USS Constitution

Lab visitors can also tour the USS Constitution, located in Charlestown Navy Yard.

Educational Programs
Weekly Research Seminars
Didactic Courses:
• Molecular Cell Biology >>
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Didactic Courses for Students and Postdoctoral Fellows


Molecular Cell Biology


Molecular Cell Biology, 5th edition. Lodish H, Berk A, Matsudaira P, Kaiser CA, Krieger M, Scott MP, Sipursky SL, Darnell J (eds). New York: W.H. Freeman & Company, 2004

Course Description

This Molecular Cell Biology course provides a comprehensive overview of the techniques, experimental design, and interpretation of results performed by scientists past and present, showing how important discoveries from diverse disciplines led to our present understanding of the cell biology that forms the basis of modern nutritional sciences. The course starts with basic information from chemistry, biochemistry, and biology, and demonstrates how this information was integrated into the foundations of our understanding of basic biological process and genetic mechanisms of cell and molecular biology. This leads into a discussion of cell organization, biochemistry, and intermediary metabolism, and how these cellular processes are integrated into the systems essential for life, such as transport of ions and small molecules across cell membranes. Molecular genetic techniques and emerging technology in genomics and proteomics is discussed in the context of their application in studying the details of transcriptional and post-transcriptional control of gene expression as well as nuclear transport.

The course emphasizes interactions and processes at the cell surface through examples from the emerging field of cell signaling: How signals are received at the cell surface, amplification by signal transduction pathways leading to alteration in gene activity, and the integration of multiple signals and external stimuli to control specific genes that underlie cellular homeostasis, adaptation to environmental change, and pathogenesis. These phenomena are then discussed in the context of basic mechanisms of cell cycle and cell-growth control, including lineage specification in early development and cell-type specification in yeast. Finally, tissue-specific development and its control in higher eukaryotes is discussed in the context of cancer, infection, and aging. Every participant in the course leads at least one session, and each session is attended by at least three preceptors. Extensive discussion is encouraged among all participants, with preceptors and participants providing outside information and perspectives.

Strong emphasis is placed on various aspects of cell biology relate to:
i) Digestive and absorptive function of the intestine,
ii) Regulation of gene expression by nutrient
iii) Micro-nutrient in transcriptional and posttranscriptional control
iv) Mechanism macro-nutrient and micro-nutrient malabsorption and human pathology
v) Cell biology of the mucosal immunology of the digestive tract
vi) The development of mucosal immunology in pathogen induced damage and infection
vii) Cell secretion during diarrhea
viii) Strategies employed by enteric pathogen invasion of intestine
ix) Mechanism of nutrient absorption in the development of obesity and diabetes
x) Cell-cell and paracrine communication of the intestine during infection, and inflammatory response
xi) Nutrition in cancer


Chapter 1. Life Begins with Cells
Chapter 2. Chemical Foundations
Chapter 3. Protein Structure and Function
Chapter 4. From Gene to Protein
Chapter 5. Biomembranes and Cell Architecture
Chapter 6. Integrating Cells into Tissues
Chapter 7. Transport of Ions and Small Molecules across Cell Membranes
Chapter 8. Cellular Energetics
Chapter 9. Molecular Genetic Techniques and Genomics
Chapter 10. Gene and Chromosome Structure
Chapter 11. Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression
Chapter 12. Post-Transcriptional Controls and Nuclear Transport
Chapter 13. Signaling at the Cell Surface
Chapter 14. Signaling Pathways That Control Gene Activity
Chapter 15. Integrating Signals with Gene Controls
Chapter 16. Moving Proteins into Membranes and Organelles
Chapter 17. Vesicular Traffic, Secretion, and Endocytosis
Chapter 18. Metabolism and Movement of Lipids
Chapter 19. Cytoskeleton: Microfilaments & Intermediate Filaments
Chapter 20. Cytoskeleton II: Microtubules
Chapter 21. Regulating the Eukaryotic Cell Cycle
Chapter 22. Cell Birth, Lineage, and Death
Chapter 23. Cancer