Special Topics in Eukaryotic Gene Expression

BCH2024H – Focused Topics In Biochemistry

This is a self-directed learning class covering topics that are related to gene expression in eukaryotes.

Students will be organized into 6 groups. Every group will be assigned a topic, develop a 40 min power point-assisted lecture that would be suitable to teach this topic to a class of first year graduate students, and present the lecture to the class. The group then leads a class discussion on a paper related to their topic and published in the last 2 years.

The topics will have a narrow focus within one of the more general areas:

  • chromatin structure
  • epigenetics, nuclear organization
  • transcription
  • RNA processing
  • RNA transport/localization
  • translation
  • RNA decay


Organizational Class (January 26th)

Students will be organized into 6 groups and assigned a topic. The structure of the class and the expectations will be discussed.

Two weeks before their lecture date (by 5PM), students are to hand in

  1. A two page outline of the content of their lecture.
  2. The title of the paper to be presented, which all students are expected to read.
  3. The title of a review relevant to the topic, which all students are expected to read.
    Outline format:

  • 12-point font
  • 2 cm margins all around
  • single spaced with no more than 47 lines per page
  • point form is acceptable

Classes 1-6 (March 9th through April 13th), Student presentations

The lecture should be ~40min long. The lecture is expected to last 1 hour including interruptions and questions from the other students. Then the paper will be discussed with the presenting students leading the discussion and calling on other students to present figures. The last 5min of the class will be dedicated to the evaluation of the presenters by their fellow students.


Students are required to submit to the instructors before the organizational class:

  1. the name of their thesis advisor
  2. the title of their thesis work

Biochemistry students will be given first priority until December 1st.
Please contact carrie.harber@utoronto.ca to sign up for this course.

Last day to request enrollment for the course: January 19th, 2017

Course Next Offered

Winter 2020

Course Time and Location

March-April 2020
Location: MaRS West Tower, Room 1523
Time: Thursdays 10AM-12PM

Enrollment Limit

Yes — 18

Method of Student Evaluation

25% Participation in group discussions.

25% Paper presentations (non-discussion leaders).

40% Evaluation of the lecture.
- Half based on peer evaluation, half based on instructor evaluation.

10% Outline of the course.


Craig A. Smibert

Craig A. Smibert

MaRS West Tower, 15th floor
661 University Ave

Last Updated 12 August 2019