Molecular Oncology and Cell Signaling

Course Aim

This advanced course aims to develop a deep understanding of tumor development, based on recent research developments in the molecular and cellular biology of cancer.

Course Description

Explore recent progress in cancer research and the mechanism of tumor development (carcinogenesis) from molecular and cellular functions of oncogenes and anti-oncogenes. Through readings, recent research papers, and hands-on exercises, gain insights into the relevance of genome sciences and systems biology to cancer research. Study the contributions and relevance of signal transduction, cell cycle progression, cell adhesion, and gene regulation to tumor development and discuss animal models of cancer and modes of treatment and drug development. Visiting speakers provide insight into various advanced topics.

Course Contents

Historical background of molecular oncology
Viruses, chemical carcinogens, and tumor development
RNA tumor viruses and oncogenes
Discovery of anti-oncogenes
Regulation of signal transduction and cell cycle progression by oncogenes and anti-oncogenes
Roles of oncogenes and anti-oncogenes in normal physiology
Molecular mechanisms of metastasis
Genome, proteome, metabolome, and cancer
Animal models of cancer
Drug development for cancer treatment
Cancer stem cells
microRNA and cancer development
Genome sciences in cancer research
Systems biology in cancer research


Oral presentation of paper, 50%; Research report, 50%.

Prerequisites or Prior Knowledge

Requires at least advanced undergraduate level Cell Biology and Genetics or similar background knowledge


The Biology of Cancer, by Weinberg (2006) Garland Science
Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5 ed, by Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2007) Garland Science

Reference Books

The Molecules of Life, by Kuriyan, Konforti, and Wemmer (2012) Garland Science
Biochemistry, 7 ed, by Berg, Tymoczko, and Stryer (2010) WH Freeman & Company


Course retires AY2023