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Fall 2014, 2015, 2016
  • Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health Gateway Course (Lead Instructor-Team taught, Cancer block, TBMH-5004)

Block content: Incidence and etiology of cancer, risk factors, genetic basis of cancer, genomic instability, hallmarks of cancer, the immune system in cancer, angiogenesis, cancer metabolism, cancer dormancy, concepts in metastasis (staging), imaging in clinical oncology, treatment strategies, understanding clinical trials, genetic screening, prevention strategies, palliative care. Lectures are delivered by a team of professionals that include clinicians, basic researchers, epidemiologists and is contributed by patients.


Summer 2014, 2015, 2016

  • Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health (Instructor, Cell and Molecular Biology Boot Camp,

While covering some of the same basic material as other upper-level cell biology courses at VT, Cell and Molecular Biology Boot Camp is unique in its emphasis on a research perspective towards learning biological principles and in the broad scope of molecular techniques covered by the course and their medical applications. It is meant to be more challenging and demanding than undergraduate biology courses. The class is divided in 5 modules (Biological Molecules, Cells and Experimental Models, From DNA to Proteins, Cell Biology, Principles of Cell Signaling) and each module contains a “problem assignment section”. The purpose of this section is to provoke rational thinking on the topics the students study in every class and help the student to translate theoretical concepts in real life problems we face in science. The course is one-week long and lectures are divided in 3 blocks of 50 min class and 10 min breaks in between.


Fall 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

  • Nanomedicine (Instructor, COS-4314)

Course content: Introduction to nanomedicine: materials, tools, delivery methods, and applications;  Benefits and potential problems of the use of nanoscience for the patient; Types of nanomaterials: Formulation/preparation of functionalized nanoparticles for in vivo targeted drug delivery; Nanobiopharmaceuticals: Drug delivery using nano-particles (natural and artificial). Specifically, enhancement of drug permeation, controlled release, specific tissue targeting; Nanobiopharmaceuticals: Appropriate nanodevices. Physiologically compatible materials; Tissue, cell and genetic engineering involving nanomedical tools; Pre-clinical testing of novel nanomedical tools; Implanted nanodevices for the prevention and treatment of disease and the alleviation of pain; Implanted nanodevices for the prevention and treatment of disease and the alleviation of pain; Therapeutic application of nanotechnology (i.e., photodynamic therapy, nanoephrology, nanoparticles for intravenous use, selective removal of cancer cells, specific agents targeting the central nervous system, ophthalmological-related diseases); Specificity and efficacy of current nanotherapeutic approaches; Nanomedical Imaging; Ethical, regulatory and legal issues commercialization, funding and economics of nanomedical technology
Class evaluation: Exams, quizzes, homeworks

  • Nanomedicine Laboratory (Instructor, COS-4315) 

Course content: Manipulation of nucleic acids, mammalian cell culture techniques, transfection strategies, nanoparticles-based system for nucleic acid delivery, imaging strategies for particles visualization, optimization of nanoparticles uptaking techniques, immune-based reactivity of nanoparticles, biological properties of various nano-composites, use of nanoparticles for drug delivery, peptide-nanoparticle coupling, therapeutic use of particles for drug delivery in cancer


Fall 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Course content: Science and ethics in nanotechnology; Relevance of diameter and rigidity of multiwalled carbon nanotubes; Nanoparticles that communicate in vivo to amplify tumour targeting; Exchange-coupled magnetic nanoparticles for efficient heat induction; Multistage nanoparticle delivery system for deep penetration into tumor tissue; Factors Controlling Nanoparticle Pharmacokinetics; Imaging strategies using a triple-modality MRI-photoacoustic-Raman nanoparticle; Nanoparticle Hydrophobicity; Tuning of Nanoparticle Uptake; Nanoparticles in disease treatment. 
Class evaluation: Participation in class, oral presentation.


Fall 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016

Course Content: Motifs of protein structure; Alpha-domain structures; Alpha/beta structures; Folding and flexibility; DNA structures; DNA recognition in prokaryotes by helix-turn-helix motifs; DNA recognition by eukaryotic transcription factors; Zn-containing motif; Retinoid X receptor; Leucine zippers; Gal4; b/HLH/zip family of transcription factors; Max and MyoD recognition; Structural mechanisms of enzyme catalysis; Membrane proteins; Fibrous proteins; Structure of spherical viruses; Prediction, engineering, and design of protein structures; Determination of protein structures; Protein structure on the www.
The course involves the use of specific software. The student will explore: CCP4; CNS; RasMol; Pymol; Modeller; Molscript, and O. He/She will also learn how to use PDB; NCBI and SwissProt databases.
Class evaluation: Exams, paper discussion, homework.


Spring 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011

  • Cell and Molecular Biology (Instructor, BIOL-2104)

Course Content: Protein structure and function; DNA replication, repair and recombination; DNA duplication, transcription and translation mechanisms in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; Control of gene expression; Molecular biology tools including cloning, DNA engineering, nucleic acid hybridization, protein analyses techniques; Membrane structure and trafficking; Mitochondria and chloroplasts; Intracellular compartments and transport; Cell communication; Cytoskeleton; Cell-cycle control and cell death; Cell division; Molecular basis of heredity; Circadian rhythms; Cancer; Neurological Diseases; Virus-induced diseases. Class evaluation: Exams, quizzes, homework. Final exam is optional.


Guest Lecturer in:

APSC-3304, Embryology laboratory; BIOL-2104, Cell and Molecular Biology; UCCS-2984, Earth Sustainability; HFNE-5984, SS: Molecular Biology Techniques; BIOL-1205H, Honors Biology; BIOL-3774, Molecular Biology; BIOL-5174, Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology; BIOL-6024, Topics: Gene Regulation and Cellular Signaling in Cancer; BIOL-1105, Principles of Biology (Honors Program); BIOL-6024, Topics in Cell and Developmental Biology

Last Update 9 January 2016
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