Thomas Michaels: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2022
|Name||Prof. Dr. Thomas Michaels|
|Field||Soft and living matter physics|
Institut für Biochemie
ETH Zürich, HPM D 6.5
|Telephone||+41 44 633 65 75|
|551-0357-00L||Cellular Matters: From Milestones to Open Questions|
The number of participants is limited to 22 and will only take place with a minimum of 11 participants.
Please sign up until two weeks before the beginning of the semester (for Autumn 2022: by 05.09.2022 end of day) via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org using in the subject: 551-0357-00. In the email body indicate 1) your name, 2) your e-mail address, 3) master/PhD program. The students admitted to this seminar will be informed by e-mail in the week prior to the beginning of the semester.
The first lecture will serve to form groups of students and assign papers.
|4 credits||2S||Y. Barral, F. Allain, P. Arosio, E. Dufresne, D. Hilvert, M. Jagannathan, R. Mezzenga, T. Michaels, G. Neurohr, R. Riek, A. E. Smith, K. Weis, H. Wennemers|
|Abstract||In this course, the students will explore the quite new topic of biomolecular condensates.|
Concepts and tools from biology, chemistry, biophysics and soft materials will be used, on one hand, to develop an understanding of the biological properties and functions of biomolecular condensates in health and disease, while, on the other, to inspire new materials.
|Objective||In terms of content, you, the student, after a general introduction to the topic, will learn about milestone works and current research questions in the young field of biomolecular condensates (properties, functions and applications) from an interdisciplinary point of view in a course which is a combination of literature (presentations given by pairs of students with different scientific backgrounds) and research seminars (presentations given by the lecturers all active experts in the field, with different backgrounds and expertise).|
As to the skills, you will have the opportunity to learn how to critically read and evaluate scientific literature, how to give scientific presentations to an interdisciplinary audience (each presentation consisting of an introduction, critical description of the results and discussion of their significance) and substantiate your statements, acquire a critical mindset (pros/cons of chosen approaches/methods and limitations, quality of the data, solidity of the conclusions, possible follow-up experiments) that allows you to ask relevant questions and actively participate to the discussion.
With the final presentation you will have the unique opportunity to interact closely with the interdisciplinary group of lecturers (all internationally well-established experts) who will guide you in the choice of a subtopic and related literature.
|Content||In the last decade a new kind of compartments within the cell, the so-called biomolecular condensates, have been observed. This discovery is radically changing our understanding of the cell, its organization and dynamics. The emerging picture is that the cytoplasm and nucleoplasm are highly complex fluids that can (meta)stably segregate into membrane-less sub-compartments, similarly to emulsions.|
The topic of biomolecular condensates goes beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines and needs a multi-pronged approach that levers on, and cross-fertilizes, biology, physical chemistry, biophysics and soft materials to develop a proper understanding of the properties, functions in health and disease (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.), as well as possible applications of these biomolecular condensates.
Each week the lecture will consist of:
1) a short literature seminar: Pairs of students from different scientific backgrounds will be formed and assigned beforehand to present milestone literature to the class and facilitate the ensuing discussion. In the first class the pairs will be formed, the milestone papers made known to the whole class and assigned to the pairs.
2) a research seminar: the presentation of the milestone literature will serve as the introduction to the lecture by one of the lecturers of the course on their own state-of-the-art research in the field.
|Lecture notes||The presentations will be made available after the lectures.|
|Literature||The milestone papers will be provided in advance.|
For the final examination, the students will be helped by the lecturers in identifying a research topic and related literature.