LMP330H1 – Genetic and Computational Modeling in Human Development and Disease

Course description

Enrolment is limited to students in the Pathobiology specialist program.

This course introduces the use and impact of genetic model systems and organisms in exploring aspects of human reproduction, development, aging and disease.

We will highlight ethical issues in animal research, genetic manipulation, and disease modeling.

This course also introduces the bioinformatics concepts and methods used in biological data analysis.

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

  • paraphrase fundamental principles in model species and computational modeling
  • describe the strengths and weaknesses of models used to address open questions in development and disease
  • explain how to apply genetic and computational models to address a scientific question.

Course coordinators

Dr. David Irwin

Office address: 1 King’s College Circle, MSB Room 6211

Dr. Karim Mekhail

Office address: 661 University Ave, MaRS Centre West Tower Room 1513 

Dr. Bo Wang

Office address: UHN, 190 Elizabeth St, 3rd floor 

Teaching assistant

Negin Khosraviani



Fall 2023

Class time

Tuesday 9:10 - 11 am

Tutorial time

Tuesday 11:10 am - 12 pm

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, BIO260H1/HMB265H1
  • Exclusions: LMP408H1
  • Recommended preparation: None
  • Distribution requirements: Science
  • Breadth requirement: Living Things and Their Environment (4)          
  • Enrolment limits: 35 students

Student evaluation

The grade for this course (LMP330) will be divided among assignments, participation in a debate, and a final assessment. There will be three assignments and the class will be divided into three groups for the debate (see Quercus for more details). The final assessment will cover material from all lectures in the course. 

Assignment 1

  • Issued on: September 27, 2023
  • Due date: October 13, 2023
  • Coordinator: Dr. David Irwin
  • Percentage: 15%

Assignment 2

  • Issued on: September 27, 2023
  • Due date: November 13, 2023
  • Coordinator: Dr. Karim Mekhail
  • Percentage: 15%

Assignment 3

  • Issued on: September 27, 2023
  • Due date: December 4, 2023
  • Coordinator: Dr. Bo Wang
  • Percentage: 15%


  • Issued on: September 27, 2023
  • Due date: December 5, 2023
  • Coordinator: All
  • Percentage: 15%

Final Assessment

  • Issued on: September 27, 2023
  • Due date: TBA
  • Coordinator: All
  • Percentage: 40%

See information on Academic Integrity


This course is a lecture-based course and attendance is expected for you to acquire complete lecture details.

The course is organized as one weekly 2-hour lecture followed by a 1-hour tutorial period. Some classes may extend into the tutorial period.

We will provide activities outside of class time to reinforce course concepts and aid in understanding. We will make draft PowerPoint slides and other lecture-specific material available on the Quercus website prior to lectures. Final versions of class lecture PowerPoint slides may not be posted to Quercus. 

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





September 12, 2023

Introduction to model species

Dr. David Irwin

Dr. David Irwin

September 19, 2023

Human genomics and biomedical genetics 

Dr. David Irwin

Dr. David Irwin

September 26, 2023

Drosophila melanogaster models

Dr. David Irwin

Dr. R. Fernandez-Gonzalez 

October 3, 2023

Stem cell/iPs models for human development and disease

Dr. Karim Mekhail

I. Rogers 

October 10, 2023

Yeast models and human disease

Dr. Karim Mekhail

Dr. Karim Mekhail

October 17, 2023

Mouse models and human disease

Dr. Karim Mekhail

Dr. Razqallah Hakem

October 24, 2023

Caenorhabditis elegans models

Dr. David Irwin

P. Roy 

October 31, 2023

Zebrafish in vascular development

Dr. Karim Mekhail

Dr. Jason Fish

November 6 - 10

Reading Week



November 14, 2023

Biomedical databases

Dr. Bo Wang

G. Bader

November 21, 2023

Bioinformatic and multi-omnics

Dr. Bo Wang

B. Haibe-Kains

November 28, 2023

Introduction to machine learning

Dr. Bo Wang

Dr. Bo Wang

December 5, 2023

All scientific debate of genetic model papers




Final Assessment



Recommended reading or text book

Links to recommended/required readings (journal articles) will be posted on Quercus.