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.

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

  • Assignments/Essay/Paper: 15%
  • Quiz #1: 20%
  • Quiz #2: 20%
  • In-class participation/discussion: 5%
  • Final Exam: 40%

See information on Academic Integrity


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





Stem cells in the pathobiology of the nervous system


Lecture 1

Introduction to stem cells and stem cell biology


Lecture 2

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


Lecture 3

Neural stem cells (NSCs) in the adult brain and nervous system


Lecture 4

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



Stem cells in the pathobiology of the respiratory system


Lecture 5

Stem cells in lung development


Lecture 6

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


Lecture 7

Non-pulmonary stem cell treatment of congenital pulmonary diseases


Lecture 8

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



Stem cells and cancer

Lecture 9

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


Lecture 10

Understanding cancer through normal physiology: the story of AML


Lecture 11

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


Lecture 12

Finding the cancer stem cell: challenges and complications


Recommended reading or text book