This nanocourse will explore the fundamental mechanisms underlying the development of the Central Nervous System (CNS) with a focus on the genes that drive this process. We will discuss what is known about the genetic and developmental mechanisms involved in neuronal cell fate decisions and building meaningful circuitry in a variety of model systems from Drosophila through vertebrates. Finally, the course will look at the ways in which the knowledge gained from model systems is applied to understanding and diagnosing neurological conditions in humans. 

Schedule:

First Session: Monday, May 12, 2014, 9 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Goldenson Building, Rm. 122
 
Second Session: Monday, May 19, 2014, 10:30 AM - 1 PM
Location: TMEC Building, Rm. 447

Assignment: 

Please read the following two review articles also available on the course website (you must be logged in to view them):

  • Sanes, JR and Zipursky, SL. ‘Design principles of insect and vertebrate visual systems.’ Neuron. 2010 Apr 15;66(1):15-36.
  • Li, Xin, Chen, Zhenqing, and Desplan, Claude, ‘Chapter Three - Temporal Patterning of Neural Progenitors in Drosophila’, Current Topics in Developmental Biology, Academic Press, 2013, Volume 105, Pages 69-96.

Based on the information in the review articles and the topics discussed during the first session of the course, please pose at least two discussion questions. Questions can focus on techniques or major concepts and should attempt to connect or integrate the different approaches to neural development highlighted in this course (ex. genetic and developmental approaches, use of a variety of model systems, etc). Please e-mail your questions to Emily (emily_gleason@hms.harvard.edu) no later than 10am Friday, May 16th.

Once all questions have been submitted, Emily and Abha will assign you one question posed by a different student in the course. You must then prepare a brief response to that question that you may be asked to present during the second session of the course. The format these responses will take will be determined by the class size. More details on this portion of the assignment will be distributed along with your assigned discussion question. 

 DROP DEADLINE: Monday, May 5, 2014

 AUDITORS (Post-Docs, Faculty, or Staff) DO NOT NEED TO SIGN UP TO ATTEND THE 1st SESSION.  PLEASE DO NOT ENROLL