Gene Expression, Cell Cycle & Chromosome Biology

The duplication, organization, maintenance and interpretation of the DNA code is one of the most fundamental processes in life. Seattle MCB faculty take various approaches to investigate how cells maintain proper cell cycle progression, chromosomal organization, DNA replication, transcription, DNA repair and chromosome segregation.

Area Directors

Area Directors help advise students about classes and rotations in their interest area. They also provide a listing of suggested courses for those interested in Gene Expression, Cell Cycle & Chromosome Biology.

Faculty Area Directors

Student Area Directors

Suggested Curriculum

The suggested curriculum outlined below is meant to guide you in choosing classes, they are not requirements. We highly encourage you to take the Foundational courses, while the Electives are more specialized and often cross between Areas of Interest. Remember to review the UW Time Schedule for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding whether a course is currently being offered.

2023-2024 Suggested Curriculum (document download)

CONJ 537 – Mechanisms of transcriptional regulation

A five-week graduate survey course concentrating on biochemical mechanisms of gene transcription. The course will cover a broad range of transcriptional regulation including: Mechanisms of transcriptional initiation; Regulation of transcription by chromatin; Transcriptional regulation, development and diseases in mammals.
Note: Alternatively, similar course material is covered in GENOME 551 – Principles of Gene Regulation (Winter, weeks 6-10, will be offered in Winter 2024, 1.5 credits). Enrollment priority is given to Genome Sciences graduate students.
Offered AUT, 1.5 credits, Weeks 6-10, Offered even-numbered years, Will be offered in AUT 2024

CONJ 532 – Signal Transduction from The Cell Membrane to The Nucleus

Intracellular signaling pathways leading from cell membrane receptors to nucleus. Pathways activated by seven transmembrane receptors and G-proteins, insulin/PI3 kinase, MAPKs, and WNTs and mechanisms of signal termination. Cytokine/Jak/Stat signaling and role of subcellular localization in signal transduction.
Offered AUT, 2.0 credits, Weeks 6-10

CONJ 544 – Protein Structure, Modification, and Regulation

Overview of general principles of protein structure, including forces that contribute to folding and stabilization, followed by an extended coverage of the means by which protein structure and function are modified and regulated. Examples from recent developments in protein folding, processing, and allosteric regulation.
Prerequisite(s): introductory biochemistry and cell biology.
Offered WIN, 1.5 credits, Weeks 1-5, Offered odd-numbered years, Will be offered in WIN 2025

MCB 522 – The Developmental Basis of Human Disease

Uses recent discoveries in human genetics to guide student learning about animal development. Explores the normal developmental function of genes that have been identified as causal in human developmental disorders such as skeletal dysmorphologies, ciliopathies, autism, and cancer.
Offered WIN, 3.0 credits, Weeks 1-10, Will be offered in WIN 2024

MCB 539 – Biological Basis of Neoplasia

Introduces the major themes in research in the biology of neoplastic change. Covers principle molecular mechanisms responsible for tumor initiation and progression, with a specific emphasis on intracellular signaling, DNA repair, cell cycle checkpoints, and loss of normal tissue homeostasis. The latest state of the art research in Cancer Biology will be presented by invited scientists, experts in their relevant field. The discussion meetings will concentrate on selected major papers in cancer biology and be presented and discussed by the students with help and guidance of the instructors.
Offered SPR, 3.0 credits, Weeks 1-10, Will be offered in SPR 2024


Chromosomal Collaboration

The Seattle Mitosis Group is a collective of six labs interested in exploring fundamental questions about mitosis, including its structure, regulation and mechanics.

The MCB Program has a strong focus on understanding various aspects of chromosome biology. We feature research from the structure and function of chromatin to the dynamics of chromosome movement during cell division.  The faculty are interactive and collaborative, as demonstrated by a number of groups that meet regularly to investigate topics relevant to chromosomes. Check out the Seattle Mitosis Club.