JCV3065H - Advanced Topics in Cardiovascular Sciences - Systems Biology

Course Coordinator: A. Gramolini

This course is one of a set of six advanced seminar half-credit courses dealing with current research areas in the cardiovascular system. Specifically, systems biology is a recent area of science that links general medical scientific research approaches with ‘large scale’ analyses. The overall goal of systems biology science is to connect complex biological networks with biochemical and physiological outcomes. Systems biology platforms include many of the ‘omic’ disciplines such as: genomics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, network signaling, metabolomics, interactomics, lipidomics and proteomics. Links between cellular physiology and systems biology have profound significance to our understanding of general physiology. This course will teach students of these recent developments, and importantly, enable them to extract and utilize information at the systems biology level. The course will begin with a set of general lecture overviews of the approaches available, basic theory, and application. The remaining lectures will be student-driven, seminar-based discussions with Faculty members as facilitators of this discussion. We will cover the major systems biology literature and technical approaches. The general course detail will be relatively narrow given the topics covered, however the written essay will provide the student sufficient opportunity to explore one area in greater detail.  The content will focus on areas of these omic approaches with a special focus on the cardiovascular systems.

Learning Outcomes:
At the completion of this course students will be able to understand and integrate advanced cardiovascular (CV) systems biology approaches in the literature and in their own research programs as follows:

  • Recognize the benefits of CV data integration to improve omics analyses.
  • Identify how pathway-based analyses of omics data (i.e. identifying key CV molecular pathways associated with a molecular response/change) can be biased and how this can be improved
  • Review large scale CV informatics/proteomics methodologies.
  • Identify statistical tools to analyze large CV data sets.
  • Be able to discuss the results of a case study related with cardiovascular diseases
  • Identify some specific benefits of examining omics data in the context of a molecular network with additional metadata in arena of cardiovascular systems
  • Facilitating more complete analysis of cardiovascular function and changes.
  • Identify the challenges and promise of developing new cardiovascular focused clinically-actionable blood tests derived from a computationally-driven, blood-based genomics/transcriptomics/ proteomics approaches.

Prerequisites: None

Enrolment: Graduate students interested in heart research. Preference will be given to students enrolled in the Cardiovascular Sciences Collaborative Specialization.

Oral presentation - 50%

Original papers will be assigned to the students. Each student will present the paper to the class and offer a critique. Students will present 2-3 times in this class (depending on enrolment), and presentations will be assessed by all faculty members in the classroom.

Written reports: Midterm – 10%

The written reports will be ½ to 1 page mini-reviews and critique on course presentations. These will be provided from all non-presenting students.

Written reports: Final – 25%

The final written report will be a 8-10 page review and critique on an assigned paper relevant to the students research. Students will be expected to incorporate knowledge gained during the course of this class. Papers will be chosen in consultation with Course Instructors.

Participation in discussions - 15%

In order for this class to be a success, student participation is a must. To encourage this, students will be assessed on the basis of his/her roles as discussants and general contribution to the in-class discussions.

25 % of overall mark available prior to the course withdrawal deadline

Updated: 29-May-2018