I co-ordinate and teach “ANAT365:Cellular Trafficking”, a third year undergraduate course in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. The McGill link to the course is http://www.mcgill.ca/study/2015-2016/courses/anat-365.
During the first half of this course, called “The Basics”, Peter McPherson and I explore the fundamental mechanisms that govern the organization of intracellular membranes, how vesicle generation is signaled, how the membranes curve and bud, and how vesicles know where to go and fuse. In addition to intracellular vesicles, the principles of mitochondrial dynamics and process of cellular autophagy are explained.
In the second half of the course called “Applied Cell Biology”, we examine how the exquisite regulation of cellular transport plays a central role in complex biological systems. A series of modules will take you through the mechanisms of cellular polarity, neurotransmission, bacterial and viral invasion, metabolic cell biology and more. In all cases, we will emphasize the morphological aspects of the processes, and on the major techniques that led to discovery. Each module is taught by an expert in the field, including Tim Kennedy, Thomas Stroh, Wayne Sossin and Jennifer Estall.
By the end of this course, students should have a clear understanding of the core principles that govern the processes of intracellular transport, and have learned the functional importance of these pathways in multiple model systems.
The lectures are divided into 11 Modules. The first two sessions in each module are one-hour Theory Lectures on the topic, and the third, Practical lecture takes you through an assigned published paper that provides the best evidence supporting the concepts described in the two Theory lectures. The objective of the Practical Lecture is to demonstrate how novel techniques have led to the advancement of the field.
I also contribute to ANAT565: Diseases – Membrane Trafficking, co-ordinated by John Presley. This course focuses on human disorders caused by dysfunction in membrane transport machineries. I focus there on the mechanism and function of Rab GTPases in health and disease, although there can also be some discussion of the mitochondria!