Introduction to Developmental Biology

By Prof. Subramaniam K   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 1167
How organisms develop from the single cell called zygote is a central theme of biology. Not surprisingly the questions of developmental biology attracted attention from Aristotle’s time, and are being intensely pursued by many laboratories around the world. The proposed course titled as Introduction to Developmental Biology aims to provide a thorough grounding on the fundamental concepts of developmental biology and introduce the students to early embryonic development.

3rd year and beyond for UG/dual degree and PG any year; should have a basic knowledge of biology

Knowledge of basic biology, molecular biology and genetics will be essential.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Biological Sciences & Bioengineering
  • Biosciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 14 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 30 Oct 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Developmental Anatomy – life cycle; comparative and evolutionary embryology; fate mapping
Week 2: Differential gene expression
Week 3:  Differential gene expression; Basic concepts of genetics
Week 4: The concept of model organisms; Core genetic techniques
Week 5: Cell-Cell communication in Development – basic concepts of morphogenesis and cell signaling
Week 6: Cell-Cell communication in Development – the signaling pathways
Week 7:  Axis specification during Drosophila embryogenesis
Week 8: Axis specification during Drosophila embryogenesis
Week 9: Plant Development
Week 10:Early mammalian development – Cleavage and gastrulation
Week 11: Early mammalian development – Axis formation
Week 12:Developmental mechanisms of evolutionary change

Books and references

Developmental Biology (9th or later editions) Author: Scott Gilbert

Instructor bio

Prof. Subramaniam K

IIT Madras
Prof K. Subramaniam received his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science in 1994. His postdoctoral training was at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Prof Subramaniam joined the faculty of IITKanpur in the Department Biological Sciences & Bioengineering in 2002. He was an International Senior Research Fellow of the Wellcome Trust during 2003-09, and is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences. He joined the Department of Biotechnology, IIT Madras in 2014. His laboratory investigates the self-renewal and differentiation decisions in adult stem cell systems using the C. elegans germline stem cells as a paradigm.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 30 October 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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