Students must complete a total of 4 required graduate level courses from their Specialty Field. For more information, please visit Degree Requirements.
The Biological Sciences Specialty Field focuses on the applications of biology and biotechnology in agriculture, medicine, and the environment. Graduates will be well positioned to assume, or fast-track toward, leadership positions in organizations built around science. These range from start-up companies with niche products to multi-nationals, from non-government organizations working in communities around the globe to major government agencies engaged in science policy development, and from small entrepreneurial organizations to large corporations.
This course will provide a foundation in the use of statistics to interpret biological data. Topics will include the application of parametric and non-parametric statistical tools to the interpretation and critical evaluation of research data (e.g., medical, environmental, basic research).
The objectives of this course are to provide students with a foundation in bioethics, with emphasis on the application and impact of biological research and discoveries. Using a combination of workshops, critical appraisals, debates and guest lectures, students will learn to recognize and evaluate ethical concerns and stakeholder perspectives in a wide range of biological applications. Current examples will be drawn from a variety of sources including the popular press, public documents and the primary scientific literature.
In this course students will analyze the cellular processes and mechanisms that control cell growth and differentiation, and that when dysfunctional can give rise to cellular transformation and cancer.
This course will focus on how cells sense and transmit environmental signals to regulate gene expression. Select examples of signal transduction events will be introduced and discussed to illustrate important principles. Students will be expected to present and critically evaluate assigned papers, and write a short review article.
A broad overview of chemical biology with emphasis on protein synthesis with non-canonical amino acids, chemical biology approaches to probing cellular function, small molecule probes of protein-protein function, and chemical genetic approaches to drug discovery. The course will consist of lectures followed by journal club-style discussions led by the students. The students will also be expected to write and critique a short "news-and-views" style article.
Students will be introduced to synthetic biology (the design and construction of biological devices for useful applications) and systems biology (interactions between molecular components of biological systems). Students will be introduced to recent technical advances, to model organisms, and large-scale screening methodologies used in synthetic and systems biology.
Students can choose to participate in a Major Research Project (MRP) supervised by a Western faculty member in their area of interest, in lieu of an MMASc Co-op Work Term.