PSL1034H - Advanced Topics: Metabolic Disorders

Course Coordinator: M. B. Wheeler

This is a graduate-only seminar-based course that covers very recent papers and research topics in the areas of endocrinology and metabolism. The objective of this course is to improve analytical and critical thinking skills of graduate students who have a keen interest and have a good background in at least one of the general topic areas (endocrinology or metabolism).

Student presentations: (20 mins plus 20 mins of discussion) based upon current research papers in selected areas for each class (2 Hrs). Original papers will be used for student presentations and discussion. Active participation in discussions will be an absolute requirement. For each presentation, two student discussants in addition to the presenter will be assigned to review the paper and asked to come to class with prepared questions.
CIHR Grant Review: In groups, the students will, with their peers, review a CIHR style grant and this will be presented as a written report and as an oral presentation as per the guidelines set forth by the granting agency for internal reviewers. The core faculty and a topic expert will evaluate the written critique. 
Manuscript review: The student will critique an original article according to the instructions on the journal website, where it was submitted. The core faculty and a topic expert will evaluate the written critique of the student.

This course will focus upon selected topics in 4 areas. Students will be expected to make presentations based upon appropriate literature listed by the teaching faculty. Participation in discussions will also be required. There will be no didactic lectures. Presentation topics will be chosen from following topics:

Topic 1: Physiology and pathology of insulin secretion
Topic 2: Obesity and Diabetes
Topic 3: Metabolic syndrome
Topic 4: Hot Topics and Novel Therapies


a) Oral presentations of the papers (50%) - Each student is expected to present original papers two times and each presentation will be assessed by all faculty members in the classroom (40%). A CIHR style oral review of a grant will also be presented by each student as well (10%).

b) Written reports (25%) - CIHR Grant: A written report (5-6 double-spaced pages) will be required for each student. Specifics of the grant review process will be discussed in class but can also be found on the CIHR website. The written portion of the CIHR grant review will be worth 15%. The student will also critique an original scientific article according to the instructions on the journal website and written critique will generated by the student (10%).

c) Participation in discussions (25%) - Student participation in discussions will be assessed on the basis of his/her roles as discussants and general contribution to the in-class discussions.

Course Faculty Participants:
Dr. Denise Belsham, Department of Physiology

Each faculty member will organize and provide a list of key papers for discussion before the first class, and must be present in the classroom for the presentation of his/her selected paper(s). Core members are expected to participate in a majority of classes. Other faculty may be brought into the course as topic experts on an ad hoc basis.

Maximum: 10 Students             

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