Gertler lab science MIT Department of Biology
Department Calendar


7.56 Foundations of Cell Biology



top photo credit:
Dr. Frank Gertler lab

The Mena protein (green) is concentrated at the ends of the actin cables (red) in focal adhesions, sites of bidirectional signaling between the extra-cellular matrix and the cyto-skeleton.(Cell 87:227-239)

The materials and information for this class can be found on Stellar.


Course Description


Designed for graduate students interested in understanding biological processes at the cellular level. Intended to be useful to biologists working in a wide range of areas and to provide the foundation to approach the current literature.

The goals are to:

  • discuss fundamental topics in cell and molecular biology;
  • demonstrate how the major questions have been approached, technically and intellectually;
  • analyze how one interprets the data produced by those approaches; and
  • identify the questions that remain.

Topics include macromolecular synthesis, assembly of cellular complexes and structures, control of cell division, and cell signaling. Familiarity with the basics of biochemistry and genetics is assumed.