PSL1034H - Advanced Topics: Metabolic Disorders

Course Coordinator:

M. B. Wheeler


This is a graduate-only seminar-based course that covers recent advances (papers, methods 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: (Two 20 mins plus 20 mins of discussion) based upon current research papers in selected areas for each class. Original papers will be used for student presentations and discussion. Active participation in discussions will be an absolute requirement. For each presentation, selected student discussants in addition to the presenter will be assigned to review the paper in detail and asked to come to class with prepared questions. The quality of the questions and answers will be assessed by core faculty. 

Experimental Proposal: Students will prepare a written proposal (mini-grant-3 pages) that encompasses an experimental hypothesis, brief background and rationale, experimental design, anticipated outcomes and significance.  The core faculty and the student participants will critique/evaluate the proposal.


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

Topic 1: Physiology and Pathology of Insulin Secretion: What's New
Topic 2: Obesity and Diabetes
Topic 3: Hot Topics in Metabolic Disorders
Topic 4: Hunting for a Cure and Future Therapies


None, but a reasonable understanding of current biomedical research methodology is preferential.


a) Oral presentations of the papers (50%) 

b) Written reports (30%) 

c) Participation in discussions (20%) 

Maximum: 12 Students