Preparing for Your Developmental Biology Qualifying Exam (GS-DB-400)
This course will explain the requirements and expectations of the Developmental Biology qualifying exam. The course is geared specially towards second year students who have successfully completed their first year coursework and several months’ work in their chosen thesis lab. The course will cover the format of the written and oral exams, tips for structuring the aims and scope of the written proposal, and provide students with opportunity to develop and deliver their oral presentation for feedback from the group. The goal of the course is to help students begin thinking about their work independently and to present their research problem and experimental goals clearly. Ultimately, this course is intended to encourage independent NRSA or other fellowship applications from those students who qualify.
Credits: 1
Term: 2
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: N 
Directors: Dr. Melanie Samuel and Dr. Benjamin Arenkiel

Classical Developmental Biology (GS-DB- 402)

This course provides introductory information related to major questions in developmental biology. It also provides an introduction to classical experimental methods and examples are provided which highlight how developmental principles have been tested. These examples will allow the students to grasp how earlier investigations presaged present areas of inquiry for each organism. The course introduces the anatomy and histology of most organs and cells during development with a particular emphasis on C. elegansDrosophila, mouse, chick, zebrafish, and Xenopus. The development of each organism is described in lectures and observed by the students in lab settings so that students can readily grasp the complex issues of modern developmental biology and begin to see how questions might be approached.
Credits: 2 
Term: 1 
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: Y 
Directors: Dr. Ross Poché  and Dr. Michael Lewis

Neural Development (GS-DB- 403)

This advanced graduate course in developmental neurobiology provides students with a more detailed background of neural development that will serve as conceptual framework for future studies. It particularly focuses on molecular genetic studies that have helped us elucidate the mechanisms underlying the development of the nervous system. This course integrates knowledge about molecular patterning of the nervous system using a cross-species approach that also emphasizes evolutionary relationships. The role of genes and mechanisms that play a role in the selection of neuroblasts and neuronal differentiation, in the specification and function of glial cells, in growth cone guidance and synapse formation are covered in detail.
Credits: 3 
Term: 4 
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: Y 
Directors: Dr. Benjamin Arenkiel and Dr. Roy Sillitoe

Molecular & Developmental Biology of Vision Research (GS-DB- 404)
This course provides graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with broad exposure to the molecular genetics underlying normal and abnormal visual system development and function.  This course offers an in-depth analysis of normal vertebrate and invertebrate development, genetic causes of disease, as well as the use of animal models for genetic analysis of normal and abnormal development and function.
Credits: 1
Terms: 4 (Offered in AY18; even year course)
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: Y
Director: Dr. Graeme Mardon

Evolutionary Conservation of Developmental Mechanisms (GS-DB- 422)
This course focuses on the similarities and differences of developmental mechanisms between vertebrates and invertebrates.  Invertebrates, such as Drosophila and C. elegans, have allowed scientists to isolate many genes that are required for proper development through genetic screens. Vertebrate homologs of many of these genes have been identified, and their role is being studied through a variety of approaches, including manipulations in chick and zebrafish as well as through mouse knockouts. The view of vertebrate and invertebrate developmental biologists on a series of topics like segmentation, Hox and Polycomb-group genes, limb development, and cell death is presented in this course. In addition, the lecturers discuss and compare the function of proteins required for specific developmental pathways in invertebrates whose homologs are involved in tumorigenesis in vertebrates. Additional topics include: evolution, evolutionary trees, and the evolution of developmental pathways, as well as how during evolution numerous molecular players are conserved and how they are deployed in various developmental processes in diverse organisms.
Credits: 2 
Term: 3 
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: Y 
Director: Dr. Andrew Groves

Topics in Development (GS-DB- 425)
The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to some current topics in developmental biology, to improve the students’ ability to read and interpret primary literature, and to improve the students’ skills in presenting scientific data. A lecturer introduces a topic and then assigns two papers to two students to present in the next lecture. All students are expected to critically evaluate and interpret the assigned papers prior to attending class, and the selected students prepare a 45 min lecture on the assigned topic. Each student presents twice. Topics discussed include sex determination, epithelial morphogenesis and cancer, hematopoietic and cardiac development, stem cell therapy, skin cancer, nuclear hormone receptors, cell motility and invasive behavior (metastasis), and ectoderm-mesoderm interactions.
Credits: 3 
Term: 4 
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: Y 
Director: Dr. Mirjana Maletic-Savatic and Dr. Joshua Wythe

Special Projects (GS-DB- 435)
Faculty mentored research for students who have selected their thesis advisor but have not been admitted to candidacy.
Credits: Variable 
Term: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: N 
Director: Dr. Andrew Groves

Special Topics (GS-DB- 463)
Scholarly study directed by a faculty member. Special topics allows a faculty member to develop individualized courses for students. Special topics cannot be used to satisfy the 30 hr. didactic course requirement.
Credits: Variable 
Term: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: N 
Director: Dr. Andrew Groves

Seminar in Developmental Biology (GS-DB- 466)
The purpose of this course is to guide the students into learning how to approach scientific literature directly. Students are expected to read the primary literature and lead discussions in a group setting. Students in the Program in Developmental Biology participate in this seminar every term during their first four years at BCM.
Credits: 1 
Term: 2, 3, 4 
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: N 
Director: Dr. Andrew Groves

Readings (GS-DB- 548)
Faculty directed literature projects that survey a specialized topic of interest to the student.
Credits: Variable 
Term: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: N 
Director: Dr. Andrew Groves

Research Rotation (GS-DB- 549)
Faculty mentored research for students who have not yet selected a faculty advisor .
Credits: Variable 
Term: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: N 
Director: Dr. Andrew Groves

Dissertation (GS-DB- 550)
Thesis research directed by a faculty mentor and advisory committee. Open only to candidates for the Ph.D. or M.S. degrees.
Credits: Variable 
Term: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 
Counts for 30 hr. requirement: N 
Director: Dr. Andrew Groves