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Recent Discoveries in Molecular Biology - Henry Levin PhD

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This Spring FAES is offering a course showcasing the research of 16 leading scientists at NIH.  The course is titled "Recent Discoveries in Molecular Biology". The scientists will present their work at an introductory level suitable for postbaccalaureate fellows, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.  The lectures will cover a broad range of topics from DNA recombination to the development of the neuro-circuits in the brain responsible for vision.

Course Description

The objective of this postgraduate course is to present late breaking discoveries of genetic, epigenetic, cellular, and developmental mechanisms that underlie the fundamental processes of biology. The presentations will focus on discoveries that reveal molecular understanding of key processes. Speakers will present introductory material and explain how recent results impact current assumptions. Topics discussed will include  DNA replication, the dynamics of chromatin structure, the function of small noncoding RNAs, gene shuffling in the immune system, transposable elements, autophagy, the formation of organelles, molecular control of early development including the vascular system, complex genetics of the domestic dog, and the neural circuitry of the visual system. Each lecture will be given by a different guest speaker chosen from among the leading research scientists at NIH. Reading material will be made available one week prior to each lecture. All students should have a college level understanding of basic biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics. This course is highly recommended for postbaccalaureate fellows and graduate students at NIH but will also be informative for postdoctoral fellows. For students that register to receive a grade, a midterm and a final exam will be provided. These will consist of essay questions written by the speakers that relate to their current research. One week will be allowed to complete each exam. The lectures will be held from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm on the Tuesdays listed below. The lectures will be in room 036 of building 60 on the Bethesda campus of NIH. Go to the "Directions" link to get directions to the room.

For more information contact Henry Levin at

Class email list

To be added to the email list send  an e-mail to with the following text in the message body:
subscribe biochem539 Lastname full_name

as an exampe I would write
subscribe biochem539 Levin Henry Levin





Jan. 29

Elaine Ostrander

Both Ends of the Leash: Good Dogs with Bad Genes Inform Human Health

Feb. 5

Gisela Storz

Regulatory RNAs

Feb. 12

Henry Levin

The function and impact of transposable elements

Feb. 19

Kumaran Ramamurthi

Subcellular Protein Localization

Feb. 26



March 5

Elissa Lei

Chromatin organization in development and disease

March 12

Alan Hinnebusch

Translational Control of Gene Expression

March 19

Martin Gellert

Gene reshuffling in the immune system

March 26

Rich Maraia

Architectures of RNA Polymerases and the control elements in the nuclear genes they transcribe

April 2

Antonina Roll-Mecak

Looking under the hood of molecular machines that regulate the cytoskeleton

April 9

Sriram Subramaniam

Bridging the gap between cell biology and structural biology with 3D electron microscopy

April 16

Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz

Mitochondria, autophagy and cell cycle control

April 23

Brant Weinstein

Developmental biology of the cardiovascular system

April 30

Igor Dawid

Vertebrate embryogenesis as illustrated in frogs and fish

May 7

Caroline Philpott

The role of chaperones in iron homeostasis

May 14

Chi-hon Lee

Wiring the Brains: Insights through Flies' eyes


 Registration is now being accepted via online ( Walk-in registration for Spring 2013 is Tuesday, January 15, through Wednesday, January 23, 10AM – 4PM, Bldg 60, Rooms 236 & 237 (the Cloister) and on Tuesday, January 22, 5PM – 7PM (in addition to 10AM – 4PM). Late walk-in registration will be accepted from January 24 through February 22, Bldg 60, Suite 230, 8:30AM - 4PM (and January 28-31, 5PM - 8PM) with a $10 late fee.  To register with lab funds ask your secretary to enter you into the NIHITS system  Once your AO approves your enrollment, you can take the approval to the FAES office.

For details visit; or call 301-496-7976.