This course is an introduction to cell biology of degenerative diseases. We will build from basic cell structures and functions through essential elements of the intracellular trafficking system that maintains exchanges of materials and information inside the cells to clinical features and pathologies of neurodegenerative diseases. We will also introduce basic techniques for examining cellular/subcellular structures, especially cytoskeletons, and discuss functional insights generated from structural exploration. A hands-on laboratory opportunity will be considered for students to perform microscopic examination on cells and visualize cytoskeletal structures. Students have the opportunity to continue their research in projects after the course is completed. The class is recommended for students who have some previous knowledge of biology.
Yanmin Yang is an associate professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences and has taught at Stanford since 2000. After receiving her M.D. and Ph.D., she obtained her postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago. The research in her laboratory centers on molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration, especially related to cytoskeletal structure, function, and regulation.