Molecular and Genetic Responses to Environmental Stress

Session 1

Molecular and Genetic Responses to Environmental Stress-PCB4917

Natural and man-made changes in the environment can put tremendous stress on the ability of organisms to maintain homeostasis, affecting human health, agriculture, and biodiversity. You are invited to come explore fundamental principles of cellular homeostasis and learn modern molecular and genetic research tools that are revealing unprecedented insights into how cells detect environmental stress and activate protective genes/ proteins.

Instructor: Keith Choe | 321 Bartram Hall|

Format: Introductory activities and lectures, laboratory research, field trips in Florida.

Notes: Est. cost to attend: $240 for reagents and field trips.

This course has a limited number of seats- apply toady to ensure your spot! To apply click this link: here!

Applications are due Wednesday, December 4th at 11:59pm.


Class Meeting Times (While at UF): T,W,R,F | Period 3 – 5 (9:35 AM – 12:35 PM)

Tentative Course schedule:  

Week 1 (1/06/20)


  • Understand the rules and reasons of lab notebook keeping
  • Introduction to C. elegans and master stage identification and worm picking
  • Apply understanding of gene regulation, RNA processing, protein structure, and homeostasis to understand how cells respond to stress
  • Discuss research into heavy metal stress responses and RNA homeostasis
  • Master picking individual worms

Field trip – 1/18 – TBA

Week 2 (1/13/20)


  • Evaluate and pick genes altered by stress or mutation for experimentation
  • Apply understanding of DNA structure and replication to understand real-time quantitative PCR
  • Design primers for genes
  • Master pipetting, dilution, and estimating an unknown concentration
  • Practice quantitative PCR and analysis of data

Field trip – 1/18 – TBA

Week 3 (1/20/20)


  • Test student designed primers and redesign if needed
  • Discuss research paper and presentation requirements
  • Compare mRNA levels during stress or mutation

Exam on Thursday 1/23

Field trip – 1/24 – TBA

Week 4 (1/27/20)


  • Repeat mRNA measurement as needed
  • Test gene functions with RNAi time permitting
  • Work on reports and presentations

Submit draft reports Thursday 1/30

Field trip – 2/1 – TBA

Feedback on draft reports due Monday 2/3

Week 5 (2/3/20)


  • Revise reports and presentations
  • Repeat experiments as needed

Final reports due Thursday 2/6