Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience - In Depth                 close window  

Fall Semester - Schedule to be set up with instructors  -  2 credits  -  time/day  negotiated

Contact Barry Wolfe  bwolfe01@georgetown.edu 

This course is structured similarly to NSCI601.  As such, the class is broken up into sections.    Each instructor will select a set of papers around a theme of individual interest and the papers are read in depth by everyone in the course and discussed in detail.

This is NOT like a journal club.  Assignments of specific papers to specific students will not be done.  Everyone will be expected to fully participate on each paper.

Be sure you understand:
a.  The 'givens' in the introduction.  i.e. what is already known that sets up this study?
b.  The overall goals of the paper
c.  The specific 'big picture' conclusions of the paper

Print the paper.
You should ANNOTATE EACH FIGURE in your copy of the paper to remind yourself in class regarding:

a.  The purpose of the experiment for each figure
(Why did they do this expt? What was the question or hypothesis?)
b.  The methods used in each figure
(What did they do in this expt? If you don't know the method, look it up.)
c.  Are the figure legends well-written and complete? Are the figures well-made? Are the controls adequate?

d.  The conclusions reached from the results of each figure
(What did they learn from this expt?  Are their conclusions valid?  Are the statistics adequate?  Could you suggest further experiments?)

If you have problems understanding something, please come talk to the instructor, in advance

This is an example of how the course begins

Set one: Barry Wolfe

September 6 -   Neurexin/Neuroligin interactions

Paper to Read:

1.  Neurexin mediates the assembly of presynaptic terminals.  Nature Neuroscience 6: 708, 2003

Background Papers to skim:

R1.   Neuroligin 1 is a postsynaptic cell-adhesion molecule of excitatory synapses.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 96: 1100, 1999

R2.      Neuroligin expressed in nonneuronal cells triggers presynaptic development in contacting neurons.  Cell 101: 657, 2000

Good Review

Li and Sheng:  Some Assembly Required.  Nature Reviews Mol. Cell. Biol. 4: 833, 2003

September 13  -  Making synapses in non-neuronal cells

Paper to Read: 

    Functional excitatory synapses in HEK293 cells expressing neuroligin and glutamate receptors.  J. Neurophysiol. 90: 3950, 2003

Background Paper to skim:

R1.  Characterization of the interaction of a recombinant soluble neuroligin-1 with neurexin-1beta.  J. Biol. Chem.  278: 50497, 2003

September 20  -  It's not just glutamate!

Paper to Read: 

1.    Activity-dependent validation of excitatory versus inhibitory synapses by neuroligin-1 versus neuroligin-2. Neuron 54:919, 2007

The course then continued with readings from other participants. There will be 12 or 13 sessions.

If you wish to have this course given, sign up for this elective during registration in the spring or the summer following your first year.

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