Spring 2004


Instructor:                 Gary Kunkel

                                    406A Biochemistry




Time, location:          March 23 - April 8

                                    Tuesdays, Thursdays: 7 - 9:15 PM, Room 203 Biochemistry


Prerequisites:            BICH/GENE 431, or equivalent; plus BICH/GENE 631, or                                                     concurrent enrollment, or approval of instructor



In this course, we will focus on recently published research in the general area of eukaryotic transcription.  During the first class meeting I will present a lecture to provide context for the subsequent discussions of papers from the research literature.  Then, during the remaining sessions, we will discuss most of the assigned journal articles.  During most meetings one student will be the primary discussant for a set of two related papers.  On one evening, two students will split the time as discussion leaders.  As a primary discussant, you will be expected to provide historical background leading up to the assigned papers and to select a subset of the data from each paper for your presentation.  It is very important that all class members take part in the discussion, even when you are not the primary discussant.  You will need to be prepared to discuss the papers critically.  This is one important objective of this course.  If you think the data are good or bad, say so, and why.  What controls did the authors present carefully or leave out?  How does the data support various models presented in that paper or other papers that you have read?  At the beginning of the class, every student will be required to submit one carefully designed question pertaining to each paper assigned for that class meeting (except for the paper(s) for which you are the discussion leader).


In addition, you will be required to write a short paper that will be due by noon, Monday, April 26.  This paper will be in the form of a minigrant proposal.  It should be about 5 pages in length, typed double-spaced.  You will propose several experiments that could logically follow a recent paper in the general field of eukaryotic transcription (2002-2004 publication date).  This paper could be one of those from the reading list.



Grading will be allocated as follows:

            performance as primary discussant                      40%

            participation in other discussions                          20%

                        (including submitted written questions)

            minigrant proposal                                                  40%