Topic for Winter 2018:Extracellular vesicles (exosomes) as vehicles of gene deliery, including across the blood brain barrier (BBB) to treat brain tumors

Gene delivery is important in addressing several diseases. The instructor will introduce the subject based on his own research on exosome and liposome nanoparticle-mediated gene delivery, including in the context of prodrugs and across the BBB. The students will then be asked to select papers in the current litererature dealing with one of these methods. Selection of the papers by the students is encouraged, but help will be available in this as well as in understanding and presentaion of the papers.

A paper represnts a signpost in an ongoing conversation and search for knowledge. Therefore, it is expected that students will familiarize themselves with background materials and related papers so as to provide an appropriate perspective in their presentations. These will be accompanied with well-thoughtout powepoint display items and written handouts.

Number of students wanting to take the course varies. Ideally the maximum should not be >10, although up to 20 have been accommodated. Strict format depends on this number. With fewer students (as in the winter of '17, when 4 students enrolled), the course will take the form of 'special study' format involving individual instructor-student discussions followed by the presentations.

In either case, a final paper will be required of each student that will critically evaluate the subject based on all the presentations and discussions; a verdict as to the prospects of the field would also be welcome. Grading will be on: a) quality of presentations; b) quality of the final write-up; and c) participation in class discussions -- no final examination.

A good idea of what the course is like can be had by the student comments; see the [PDF].