Following fast on the heels of last semester’s Immunochemistry course- which received a very positive response- Chris Dieni is currently offering another course called Signal Transduction (BIOC 4031) in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Mount Allison University.

Signal Transduction explores the pathways- the proverbial biochemical snakes and ladders- that stem from the receptors on a cell surface and weave their way through cells to target metabolic enzymes and transcription factors. This course shows how a cell can respond- in a multitude of different ways- to signals received from faraway cells, tissues, and organs. Examples of concepts covered in this course include insulin signalling,  activation of immune cells, and response to starvation and nutrient deprivation. After exploring how normal signalling works between cells, Signal Transduction delves into those situations where signalling has stopped working properly- we peel apart pathologies such as type II diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, and look at the potential therapeutics (if any) that can be used to treat them.

A 4th-year course, Signal Transduction is heavily rooted in student participation. There are no midterms, no final exams. The entirety of the course grade is made up of independently-written papers, oral presentations, and participation in the course and towards each others’ presentations.

As with Immunochemistry, Signal Transduction has a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, though the Twitter feed was recycled from Immunochemistry’s Twitter account and will likely be recycled again for future courses.

Feel free to follow along, and if you’d like to learn more, please contact Chris Dieni directly.


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