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Indian Institute of Technology Madras

Introduction to Developmental Biology

Indian Institute of Technology Madras and NPTEL via Swayam


How organisms develop from the single cell called zygote is a central theme of biology. Not surprisingly the questions of developmental biology attracted attention from Aristotle’s time, and are being intensely pursued by many laboratories around the world. The proposed course titled as Introduction to Developmental Biology aims to provide a thorough grounding on the fundamental concepts of developmental biology and introduce the students to early embryonic development.INTENDED AUDIENCE :3rd year and beyond for UG/dual degree and PG any year; should have a basic knowledge of biologyPREREQUISITES :Knowledge of basic biology, molecular biology and genetics will be essential.INDUSTRIES SUPPORT :None


Week 1: Developmental Anatomy – life cycle; comparative and evolutionary embryology; fate mappingWeek 2: Differential gene expressionWeek 3: Differential gene expression; Basic concepts of geneticsWeek 4: The concept of model organisms; Core genetic techniquesWeek 5: Cell-Cell communication in Development – basic concepts of morphogenesis and cell signalingWeek 6: Cell-Cell communication in Development – the signaling pathwaysWeek 7: Axis specification during Drosophila embryogenesisWeek 8: Axis specification during Drosophila embryogenesisWeek 9: Plant DevelopmentWeek 10:Early mammalian development – Cleavage and gastrulationWeek 11:Early mammalian development – Axis formationWeek 12:Developmental mechanisms of evolutionary change

Taught by

Prof. Subramaniam K

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