Participation in Weekly Discussions

Students are expected to read the assigned papers thoroughly and to be prepared to discuss each data figure and table in detail. At the end of each class, each student will get a short assignment related to the papers that will be discussed the following week. These assignments might include looking up additional information about the methods, materials, authors, genes, proteins, diseases etc. and are aimed at enhancing the understanding of the papers.

Written Assignment

There will be one written assignment in the middle of the course. Students will write a 250- word abstract of an assigned paper. All students will get the same paper without the abstract, and will, on the basis of the materials and methods, results and discussion, write their own abstract. During class, all of the abstracts will be discussed and compared. Students and the instructor will make suggestions about how to improve the abstracts. Finally, the original abstract will be disclosed and compared to what the group has generated.

Oral Presentation

At the end of the course each student will give a 15 min. presentation about a research article relevant to the field of regenerative medicine. Each student will choose a paper according to her/his preferences by week 12. This selection will be approved by the instructor. The presentation should use approximately 12-15 slides:

  • The first slide should present the paper title, authors and their affiliations, journal, journal volume, pages and year of publication.
  • The next 2-3 slides should contain background information. Students should describe the most important knowledge in the field before the research was conducted, and explain any key terms crucial for understanding the presentation.
  • The following 1-2 slides should address the main techniques.
  • The next 5-7 slides should present the most important results - the key figures and tables, the key control experiments, and their implications. Critical judgment should be expressed.
  • The final slide should describe conclusions offered by the authors and students' evaluation of the validity of these conclusions.

The major focus will be on identifying and critiquing the key experiment(s) and control(s). Students should be able to present the essence of the paper, in a structured and concise manner. During Each presentation and afterwards, there will be a class discussion.