• General

  • Welcome and Introduction to the course

  • week 1 (March 2nd - 3rd)

    To access the material of the online course:

    1) go to https://start.unito.it/

    2) In course categories select Scientific Area

    3) Select Developmental Neurobiology

    4) Explore Unit 1 - Section 1: Basic Concepts in Developmental Biology (for this week let's focus only on Section 1)

    5) Perform Task 1 related to Basic Concepts (see below)

  • week 2 - March (9-13)

    Video introduction

    This week we will focus on the main signaling pathways involved in neural development. 

    1) go to Topic 1 - Section 2 on the start@unito platform

    2) watch the screencasts

    3) read the Instant Notes

    4) read the two review articles cited in the bibliography of the Instant Notes

    5) you can answer to the Unit 1 quiz

    5) Build a Concept Map (to be uploaded on the CMB moodle platform) on one aspect you find particularly interesting on that topic (it can be one or more signaling pathways, concepts related to cell competence or the graded response...or any other topic related to the subject).

  • week 3 - March (16-20)

    Video introduction 

    This week we will focus on Animal Models  

    1) go to Topic 2 - Section 1 on the start@unito platform
    2) watch the two screencasts about animal models 
    3) read the Instant Notes
    4) watch the videos on the CMB i learn platform
    5) the tasks proposed for this week consists in reading three scientific articles and write a short report on the articles related to the use of specific animal models to study neurodevelopmental disorders (you will find all the instruction on the start@unito platform and you will have to upload your work on the CMB i learn platform).

  • week 4 - March (23-27)

    Video introduction

    This week we will be dedicated to explore some of the main experimental approaches used in the field of developmental biology 

    1) go to Topic 2 - Section 2 on the start@unito platform
    2) watch the screencast about experimental methods and manipulations
    3) read the Instant Notes
    4) watch the Jove videos and explore the bio-protocols website in the "External Resources"
    5) read the article "Exploring landscapes of brain morphogenesis with organoids" by D. Jabaudon & M. Lancaster. Development 2018 
    6) perform the two tasks proposed below (follow the instruction on the CMB i-learn platform)

  • week 5- (March 30-April 3) - postponed to April 6-10

    The main objective of the material proposed this week is to promote the understanding of early neural development and to this aim you will have to work on the material on the start@unito platform Unit 3 - Section 1

    For this week there will be no work to submit, but please read the papers indicated in the task (Unit 3 Section 1) on the start@unito platform and use the forum on the CMB i learn platform (see below) to publish questions or comments on the papers that you have read. Try to interact with your peers and answer to the questions. I'll take part to the discussion, if needed,  but I would like first to see you active in the forum.

  • Week 6 - April 20-24

    See Introduction below

    The main objective of the material proposed this week is focussed on the  understanding of the mechanisms that underly the regional identity of the nervous system. To this aim you will have to work on the material on the start@unito platform Unit 3 - Section 2 
    The main topics are:
    antero-posterior axis whit a focus on Hox genes function in hindbrain development; 
    - organizing centers in the developing brain;

    - dorsal-ventral polarity of the neural tube (the spinal cord) - see also the snap-shot on spinal cord development (attached below)

    For an in depth understanding of the topic read the following papers 

    Molecular mechanisms controlling brain development: an overview of neuroepithelial secondary organizers by C. Vieira, A. Pombero, R. Garcia-Lopez, L. Gimeno, D. Echevarria  and S. Martinez.  Int. J. Dev. Biol. 54: 7-20 (2010) doi: 10.1387/ijdb.092853cv

    Dorsal-ventral patterning of the neural tube: a tale of three signals by Le Dréau G., Martì E.  Dev. Neurobiol. 2012 Dec;72(12):1471-81. doi:10.1002/dneu.22015. 

  • Week 7 - April 27- May 01

    The main objective of the material proposed this week is focussed on neural progenitors. To this aim you will have to work on the material on the start@unito platform Unit 4 - Section 1

    - watch the video on Neural Progenitors

    - read the instant notes on neural progenitor potential and generation of cell diversity

    - in the external resources: visit Michèle Studer lab website 

    - perform the task described below (dead line May 4)

  • week 8 - May 4-8 - Visiting Professor

    Monday, May 4th - 11:00-12:00 - Meeting to discuss about the course organization and next activities

    Tuesday, May 5th - 11:00- 13:30 - Lecture on cellular and molecular organization of the cerebral cortical progenitors in mammals (by M. Studer)

    Thursday, May 7th - 14:00 - 16:00 - Introduction on advanced methods for neurobiology and Task V1 (by M. Studer)

  • week 9 - May 11-15 - Visiting Professor

    Monday - May 11 - 14:00-15:00 - Lecture "Acquiring neural diversity in the developing cortex"

    Tuesday - May 12 - 11:00-13:00 - Presentation of the EMBO J paper (in press)

    Tuesday - May 13 - 14:00-16:00  - "Writing a fellowship proposal" Tips and Task

  • week 10 - May 18-22 - Visiting Professor

    Monday - May 18 - 14:00-15:00 - Lecture by M. Studer

    Tuesday - May 19 - 11:00-13:00 - Presentation by students (advanced technologies)

    Tuesday _ May 19 - 14:00-16:00 - Presentation by students (advanced technologies)

  • week 11 - May 25-30 - Research Proposal

  • week 12 (June)

    For a general overview on the basic of circuit development and adult neurogenesis refer to Unit 5 and 6 on the strat@unito platform 

    - view the short screencasts and read the instant notes

    - you are not requested to perform the suggested tasks in terms of reports or concept maps but you are invited to visit the external resources and read at least one of the suggested articles per each unit

    - do not hesitate to contact me for any questions

    • Exam Instructions

      The final exam will take place on the webex platform - students will be required to keep the videocamera open and access to the quiz activity on the moodle platform.

      the written exam will last 30'  and will consist in:

      -10 closed questions (similar to those found in the self-evaluation quiz on the start@unito platform)


      -2 open questions based on topics covered in lectures, assigned readings, and online activities (you can find examples in the additional material on the start@unito platform).

      Following the written exam there will be a short oral exam during which the students will have the opportunity to discuss and better specify its written answers and/or answer to additional questions.  The grade obtained in the exam will weight 70% of the final grade

      FINAL GRADE= exam (70% weight)+ activities during the course (Tasks and activities during the course will be evaluated and the overall engagement of the students will weight 30% of the final grade)

      Students that for any reason did not perform at least 70% of the requested activities during the course will need to contact the professor to define the modality to compensate before attending the exam