PHYSIO 835.3 : Gasotransmitter biology and Medicine (3 credits)
Session 1: Introduction and course overview
Class 1: Definition of a gasotransmitter (GT), historical development of GT research, known members of GT family, potential members of GT family.
Session 2: GT Biology - Basic biological and health research
Class 2: GT Physiology and Pharmacology in Circulatory and Respiratory Health: Updated knowledge and master experimental skills in studying integrated GT physiology and pharmacology at whole-body, organ, tissue, and cellular levels.
Class 3: Enzymatic and pharmacological modulation of GT production: The properties and uses of different stimulators and inhibitors for the endogenous production of GT. The effectiveness and pitfalls of various compounds used in animal experiments and clinical practice.
Class 4: Structural interaction of GTs with cellular proteins: With the establishment of the Canadian Light Source at the University of Saskatchewan, trainees of GREAT program will have the unique opportunity to gain knowledge and expertise of synchrotron techniques to study the crystal structures of different types of cellular proteins (e.g. K + channel, membrane receptors, and intracellular kinases) and the interaction of these proteins with GTs, including nitrosylation (NO interaction), carboxynation (CO interaction), and sulfuration (H 2 S interaction).
Class 5: GTs and membrane excitability: Extensive in-depth training with electrophysiology techniques will be offered to study the effects of GTs on membrane potential, ion channels, and membrane excitability.
Class 6: GTs, Behaviour and Animal Cognition: Techniques by which behavioural and cognitive functions can be examined in non-human animals will be taught. Focus may include such areas as the effects of GTs on learning and memory, emotionality, communication, self-awareness & social structure. Further, how GTs are affected by sex and/or stage of development will be considered.
Session 3: GT Medicine - Clinical practice and Community health issues
Class 7: GTs and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases: The involvement of GTs in the pathogenesis and maintenance of hypertension, diabetes, heart ischemia/reperfusion injury, stroke, artheroslceorosis, heart transplantation, cardiac anaphylaxis, and hyperhomocysteinemia will be discussed and the relative therapeutic strategies outlined. Diagnostic applications of measurements of endogenous GT levels will be addressed. We have access to human umbilical artery, intemal mammary artery and mesenteric artery from surgical wards and we will be able to monitor the levels in these human tissues of NO and its metabolites, and H 2 S and CO. Trainees will have access to this aspect of research.
Class 8: Genomic manipulation of GT production in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases:
Gene therapy techniques will be taught to introduce and over-express the enzymes responsible for the production of GT in targeted tissues. Gene expression profiling and microarray analysis techniques will be taught and practiced to study the GT-induced changes in gene expression profiles in circulatory and respiratory systems. The trainees will also learn how to heterologously express either the GT-generating enzymes or the target proteins of GTs in different host cells to study their interaction and functions.
Class 9: Oxidative stress and GTs in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases: The production of GTs is closely linked to the oxidative stress in biological systems. The trainees will learn to understand the close relationship between the endogenous levels of GTs and cellular oxidative stress.
Class 10: GTs and community health issues: GTs as potential determinants of population health and possible relation to clinical diseases. Frameworks for disease prevention and health promotion. Disease prevention or mitigation via modulation of exogenous or endogenous GT levels.
Session 4: Toxicology and environmental concerns of GTs
Class 11: GTs and Environmental Toxicology and Physiology : At concentrations higher than endogenous levels, GTs in the environment have detrimental effects on circulatory and respiratory health. This topic will be discussed and the environmental monitoring technology taught. The trainees will learn the physiological roles of GT in environmental physiology, including temperature regulation, high-altitude and gravity adaptation, environmental stress, substance abuse, etc.
Session 5: Technologies for GT research
Class 12: Instrumentation and Drug Discovery on GT Research: With the collaboration of industry and colleagues in material sciences, engineering, and pharmaceuticals, the trainees will design and use new instruments to detect and monitor GTs in clinical and basic research settings. The concept of drug design and ways to selectively and safely deliver GTs under different in vivo conditions will be introduced. Trainees will gain working experience with medical instrument and pharmaceutical companies through collaborative arrangements.
Class 13: Biostatistic analysis and Bioinformatics related to GT Research: The trainees will be taught the comprehensive theory and tools to analyse and synthesise complex biological data with GT studies. Examples include the integrated design, process, and interpretation of microarray analysis of gene chips.
NEW COURSE #2: Career Development Essentials for Gasotransmitter Trainees
(To be introduced in the near future)
This non-credit course comprises 39 hours of instruction delivered in 13 class sessions
Class 1-2: Ethics in animal and human based GT research
Discussion of Tri-Council/CCAC policies, ethics in animal experiments. Ethics in clinical trials; ethics in community health study.
Class 3-4: Integrity in Scientific Research
Good research requires responsible conduct; professional codes and guidelines. Essential professional skills; fabrication, falsification, plagiarism.
Class 5-6: Student-Supervisor relationships and best practices
Responsibilities and rights of student; responsibilities and rights of supervisor. Discussion of 'best practices'; case histories.
Class 7-8: Responsible conduct as a GT researcher
In terms of ethics, use of anaesthetics, proper animal care.
How is a GT researcher related to other GT researchers and other professionals? Reviews of others' work (grant applications, manuscripts).
Supervision of students; service on students' committees.
Membership in professional organizations.
Authorship practices; sharing data and knowledge.
Class 9: Intellectual property protection and patent application
Why does intellectual property need to be protected?
When and how should an intellectual property be protected?
Mechanisms for the commercial applications of a patent.
Sharing and using intellectual property.
Class 10: Grant Applications
How do CIHR / HSF / NSERC / SSHRC work? How does NIH work?
How to deal with pharmaceutical industry sponsored projects?
Grant-winning skills and qualities.
Class 11-12: Communication Skills
Development of oral presentation skills; development of writing skills.
Visual aids: image design, misleading graphs.
Class 13: Transition from GT Research Trainees to GT Research Professionals
University or Industry or Other? Creation of a C.V. or resume.
Interviewing skills; negotiating salary, space and other resources.
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