Cell and Development Biology
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To register for courses or to download course material please go to https://lsf.verwaltung.uni-muenchen.de

Below please find a summary of the lectures, seminars & practical courses that we offer in the summer and winter semester!

UPDATED September 27, 2016

 

*** SUMMER SEMESTER ***

LECTURES:

- Current Topics in Cell and Developmental Biology (Master, Bachelor 6th or 8th semester)

CONRADT, DAVID, LAMBIE, DORMANN, WAGENER

During the lecture series (2 SWS) the following topics are covered: splicing, muscle development, genome development, dosage compensation and apoptosis. For each topic, we will present and discuss general background as well as current research.

- Zellbiologie I (Bachelor 4th semester)

BÖTTGER, MIKELADZE-DVALI, SOLL

Lecture (2 SWS) covers basic topics of molecular cell biology including cell organelles, molecular mechanisms of vesicle transport, eukaryotic gene expression and protein sorting, chromatin, mitosis and cell cycle, signal transduction, molecular mechanisms of cell movements, cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix.

 MIKELADZE-DVALI, CHAPOUTON

- Mechanisms of Animal Development Vertebrates

 

SEMINARS (Master, Bachelor 6th or 8th semester unless noted otherwise):

- Animal Regeneration

BÖTTGER

Topics cover regeneration in invertebrates including cnidarians (hydra), planarians, echinoderms and in vertebrates, e.g amphibians and mammals. The main emphasis is on molecular mechanisms involved in these regeneration processes. Using recommended literature and resources, and with regular consultation with the instructor, students independently research the topic. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and requires in an approx. 25 minute oral presentation of the topic to the entire group with subsequent general discussion.

 

- Apoptosis

CONRADT, MEMAR

Programmed cell death is a frequent cell fate and the central cell death machinery is highly conserved. In this Seminar the students will get an overview about how the pathway was determined, but also a look insight new research topics. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and requires an approx. 25 min. oral presentation of the topic, according to excellent scientific practice, to the entire group. Students should actively participate during the presentations.

 

- Asymmetries in cell division

CONRADT, MIKELADZE-DVALI

Asymmetric cell division is a process in which one cell divides to give rise to two cells of different fate, function and often of different size. The seminar will cover molecular mechanisms leading to asymmetric cell division in stem cell niches and during the development of invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms. Each year the most current research publications on this topic will be included in the seminar. Using recommended literature and resources students will independently research the topic. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and requires an approx. 25 min oral presentation of the topic, according to excellent scientific practice, to the entire group. Students should actively participate during the presentations of peer students by asking questions and discussing the presented topic.

 

- C. elegans research (Bachelor 6th semester only)

CONRADT, LAMBIE

In this seminar we cover and discuss latest research on the control of programmed cell death, mitochondrial dynamics, ion homeostasis, asymmetric cell division, centrosomes, and cytokinesis in the model organism C. elegans. The seminar entails 2 SWS and requires that the participants actively participate in the presentations and discussions.

 

- Cell division and quiesence

CHAPOUTON, CONRADT

The seminar will cover the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the choice between cell cycle and quiescence during development and adulthood of invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms. Each year the most current research publications on this topic will be included in the seminar. Using recommended literature and resources students will independently research the topic. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and requires an approx. 25 min oral presentation of the topic, according to excellent scientific practice, to the entire group. Students should actively participate during the presentations of peer students by asking questions and discussing the presented topic.

 

- Immortal germline

CONRADT, MIKELADZE-DVALI

The seminar will cover the topic germ cell specification, migration and formation of a stem cell niche during the development of invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms. Each year the most current research publications on this topic will be included in the seminar. Using recommended literature and resources students will independently research the topic. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and requires an approx. 25 min oral presentation of the topic, according to excellent scientific practice, to the entire group. Students should actively participate during the presentations of peer students by asking questions and discussing the presented topic.

 

- Mitochondria in health and disease

DAVID, ROLLAND

Mitochondria are essential organelles that play important roles in various processes, such as energy production, cell signaling and apoptosis. Mitochondrial shape, quality and biomass are regulated by a balance between mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial degradation as well as a balance between mitochondrial fusion and mitochondrial fission. During this seminar (2 SWS), we will see how the study of these basic biological processes can increase our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases. Conversely, we will see how the study of a particular disease, the Parkinson’s disease, has increased our understanding of a basic biological process, mitochondrial quality control.

 

- Neuroprotective mechanismis mediated by parkin and PINK1: implications for Parkinson´s disease,

CONRADT, MÜLLER-RISCHART

Parkinson´s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and is typically diagnosed by its cardinal motor symptoms. Although ageing is the most important risk factor for PD, mitochondrial dysfunction has long been discussed to contribute to the etiopathogenesis of PD since mitochondrial toxins can cause parkinsonism. In addition, intact and functional mitochondria are substantial for neuronal viability. Although most PD cases occur sporadically, the identification of genes causing familial variants has been a milestone in PD research. The majority of autosomal recessive PD cases are caused by mutations in the parkin or in the PINK1 gene. Parkin is a cytosolic E3 ubiquitin ligase mediating the covalent attachment of ubiquitin moieties to substrate proteins. PINK1 contains an N-terminal mitochondrial targeting sequence, a transmembrane domain and a serine-threonine kinase domain, however its subcellular localization is still heavily under debate. Interestingly, the loss of parkin or PINK1 function leads to mitochondrial alterations and to an increased susceptibility against cellular stress. Moreover, parkin and PINK1 have been implicated in mitophagy, a pathway mediating the removal of dysfunctional mitochondria.

 

- Non-coding RNAs

LAMBIE

Students choose from among a list of potential topics, typically focusing on a particular class of noncoding RNAs (e.g, miRNAs) or context (ncRNAs that regulate dosage compensation). In consultation with the instructor, students select specific papers from the primary literature that have led to significant advances in our understanding of the synthesis and function of non-coding RNAs. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and requires an approx. 25 min oral presentation of the topic, according to excellent scientific practice, to the entire group. Students should actively participate during the presentations of peer students by asking questions and discussing the presented topic.

 

- Optogenetic regulation of cellular functions

LAMBIE

Students choose from among a list of potential topics, typically focusing on a particular methodology (e.g., light-gated ion channels) or application (e.g., optical regulation of behavior) in the field of optogenetics. In consultation with the instructor, students select specific papers from the primary literature that have led to significant advances in our understanding of how light can be used to manipulate the functions of macromolecules within living cells. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and each student is responsible for an oral presentation of approximately 25 minutes. Students are also expected to participate in discussion in the form of dialog between the audience and the presenter.

 

- Wadden Sea

BÖTTGER, HESS

Topics related to geomorphology, ecology and flora and fauna colonising the special ecosystem Wadden Sea at the Northern coast of Germany are assigned to each student. Students independently research their topic using library and internet resources and present a ca. 25 min talk to the group providing an overview of their topics. The seminar entails 2 SWS and is exclusively available and mandatory for participants in the practical course “Biology and Ecology of the Wadden Sea”.

 

PRACTICAL COURSES:

- Sea urchin development (Master und Lehramt)

BÖTTGER

Topics related to basic principles of embryonic development are introduced by observing developing sea urchins including their fertilisation, cleavage stages, gastrulation and pluteus larvae; using pharmacological inhibitors the role of developmental signalling pathways will be discussed. The course entails 3 SWS and requires a written protocol and a short oral presentation summarising the experimental findings.

 

- Zellbiologie I (Bachelor 4th semester)

BÖTTGER, MIKELADZE-DVALI, SOLL

Participants are introduced to basic techniques in molecular cell biology, including mammalian cell culture, plasmid preparation and cell transfection and light and fluorescence microscopy. The central topic is mitosis and the cell cycle. The course entails 1.5 SWS and requires a written lab report and a final exam. Regular participation the lecture Zellbiology 1 (2 SWS) accompanying the course is highly recommended.

 

*** WINTER SEMESTER ***

LECTURES:

- From cannabis and nicotine to anti-cancer drugs - plant derived drugs and how they function in plants and in humans (Master, Bachelor 6th or 8th semester)

BÖTTGER

This lecture covers plant derived natural products that have prominent effects on human health including cannabis, morphine, nicotine, caffeine and anti-tumor drugs. The lecture series discusses synthesis and function of these drugs in plants and elucidates the cellular signal transduction pathways that they target in animals. These include G-protein coupled receptor-, ion channel- and receptor tyrosine kinase-signaling. The lecture entails 2 SWS and requires a written exam.

 

- Mechanism of Animal Development - Invertebrates (Master and Bachelor 7th semester)

 

CONRADT, LAMBIE, GOMPEL

 

- Zellbiologie II (Bachelor 5th semester)

CONRADT, SOLL

Lecture (2 SWS) builds on ‘Zellbiologie I’ lecture series (Summer Semester) and covers various topics of molecular cell biology including cell organelles, eukaryotic gene expression and protein sorting, mitosis and cell cycle, cell proliferation and cell death, signal transduction, molecular mechanisms of cell movements and cytoskeleton.

 

SEMINARS (Master, Bachelor 7th semester unless noted otherwise):

- Animal Sex Determination

LAMBIE

Students choose from among a list of potential topics, typically focusing on the mechanism of sex determination in a particular group (e.g., amphibians) or species (e.g., C. elegans) of animals. In consultation with the instructor, students select specific papers from the primary literature that have led to significant advances in our understanding of how sex is determined. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and each student is responsible for an oral presentation of approximately 25 minutes. Students are also expected to participate in discussion in the form of dialog between the audience and the presenter.

 

- Cilia and Centrioles

CONRADT, MIKELADZE-DVALI

The seminar covers the topic of centrioles and cilia and their role during different cellular processes like mitosis, asymmetric cell division, signalling. Each year the most current research publications on this topic will be included in the seminar. Using recommended literature and resources students will independently research the topic. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and requires an approx. 25 min. oral presentation of the topic, according to excellent scientific practice, to the entire group. Students should actively participate during the presentations of peer students by asking questions and discussing the presented topic.

 

- Mitochondria and Neurodegenerative disease

CONRADT, ROLLAND

Mitochondria are essential organelles that play important roles in various processes, such as energy production, cell signaling and apoptosis. Mitochondrial shape, quality and biomass are regulated by a balance between mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial degradation as well as a balance between mitochondrial fusion and mitochondrial fission. During this seminar (2 SWS), we will see how the study of these basic biological processes can increase our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases. Conversely, we will see how the study of a particular disease, the Parkinson’s disease, has increased our understanding of a basic biological process, mitochondrial quality control.

 

- Stem cells

BÖTTGER

Topics include embryonic stem cells, experimental approaches to cell fate manipulation, adult stem cells and their niches and others. Using recommended literature and resources, and with regular consultation with the instructor, students independently research the topic. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and requires in an approx. 25 minute oral presentation of the topic to the entire group with subsequent general discussion.

 

- Signalwege im C. elegans Embryo (Bachelor only; in German)

CONRADT, MEMAR

Dieses Seminar (2 SWS) beschäftigt sich mit hochkonservierten Signalwegen (WNT, Notch etc.) und wie diese die Embryonalentwicklung regulieren. Hierbei erhalten die Studierenden Einblicke in die Grundlagen der Entwicklungsbiologie/Zellbiologie (ältere Literatur) als auch in aktuelle Literatur. Die Studierenden erwerben die Kompetenz sich ein wissenschaftliches Problem zu erarbeiten, einen Vortrag vorzubereiten und zu präsentieren.

 

- Signaling in Development and Disease

CONRADT, MIKELADZE-DVALI

The seminar covers one specific signalling pathway (e.g. Hedgehog, BMP, Wnt, Hippo) and its role in development and disease. Each year a different signalling pathway will be chosen for discussion. Using recommended literature and resources students will independently research the topic. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and requires an approx. 25 min. oral presentation of the topic, according to excellent scientific practice, to the entire group. Students should actively participate during the presentations of peer students by asking questions and discussing the presented topic.

 

- Temporal fate specification

CHAPOUTON, CONRADT

The seminar will cover the topic of neural progenitor competence and fate specification in invertebrate and vertebrate model organisms. Each year the most current research publications on this topic will be included in the seminar. Using recommended literature and resources students will independently research the topic. The seminar entails 2 SWS, and requires an approx. 25 min oral presentation of the topic, according to excellent scientific practice, to the entire group. Students should actively participate during the presentations of peer students by asking questions and discussing the presented topic.

 

PRACTICAL COURSES:

- C. elegans as an experimental model (Master)

LAMBIE, ROLLAND

Students engage in problem-based exercises that entail the use of basic and advanced experimental methodology to investigate specific research topics in the nematode, C. elegans. Methods include the use of forward and reverse genetic analyses for gene discovery, assessment of allele properties by genetic and phenotypic characterization, use of reporter constructs, differential interference contrast microscopy and fluorescence microscopy to visualize subcellular structures in wild type and mutant animals (6 SWS).

 

- Hydra course (Master and Lehramt)

BÖTTGER

Participants are introduced to hydra as a model organism for studying the evolution of developmental mechanisms. Course work involves analysing the cell cycle and differentiation kinetics of different cell types in hydra transplantation and regeneration experiments to reveal fundamental principles of tissue self-organisation and pattern formation and the role of specific molecular signalling pathways in regulating developmental processes. The lab entails 6 SWS, and requires a detailed written lab report and an introductory 25 min oral presentation for one selected topic.

 

- Introduction to C. elegans (Master)

LAMBIE, MEMAR, ZANIN

The students will get an overview about Caenorhabditis elegans. They will have a look at the different tissues in adults and their development during embryogenesis. We will cover the different topics of molecular cell biology including cell organelles, eukaryotic gene expression and protein sorting, mitosis and cell cycle, cell proliferation and cell death, signal transduction, molecular mechanisms of cell movements and cytoskeleton (3 SWS).

 

- Wadden Sea Course “Biology and Ecology of the Wadden Sea” (Master and Lehramt)

BÖTTGER, HESS

Participants are introduced to the ecosystem Wadden Sea at the Northern coast of Germany and get acquainted with basic principles of analysing terrestrial and marine habitats and with the major plant and animal species colonising the Wadden sea. Course work involves sampling and determination of species living in this ecosystem, (e.g cnidarians, polychaetes, arthropods, echinodermate a.o), collecting plankton and meiofauna and observation of larval stages of a number of animals as well as embryonic development of sea urchins and preparing specimen from field work for light and fluorescence microscopy to analyse smaller cellular or tissue structures (6 SWS).

 

- Zellbiologie II (Bachelor 5th semester)

CONRADT, LAMBIE, ROLLAND, MEMAR, SOLL

Participants are introduced to additional methods that are used in the cellular life sciences. To that end, topics such as lipids, enzymes, membrane proteins and transport, gene expression, signal transduction, cell motility, cell death and proliferation are examined in organisms such as bacteria, archaea, fungi, plants and animals (2 SWS).