LMP320H1 – Pathobiology of Stem Cells

Course description

Enrolment is limited to students in the Pathobiology specialist program.

This course introduces stem cells and their impact on human health and disease.

You will study stem cells from the perspective of development and disease, with a focus on the nervous system, respiratory system, and cancer.

This course is intended to provide a foundation in the basis of stem cells in preparation for fourth-year courses.

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe basic concepts of stem cells and their biology.
  • Describe the underlying principles of stem cell biology in the development of the nervous and respiratory systems.
  • Describe the cancer stem cell hypothesis and the possible role of cancer stem cells in cancer development and progression. 
  • Effectively communicate and apply concepts of stem cell biology to discuss the pros and cons of stem cell related issues and media.

Course coordinators

Dr. Sunit Das

Office address: St. Michael’s Hospital, 30 Bond St

Dr. Amy Wong

Office address: SickKids, 686 Bay St, PGCRL Rm 17-904

Dr. Scott Yuzwa

Office address: 1 King’s College Circle, MSB Rm 6336 

Teaching assistant

Polina Balin



Winter 2023

Lecture location and time

Tuesday 9 - 11 am

Room OA 402 at 263 McCaul

263 McCaul is located just south of College Street on the east side, behind the Health Sciences Building
(155 College St).

Tutorial location and time

Tuesday 11 am - 12 pm

Room OA 402 at 263 McCaul

Office hours

Contact TA or Course Coordinators

Course details

  • Hours: 24L/12T
  • Prerequisite information: Enrolment is limited to students in the Pathobiology specialist program.
  • Prerequisite: LMP200H1
  • Exclusions: None
  • Recommended preparation: None
  • Distribution requirements: Science
  • Breadth requirement: Living Things and Their Environment (4)          
  • Enrolment limits: 35 students

Student evaluation

Participation/Attendance: 5%

Writing Assignment: 15%

Quiz 1: 20% (After Lectures 1-4)

Quiz 2: 20% (After Lecture 5-8) 

Final Exam (to occur during the final exam period): 40%;

See information on Academic Integrity


Lecture topics are subject to change. We will list finalized lecture topics in the official syllabus




January 10, 2023

Introduction to stem cells and stem cell biology

Dr. Scott Yuzwa

January 17, 2023

Stem cells build tissues: focus on the brain and nervous system

Dr. Scott Yuzwa

January 24, 2023

Neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult brain and models to study NSCs and other stem cell types

Dr. Scott Yuzwa

January 31, 2023

NSCs and disease: focus on NSC responses after stroke and demyelination

Dr. Scott Yuzwa

February 7, 2023

Stem cells in lung development

Quiz 1

Dr. Amy Wong

February 14, 2023

Endogenous stem cells of the lung: role in homeostasis and repair

Dr. Amy Wong

February 28, 2023

Non-pulmonary stem cell treatment of congenital pulmonary diseases

Augusto Zani

March 7, 2023

Modeling human cystic fibrosis and respiratory virus lung diseases using stem cells

Dr. Amy Wong

March 14, 2023

From clones to hierarchies: the clonal evolution model versus the cancer stem cell hypothesis

Quiz 2

Dr. Sunit Das

March 21, 2023

Understanding cancer through normal physiology: John Dick and the story of AML

Dr. Sunit Das

March 28, 2023

Understanding the cell-of-origin and oncologic risk in the context of brain development: a tale of three brain tumors

Writing Assignment due

Dr. Sunit Das

April 4, 2023

Finding the cancer stem cell: challenges and complications

Dr. Sunit Das

Recommended reading or text book


Note from the Instructors

Hello everyone and welcome to LMP320H1! We are Drs. Yuzwa, Wong and Das and we are very excited to be offering LMP320H1: Pathobiology of Stem Cells for the very first time in LMP.

We hope that you enjoy the inaugural running of this course and ask that you bare with us as we all go through this new course for the first time together. We hope that you’ll come along with us on our journey to study the beauty and the promise of stem cell biology in physiology and disease.

We’re very much committed to helping each of you get the most possible out of this course and if there are ways that we can improve the course to make that possible we would be happy to hear any of your feedback (either in class, via e-mail or on Quercus).

It is our strong belief that the classroom environment for LMP320H1 should be welcoming and inclusive for all members of this class from both an EDI perspective and from a scientific background perspective.

Please think of the lecture environment as a “safe” one and we will do our best to foster and model that safe learning environment. We are all coming from different backgrounds with different lived experiences thus please consider that you may know more than some of your classmates in specific areas and they may know more than you in other areas. It is the union of everyone’s expertise that will hopefully make LMP320H1 a great experience. In that regard, you are free to ask any question that comes to mind (related to the material at hand). We may not know the answer but we can always find the answer together. 

Finally, LMP320H1 will be delivered in person. Many more details with respect to course delivery and polices are described in greater detail in the Course Info Section and in the Course Syllabus on Quercus.

Should you have any questions about this course which are not answered in the Syllabus or on Quercus please feel free to reach out to us by email at the addresses below (depending on the section to which the question pertains):

Dr. Yuzwa, scott.yuzwa@utoronto.ca
Dr. Wong, apwong@sickkids.ca
Dr. Das, sunit.das@utoronto.ca


Drs. Scott Yuzwa, Amy Wong and Sunit Das