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Cells of the brain

Master in Life Sciences, ENS
BIO-M2-E22 | Cells of the brain
Year and Semester: M2 | S1
Where: Biology department, ENS
Duration: 1 week
Dates: October 28-31, 2024

—2024-2025 programme to come—


Alain Bessis




Neuron | Glial | Astrocytes | Microglia | Oligodendrocytes | Blood brain barrier | Neuroinflammation | Meninges.

Course prerequisites

The course requires a good background in cell biology as well as in developmental biology and neurosciences

Course objectives and description

Aims: The extraordinary efficiency of the brain relies on the unique properties of its cells and on their harmonious interactions. The brain is composed of neurons but also of 50% non-neuronal cells. The course will describe the cell populations of the brain and their properties. It will also reveal the interactions taking place between these populations in the healthy brain but also during pathologies.
Themes: The following themes will be treated: History of brain cells discovery, glial cells, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, microglia, ependymal cells, blood brain barrier, circumventricular organs, meninges, brain pathologies; neurogenesis; neurotransmission; synapse etc.
Organization: The course is organised as one full week with lectures.


• The evaluation will depend on the number of students attending the course. In the case of small numbers, the evaluation will be in the form of an article presentation during one of the lectures. If more than 15 students are registered, the evaluation will take the form of a written two-page summary of one of the courses (drawn at random) that will be done within two weeks after the end of the course.
• The last half-day is devoted to a discussion/synthesis of the course week. This discussion will be led by the organizer of the course. However, students may take charge of this discussion and would then be graded on it.
• The participation of the student during the lectures (questions, remarks etc) will count for 10% of the final grade.