GMS 6063 – Cell Biology of Aging

Course Information

Credit hour: 1
Number: GMS 6063
Course format: 5-week module
Office hours: By appointment (email)

Course Director

John P. Aris PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Contact information: johnaris@ufl.edu, 352-273-6868. Office: Rm D2-32A (Dental Science Bldg).

Prerequisites

Students must have successfully completed Fundamentals of Biomedical Sciences I (GMS 6001) or obtained permission from the course director.

Overview

This course focuses on recent developments pertaining to cellular mechanisms of aging. It highlights advancements in our understanding of the cellular and molecular basis for aging in both experimental organisms and humans. Human diseases of aging will be discussed, especially where underlying cell biological mechanisms have been elucidated. The content of the course is interdisciplinary in nature and graduate students and faculty from other Departments and Colleges are invited to participate.

Topic Area Examples

Cell senescence (e.g., Hayflick limit, classic literature)
Aging-related diseases (e.g., progerias, DNA repair deficiencies)
Lower eukaryote model systems (e.g., S. cerevisiae, C. elegans)
Higher eukaryote model systems (e.g., rat, mouse, primate)
Models (e.g., molecular damage, genome instability, telomere erosion, mitochondrial dysfunction)
Therapeutic approaches for delaying aging (e.g. genetic or pharmacological strategies)

Assignments

Reading assignments are posted at the course web page in Canvas.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify cutting edge topics in the current literature of cell biological mechanisms of aging.
  2. Discuss current experimental hypotheses concerning cell biological mechanisms of aging.
  3. Critically examine experimental approaches pertinent to cell biological mechanisms of aging.
  4. Critically evaluate experimental data germane to cell biological mechanisms of aging.

Format

Classes will consist of either a brief introduction followed by discussion of assigned readings or presentations by students of readings chosen in advance by the student and the course director.

Grades

Letter grades are based on participation in classroom discussions of reading assignments (5 points) and/or student presentations (10 points), if assigned. Grades are allocated according to UF policies (https://catalog.ufl.edu/UGRD/academic-regulations/grades-grading-policies/). Historically, grades in the course have ranged from A to C. The rubric for grading student presentations is as follows:

  1. Quality of content – 5 points – Paper presents research important to field. Experiments and data
    are critically evaluated. Findings are linked to project aims / goals. Key concepts, related models,
    and relevant literature are explained to support interpretation of results. Summary of main points.
  2. Quality of presentation – 5 points – clear and logical (listener can follow line of reasoning).

Attendance

Attendance is required. Absences will be excused according to UF guidelines, including the following:

  1. Illness (including psychological)
  2. Family medical emergency
  3. Participation in the wedding of a first degree family member
  4. Attendance of academic conference where a student is presenting their research
  5. Religious holidays (https://catalog.ufl.edu/UGRD/academic-regulations/attendance-policies) Students must contact the course director to obtain permission for an excused absence. Requests should be made via email as early as possible and no less than 1 week in advance of class for conferences and holidays. Once permission is obtained, students are responsible for coordinating a make-up assignment with the course director.

Students must contact the course director to obtain permission for an excused absence. Requests
should be made via email as early as possible and no less than 1 week in advance of class for
conferences and holidays. Once permission is obtained, students are responsible for coordinating a
make-up assignment with the course director.

Student Counseling and Resources

The COM Office of Student Counseling and Development (http://counseling.med.ufl.edu/) provides information on counseling, self-assessment, wellness, student resources, and student advocacy. Especially helpful are the many student resource links (http://counseling.med.ufl.edu/com-links/). U Matter, We Care! If you or a friend is in distress, please contact umatter@ufl.edu or 352-392-1575. You may also contact the Counseling and Wellness Center: http://www.counseling.ufl.edu/cwc/

Academic Honesty

All students should understand the UF Student Conduct Code and Student Honor Code and be familiar with what constitutes a violation (https://sccr.dso.ufl.edu/process/student-conduct-code/). All students should be familiar with, and adhere to, the UF Honor Pledge: We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity by abiding by the Student Honor Code. For all work submitted for credit by Students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: “On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment.”

Accommodations

UF is committed to providing academic accommodations for students with disabilities. Students requesting accommodations must first register with the Disability Resource Center (DRC) (352-392-8565, https://disability.ufl.edu/) by providing appropriate documentation. Once registered, students should present their accommodation letter to the course director. The University encourages students to register with the DRC as soon as they begin medical school or upon the verification of a disability.

Electronic Communication

All electronic correspondence related to grades, assessments, academic records, and other matters regulated by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) must only be sent to or from a Gatorlink email address (i.e., “username@ufl.edu”). FERPA has specific legal and regulatory restrictions, with violations leading to adverse consequences (http://www.registrar.ufl.edu/ferpa.html). Automatic forwarding of Gatorlink email to a non-UF email account (e.g., a Gmail account) is against UF policy (http://www.it.ufl.edu/policies/email/electronic-mail). Non-UF email providers are not FERPA compliant and do not meet privacy standards for student academic information. Autoforwarding of Gatorlink email may also violate federal and state policies.

Evaluations

Students are expected to complete online evaluations of this course and its faculty.