Structure and Function of the Nucleus


This course examines the structure and function of the cell nucleus and the eukaryotic genome, and their role in organizing biological information. A special emphasis is placed on covering how major concepts in gene expression and regulation were developed. Topics covered include:

  • The discovery of the molecular basis of inheritance, genetic information flow (DNA, rRNA, tRNA, mRNA)
  • Ribozymes, splicing
  • The origin of the eukaryotic nucleus, the spliceosome, introns
  • The role of population genetics on genome organization
  • Chromatin organization, the 3D-architecture of the chromosomes
  • The nuclear pore complex, nuclear trafficking (with an emphasis on mRNA nuclear export)
  • Mitosis
  • Nuclear envelope breakdown and reassembly during cell division
  • Nuclear movement during cell polarity


Human osteosarcoma cells. Nuclei in blue, the endoplasmic reticulum in yellow.

Course Next Offered

January 2021

Course Time and Location

Monday and Wednesday, 1-2PM


BCH210H/242Y, BCH311H/MGY311Y/PSL350H

Enrollment Limit

Yes — 45



Method of Student Evaluation

30% Midterm
40% Final
30% In class Quizzes

Recommended Reading

Various review and original work articles from the scientific literature which will be posted on the Blackboard site.


Alexander F. Palazzo

Alexander F. Palazzo

MaRS, West Tower, Suite 1500
661 University Ave.



Last Updated 23 December 2020