BIOL 418
Signal Transduction to Cancer Fall 2019
Division III

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Division of normal cells is a highly regulated process based on input from both intrinsic and extrinsic signals. The cell’s response to its environment affects all aspects of cell behavior: proliferation, death, differentiation and migration. The goal of the course is to understand the molecular mechanisms of signal transduction that guide normal cell behavior and how disruptions in this process can lead to cancer. We will focus on the Hedgehog-Gli signaling pathway that is activated in 30% of all known cancers. Genetic studies will serve as an introduction to the components of the pathway, followed by an examination of the molecular mechanisms of signal reception, transduction of intracellular information, scaffolding and transcriptional targets. The final section of the course will investigate how high throughput screens, medicinal chemistry studies and mouse models are used to identify small molecular inhibitors of pathway components. We will consider the effectiveness of these inhibitors in pharmacological studies, clinical trials and potential cancer treatments.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 1292
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: four papers
Prerequisites: BIOL 202 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: seniors and then juniors
Unit Notes: does not satisfy the distribution requirement for the Biology major
Distributions: Division III
Attributes: BIMO Interdepartmental Electives

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