Undergraduate Course 4429A


1. Course Information

Course number:
Anatomy and Cell Biology 4429A

Course Name:
Advanced Medical Cell Biology

Fall Term 2013 Session – Information and Schedule

Course description
The study of the molecules and functions common to mammalian cells, the specializations that make differentiated cells distinct, and the diseases that result from the dysregulation or loss of these cellular functions.  The lectures will cover cellular organization, biogenesis of organelles, growth and differentiation from an experimental perspective.  The tutorials will consist of seminars by invited speakers on topics in cell biology with a medical relevance. These tutorials will demonstrate the approaches used to answer questions in the field of experimental cell biology.


Place and Time:         Lectures:         Monday 9:30 – 10:30, room DSB 2016
                                                           Wednesday 9:30 – 10:30, room DSB 2016
                                   Seminars:        Friday 9:30 – 10:30, room K203

Antirequisite:             The former A/CB 329b.
Prerequisite:              Biology 3316a or Physiology 3140, with a minimum mark of 70%.

Senate regulation regarding the student’s responsibility regarding requisites:
"Unless you have either the requisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you will be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites."

2.  Instructor Information

Course Director:       Dr. Paul Walton          Room 474 Medical Sciences 
                                  Telephone x86825      (pwalton@uwo.ca)

Students with OWL issues should contact the Computer Support Centre at 519 661-3800


3.  Course Materials

Scientific review articles, seminar articles and class notes (to be placed in OWL):
Students are expected to have read the relevant course-material before coming to classes.

Optional textbooks:               

  • “Molecular Cell Biology”  Lodish et al. 6th edition, 2008.  W.H. Freeman Co.
  • “Cell Biology”  Pollard, T.D. et al. 2nd edition, 2007.   Saunders Press.
  • “Cancer Biology”  King, R.J.B. and Robins, M.W.  3rd edition, 2006.  Prentice Hall.
  • “The Biology of Cancer” Weinberg, R.A. 1st edition, 2007. Garland Science.

4.  Evaluation:

An assignment, due Monday, November 11th, will act as a midterm mark and be worth 30% of the final course mark.

The final examination will consist of a short answer component, and will cover all of the material contained in the lectures and tutorials.  The final exam will be held in the scheduled examination period and will constitute 70% of the final course mark.  The schedule for this final examination is TBA.


Each student will be required to write a report on a topic to be selected from one of the general topics presented as one of the lectures (e.g. Gene Therapy).  The topic selected, with a few introductory notes, should be submitted and approved by the instructor during the week of September 23rd.

The report should consist of:

  1. a summary of the particular area of medically related cell biology
  2. an important, unresolved question that is derived from the previous work
  3. an experiment or experiments designed to answer that question.

The report is limited to five standard pages (not including references) of double-spaced, 12 point type, contained within 1 inch margins.  This restriction is designed to promote a clear and concise description of the topic, question, and experiment.  Reports that do not conform to these standards will be assigned a mark of zero. 

In addition to the paper-copy of the final report, students must submit an electronic-version of the report, as an uncompressed Microsoft Word (or equivalent) file.  This material will be used in case a question of authenticity should arise; it will not be used in the marking of the assignment.

The report should be handed in by, 2:00 pm, Monday, November 11th, 2013.  Late submissions will be accepted, but will be penalized at a rate of 20% per day.  No submissions will be accepted after 2:00 pm, Friday, November 15th, 2013.

Absence from course commitments

A.  Absence for medical illness:
Students must familiarize themselves with the Policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness:  https://studentservices.uwo.ca/secure/index.cfm

B.  Absence for non-medical reasons:
Documentation is required, such documentation must be submitted by the student directly to the appropriate academic counseling unit for your home faculty and not to the instructor. It will subsequently be the academic counseling unit that will determine if accommodation is warranted.

C. Special Examinations

A Special Examination is any examination other than the regular examination, and it may be offered only with the permission of the appropriate academic counseling unit for your home faculty in which the student is registered, in consultation with the instructor and Department Chair. Permission to write a Special Examination may be given on the basis of compassionate or medical grounds with appropriate supporting documents.

A Special Examination must be written at the University or an Affiliated University College no later than 30 days after the end of the examination period involved. To accommodate unusual circumstances, a date later than this may be arranged at the time permission is first given by the appropriate academic counseling unit for your home faculty. They will consult with the instructor and Department Chair and, if a later date is arranged, will communicate this to Registrarial Services. If a student fails to write a scheduled Special Examination, permission to write another Special Examination will be granted only with the permission of the appropriate academic counseling unit for your home faculty in exceptional circumstances and with appropriate supporting documents. In such a case, the date of this Special Examination normally will be the scheduled date for the final exam the next time the course is offered.

5.  Additional Information/Statements

Statement on Academic Offences
Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site:

Plagiarism: Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words.  Whenever students take an idea, or passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations.  Plagiarism is a major academic offence (see Scholastic Offence Policy in the Western Academic Calendar).

Plagiarism Checking: The University of Western Ontario uses software for plagiarism checking.  Students will be required to submit their written work in electronic form for plagiarism checking.

Support Services:

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if any other arrangements can make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 661-2111 x 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.

Registrarial Services:  http://www3.registrar.uwo.ca/index.cfm

Academic Counseling (Science and Basic Medical Sciences):  http://www.uwo.ca/sci/counselling/index.html

Student Development Services:  http://www.sds.uwo.ca

Student Health Services:  http://www.shs.uwo.ca/