Academic year 2017/2018
- Course ID
- Prof. Silvia De Marchis
- Degree course
- Cellular and Molecular Biology
- 1st year
- Teaching period
- Second semester
- Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
- BIO/06 - anatomia comparata e citologia
- Lessons optional and laboratories mandatory
- Type of examination
- Written and interview (optional)
- Basic knowledges of developmental biology and citology/histology of the nervous system.
Sommario del corso
This course contributes to the learning goals of the Neurobiological curriculum of the Master in Cellular and Molcula Biology.
The main objective is to guide students to understand the genesis of the complexity of the nervous system, by developing research skills and critical readings of scientific papers dealing with different aspects of neural development. Through the analysis of the most recent literature based on different animal and in vitro models, the students will acquire knowledge on the principles and cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying normal development of the nervous system, as well as the neurobiological bases of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Results of learning outcomes
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
- identify fundamental concepts in developmental biology
- use appropriate terminology in developmental biology
- explain the principles of neural induction (molecular mechanisms and conservation among metazoa)
- associate specific genes to acquisition of regional identity in the developing nervous system
- define what is an organizing center in developing brain
- describe the cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying neural circuit development
- identify the features and potential of neural stem/progenitors cells and define their regulation by cell-autonomous vs non autonomous factors.
- link specific cellular/molecular dysfunctions to neurodevelopmental disorders
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
- identify the best model systems to address specific scientific questions in developmental neuroscience
- grasp the core concept of a scientific paper
- find and elaborate data related to gene expression/distribution in the developing nervous system starting from public availabe resources (i.e. Allen Brain Atlas)
- find possible experimental approaches and choose the right technology to address specific questions in the field of developmental neuroscence
- interpretation and discussion of scientific data.
- peer revision of other students tasks
- discussion of scientific papers and/or active participation to scientific discussion following lectures and seminars.
- organization of a student's workshop focused on the last frontiers in developmental neuroscience (presentation given by the students).
- learning skills will be fostered through activities with peers working in group
During the course there will be lecture-based classes to introduce the main questions and established knowledge in the field, but the students will be encouraged to be actively engaged through the organization of small groups to discuss material (mainly current research papers) for each topic. Specific readings and online activities on moodle platform will be assigned to the students and monitored by the teacher.
Learning assessment methods
Tasks and activities during the course will be evaluated and will weight 30% of the final grade.
Final exam (70% of the final grade) will be on the moodle platform: it will consist in open questions based on topics covered in lectures, assigned readings, and online activities. Upon student's request, an integrative oral examination can be taken (written/oral: 1/1).
IMPORTANT: Early registration to the e-learning platform (moodle) is mandatory !
Introduction and basic knowledge in developmental biology; animal models, in vitro models and technologies for the study of nervous system development; neural induction, derivation of the nervous system in different metazoa, origin, role and molecular nature of the neural inducer; neural patterning, Hox genes and antero-posterior axis, dorso-ventral polarity of the neural tube; Cell proliferation and migration in the developing nervous tissue; Neural cell specification, determination and differentiation; Axon growth and guidance; Synapse formation and refinement; Cerebral cortex development; Adult neurogenesis.
Suggested readings and bibliography
There is no specific textbook for this course. For basic and general reference, see Development of the Nervous System (D.H. Sanes, T.A. Reh, W. A. Harris) Academic Press - Elsevier, 3rd Ed.
Specific scientific Articles and Reviews will be uploaded on the Moodle course website.
Websites containing support videos, texts, images and other materials are also indicated.
Notes: See the timetable at the Class Schedule Page