LMP410H1 - Pathobiology of Neurodegenerative Disease 24L

Course description

Focussing on the molecular basis of neurodegenerative diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems.

We cover the molecular pathobiology of neurodegenerative diseases, current research developments, and writing research proposals.

You will practice the assembly of a succinct research proposal and query neurodegenerative disease material taught in the course in the mid-term and final exams.

Course coordinator

Naomi Visanji 

Toronto Western Hospital: University Health Network (UHN)

399 Bathurst St., Rm 9MC 422, Toronto, Ontario Canada M5T 2S8 



Teaching assistant



Fall 2024

Class and tutorial details

Available on Quercus

Last day to drop course

November 6 (25% of final mark released before November 5)

Office hours

In-person meetings can be arranged with short notice.

Course details

  • Hours: Approximately 24 hours for lectures, as well as mid-term and final exam
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Exclusions: none
  • Breadth requirement: none
  • Enrolment limits: 40 students

Student evaluation

Mid-term: 25% for in-class component plus 25% for homework grant proposal

Final exam: 50% for neurodegenerative disease material test

See information on Academic Integrity



Topic and estimated time spent


September 13, 2023

Introduction to course and overview (2 hours)

Dr. Gerold Schmitt-Ulms

September 20, 2023

Prion Diseases (60 mins plus 20 min Q&A)

How to improve scientific writing in general (20 mins plus 10 min Q&A)

Dr. Gerold Schmitt-Ulms

September 27, 2023

Genetics (60 mins plus 20 min Q&A)

How to develop an introduction/rationale section for a project proposal (20 mins plus 10 min Q&A)

Dr. Ekaterina Rogaeva


October 4, 2023

Poly-glutamine Disease (60 mins plus 20 min Q&A)

How to come up with a project title and write a significance section (20 mins plus 10 min Q&A)

Dr. Jeehye Park


October 11, 2023

Tauopathies (60 mins plus 20 min Q&A)

How to generate a hypothesis and break a project into 2 - 3 specific aims (20 mins plus 10 min Q&A)

Dr. Joel Watts


October 18, 2023

ALS/FTD (60 mins plus 20 min Q&A)

How to write a concise work plan (20 mins plus 10 min Q&A)

Dr. Janice Robertson

October 25, 2023

Mid-term (2 hours)

Monitored by Teaching Assistant (TA)

November 1, 2023

Parkinson’s Disease (80 mins plus 30 min Q&A)

Dr. Carmela Tartaglia


November 8, 2023

Reading week November 6 - 10. No classes


November 15, 2023

Alzheimer’s disease and therapy? (80 mins plus 30 min Q&A)

Dr. Ingelsson

November 22, 2023

Neuroanatomy/pathology (80 mins plus 30 min Q&A)

Dr. Gabor Kovacs

November 29, 2023



December 6, 2023

Parkinson’s Disease (1 hour)

Optional review of exam materials (1 hour)

Dr. Gerold Schmitt-Ulms

Teaching Assistant (TA)

TBD (December 9 - 20)

Final exam (2 hours)

Monitored by Teaching Assistant (TA)

Recommended reading or text book

You are encouraged to familiarize yourself with software packages that automate the management and assembly of bibliographies (e.g., Endnote, Mendeley, Zotero, RefWorks).

The following is a list of useful resources (none of these are essential for this course but they should provide useful information and context):

Free online resources for general information on scientific writing

Books you can purchase:

  • The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science. Scott L. Montgomery. Published December 15th, 2002, by University Of Chicago Press. ISBN: 0226534855
  • Scientific and Medical Communication. Scott A. Mogull. Published April 8, 2016, by Routledge. ISBN: 1138842559.
  • Grant Writing in Higher Education: A Step‐by‐Step Guide. Kenneth T. Hensen. Published 2003 by Allyn & Bacon. ISBN‐13: 978‐0205389193