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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2004

T C 357 • Epidemiology, Microbiology, and Problem Solving - W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
42180 W
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
SEA 2.116

Course Description

This course shows you how to combine molecular biology, problem solving, and epidemiology into creative and testable research ideas. The focus is on the progerias (premature diseases of aging), with emphasis on the progeria that most closely represents accelerated aging -- Werner Syndrome. The first two-thirds of the semester include lectures, class exercises, information gathering, and the generation of ideas. Lecture topics will include: how to use problem solving to get creative research ideas and how to think like a disease to get clues about causation. You will also learn to use research data bases such as: PubMed, Omim, emedicine, and research tools such as gene cards, Human and Mouse Genome mapping sites, analytic programs such as BLAST and BIND, amino acid analysis, 3-Dimensional modeling, and others. The exact tools that we will cover will be determined in part by the ideas that we generate in the class project. I intend this course to be interesting and fun. The goal is not for you to become an expert in the progerias, but rather to introduce you to methods that can guide your future study. This course may be the only one of its kind in the country and should increase your attractiveness to medical schools and research oriented graduate programs.

About the Professor Professor Lewis came to the University of Texas Psychology Department from Case Western Reserve University in 1978 and is currently the Co-Director of Clinical Psychology. Two years ago he was one of sixteen people in the world selected to attend the Yeast Genetics course at James Watson’s Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor; last year he was one of twenty to win a fellowship to attend the Molecular Biology of Aging Course in Woods Hole, funded by the Ellison Medical Foundation. He is currently conducting research looking at the causes of Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria, a rare premature aging disease of children. His chief non-academic interest is travel. He has visited India on numerous occasions, journeying from the tip of the southern jungle to the northern-most mouth of the Ganges in the Himalayas. He has traveled by small boat to the Yanomamo Nation of the Venezuelan Amazon, spent time among the Piraoa, their more pacific neighbors, and visited the Pinhare – the great artisans of that jungle. He has climbed the cliffs of Kakadu in Australia, and been to the neighboring island of Tiwi. He has slept in the cloud forest of Costa Rica, driven by Land Rover across Tibet, and travelled by horseback through the mountains of the Krygyz Repubic along the ancient trade routes to the border of Outer Mongolia. He has seen Nepal, Thailand, Singapore and more small and wonderful places along the way than he can remember.


Most reading will arise as we pursue ideas for the class project. The following list contains the core readings from which you will begin. There are also a number of readings not listed here that involve manuals and websites with instructions for using various programs. We will discuss how those programs in class, but outside reading of site instructions and tutorials may be necessary. Wozniacka and Janniger, “Progeria (Werner Syndrome),” eMedicine Chen and Oshima, “Werner Syndrome,” Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, “Werner Syndrome” Schellenberg, Tetsuro, Chang-En, and Nakura, “Werner Syndrome,” The Metabolic & Molecular bases of Inherited Disease Takao, Akasaka, Ito, Yukio, and Tosharu, “Pathology: Werner Syndrome and Normal Aging,” From Premature Gray Hair to Helicase – Werner Syndrome: Implications for Aging and Cancer


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