Molecular Cell Biology – MBIM 6103

The goals of this course are to develop a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying basic processes in cell biology. This will be achieved by discussing in depth experimental studies that lead to proposed mechanistic models. In addition, these studies will introduce you to potential experimental approaches to attack scientific questions. We encourage you to critically evaluate the experiments and to incorporate this information with that from your previous or ongoing courses and research activities.

Prerequisites: Prior course in cell biology or permission of instructor. Biochemistry / Gene Expression is recommended. The course will be taught with the assumption that you have had courses in these areas.

Course Instructors:

Karen Abbott (Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Rm. 11-111,

Paul Gottschall (Biomed 2 B341C-2,

Thomas Kelly (Biomed 2,

Vladimir Lupashin (Biomed 2 261-2, Office 501-603-1170

Melda Onal (Biomed 2, Office: (501)-320-7682

Brian Storrie (Biomed 2 262-2,

Course structure: The course will be 4 credit hours; Class meetings: Tues/Fri from 9:30-11:30 in Physiology Conference Room 242-2, Biomed II (the room is reserved till 12:30 PM). The course will be a combination of lectures, weekly written work or problem sets and class discussions.

Texts: There is no required text. Molecular Cell Biology by Lodish et al is one of several textbooks that can be used for background information. Virtually all of the assigned readings will be on specific papers relevant to the topic being discussed.

Written assignments:  For some of the sections, there will be problem sets. For other sections, there will be written assignments.


  1. In-class paper discussions (20%)
  2. Problem sets / written class assignments (20%)
  3. Exams (30% – 1st, 30% – 2nd)

To logon to Blackboard:

General outline and topic organization:  MBIM 2019 Schedule

Class PeriodFacultyClass PeriodGeneral Topics
Tu, Aug 14Lupashin and Faculty1Course Organization / Introduction:
Fri, Aug 17Storrie2Using Microscopy in Cell Biology
Tu, Aug 21Lupashin3ER and protein translocation
Fri, Aug 24Lupashin4Protein folding and sorting at the ER
Tu, Aug 28Lupashin5Vesicular trafficking - Protein machinery –vesicular coats
Fri, Aug 31Lupashin6Rab cascade
Tu, Sep 4No CLASS
Fri, Sep 7Lupashin7Vesicular trafficking - protein machinery – tethers and SNAREs
Tu, Sep 11Lupashin8Vesicular trafficking – pathways and regulations
Fri, Sep 14Storrie9ER contact sites – non-vesicular trafficking
Tu, Sept 18Storrie10Organelle Assembly and Function - the Golgi Apparatus as the
prototype example
Fri, Sept 21Storrie11Regulated secretion I. -- Membrane dynamics in platelets
Tu, Sep 25Storrie12Regulated secretion II. – Linking signaling to platelet granule
Fri, Sep 28Storrie13Cargo recognition in endocytosis
Tu, Oct 2Exam I14Take home exam - (Pick up on Monday, return on Wednesday, 11AM)
Fri, Oct 5NO CLASS, Exams will be returned by Monday
Tu, Oct 9Lupashin, Storrie15Exam discussion
Fri, Oct 12NO CLASS
Tu, Oct 16Onal16Autophagy –principle and machinery
Fri, Oct 19Onal17Autophagy – specific pathways
Tu, Oct 23Onal18Autophagy – model systems
Fri, Oct 26Abbott19Functional roles for glycoconjugates: lessons learned from human
diseases and congenital disorders of glycosylation
Tu, Oct 30Abbott20Functional roles for glycoconjugates
Fri, Nov 2Abbott21Functional roles for glycoconjugates
Tu, Nov 6Kelly22Cell Adhesion
Fri, Nov 9Kelly23Cytoskeleton
Tu, Nov 13Kelly24Cytoskeleton
Fri, Nov 16Gottschall25Extracellular matrix environmental sensing and cell-cell communication
Tu, Nov 20NO CLASS, Thanksgiving Holiday
Fri, Nov 23NO CLASS, Thanksgiving Week
Tu, Nov 27Gottschall26Extracellular matrix environmental sensing and cell-cell communication
Fri, Nov 30Gottschall27Extracellular matrix environmental sensing and cell-cell
Tue, Dec 4Exam II28Take home exam (Pick up on Monday, return on Wednesday, 11 AM)
Fri, Dec 7NO CLASS, Exams will be returned by Monday
Tu, Dec 11Abbott, Kelly, Gottschall, Onal
29Exam discussion
Fri, Dec 14All instructors
Course Evaluation
30Grades are due for all sections