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FOCUS (L61)  (Dept. Info)Arts & Sciences  (Policies)

L61 Focus 1140Ampersand: The Biology of Cancer4.0 Units
Description:Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Despite focused research efforts, cancer still poses a unique biomedical puzzle; it is now recognized that cancer is not a single disease but rather a collection of many disorders with underlying mechanistic complexities that can affect most tissues in the human body. This interactive first-semester course provides an introductory overview of the biology, diagnosis, and treatment of human cancers. We touch upon background topics in DNA structure and replication, gene regulation and transcription, protein synthesis, and mutations and DNA repair, but the primary focus is on the genetic and molecular changes that normal cells undergo during transformation into malignant cancer cells, emphasizing the dysfunction of essential biological processes like programmed cell death, cell proliferation, differentiation, and immune surveillance. Classical diagnosis and treatment methods are compared with newer strategies, such as targeted therapies. Finally, the growing role of "omics" technologies in tumor classification, patient prognosis, and therapy are discussed. The course is a mix of lectures, student-led discussions/presentations, guest seminars, activities, and field trips. Lectures provide an overview of each topic, while activities and discussions of cutting-edge oncology topics in the news and primary literature familiarize students with current trends in cancer research/treatment as well as enhance reading and critical analysis skills. Students choose a specific type of cancer for further study and, near the end of the semester, prepare a presentation to the class on its molecular and cellular etiology, epidemiology, pathology, diagnosis, and current/future treatment options. Prerequisite: high school biology and chemistry required; completing AP or honors biology highly recommended. Enrollment is limited to 16 students and restricted to first-year students in the "Hallmarks of Cancer & Patient Care" program.
Instruction Type:Classroom instruction Grade Options:C Fees:
Course Type:IdentSame As:L41 144Frequency:Annually / History


A course may be either a “Home” course or an “Ident” course.

A “Home” course is a course that is created, maintained and “owned” by one academic department (aka the “Home” department). The “Home” department is primarily responsible for the decision making and logistical support for the course and instructor.

An “Ident” course is the exact same course as the “Home” (i.e. same instructor, same class time, etc), but is simply being offered to students through another department for purposes of registering under a different department and course number.

Students should, whenever possible, register for their courses under the department number toward which they intend to count the course. For example, an AFAS major should register for the course "Africa: Peoples and Cultures" under its Ident number, L90 306B, whereas an Anthropology major should register for the same course under its Home number, L48 306B.

Grade Options
C=Credit (letter grade)
S=Special Audit
Q=ME Q (Medical School)

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No section found for FL2019.