This course delves into a few ground-breaking original research papers that have shaped the concepts and technologies of modern biomedical research, with a special focus on cancer. The research contributions discussed here start with the discovery of oncogenes and quickly gathers pace to discuss paradigm-shifting research papers published within the last few years. The goal is to understand the logic and principles of doing biological experiments: the importance of models and hypotheses, testable versus untestable hypotheses, controls, the limits of interpretation dictated by the results, how changing paradigms influence the progress of science. A few of the chosen publications are considered classic; their approaches to addressing the unknown questions of the day and their conceptual contributions remain valid even today. Others, those focusing on deep sequencing of cancer genomes and single-cell studies, are more recent but have already begun to impact our understanding of cancer biology.
Undergraduate coursework in genetics, biochemistry and cell biology