Biol 213 – Molecular and Cell Biology

The purpose of this course is to provide a rigorous foundation in current molecular and cellular biology. This material is the basis for much of current medical practices, many areas of science, and is having a major impact on ethical issues in society. In addition, many of the upper level life science courses will begin by assuming that you know this material. 


Learning Objectives:  At the end of this course, student should be able to: (1) describe the structures, molecules and mechanisms of cellular energy generation and management, (2) describe the processes of cellular endomembrane sorting and transport among different organelles in the cytoplasm, (3) describe the molecular components and mechanisms of cellular signal transduction, (4) describe the structures, functions, and the molecular components of the cytoskeleton, (5) describe the molecular nature of the gene and its expression contributing to the cellular phenotype, and (6) describe the processes, stages, and regulation of cell mitosis and division. Students will be able to cite data and evidence that lead us to our current understanding of these mechanisms and phenomena.


Prerequisites:  Prerequisites for this course are BIOL 111/112 and CHEM 227 (or current enrollment in CHEM 227). 



Biol 651 – Bioinformatics

The growing information in biological systems will impact the research direction in many diverse fields. This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the principles of bioinformatics, including both theoretical and practical aspects. Students will learn how to manipulate biologically relevant datasets including protein sequences, protein structures and nucleic acid sequences (both DNA and RNA), as well as build a foundation to analyze types of datasets that do not yet exist.  There are no prerequisites for this course but a basic understanding of molecular biology including the central dogma and a positive attitude towards computers are helpful.


Learning Objectives:  At the end of the course, students should be able to:  (1) quantify correlations in data using different approaches to identify functionally relevant parameters, (2) create protein sequence alignment and identify conserved positions, (3) download, manipulate and display the 3-D structure of a protein using PyMol, (4) describe the constraints evolution imposes on a protein’s structure/function, (5) explain the differences between traditional and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), (6) design experiments using NGS to address cellular biology questions, and (7) discuss the different types of information that can be extracted from genome sequences