Office of Undergraduate Instruction

01:447:495 Cancer

This course is intended for Life Science majors or those with a strong background in the Biological Sciences.

This course may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of the Biological Sciences major.






Genetics 01:447:380 or Genetic Analysis I 01:447:384 and General Biology Lab 01:119:117 or 01:119:102

Credit not given for this course and Introduction to Cancer 01:447:245

Course Description

This is an advanced course covering the biological and medical aspects of malignancy. It includes cancer cells and tumors, cancer genomics and proteomics, and examples of human cancers (breast, prostate, colon, melanoma, etc.). Each week the professor will introduce a topic in a lecture, assign readings from the published biomedical research literature, and in the next class period lead a discussion of the assigned readings.

Topics may include:

  • Pathology of neoplasia
  • Successful therapies based on molecular targets
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Tumor microenvironment and host interaction
  • Invasion and Metastasis
  • Cancer gene expression
  • Cancer genomics
  • Cancer proteomics
  • RNAi and microRNAs
  • Model systems of human cancer
  • Tumor progression and chemotherapy
  • Mathematical oncology

Course Satisfies Learning Goals

At the end of this course a student will be able to:

1. Find, read, understand, and critically evaluate experimental research articles and reviews published in the scientific literature related to the biology of cancer.

2. Communicate in oral and written format a critical review of the published literature in some aspect of the biology of cancer, and propose a new avenue of investigation

SAS Core Learning Goals

Cognitive Skills and Processes: Writing and Communication, Discipline-Based Writing and Communication [WCd]

Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

During the course, students will be expected to demonstrate in several written assignments their understanding of the facts and concepts of the lecture material and of the assigned readings (40%). At the end of the course students will be expected to demonstrate that they can use facts and concepts about cancer learned in the course, and new material which they find in the published literature, by proposing new avenues of research in a written final term paper in the form of a research proposal (abstract, critical review of the literature, research plan) (40%). Class participation in discussions (10%).

Course Materials

Readings online at Library of Science and Medicine website, handouts on course Sakai website.  

Course Closed?

No special permission numbers will be administered for this course. If the course is closed you should continue to check WebReg to see if a spot opens.


David E. Axelrod
Dept. Genetics
Nelson Biolabs, Room B341
phone: 445-2011

** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.




Contact Us

Nelson Biological Laboratories

Nelson Biological Laboratories
604 Allison Rd
Piscataway, NJ 08854

p. (848) 445-2075
f.  (732) 445-5870