120.626.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 3rd Term | 3 Credit(s)
WF 1:30:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    Michael Matunis
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Identify the intracellular organelles of eukaryotic cells and describe their functions
    • Design experiments to study individual proteins by light or electron microscopy
    • Design experiments to fractionate and characterize different membrane-bound organelles
    • Describe the proteins and mechanisms regulating ion and small molecule transport across membranes
    • Define the functions of the ER and the mechanisms regulating ER translocation and protein modification within the ER
    • Design and interpret experiments aimed at studying protein sorting and translocation into sub-cellular organelles
    • Describe the molecules and mechanisms regulating vesicular transport and protein secretion
    • Design experiments to study protein transport and targeting in the endocytic pathway
    • Describe the molecules and pathways involved in relaying signals from the cell surface to the nucleus
    • Describe the structures and properties of the major proteins that make up the cytoskeleton and their individual functions
    • Describe the dynamics of actin assembly and the mechanisms of actin-myosin based movement
    • Describe the dynamics of microtubule assembly and the mechanisms of actin- myosin based movement
    • Define the structure and function of intermediate filaments
  • Course Description
    Provides students with a basic understanding of the architecture and function of eukaryotic cells. In addition to introducing students to new facts and vocabulary pertinent to cell biology, also introduces students to experimental methods used by scientists to define and understand cell structure and function. Highlights relationships between defects in basic cell function and human diseases.
  • Intended Audience
    Intended for graduate students pursing degrees in the areas that require knowledge of basic cell biology - including students interested in epidemiology, environmental health sciences, parasitology and virology.
  • Methods of Assessment

    The evaluation consists of class participation and two closed-book in-class exams, one given after the first seven lectures and one given after the second seven lectures. The second exam covers the second half of the course only and is not inclusive of the first exam material.  Exam questions will be primarily short answer, problem-solving questions. Each exam will count for 45% of the final grade, class participation will count for 10%.  Final grades will be determined based on the class average.

  • Prerequisites
    Introductory courses in Genetics and/or Molecular and Cell Biology (such as 120.602). Students should also have a basic understanding of molecular genetics (i.e. the roles of DNA and RNA in protein synthesis) and a basic understanding of protein structure and function.
  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Course Format

    Classroom time will be divided into formal lecture time as well as less formal discussion/problem solving sessions organized around “landmark” papers in cell biology and designed to review scientific methods and develop critical thinking.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at