Course Coordinator: 
Tadashi Yamamoto
Molecular Oncology and Cell Signalling

Explore recent progress in cancer research and the mechanism of tumor development (carcinogenesis) from molecular and cellular functions of oncogenes and anti-oncogenes. Through readings, recent research papers, and hands-on exercises, gain insights into the relevance of genome sciences and systems biology to cancer research. Study the contributions and relevance of signal transduction, cell cycle progression, cell adhesion, and gene regulation to tumor development and discuss animal models of cancer and modes of treatment and drug development. Visiting speakers provide insight into various advanced topics.

This advanced course aims to develop a deep understanding of tumor development, based on recent research developments in the molecular and cellular biology of cancer.
Course Content: 
  1. Historical background of molecular oncology
  2. Viruses, chemical carcinogens, and tumor development
  3. RNA tumor viruses and oncogenes
  4. Discovery of anti-oncogenes
  5. Regulation of signal transduction and cell cycle progression by oncogenes and anti-oncogenes
  6. Roles of oncogenes and anti-oncogenes in normal physiology
  7. Molecular mechanisms of metastasis
  8. Genome, proteome, metabolome, and cancer
  9. Animal models of cancer
  10. Drug development for cancer treatment
  11. Cancer stem cells
  12. microRNA and cancer development
  13. Genome sciences in cancer research
  14. Systems biology in cancer research
Course Type: 
Oral presentation of paper, 50%; Research report, 50%.
Text Book: 
  • Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5 ed, by Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2007) Garland Science
  • The Biology of Cancer, by Weinberg (2006) Garland Science
Reference Book: 
  • Biochemistry, 7 ed, by Berg, Tymoczko, and Stryer (2010) WH Freeman & Company
  • The Molecules of Life, by Kuriyan, Konforti, and Wemmer (2012) Garland Science
Prior Knowledge: 
Requires at least advanced undergraduate level Cell Biology and Genetics or similar background knowledge