BICH/GENE 662  or BICH 407


Spring 2006


Instructor:                  Gary Kunkel

                                    406A Biochemistry





Time, location:         Thursdays: 2:20-3:10PM, Room 403 Biochemistry


Prerequisites:          BICH/GENE 431, or equivalent



In this course, we will focus on the general area of eukaryotic transcription.  During each class meeting we will discuss papers from the research literature.  Most papers have been selected to represent important historical milestones, concepts or techniques in this field from 1969 to the present.  During most meetings one student will be the primary discussant for one paper.  As a primary discussant, you will be expected to provide historical background leading up to the assigned paper and to lead a discussion of the data from the paper.  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 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?  Every student will be expected to read the paper BEFORE coming to class.  Since every student will have printed out their own copy of the paper, it is not necessary for the primary discussant to prepare visual aids (although use of the blackboard is encouraged).


At the end of each session there will be a short quiz to test your understanding of that day’s paper.  Hence, discussion will be cut off at 3PM prior to administering the quiz.



Grading will be allocated as follows:

            performance as primary discussant                   100 pts          (30%)

            participation in other discussions                       100 pts          (30%)

            daily quizzes (13 X 8 pts each)                             104 pts          (31%)

attendance (14 X 2 pts each)                                  28 pts           (9%)


TOTAL                                                                        332 pts