LMP410H1 - Pathobiology of Neurodegenerative Disease 24L

Course description

Focussing on the molecular basis of neurodegenerative diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems.

We cover the molecular pathobiology of neurodegenerative diseases, current research developments, and writing research proposals.

You will practice the assembly of a succinct research proposal and query neurodegenerative disease material taught in the course in the mid-term and final exams.

Course coordinator

Dr. Gerold Schmitt-Ulms

Office address: Krembil Discovery Tower, 60 Leonard Ave.
Rm 4KD487


Teaching assistant

Marc Shenouda



Term Fall 2021
Class location and time

Wednesday 10:00 am-12:00 pm

Room HS106, Health Sciences Building, 155 College Street

Tutorial location and time December 8, same location (HS106)
Last day to drop course November 8 (25% of final mark released before November 7)
Office hours In-person meetings can be arranged with short notice

Course details

  • Hours: 24 hrs = 10 lectures plus TA review, as well as mid-term and final exam
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Exclusions: none
  • Breadth requirement: none
  • Enrolment limits: 40 students

Student evaluation

Mid-term: 25% for in-class component plus 25% for homework grant proposal

Final exam: 50% for neurodegenerative disease material test

See information on Academic Integrity



Date Topic and estimated time spent instructor  
September 15 Introduction to course and overview (2 hours) Dr. Gerold Schmitt-Ulms  
September 22

Prion Diseases  (60 mins plus 20 min Q&A)

How to improve scientific writing in general (20 mins plus 10 min Q&A)

Dr. Gerold Schmitt-Ulms  
September 29

Genetics (60 mins plus 20 min Q&A)

How to develop an introduction/rationale section for a project proposal (20 mins plus 10 min Q&A)

Dr. Ekaterina Rogaeva


October 6

Poly-glutamine Disease (60 mins plus 20 min Q&A)

How to come up with a project title and write a significance section (20 mins plus 10 min Q&A)

Dr. Jeehye Park


October 13

Tauopathies (60 mins plus 20 min Q&A)

How to generate a hypothesis and break a project into 2-3 specific aims (20 mins plus 10 min Q&A)

Dr. Joel Watts


October 20

ALS/FTD (60 mins plus 20 min Q&A)

How to write a concise work plan (20 mins plus 10 min Q&A)

Dr. Janice Robertson  
October 27 Mid-term (2 hours)


Monitored by Teaching Assistant (TA)  
November 3 Parkinson’s Disease (80 mins plus 30 min Q&A)

Dr. Anurag Tandon


November 10 Reading week November 8 - 12. No classes    
November 17 Alzheimer’s Disease (80 mins plus 30 min Q&A) Dr. Joanne McLaurin  
November 24 Neuroanatomy/pathology (80 mins plus 30 min Q&A) Dr. Gabor Kovacs  
December 1 Imaging and diagnostics (80 mins plus 30 min Q&A)

Dr. Carmela Tartaglia


December 8 Optional review of exam materials/study break (2 hours) Teaching Assistant (TA)  
TBC Final exam (2 hours) Monitored by Teaching Assistant (TA)  

Recommended reading or text book

You are encouraged to familiarize yourself with software packages that automate the management and assembly of bibliographies (e.g., Endnote, Mendeley, Zotero, RefWorks).

The following is a list of useful resources (none of these are essential for this course but they should provide useful information and context):

Free online resources for general information on scientific writing

Books you can purchase:

  • The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science. Scott L. Montgomery. Published December 15th, 2002, by University Of Chicago Press. ISBN: 0226534855
  • Scientific and Medical Communication. Scott A. Mogull. Published April 8, 2016, by Routledge. ISBN: 1138842559.
  • Grant Writing in Higher Education: A Step‐by‐Step Guide. Kenneth T. Hensen. Published 2003 by Allyn & Bacon. ISBN‐13: 978‐0205389193