LMP1105: Current understanding of Atherosclerosis

Who can attend

There are no prerequisites for this course. 

You must be enrolled in the Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP) doctoral program or equivalent program. If you are not registered in LMP, you must seek the approval of the module coordinator to register for the course.

Enrollment is capped at 10 graduate students.

Course description

We will explore Atherosclerosis, a major cardiovascular disease, in depth.

Each week, we will identify, present and discuss gaps in knowledge in the understanding of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.

Students present assigned recent reviews and high-quality peer-reviewed original research papers on the cell and molecular pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and relate these papers to current literature. You are expected to read all the assigned reviews and original research papers prior to the seminar in order to participate and contribute meaningfully to the seminar discussions. These presentations set the stage for a general discussion by all the students.

Presentations will focus on cell and molecular biology, discovery sciences, and translational research in cardiovascular disease.

Each weekly seminar session is two hours with a brief introduction by the instructor and assigned presentations by the students on the topic of the day followed by a discussion with participation by all the students.

Course coordinator

Dr. Avrum I. Gotlieb

Office: Medical Sciences Building, 6th floor, Room 6275A. Office hours by appointment.

lmp.grad@utoronto.ca for administrative queries.

Teaching Assistant

Jonah Burke-Kleinman (j.burkekleinman@mail.utoronto.ca)

Timings and location

This course is offered every year in the Winter session.

Fridays 10 am – 12 pm

Location: MSB 3290

Evaluation methods

  • Final report (total 50%: 10% abstract oral presentation, 40% final written report)
  • Journal presentations (30%): A review and an original research paper
  • Participation in seminar discussions (20%): At all the seminars

The final report

You will be assigned a topic selected by the instructor in the 1st week of the course.

You will write an original eight-page report double spaced (excluding references, tables, and figures) which includes a comprehensive background literature review serving as a background in identifying major gaps in knowledge on the specific topic in atherosclerosis research under study.

Your report should include:

  • a discussion on the rationale for choosing these gaps
  • an in-depth discussion describing these gaps in knowledge
  • a discussion on innovative research strategies in cell/molecular biology that can be designed and carried out to fill these gaps in knowledge. This should deal primarily with utilizing novel ideas to design experimental approaches to discover new useful knowledge to understand pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.
  • high-quality up-to-date references to develop the content of the report.

You will present an Abstract of the report to the class (oral and written, 300 words) on week 6 and submit the final report via email as PDF one week later on March 18, 2022 by 5 pm to Dr. Gotlieb and Jonah Burke-Kleinman.


All sessions are led by Dr. Avrum I. Gotlieb.




Introduction to plaque morphology, contents, and complications


Approaches to the study of Atherosclerosis; human, animal, and in vitro models (student presentations)


Interactions at blood–vessel wall interface (student presentations)


Pathogenesis; Intima-Media Compartment (student presentations)


Pathogenesis; Adventitia-PVAT Compartment (student presentations)


Preparation time - no formal class meeting.


Abstract oral presentations of final report (all students)


 Submission of final report. No class.