Syllabus

Course Details

The format of the course will involve weekly analysis of two scientific papers. It is essential that everyone read the papers before coming to class so that the papers can be fully dissected, figure by figure, during the sessions.

The success of this class is dependent upon student participation in the discussions. To facilitate this participation, you will be required to submit by email one question pertaining to each assigned paper. The questions will be due by noon on the Monday before class. These questions may be about technical aspects or general background, but, more favorably, should be about how to interpret the data shown in the paper. We will use these questions to stimulate class discussions. 

The main goal of this course is to familiarize you with reading primary scientific literature while learning about cancer biology. You will practice critical reading and discussion of scientific papers and learn to evaluate data and methodologies. You will also be introduced to a variety of modern techniques in the area of animal modeling. On Week 6 we will take a field trip to GenPath Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company founded "to discover and develop innovative cancer therapeutics."

Grading

This course will be graded pass/fail. Satisfactory attendance, participation and completion of the assignments will result in a passing grade. If an emergency arises and you need to miss class, please let us know so that we can make arrangements for a make-up assignment.

Assignments

In addition to the weekly reading assignments, there will be two written assignments.