Programs

The Department of Cell and Systems Biology offers two core programs:  Animal Physiology (Major) and Cell & Molecular Biology (Specialist and Major each with the option of Disciplinary Focuses).

We also contribute to multi-Departmental programs (Biology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology, and Genome Biology).

Open Programs
Restricted Programs
Disciplinary Focuses


Please Contact Us For Help

If you are enrolled in one of the programs that we administer (Animal Physiology, Cell & Molecular Biology or Genome Biology), we strongly recommend that you come to the CSB Undergraduate office (RW 424) annually to ensure you are following your program(s) correctly.

You must follow your program as it is outlined in the Arts and Science Calendar in the year you enrolled in the program on ACORN. Making substitutions to your program is only considered by the Department under extreme circumstances and on a case by case basis (if we allow a substitution to one student, it does not mean that another student will automatically be granted the same substitution).

If you have any concerns about your progression through the program (i.e., missing courses), you must come to the CSB Undergraduate Office to discuss it so as to avoid problems with graduating in a timely manner. If you have any questions or concerns about your CSB programs, please contact us and we will be happy to review your program with you (see video interview with Janet Mannone, Undergraduate Coordinator).

Please keep in mind that qualification in a departmental program does not necessarily mean qualification for a degree. Check the Arts and Science calendar for “Degree Requirements” and remember that these may depend on the year you first enrolled in the Faculty.


Open Programs (Type 1)

  • open to all students who have successfully completed at least 4.0 credits in any subject
  • no application for entry
  • no limit to the number of students that enter the program
  • logon to ACORN to enroll in these programs
  • enroll in these programs from 1 March to 19 September 2018


Animal Physiology  –  
Major

Students learn to compare and contrast the physiological systems of different animal species, or of a single species under difference environmental conditions.  Students gain an understanding of how emergent properties arise when physiological components operate as a whole, and how physiological systems allow animals to adapt to their environments.

After foundational courses in first and second year, students participate in advanced lecture, seminar and laboratory courses, and are encouraged to apply for research project courses in the laboratories of the Department.  Course offerings include neurophysiology, respiratory physiology, endocrinology, sleep physiology and comparative cellular physiology.

Cell & Molecular Biology  –  Major

Students learn how genes and proteins organize cells and tissues for cellular activities, multicellular development, and interactions with the environment.  Students also learn how cell and molecular biology research is conducted, and receive training in advanced techniques of the field.

After foundational courses in first and second year, students participate in advanced lecture, seminar and laboratory courses, and are encouraged to apply for research project courses in the laboratories of the Department.  Course offerings include gene expression, cell biology, developmental biology, plant development, plant-microbe interactions, plant signaling, neurogenesis, tissue morphogenesis, stem cell biology, genomics and proteomics.

Genome Biology  –  Major (multi-departmental)

Students learn how the structure, function and evolution of the genome are interrelated. The growing flood of data on the DNA, RNA and protein sequences of organisms provides unprecedented opportunities to address fundamental biological questions. Students gain a breadth of knowledge and skills for a highly interdisciplinary field, encompassing concepts and practices from diverse disciplines including Cell and Molecular Biology, Evolutionary Genetics, and Computer Science.

After foundational courses in first and second year, the departments of Cell and Systems Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Molecular Genetics offer a range of courses that cover various aspects of genomics. A critical requirement of the Genome Biology Major program is a practical laboratory component that provides hands-on experience with the collection and/or analysis of genomic datasets.

Biology  –  Specialist, Major, Minor (administered by EEB)

Students gain training across the breadth of biology, with courses available in the  subject areas of cell and molecular biology, developmental biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, and physiology. After foundational courses in first and second year, the remainder of the program is very open allowing students to follow their own path of study within the discipline.


Restricted Program (Type 2L)

  • apply for entry
  • limit to the number of students accepted
  • must have completed 4.0 credits including:  BIO120H1, BIO130H1, CHM (135H1, 136H1)/(138H1, 139H1)/CHM151Y1, JMB170Y1/MAT (135H1, 136H1)/MAT137Y1/MAT157Y1
  • must have achieved a minimum grade of 70% in BIO130H1
  • if 70% was not earned in 130, you can apply with a minimum grade of 70% in BIO230H1
  • achieving 70% in either of these courses does not guarantee you entry into the programs; it only makes you eligible to apply
  • logon to ACORN to apply and enroll in these programs
  • the first round of application for these programs is 1 March to 15 May 2018
  • the second round of application is 3 July to 29 August 2018


Cell
& Molecular Biology  –  Specialist

Students learn how genes and proteins organize cells and tissues for cellular activities, multicellular development, and interactions with the environment.  Students also learn how cell and molecular biology research is conducted, and receive training in advanced techniques of the field.

After foundational courses in first and second year, students participate in advanced lecture, seminar and laboratory courses, and are encouraged to apply for research project courses in the laboratories of the Department.  Course offerings include gene expression, cell biology, developmental biology, plant development, plant-microbe interactions, plant signaling, neurogenesis, tissue morphogenesis, stem cell biology, genomics and proteomics.


Disciplinary Focuses

  • optional
  • apply for entry after enrolment in the Cell & Molecular Biology Major or Specialist
  • limited number of students accepted
  • requires a minimum grade of 80% in BIO130H1
  • if 80% is not earned in 130, you can apply with a minimum grade of 80% in BIO230H1 or CSB349H1
  • a statement of interest is required
  • meeting these criteria does not guarantee entry into a focus; it only makes you eligible to apply
  • you can only apply to one focus
  • follow the application instructions for each focus below
  • application deadline:
    September 20, 2018

Status in focuses will be announced the week of September 24th.

Each focus organizes restricted numbers of high-achieving students with interest in one of three major areas of cell and molecular biology that match major research topics in our Department.

Focus students are required to:

  1. complete a subset of related program course
  2. participate in a learning community for the focus

The learning community:

  • appears on the co-curricular record based on student participation
  • is lead by a CSB faculty member with guest faculty
  • meets four times per year
  • provides community-building, professional development and enriched academics/projects with an emphasis on research
  • draws students from both the major and specialist into one group
  • student participation in the learning community is required for each year of enrolment in the focus (each student will typically participate in the learning community for 3 years, allowing for student mentoring and multi-year projects)

Individual Cell and Systems Biology professors will prioritize focus students for independent research projects (CSB497H1/498Y1/499Y1).


Molecular Networks of the Cell
 – Focus in the Cell & Molecular Biology Major or Specialist

Course offerings include: Techniques in Molecular and Cell Biology; Neurobiology of the Synapse; Extracellular Matrix Dynamics and Associated Pathologies; Advanced Cell Biology I: Cellular Dynamics During Development; Introduction to Plant-Microbe Interactions; Drosophila as a Model in Cancer Research; Advanced Cell Biology II: Cell Polarity and Cytoskeletal Dynamics; Germ Cell Biology; Regulatory Networks and Systems in Molecular Biology; Epigenetics; Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology; Plant Signal Transduction; Plant Metabolomics

Learning community led by Prof Tony Harris, an expert in molecular organization and cell biology of the Drosophila embryo (see video interview).

Apply by completing the application form and emailing it to: molecular.network@utoronto.ca

  • application deadline:
    September 20, 2018


Stem Cells and Developmental Biology
 – Focus in the Cell & Molecular Biology Major or Specialist

Course offerings include: Developmental Biology; Stem Cell Biology: Developmental Models and Cell-based Therapeutics; Plant Development; Drosophila as a Model in Cancer Research; Germ Cell Biology; Neurogenesis; Evolution and Development: Gastrulation; Seminar in Development

Learning community led by Prof Ashley Bruce, an expert in molecular regulation and developmental biology of the zebrafish embryo.

Apply by completing the application form and emailing it to: multicellularity@utoronto.ca

  • application deadline:
    September 20, 2018


Plant Genomics and Biotechnology
 – Focus in the Cell & Molecular Biology Major or Specialist

Course offerings include: Plant Development; Laboratory in Molecular Plant Biology; Bioinformatic Methods; Introduction to Plant-Microbe Interactions; Regulatory Networks and Systems in Molecular Biology; Proteomics in Systems Biology; Molecular Plant-Microorganism Interactions; Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology; Plant Signal Transduction; Computational Genomics and Bioinformatics; Chemical Genomics; Methods in Genomics and Proteomics; Plant Metabolomics

Learning community led by Prof Keiko Yoshioka, an expert in signal transduction and stress responses in plants.

Apply by completing the application form and emailing it to: plant.biotech@utoronto.ca

  • application deadline:
    September 20, 2018

 

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