LMP1110H: Neural Stem Cells - brain development and maintenance

Who can attend

No specific courses are required, however, we prefer background knowledge in molecular genetics and biochemistry (such as LMP301H1 / BCH242Y / MGY340H1).

Course description

You will:

  • be introduced to the basic concepts of how neural stem/precursor cells both build and maintain the brain
  • learn basic concepts of adult neural stem/precursor cell biology and how these cells emerge embryonically
  • understand and learn how advanced genetic techniques are being applied to the study of neural stem cell biology
  • use these systems, more broadly, as a platform to learn advanced genetic techniques (such as single-cell RNA-sequencing, viral barcoding, and other lineage tracing techniques).

Each week, lecture material will:

  • cover aspects of neural stem/precursor cell biology in the developing or mature brain
  • introduce a different advanced genetic technique (using primary literature which you will read prior to the lecture)
  • describe how this technique has impacted our understanding of neural stem/precursor cell biology.

Course coordinator

Dr. Scott Yuzwa

lmp.grad@utoronto.ca for administrative queries.

Timings and location

This course is offered every year in the Fall session.

Thursdays 10 am

Location: Synchronous online delivery (Zoom)

Evaluation methods

Final exam – 45%

Participation in class – 10%. You will be assessed based on your participation in the discussion of published papers in the second half of each lecture.

Final assignment – 45%

Your final assignment will be discussed and assigned during Lecture 2.

You will be asked to prepare a short funding-style proposal to either:

  1. apply an advanced genetic technique (either from those discussed in class or chosen by you) to your own current research project (technique must not be currently used in your thesis project), or;
  2. propose to address a current gap in neural stem/precursor cell biology (either in the developing or mature brain).

Your proposal must be a maximum of five pages in length including references.

It will evaluated based on the strength of the rationale, experiments proposed and interpretation of anticipated experimental outcomes.


All sessions are delivered by Dr. Scott Yuzwa.

date Topic
October 15, 2020

Introduction to the course

Adult brain: relevant structure and function

Technique 1

October 22, 2020

Neural Development I

Technique 2

Discussion of Final Assignment

October 29, 2020

Neural Development II

Technique 3

November 5, 2020

Neural Stem Cells and their unique niche environments

Technique 4

November 12, 2020

Embryonic origins of Adult Neural Stem Cells

Technique 5

November 19,2020

Final Examination

Hand in Term Paper

Concluding remarks: What does the future hold?