Cellular and Molecular Physiology Courses

C&MP 520a
Current Perspectives in Physiology
Susumu Tomita and Yufeng Zhou

This seminar explores a diverse range of current topics in physiology, emphasizing readings and discussions of recent primary literature. A variety of expert physiologists present topics such as structural biology, membrane transport, signal transduction, sensory systems, and neurophysiology. Instructors guide the discussion regarding the background, the experiments, the methods, and most importantly the impact of relevant research papers. The aim of the course is to understand how physiological approaches integrate the study of organismal function from genes, to systems, to behavior and disease.

Fall term course.
Tuesday, Thursday. 2:30-3:45 p.m.

C&MP 550a
Physiological Systems

Emile Boulpaep, Mark Saltzman

The course develops a foundation in human physiology by examining the homeostasis of vital parameters within the body, and the biophysical properties of cells, tissues, and organs. Basic concepts in cell and membrane physiology are synthesized through exploring the function of skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscle. The physical basis of blood flow, mechanisms of vascular exchange, cardiac performance, and regulation of overall circulatory function are discussed. Respiratory physiology explores the mechanics of ventilation, gas diffusion, and acid-base balance. Renal physiology examines the formation and composition of urine and the regulation of electrolyte, fluid, and acid-base balance. Organs of the digestive system are discussed from the perspective of substrate metabolism and energy balance. Hormonal regulation is applied to metabolic control and to calcium, water, and electrolyte balance. The biology of nerve cells is addressed with emphasis on synaptic transmission and simple neuronal circuits within the central nervous system. The special senses are considered in the framework of sensory transduction. Weekly discussion sections provide a forum for in-depth exploration of topics. Graduate students evaluate research findings through literature review and weekly meetings with the instructor.

(also ENAS 350a/550a, MCDB 310a/550a)

Fall term course.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday. 9:25-10:15 a.m.

C&MP 560b
Cellular and Molecular Physiology: Molecular Machines in Human Disease

Emile Boulpaep, Fred Sigworth

This course focuses on understanding the processes that transfer molecules across membranes at the cellular, molecular, biophysical, and physiological levels. Students learn about the different classes of molecular machines that mediate membrane transport, generate electrical currents, or perform mechanical displacement. Emphasis is placed upon the relationship between the molecular structures of membrane proteins, their normal function, and abnormal function in human disease. The interactions among transport proteins in determining the physiological behaviors of cells and tissues are also stressed. Molecular motors are introduced and their mechanical relationship to cell function is explored. Students also read papers from the scientific literature that establish the connections between mutations in genes encoding membrane proteins and a wide variety of human genetic diseases.

Note: For undergraduates interested in taking this course, it is recommended after MCDB 205b or MCDB 310a or equivalent.
(also ENAS 570)
Spring term course.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:30-10:20 a.m

C&MP 570b
Sensory Physiology
David Zenisek, Joseph Santos-Sacchi, Z. Jimmy Zhou

This course provides an overview of the mammalian special sensory systems, including molecular and cellular bases of vision, audition, taste, olfaction, and somatosensation. Faculty with focus in those areas lead presentations and discussions on peripheral and central mechanisms.  Psychophysical aspects of sensation are introduced.

Spring term course

Tuesday, Thursday  2:30-3:45 p.m.

C&MP 600
Medical Physiology Case Conferences
Emile Boulpaep and staff

Two-term course taught in groups of 10 -12 students by the same group leader(s) throughout the year. Workshop format permits students to apply basic concepts of physiology to clinical syndromes and disease processes. Students are expected to participate actively in a weekly discussion of a clinical case that illustrates principles of human physiology and pathophysiology at the whole-body, system, organ, cellular, or molecular level. 

Full year course

Prerequisite: C&MP 550a and permission of instructor.
Thursday 11:00–12.30   Cr/Year only

C&MP 610
Medical Research Scholars Program: Mentored Clinical Experience. 
Michael Caplan, Raymond Russell

The goals of this course are to introduce MRSP students to aspects of clinically important human diseases. Students will explore each disease over three 1 ½ hour sessions led by a clinician-scientist who is an expert in the relevant organ system. Students will explore two disease processes per semester. The first of the three sessions will be devoted to a discussion of the clinical presentation, natural history, pathology, epidemiology, treatment and prognosis of the disease process. During this session students will have the opportunity to view gross or microscopic specimens of diseased tissue in association with members of the Pathology faculty.  Students will be assigned readings in pathology, pathophysiology and clinical texts to prepare for the first class session. The second session will focus on translational aspects of the disease process. Students will read and present papers relevant to the molecular basis of the disease and cutting edge approaches to its therapy. In the third session students will meet with patients who have experienced the disease and/or visit and explore facilities associated with diagnosis and treatment of the disease process. Prior to the third session students will receive guidance as to what they will observe and how to approach the experience and, at the end of the session, the group will discuss its thoughts and impressions. Students are expected to prepare for sessions, to participate actively and to be scrupulously respectful of patients and patient facilities.

C&MP 620b
Fundamentals in Neurophysiolog

Vincent Pieribone, Fred Sigworth

This course is designed for students who wish to gain a theoretical and practical knowledge of modern neurophysiology. Graduate students specializing in neurophysiology and non-neurophysiology are encouraged to attend, as the course begins at a very basic level and progresses to more complicated topics. Topics include properties of ion channels, firing properties of neurons, synaptic transmission, and neurophysiology methodology.
(also NBIO 610b)

C&MP 710b
Electron Cryo-Microscopy for Protein Structure Determination

Fred Sigworth, Hongwei Wang

Understanding cellular function requires structural and biochemical studies at an ever increasing level of complexity.  The course is an introduction into the concepts and applications of high-resolution electron cryo-microscopy.  This rapidly emerging new technique is the only tool known to date that allows biological macromolecules to be studied at all levels of resolution ranging from their cellular organization to near atomic detail.
Requirements: No specific requirements.  However, parts of the course deal with diffraction theory and physical principles of image formation. Therefore, knowledge of calculus and basic physics are advantageous.

(also MB&B 710b4)
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Spring term course. Offered second half of term.

C&MP 750
Research Topics in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Thomas Brown

Discussion and analysis of current work on the neurobiological foundations of learning and memory systems in mammals. Informal weekly discussions span several levels of analysis, including molecular and biophysical studies, cellular and systems neurophysiology and neuro-anatomy, and contemporary behavioral neuroscience. HTBA

(also PSYC 750)