CHEM 731/7310-02 - Advanced Topics in Toxicology

Semester: Winter 2022

Professor: R. Manderville | Discipline: Biochemistry | Campus: Guelph


Advanced Topics in Toxicology is designed to give students the opportunity to hear about research that is being conducted by professors, research scientists, consults and graduates students in the field of toxicology. Student will also be given the opportunity to critical evaluate the strength of a scientific manuscript in the field of toxicology. Students will also gain experience presenting the purpose and findings of their graduate research project in oral and written form. The course also allows students to gain a deeper understanding of various controversial issues in toxicology. Students will gain first-hand experience in evaluating the ability of a presenter to effectively present data that supports or refutes an argument in toxicology. Students will also evaluate the ability of authors to present toxicological information in the form of a scientific poster.

Advanced topics in toxicology will include oral presentations by students, faculty members, and guest lecturers. The emphasis will be on advanced concepts and techniques in toxicology research with particular relevance to mechanistic, molecular and interpretive toxicology.

Pre-Requisite(s): N/A

Restriction(s): Credit may be obtained for only one of TOX*6200/CHEM*731 or TOX*4200

Method of Delivery: On-line via Zoom on CourseLink with no face-to-face lecture component until Jan. 24, 2022. Face-to-face delivery in GRHM, Room 2310.

CourseLink (powered by D2L’s Brightspace) is the course website and will act as your classroom. It is recommended that you log in to your course website every day to check for announcements, access course materials, and review the weekly schedule and assignment requirements.


For this course, you will be required to access course reserve materials through the University of Guelph McLaughlin Library. To access these items, select Ares on the navbar in CourseLink. Note that you will need your Central Login ID and password in order to access items on reserve.

For further instructions on accessing reserve resources, visit How to Get Course Reserve  Materials.

If at any point during the course you have difficulty accessing reserve materials, please contact the e-Learning Operations and Reserve Services staff at:

Tel: 519-824-4120 ext. 53621

Email: [email protected]

Location: McLaughlin Library, First Floor, University of Guelph reserve-material


No required textbook for this course


The grade determination for this course is indicated in the following table. A brief description of each assessment is provided below. In Courselink, select Content on the navbar to locate Assessments in the table of contents panel to review further details of each assessment. Due dates can be found under the Schedule heading of this outline.

There is no final exam in this course.

Assessment Item Weight
Critique (2 x 15%) 30%
Graduate Seminar 30%
Term Paper 30%
Poster Evaluation 10%
Total 100%



 Students are required to write 2 critiques for papers that are assigned by guest lecturers. Each critique should be no more than 2 pages single spaced in length, not including references. Submit each critique to the dropbox in Courselink two weeks after the guest lecturer. Guest lectures will run from Jan. 12 (1st guest lecture) to Feb. 18th (last guest lecture).  Critiques should be handed into the Dropbox from Jan. 26th-March 11th. Please make sure that your critique contains continuous line numbering. This makes it easier to provide comments when evaluating the critique. For continuous line numbering, in Word, go to the Layout tab and choose the Line Numbers drop-down menu, and choose Continuous (see screen shot below).

Your Critiques will be evaluated using three criteria:

  • Did the student demonstrate a clear understanding of the paper (objectives, methods, conclusions, )? This should be reflected in some form of review of the salient points and methods used in the critique.
  • Did the student offer some level of critical thinking (critique)? The focus of critical comments could be editorial (writing, format and organization), methodological, breadth, and depth of subject coverage, etc. Note: a critique may offer both positive and negative comments on a
  • Was the critique well written, organized, and did it possess logical flow (organization)?
  • The maximum critique length is 2 pages single spaced (not including references), 12 pt font, ~2.5 cm Number pages and separate the critique using headings: i.e. Summary, Introduction, Critique, Conclusions, References.

Graduate Seminar

 Student will present a 30 minute seminar on the research that they are doing as part of their graduate degree. Seminars are scheduled from Jan. 24th-Feb. 14th.

The presentation will contain the following:

Introduction/Background: Clear introduction of the topic of their research with an emphasis on the novelty and importance of their research. Why does it matter?

Experimental design/Methods: Outline the experiments (lab or field) that will be conducted as part of the graduate research.

Results: Present data that has been collected to data as part of the graduate research and put the data into context. What new information does it give us?

The Path Forward: What aspects of the project are left to complete? What conclusions can be made based on the data collected to date?

Submit an electronic copy of your presentation (either power point or PDF) to the dropbox on Courselink by 5 pm prior to the day of your presentation so the PDF can be posted on courselink before class starts. The day of your presentation bring an electronic copy of your Powerpoint presentation to class on a data-stick to load into the computer for presentation.

The graduate students will also propose a journal article for the class to critique. A PDF of the journal article should be submitted via dropbox with a PDF of their presentation.

Poster Evaluation


Graduate students are expected to evaluate the TOX*4200 student’s posters and poster presentations.  An online evaluation form will be provided that can be completed on laptop or phones. Each graduate student is expected to evaluate each poster group (group made up of two TOX*4200 students). Graduate students will be evaluated on their ability to complete the evaluations and provide clear and constructive comments on the poster and the poster presentation.

Term Paper

 The student must submit a term paper on their graduate seminar topic two weeks following their presentation from Feb. 7th-March 7th.

 Term Paper Format

This term paper should be written as a review of the graduate seminar topic. The paper should be a critical review of the literature that currently addresses the topic of your research project. It should be clear how the objectives and research questions that make up your graduate research project with address out currently knowledge gaps. Students must demonstrate an up- to-date understanding of the topic using the most recent published articles as references.

Please make sure that your term paper contains continuous line numbering. This makes it easier to provide comments when evaluating the critique. For continuous line numbering, in Word, go to the Layout tab and choose the Line Numbers drop-down menu, and choose Continuous (see screen shot below).

 Term papers should be organized according to the following format using numerical headings:

Term Paper Length

The paper should not be longer than 5 pages double spaced excluding Figures and Tables, typed in 12-point font. The first page of the term paper should include clear title and author information.

Term Paper Introduction

This section should clearly state the importance of the topic and introduce the reader to the subject by way of general background.

Term Paper Literature Review and Discussion

A review of past work is required in the area of presented paper. The references should be as current as possible and the review should outline what is know, what is not know, and how your research addressed what we don’t know.

Term Paper Content

Your review section must be scientific; a popular approach with unsupported statements is not acceptable.

You are strongly encouraged to use Tables and Figures. Tables and Figures should be used to improve clarity and reduce excessive description in the text. They must always be referred to in the text but information in Figures and Tables need not be fully repeated in the text. They must be appropriately captioned, labeled, and referenced to original source.

Term Paper Sources of Reference

To find publications you may use books, review articles etc. available in the main library as well as the internet search engines, such as Google, and/or databases such as PubMed, CD ROMs (e.g., CCINFO Disk), Biological Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts, Weed Abstracts, Agricultural Abstracts, Pesticide Abstracts, Index Medicus, Science Citation Index, references in other papers, etc. Internet references should not be used a primary source of information unless they are a source of otherwise published papers or reports (e.g., US EPA WHO, or Health Canada reports). In addition, the ‘quality’ of your references will be considered in determining your final grade. Use of primary scientific articles would be preferable to review papers.

Term Paper References

All facts and data must be referenced either by number or author and date. The references should be typed on a separate page(s) and include the following: Author/s; Year of publication; Full title of article or book; Journal name in full; Volume number (underlined or in bold); Page numbers.

Example from text:

Peabody and Hollander (1997) showed that the half-life of polonium-210 in plaice was 37 hours, however, other workers have shown that the half-life is between 96 hours and 24 days (Djerassi 1998; Strangelove et al. 1994).

Example from bibliography:

Peabody WW, Hollander X. 1997. Polonium uptake in the plaice. American Journal of Freshwater Research 44:69-96.

Djerassi K. 1998. The fate of trans-uranium elements in the environment. Academic Press, Toronto, 1998, 193 p.

Strangelove A, Sellers P, Pickins S. 1994. Radioactive elements in the North Atlantic. In: Love

  1. (Ed.) Marine Ecotoxicology, Putrid Publications, Greenland Press, Gothab Greenland, 1994 pp 101-106.

Handing in Late

Papers are due 2 weeks after the date of your debate and must be submit via dropbox in Courselink. Papers may not be handed in late without appropriate medical or counselor certification. Penalty for handing in late is 5% of the paper grade per day.

Late Policies

If you choose to submit your individual assignments to the dropbox tool late, the full allocated mark will be reduced by 5% per day after the deadline for the submission of the assignment to a limit of 10 days at which time access to the dropbox folder will be closed. Saturday and Sunday are incluced in the number of days after the deadline for the submission of the assignment.

Extensions will be considered for medical reasons or other extenuating circumstances. If you require an extension, discuss this with the instructor as soon as possible and well before the due date. Barring exceptional circumstances, extensions will not be granted once the due date has passed. These rules are not designed to be arbitrary, nor are they inflexible. They are designed to keep you organized, to ensure that all students have the same amount of time to work on assignments, and to help to return marked materials to you in the shortest possible time.

Contingency Plans

 In the event of absenteeism due to illness, need to self-isolate, or class cancelation due to public health or severe weather, every effort will be made to reschedule the presentation so that students have the opportunity to catch up on missed content. The rescheduled assignment may be presented on-line via Zoom on CourseLink.


  • Mon: 9:30 am - 10:20 am in GRHM 2310 (Guelph only)
  • Wed: 9:30 am - 10:20 am in GRHM 2310 (Guelph only)
  • Fri: 9:30 am - 10:20 am in GRHM 2310 (Guelph only)

Office Hours

Email: [email protected] Telephone: (519) 824-4120 Ext. 53963 Office: Summerlee Science Complex (SSC), Room 3243 Teaching Assistant: Name: Abigail Van Riesen Email: [email protected]