Islet Biology I: From Gene to Cell to Organ to Disease

BCH 2139

This 1/4 FCE graduate-level course will focus on a wide range of topics focused on the pancreatic islet.  Each lecture will cover fundamental concepts in biochemistry with an emphasis on islet biology. These will include the impact of genetic variation on islet cells, the development of islet cell subpopulations, transcriptional networks and cell identity, biotechnological approaches, as well as communication between islet cells and the local environment, including components of the immune system, and how these interact to affect islet loss and dysfunction. A more integrated understanding of these processes will be facilitated in a discussion of islet-hormone regulated metabolic pathways and integrative physiology.


Please see below for Sign up procedure:

Students must take both BCH 2139H and BCH 2140H.  Enrollment in only one of the courses is not permitted.

To submit a request for BCH2139H & BCH 2140H please click HERE 

Deadline to submit a request is: Monday October 17, 2022 (5:00 PM  EST)

Given the current interest in this course, auditing will not be permitted this time.

University of Toronto Students:
  If approved for the course, you can request BCH 2139H on ACORN.

** Note if you were previously enrolled in BCH 2024H Y – Focused Topics in Biochemistry, and have not yet completed two modules, then you will need to contact the Biochemistry Department to sign up for BCH 2139H.   You should NOT request this through ACORN.

Instead, you will remain enrolled in BCH 2024H and this module will be used towards completion of BCH 2024H.  Your grade in BCH 2024H Y will be the average of your final grade for this course and the final grade of your last completed module under BCH 2024H Y.

Non-University of Toronto Students from Ontario and Canada:   If approved for the course, you will need to complete one of the following:

  1. Students from Ontario Universities except (McGill University, Université de Montréal, and University of British Columbia) will need to complete an Ontario Visiting Graduate Student Agreement (OVGS) from their home University
  2. Students outside of Ontario and within Canada only will need to complete a Canadian University Graduate Transfer Agreement (CUGTA) from their home University
  3. Students from McGill University, Université de Montréal, and University of British Columbia will need to complete a Graduate Exchange Agreement (GEA) from their home University

**All paperwork must be submitted to the University of Toronto no later than Monday December 5, 2022 to ensure sufficient processing time.


Add date – Deadline to submit request – Monday October 3, 2022 (5:00 PM EST)

Drop date – Students have until the day before the first class to drop the course.  Students can only drop the course after the first class with the permission of the instructor.

Course syllabus subject to change

Course Next Offered

January 2023

Course Time and Location

Time: Wednesday 1-3 pm EST
Start Date: January 11th, 2023
End Date: March 15th, 2023

Jan 11 Lecture 1
Jan 18 Lecture 2
Jan 25 Lecture 3
Feb 1 Lecture 4
Feb 8 Lecture 5
Feb 22 Lecture 6
Mar 1 Lecture 7
Mar 8 Lecture 8
Mar 15 Lecture 9

Enrollment Limit

Yes — 15

5 spots are reserved for Biochemistry grad students

Method of Student Evaluation

Participation 25%
Presentations – 50%
News and Views Article Critique – 25%


Robert Screaton

Robert Screaton

Sunnybrook Research Institute
2075 Bayview Avenue, Room M7 617

416-480-6100 X 5743

Erin Mulvihill

Last Updated 5 January 2023