Fall 2013

Bio 572

Plant and Microbial Biosciences Journal Club
Class Details:
Meeting Time: Alternating Fridays from 3 – 5 PM
Location: McDonnell 412 (Danforth Campus)
Credit: 1 unit

Coursemasters: Barbara Kunkel and Ivan Baxter
Email: kunkel@wustl.eduibaxter@danforthcenter.org
Phone: Baxter: 314-488-1535Kunkel: 314-935-7284
Office: Baxter: Danforth CenterKunkel: Monsanto 319
Discussion Leaders:
Dmitri Nusinow, Lucia Strader, Wayne Barnes, Ram Dixit, Dan Chitwood, Becky Bart and Chris Topp

Course description:
A biweekly discussion of modern and classic research in plant and microbial biology, including topics in molecular genetics, development, biochemistry, physiology, and plant-pathogen interactions. Credit will be contingent on regular attendance and active and informed participation in group discussions and in an online format.
  1. To develop students’ critical reading skills and prepare them for the peer review process.
  2. To provide an in depth discussion of both classic and important new papers in the area of plant biology.
  3. To give students experience in explaining scientific concepts in a casual atmosphere.
Course Format:
Faculty advisors will select a recent or classic paper for discussion, and distribute questions meant to stimulate discussion in advance of class via an online wiki. Students will take turns leading discussions of each paper. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss any aspect of the assigned readings. The focus will be both on big-picture themes, scientific rational, experimental approaches, as well as technical details of each of the figures in the research paper.
Required Reading:
Papers for discussion and any relevant background material will be distributed well in advance of each class meeting.


This class is based around in class discussion, so missing class will significantly inhibit your ability to learn the material. Students missing the class will be asked to write a full and comprehensive review of the papers under discussion, summarizing the conclusions and critiquing the methods

Academic Integrity:
Students are expected to abide by the Washington University Polices on Academic Integrity:
Graduate Students: http://artsci.wustl.edu/GSAS/Policies/ACINTEG03.pdf
Please also observe standard classroom etiquette: turn off your cell phone, no email or texting during class, and listen to other students’ ideas with respect and without interruption.