For more information about any of our courses, contact:
Tracy Gilstrap, Education Coordinator, GRTC | (858) 822-1378

Introduction to glycoscience

OFFERED: Winter Quarter 2018

The primary aim is to provide an overview of fundamental facts, concepts, and methods in glycoscience. The course is structured around major themes in the field starting from basic understanding of structure and molecular interactions of carbohydrates, to the mechanisms of their biological functions in normal and disease states, to their applications in materials science and energy generation. This is a lecture course geared to introduce undergraduates and graduate students with limited prior exposure to the field, supported by selected readings and class notes.

Prerequisites: Organic Chemistry sequence and Biochemistry are required. Additionally, one course in either General Biology, Molecular Biology, or Cell Biology is strongly encouraged. Or, advance approval by instructors.

Course Directors: Kamil Godula / Jeffrey Esko

Visit: Introduction to Glycoscience for lecture topics, notes and presentation.

Current Literature in Glycobiology

(MED 246/BIOM 246/CMM 246)
OFFERED: Fall, Winter, Spring Quarters, Fridays, 12:00-1:00 PM
2017 Orientation: Friday September 29, 2017
Biomedical Research Building II, Room 4103

Current Literature in Glycobiology is a one-credit elective that provides a forum for informally discussing current papers in glycobiology research. Topics include glycan chemistry, biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology in animals, plants, and microbes, as well as medical aspects of glycobiology. Typically, 20-25 students, post-docs, and faculty attend the meeting on a weekly basis. Registration for the course (1 credit per quarter) is done through the registrar's office.

Course Director: Lars Bode
Co-Directors: Jeffrey D. Esko / Pascal Gagneux / Ajit Varki / Philip Gordts

Visit: Current Literature in Glycobiology

ADVANCED glycobiology

(MED 225/CHEM 237/BIOM 222/BGGN 236/CMM 225)
Next Session: Spring Quarter 2018

The primary focus of this course is to provide a forum for the discussion of advanced topics in glycosciences. Grading is based on regular attendance, class participation, and a take-home written essay on a topical issue in glycobiology.

Background requirements: Coursework in cell biology and biochemistry

Readings: Selected readings from primary literature and from the textbook Essentials of Glycobiology, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York. The second edition is currently available online at NCBI.

GRTC Co-Sponsored Seminar Series

The Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine sponsors two seminar series that include speakers working on glycobiology related subjects. The first, co-sponsored with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, brings in speakers from other universities and industry. The Glycobiology Research and Training Center jointly sponsors.

In addition, the department sponsors an in-house seminar series in which postdoctoral fellows and advanced students make formal presentations. Trainees in laboratories involved in glycobiology research give several of these seminars. A complete schedule of seminars can be found on the CMM Seminar Series Calendar

Postdoctoral and graduate research


The Glycobiology Research and Training Center at UC San Diego provides many opportunities for graduate and postdoctoral training. Postdoctoral candidates interested in working with GRTC faculty should contact the individual faculty members directly. Aspiring graduate students must apply and be admitted to one of the Ph.D.-granting programs,e.g., Bioengineering, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Once in a program, interested students can rotate and eventually elect one of the GRTC laboratories for their graduate work. The GRTC also sponsors special opportunities for advanced training in the glycosciences as listed below.

Program of Excellence in Glycosciences (PEG)
glycan modulation of inflammatory responses


The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has awarded investigators at the University of California, San Diego, a program project grant as part of a national network of Programs of Excellence in Glycosciences (PEG). The goal of the PEG is to translate emerging discoveries into new diagnostics and clinical applications, to build research capacity including technological resources, and a cadre of "scientifically bilingual" investigators fluent in glycan chemistry and biology that will sustain and advance the application of glycosciences to heart, lung, and blood research. Towards this goal, the PEG located at the University of California, San Diego is currently seeking candidates holding an MD, MD/PhD, or PhD degree who wish to obtain skills in the glycosciences as related to inflammation. Successful candidates will have the opportunity to take didactic courses related to the Glycosciences, obtain hands-on experience with analytical techniques, and experience both clinical and biotechnological application of glycosciences.

Participating faculty include:
Ajit Varki, MD (Siglec Modulation of Innate Immunity and Inflammation)
Victor Nizet, MD (Microbial Glycan Mimicry and Glycosidases in Inflammatory Responses)
Jeffrey Esko, PhD (Genetic Analysis of Glycosaminoglycans in Inflammatory Responses)
Richard Gallo, MD/PhD (Hyaluronan Catabolism in Inflammatory Responses)

The UCSD PEG also aims to help develop junior faculty with interests in Glycosciences.
Four junior faculty at UCSD with current research projects in glycobiology-related research include:
Lars Bode, PhD (Biosynthesis and function of human milk oligosaccharides (HMO))
Mark Fuster, MD (Glycobiology of the lymphatic endothelium) Lab Summary
Pascal Gagneux, PhD (Role of mammalian sperm surface glycans in reproduction)
Kamil Godula, PhD (Influencing stem cell differentiation through glycan engineering)

Interested applicants should apply directly to the faculty member in whose laboratory they wish to work.