CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement
Prerequisites: three terms of biology (genetics and cell biology recommended).
Cancer is one of the most dreaded common diseases. Yet it is also one of the great intellectual challenges in biology today. How does a cell become cancerous? What are the agents that cause this to occur? How do current findings about genes, cells, and organisms ranging from yeast cells to humans inform us about cancer? How do findings about cancer teach us new biological concepts? Over the past few years there have been great inroads into answering these questions which have led to new ways to diagnose and treat cancer. This course will discuss cancer from the point of view of basic biological research. We will cover topics in genetics, molecular and cell biology that are relevant to understanding the differences between normal and cancer cells. These will include tumor viruses, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, cell cycle regulation, programmed cell death and cell senescence. We will also study some current physiological concepts related to cancer including angiogenesis, tumor immunology, cancer stem cells, metastasis and new approaches to treatment that are built on recent discoveries in cancer biology. The text book for this course is "The Biology of Cancer Second Edition by Robert A Weinberg (Garland Science). Additional and complementary readings will be assigned.