98-99 University Bulletin Entry for:


(file last updated: [8/10/1998 - 15:21:16])


Undergraduate Concentration

The undergraduate program inbiology, leading either to the B.A. or to the B.S. degree, isdesigned to give students an understanding of fundamental andcurrent biological knowledge in a variety of fields. The programoffers a wide array of courses to undergraduates, ranging fromintroductory courses to advanced, specialized graduate level coursesin many of these areas. The biology department has more than 25full-time faculty members with teaching and research interestsin the fields of genetics, molecular biology, development, immunology,neurobiology, motility, cell biology, and structural biology.

Since the interests and needsof our students vary, the concentration is designed to provideflexibility once the core courses have been completed. Studentsmay elect undergraduate level courses in a variety of areas ofbiology and biochemistry, or may choose to obtain more advanced,in-depth training in one particular area. Students are also encouragedto take advantage of opportunities to become integral membersof research laboratories in the department and to attend departmentalcolloquia.

A concentration in biologyprovides excellent preparation for students intent on careersin biological research who want to go to graduate school, forthose seeking careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, and dentistry,and for those interested in the allied health professions suchas genetic counseling, physical therapy, or physician assistant.

Graduate Program in Molecularand Cell Biology

The graduate program in molecularand cell biology, leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy,is designed to provide each student with the theoretical foundationsand research experience needed to become an independent and originalinvestigator of basic biological phenomena. Preparation is achievedthrough the combination of (1) a flexible curriculum of coursestailored for each student's specific needs, (2) a set of laboratoryrotations that acquaints each entering student with current researchtechniques and permits exploration of possible research areas,and (3) a proseminar specifically for first-year students anda series of journal clubs that keep students abreast of significantresearch findings and develop confidence with reading researchliterature and giving oral presentations. First-year studentsparticipate in all three aspects of our graduate program and arethus quickly integrated into the biological research communityat Brandeis. A strength of our program is frequent interactionsbetween students and faculty, formal and informal.

Thesis research leading tothe Ph.D. degree is carried out under the personal direction ofa faculty member. A complete list of faculty research interestsand recent publications is available from the biology departmentor can be viewed on the World Wide Web at: www.bio.brandeis.edu.Potential applicants are urged to obtain this information. Asa general orientation, the following areas of research are amongthose represented in the program: molecular biology of the regulationof gene expression, especially during development; chromosomestructure and chromosomal rearrangements; mechanisms of recombination;developmental genetics; behavior genetics and neural development;biophysics of single nerve cells; learning and memory; integrationof neural function; immunogenetics; immune cell differentiationand development; molecular biology of the immune system; regulationof muscle contraction; molecular and cell architecture; organizationof subcellular structures; structure and function of proteins.

How to Become an UndergraduateConcentrator

Students wishing to concentratein biology should enroll in General Chemistry during their firstyear. During their sophomore year, students should enroll in OrganicChemistry, Cell Structure and Function, and Genetics. While othercourse schedules are possible, the one described above allowsstudents ample time to complete the remaining requirements (biochemistry,calculus, physics, and three or five biology electives) for thebiology degree during the junior and senior years and leaves studentsthe option of enrolling in Senior Research during the senior year.

To learn more about the biologyconcentration, students should attend the "Meet the Majors"meeting held each fall or consult with the undergraduate advisinghead.

How to Be Admitted tothe Graduate Program

The general requirements foradmission to the Graduate School, given in an earlier sectionof this Bulletin, apply to candidates for admission tothis area of study. The student's undergraduate record shouldordinarily include courses equivalent to those required of undergraduatesconcentrating in biology at this institution. Students who aredeficient in some of these subjects, but whose records are otherwisesuperior, may make up their deficiencies while they are enrolledas graduate students. In exceptional cases, students may be excusedfrom some of these requirements. Students with serious deficienciesmust, however, expect to add additional time to their graduateprogram in order to satisfy the deficiencies.

Applicants must take the GraduateRecord Examination.

Since the summer months providean important opportunity for uninterrupted laboratory work, themolecular and cell biology program provides 12-month stipend supportfor all full-time students.


James Haber (RosenstielCenter), Chair

Genetics and molecular biologyof yeast meiotic and mitotic recombination. Mating-type switching.Repair of broken chromosomes; structure, function, and regulationof plasma membrane ATPase.

Kalpana White (Center forComplex Systems) Cochair

Developmental neurogenetics.

Laurence Abbott (Director,Center for Complex Systems)

Modeling of neural networks.

Susan Birren (Center forComplex Systems)

Developmental neurobiology.

Carolyn Cohen (RosenstielCenter)

Structural molecular biology.

Laura Davis (RosenstielCenter)

Cell biology and genetics ofyeast. Structure and function of nuclear pores.

David DeRosier (RosenstielCenter)

Structural studies of actin,actin-containing cytoskeletal assemblies, and bacterial flagella.

Chandler Fulton

Cell differentiation and selectivegene expression in eucaryotic cells. Morphogenesis of cell shapeand assembly of cell organelles, especially flagella.

Leslie Griffith (Centerfor Complex Systems)

Biochemistry of synaptic plasticity.

Jeffrey Hall (Center forComplex Systems)

Neurogenetics and molecularneurobiology of higher behaviors in Drosophila.

Kenneth Hayes (Director,Foster Animal Lab)

Comparative nutritional pathophysiologyin man and animals. Lipoprotein metabolism and atherogenesis,cholelithiasis.

Annette Lovelace Kennedy

Clinical psychology. Geneticcounseling.

Kathryn Spitzer Kim

Genetic counseling.

Attila Klein

Plant physiology. Environmentalstudies.

Barbara Lerner

Genetic counseling.

John Lisman (Center forComplex Systems)

Mechanisms of phototransduction.Molecular mechanism of memory storage.

Susan Lovett (RosenstielCenter)

Genetics and molecular biologyof bacteria and yeast. Genetic and biochemical analysis of recombination.

Eve Marder (Center for ComplexSystems)

Neurotransmitter modulationof neural circuits.

Marvin Natowicz

Clinical genetics.

Sacha Nelson (Center forComplex Systems)

Synaptic integration in thevisual cortex.

Joan Press, Senior HonorsCoordinator (Rosenstiel Center)

Developmental immunology andimmunogenetics.

Ruibao Ren (Rosenstiel Center)

Signal transduction.

Michael Rosbash (Centerfor Complex Systems)

RNA processing and molecularneurobiology.

Ranjan Sen (Rosenstiel Center)

Molecular immunology. Transcriptionfactors.

Piali Sengupta (Center forComplex Systems)

Developmental neurobiology.

Neil Simister (RosenstielCenter)

Molecular immunology. Antibodytransport.

Judith Tsipis, UndergraduateAdvising Head

Genetic counseling.

Gina Turrigiano (Centerfor Complex Systems)

Activity-dependent regulationof neuronal properties.

Lawrence Wangh

Molecular controls of DNA replicationin Xenopus egg.

Requirements for the UndergraduateConcentration

A.Required of all candidates: BIBC 22a, BIOL 22b; BIOL 18a,b lab;CHEM 10a,b or CHEM 11a,b or CHEM 15a,b; CHEM 18a,b or CHEM 19a,blab; CHEM 25a,b; CHEM 29a,b lab; MATH 10a,b or MATH 11a,b; PHYS10a,b or PHYS 11a,b; PHYS 18a,b or PHYS 19a,b lab; BCHM 100a;and Option I or II below.

Option I: The B.A. Degreein Biology

The standard biology optionthat provides students with a general background in biology. Inaddition to the courses required of all candidates (listed above),students must take three elective courses chosen from any offeringof the biology and biochemistry departments above the 22-level(excluding courses numbered 90-99). The following may also serveas electives: ANTH 116a, CHEM 41a, CHEM 41b, NBIO 45b, 136b, 140b,142b, 143b, 144b, 145b, 147a, and NBCH 148b.

Option II: The B.S. Degreein Biology

The intensive biology optionthat provides students with a strong background in several areasof biology. In addition to the courses required of all candidates(listed above), students must take five elective courses chosenfrom any offering of the biology and biochemistry departmentsabove the 22-level (excluding courses numbered 90-99). ANTH 116a,CHEM 41a, 41b, NBIO 45b, 136b, 140b, 142b, 143b, 144b, 145b, 147a,and NBCH 148b may also serve as electives.

No course offered for concentrationrequirements may be taken on a pass/fail basis. Satisfactory grades(C- or above) must be maintained in all biology and biochemistrycourses offered for concentration and in all elective coursesoffered for concentration in biology. No more than one D willbe allowed in any course offered toward the requirements in thisdepartment.

B.Senior Research

Any senior, regardless of gradepoint average, may enroll in laboratory research (BIOL 99d and/or99e). Students petition the department during the beginning oftheir senior year for participation in Senior Research. Petitionsand information about Senior Research are available in the biologydepartment office. See BIOL 99d course description for details.

C.Senior Honors Program

Laboratory research is a majorcomponent of the senior honors program. Enrollment in BIOL 99(Senior Research) is obligatory; students must fulfill the BIOL99 requirements (see B above). At the conclusion of their secondsemester of BIOL 99 (Senior Research), candidates for senior honorswill give an oral defense of their senior honors thesis to a designatedfaculty research committee. At the conclusion of their senioryear, candidates for senior honors must either have a 3.30 gradepoint average in all courses offered for the biology concentration,or have a 3.00 grade point average in courses offered for thebiology concentration and have achieved an average of B+ or betterin three biology electives. Petitions and information about thesenior honors program are available in the biology departmentoffice.

D.A student may graduate with a double concentration in biologyand any other major if the concentration requirements in bothdepartments are fully met.

Combined B.S./M.S. Program

Candidates for departmentalhonors may be admitted to a special four-year B.S./M.S. programupon recommendation of the department and approval by the GraduateSchool. Application must be made by May 1 preceding the senioryear; applications should include a proposed course of study,specifying how all degree requirements will be met, a transcript,and a brief description of the proposed research project. To qualifyfor the B.S./M.S. degree in biology, students must complete atotal of 38 courses; these courses must include those needed tosatisfy requirements A, option II, and B, as indicated above plusthree additional electives in biology or biochemistry or as listedunder requirement A, option II, above. Of the eight electivesrequired for the B.S./M.S. degree, at least six must be at thegraduate level (and completed with a grade of B- or above) andthey must include courses from at least three of the researchareas of the biology department. Research areas include genetics,molecular biology, cell biology, structural biology, immunology,and neurobiology. In addition, a substantial research contributionis required and students must submit a research thesis to thebiology department Graduate Committee for review. A thesis submittedfor the master's degree may also be submitted to the biology departmentfor departmental honors.

Special Notes Relatingto the Undergraduate Program

A.Premedical and Predental students:

BIOL 12a,b or BIOL 18a,b (labs);and either BIBC 22a and BIOL 22b, or BIOL 14a,b will satisfy thegeneral biology entrance requirements of most medical schools.

B.The following five courses are offered each fall as part of afull residential Semester in Environmental Science at the WoodsHole Biological Laboratory. Prerequisites for program participationare BIBC 22a and BIOL 22b, a competitive application process,and permission of the department. All courses may be counted towardthe Biology BA or BS elective requirement.

1. Analysis of Aquatic Ecosystems.

2. Analysis of TerrestrialEcosystems.

3. Aquatic Chemistry

4. Mathematical Modeling inEcosystems.

5. Microbial Methods in Ecology.

Requirements for the Degreeof Master of Science

Program of Study

The program is designed toguide each student toward realizing her or his potential as anindependent research biologist. Students are encouraged to becomeexperts in the theory and practice of their chosen area of research,as well as to obtain breadth in other areas strongly representedin the program. Research areas include genetics, molecular biology,developmental biology, cell biology, structural biology, immunology,and neurobiology. Graduate courses are available in all of theseareas. A total of six courses from at least three areas are requiredfor the degree. Each student will conduct an original investigationand submit a research thesis to the biology department graduatecommittee for review, or complete four nine-week research rotations.

Residence Requirement

The minimum residence requirementis one year.

Requirements for the Degreeof Doctor of Philosophy

Program of Study

Students are expected to obtaina knowledge of the principles and techniques of three of the areasrepresented in the program, i.e., genetics, developmental biology,molecular biology, neurobiology, immunology, cell biology, andstructural biology. The background a student is expected to havein these areas will be covered in courses given by the program.Entering students also participate together in a proseminar, anintroduction to the research literature of biology. Students taketwo courses each semester in the first year, with a total of sixrequired for the degree. In the first year, students will completefour nine-week rotations in at least four different laboratories.Throughout the graduate years, students remain involved in seminarcourses, journal clubs, presentations of research, colloquia,and research courses.

Each student will choose his/herspecific field of interest and will apply for a permanent advisorto be agreed upon by the program at the end of the first year.The advisor will assist the student in planning a well-balancedprogram in his/her specific field of interest. In addition, theadvisor will ordinarily serve as the chair of the student's dissertationexamining committee.

At least one year of teachingexperience (or equivalent) is required of all degree candidates.

Residence Requirement

The minimum residence requirementis three years.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign languagerequirement for the Ph.D. degree.

Qualifying Examination

The qualifying examinationconsists of researching two propositions in which the studentidentifies an important and interesting research problem and thenproposes the experiments to attack it. The propositions are writtenand the student gives an oral defense. The first proposition,which is taken in the middle of the second year, must be in anarea outside the student's area of thesis research. The secondproposition constitutes a thesis proposal and is taken in thethird year.

Dissertation and Defense

Each student will conduct anoriginal investigation. After submission of the dissertation,the candidate will be expected to present the principal resultsof his or her work and its significance during an examinationin defense of the dissertation. The examining committee mustinclude one faculty member from outside the university. A publicseminar to the University community is also required.

Special Notes Relatingto the Graduate Program

For M.S. and Ph.D. degreesin the biological sciences, see listings for Molecular and CellBiology, Neuroscience, and Genetic Counseling.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for UndergraduateStudents

BISC 1a Biology of Neurologicaland Mental Illness

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Does NOT meet the concentrationrequirements in biology. May not be taken by students who havecompleted NBIO 140b. Enrollment limited to 60.

This course will discuss thebasic features of the brain and nervous system needed to understandthe current state of knowledge concerning neurological and mentalillnesses. The etiology and biological bases for treatment fordepression, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson's,and Alzheimer's disease will be discussed. Usually offered everythird year. Last offered in the spring of 1997.

Ms. Marder

BISC 2a Human Reproduction,Population Explosion, Global Consequences

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Does NOT meet the concentrationrequirements in biology. Preference given to juniors and seniors.Enrollment limited to 50.

Discusses the genetic, cellular,and hormonal bases of human reproduction, contraception, and AIDS,as well as the realities and consequences of overpopulation thatnow threaten humankind and our biosphere. Readings include ScientificAmerican offprints and other substantial texts. Usually offeredin odd years.

Mr. Wangh

BISC 3a Paradigms of BiologicalInvestigation

[ sn ]

May not be taken by studentswho have completed BIBC 22a or BIOL 22b. Enrollment limited to20.

An examination of the conceptsand principles of scientific research with examples from the historyof the subject from its Greek beginnings to modern times. Researchtopics from evolutionary biology, neuroscience, biophysics, andmolecular biology are used to describe the nature of scientificadvances. Usually offered in even years. Will be offered in thefall of 1998.

Mr. Farber

BISC 3b Organisms and theEnvironment

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Does NOT meet the concentrationrequirements in biology. Enrollment limited to 60.

An exploration of basic biologicalfunctions such as nutrition, energy metabolism, reproduction,and locomotion in organisms. Usually offered every third year.Last offered in the spring of 1991.

Mr. Klein

BISC 4a Heredity

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Does NOT meet the concentrationrequirements in biology. May not be taken by students who havecompleted BIBC 22a. Enrollment limited to 80.

An exploration of what genesare, how they are inherited, and how they work. We discuss whychanges in certain genes cause inherited diseases, and how geneticmutations can lead to evolutionary change. We also examine recenttechnological developments in human genetics such as gene therapy,prenatal testing, and the human genome project. Usually offeredin even years.

Ms. Davis

BISC 5a Viruses and HumanDisease

[ cl47 sn]

Prerequisite: High schoolchemistry. Does NOT meet the concentration requirements in biology.May not be taken by students who have completed BIBC 22a or BIOL22b. Enrollment limited to 40.

Explores the fundamentals ofHIV infection and AIDS. The biology of HIV virus replication isdiscussed in detail as well as how the virus damages host cellsand causes disease. Other topics include: the immune system thatHIV destroys, history of the global AIDS epidemic, virus transmissionand prevention, antiviral therapy and vaccines. Usually offeredevery year.

Ms. Kaplan

BISC 5b Biological Rhythms

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Does NOT meet the concentrationrequirements in biology.

Oscillating phenomena in biologywill be presented and discussed. The rhythmic attributes includebehavior, physiology, and biochemistry (involving recently discoveredgene products). The organisms studied range from microbes to insectsand other invertebrates; to mammals including humans. Topics includethe many ways in which rhythms can be monitored, mechanisms ofbiological "pacemaking," and the relevance of theseclocks to human health. Usually offered every third year. Lastoffered in the spring of 1996.

Mr. Hall

BISC 6a Recombinant DNA

[ cl22 sn]

Open to concentrators inscience or to premedical students only with consent of the instructor.Does NOT meet the concentration requirement in biology.

This course for non-sciencemajors explores the new revolution in genetics and its implicationsfor our lives. We examine heredity, the structure of genetic material,DNA, and how chimeric DNAs are constructed and studied. Thosefundamentals provide the basis for considering how the new genetechnology is used for studying biological problems and for treatingdiseases, and also how the technology might be used to affectour heredity. Usually offered in odd years.


BISC 7a Biology of People

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Prerequisite: High schoolchemistry. Enrollment limited to 50. Does NOT meet the concentrationrequirement in biology or biochemistry. Not open to premedicalstudents or concentrators in biology or biochemistry.

This course examines the functionsof cells in the body, principles of heredity, and the immune system.Among the specific topics are the mechanisms through which DNAcontrols the synthesis of proteins; the functions of various proteins;how characteristics are inherited; functions of the immune systemand its abnormalities, including autoimmune diseases and AIDS.The chemical composition of DNA, RNA, and protein will be discussed.Usually offered in odd years.


BISC 8b The Molecules ofLife: Design and Function

[ sn ]

Prerequisite: High schoolbiology or chemistry. Does NOT meet the concentration requirementin biology.

The shape and functions oforganisms rest on key biological molecules. Discussion of theirdesign and properties provide background for the appreciationof evolutionary change, discoveries in molecular biology, anddiseases caused by molecular defects (e.g., sickle cell anemia,cystic fibrosis). Usually offered every third year. Last offeredin the spring of 1994.

Ms. Cohen

BISC 9a Immunity and Disease

[ cl47 sn]

Prerequisite: High schoolchemistry and biology. Does NOT meet the concentration requirementsin biology. Enrollment limited to 50.

After a basic review of cellsand cell structures, the course introduces the immune system,including the cell types involved, genetics, structure and functionof antibodies and T cell receptors, B vs. T cell immunity, andthe concepts of vaccines. We also discuss specific diseases causedby viral and bacterial pathogens, including influenza and AIDS.Usually offered every third year.

Ms. Press

BISC 9b Physiology of theHuman Body

[ sn ]

Open to concentrators inscience or to premedical students only with the consent of theinstructor. Does NOT meet the concentration requirements in biology.

The human body can be viewedas a complex society of different cells organized into differentorgans which collaborate to maintain a constant environment necessaryfor the survival of the organism. Students review the functionof different organs and how these are orchestrated by the hormonaland the nervous system. Usually offered every third year. Lastoffered in the fall of 1995.


BISC 10b Nutrition: Principles,Issues, and Applications

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Prerequisite: One year ofchemistry in high school is recommended. Open to concentratorsin science or to premedical students only with the consent ofthe instructor. Does NOT meet the concentration requirements inbiology. Enrollment limited to 60.

Presents the fundamentals ofnutrition, provides an understanding of the nutritional aspectsof several diseases, and introduces scientific research in thefield of nutrition. Usually offered in even years.

Ms. Van Vunakis

BIOL 12a General BiologyLab I

Prerequisites: Must be takenconcurrently with BIOL 14a. Does yield half-course credit, towardrate of work and graduation. Two semester hour credits. Laboratoryfee: $15 per semester. Does NOT meet the concentration requirementin biology, biochemistry, or neuroscience, but does satisfy thegeneral biology entrance requirement of most medical schools.

This course provides firsthandexperience with a wide array of organisms and illustrates basicapproaches to problem solving in biology. Usually offered everysummer.


BIOL 12b General BiologyLab

Prerequisites: Must be takenconcurrently with BIOL 14b. Does yield half-course credit, towardrate of work and graduation. Two semester hour credits. Laboratoryfee: $15 per semester. Does NOT meet the concentration requirementin biology, biochemistry, or neuroscience, but does satisfy thegeneral biology entrance requirement of most medical schools.

See BIOL 12a for course description.Usually offered every summer.


BIOL 14a General BiologyI

[ sn ]

Does NOT meet the concentrationrequirement in biology.

An introduction to the biologyof organisms and populations. Topics include evolution of life,biological diversity, and the physiology of plants and animals.Usually offered every summer.


BIOL 14b General BiologyII

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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a,an introductory biology course, or high school AP biology. DoesNOT meet the concentration requirement in biology.

An introduction to the principlesof modern cellular and molecular biology. Also includes selectedtopics in genetics, biochemistry, and developmental biology. Usuallyoffered every summer.


BIOL 17b Ecology

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Prerequisites: Two yearsof high school science. Enrollment limited to 100. Does NOT meetthe concentration requirement in biology.

A broad exploration of naturalenvironments and the adaptations of organisms found in them. Flowof energy and materials through food webs; populations and communities;predation and competition; impact of agriculture, industries,and other anthropogenic forces on ecosystems and on biodiversity.Usually offered in odd years.

Mr. Klein

BIOL 18a General BiologyLaboratory

[ wi ]

Prerequisites: Must be takenconcurrently with BIBC 22a. Does yield half-course credit, towardrate of work and graduation. Two semester hour credits. Laboratoryfee: $15 per semester. Enrollment limited to 48 per section.

Provides firsthand experiencewith a wide array of organisms and illustrates basic approachesto problem solving in biology. Usually offered every year.

Ms. Tsipis

BIOL 18b General BiologyLaboratory

This course must be takenconcurrently with BIOL 22b. Does yield half-course credit, towardrate of work and graduation. Two semester hour credits. Laboratoryfee: $15 per semester. Enrollment limited to 48 per section.

See BIOL 18a for course description.Usually offered every year.

Ms. Tsipis

BIBC 22a Genetics and MolecularBiology

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Prerequisites: BIOL 22b.BIOL 18a must be taken before or concurrently with this course.

An introduction to the currentunderstanding of hereditary mechanisms and the cellular and molecularbasis of gene transmission and expression. Usually offered everyyear.

Mr. Wensink (Sec. 1) and Ms.Sengupta (Sec. 2)

BIOL 22b Cell Structureand Function

[ sn ]

Prerequisite: CHEM 10a,b or 11a, b or 15a, b. BIOL 18b must be taken concurrently withthis course.

An introduction to the architectureof cells, organelles, and their macro-molecular components. Topicsinclude fundamental processes that are common to all cells, andthe functions of specialized cells. Usually offered every year.

Ms. Griffith and Mr. Simister(Sec. 1) and Staff (Sec. 2)

BIOL 25a Molecular Motors

[ sn ]

Prerequisite: Biol 22b.

A discussion of movement inmuscle and nonmuscle cells. Topics include muscle contraction,cell division, ciliary and flagellar motion, axonal transport,and protoplasmic streaming. The mechanism of movement will beanalyzed in terms of the properties of structural and controlproteins. Usually offered in even years.

Mr. DeRosier

BIOL 26a Plant Biology

[ sn ]

Prerequisites: BIOL 18b,BIBC 22a, and BIOL 22b. Enrollment limited to 25.

We examine aspects of the physiology,metabolism, and growth of plants that adapt them to their specialpositions in terrestial and aquatic ecosystems. We also explorethe molecular biology of photosynthesis, photomorphogenesis, andflowering. Usually offered every third year. Last offered in thefall of 1994.

Mr. Klein

BIOL 27a Aquatic Ecology

[ sn ]

Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b. Enrollment limited to 20. Students may not takeboth this course and BIOL 17b for credit.

Analysis of biotic and abioticfactors that govern life in lakes and streams. Topics includehydrology, food webs, special aquatic habitats, conservation andrestoration, and principles of monitoring the health of freshwaters. Field and laboratory work is included. Usually offeredin even years.

Mr. Klein

BIOL 28a Marine Biology

(Formerly ENVS 28a)

[ sn ]

Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b. Signature of Professor Klein required. Offered underthe auspices of the MSC and open to Brandeis students by petition.

Survey of the basic biology,behavior, and life history of marine biota. Review of physicalhabitats from polar to tropical waters. Focus is on the evolutionof adaptive responses to the physical and biological factors inmarine communities. Weekly laboratory consists of field tripsto different habitats and examination of specimens from severalmarine phyla. Usually offered every fall (at Brandeis).

Mr. Klein (Brandeis coordinator)

BIOL 30b Cetacean Biologyand Conservation

[ sn ]

Prerequisites: BIOL 22b,BIOL 42a recommended. Signature of Professor Klein required. Offeredunder the auspices of the MSC and open to Brandeis students bypetition.

Examines the biology and conservationof whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Topics include physiology,morphology, population biology, life history, molecular genetics,distributional ecology, and social behavior. Usually offered everyyear (at Brandeis).

Mr. Klein (Brandeis coordinator)

BIOL 31b Fish Biology

[ sn ]

Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b. Signature of Professor Klein required. Offered underthe auspices of the MSC and open to Brandeis students by petition.

Evolution, systematics, anatomy,physiology, and behavior of freshwater, marine, and anadromousfishes from temperate and tropical environments. Fish interactionsin communities: predator/prey, host/symbiont relationships, andfish as herbivores. The ecology of fish populations. Usually offeredevery year.

Mr. Klein (Brandeis coordinator)

BIOL 37b Biology of ExtremeEnvironments

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b; BCHM 100a recommended. A library intensive course.

A study of molecular, metabolic,and physiological mechanisms of adaptations to extreme environments,such as hot springs, polar regions, and deserts. We examine thelimits to which biological systems can be modified by nature andhuman manipulation. Usually offered in odd years.

Mr. Klein

BIOL 42a Human Physiology

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Prerequisites: BIOL 22b.

Basic physiological principleswill be introduced with an overview of neural and hormonal controlmechanisms. The topics will include physiology of cardiovascularand respiratory systems, electrolyte regulation, digestion andabsorption, and the reproductive system. Usually offered everyyear.

Mr. Nelson

NBIO 45b The PhysiologicalBasis of Psychological Processes

[ sn ]

Enrollment limited to 75.

Understanding how the brainworks is one of the major challenges of modern science. Topicsto be covered include perception, memory, emotion and behavioralcontrol. Principles of neuropharmacology, brain anatomy, and electrophysiologyare reviewed. Illustrates how the combined use of physiologicaland psychological methods give insight into brain processes. Usuallyoffered every year.

Mr. Lisman

BIOL 55b Diet and Health

[ cl14 cl22sn ]

An elective for sciencemajors with previous course work in nutrition, physiology, orbiochemistry. Enrollment limited to 50.

Reviews the current evidenceconcerning the dietary impact on the chronic diseases of humans.Topics include genetics and nutrition, cardiovascular disease,obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer and will examine theinvolvement of specific nutrients, e.g., fat and cholesterol,vitamins, minerals, fiber, and alcohol in these disease processes.Usually offered every third year. Last offered in the spring of1995.


BIOL 60b Evolution

[ cl40 sn]

Prerequisites: BIOL 18aand b, BIBC 22a, and BIOL 22b.

An introduction to evolution,with in-depth exploration of selected topics in evolutionary biology.These topics will range from molecular evolution as revealed byDNA sequencing to the origin and evolution of primates. Usuallyoffered in odd years.

Mr. Fulton

BIOL 98a Readings in Biology

Prerequisite: BIBC 22a andBIOL 22b. Signature of the instructor required. Does NOT meetthe concentration requirement in biology. May not be taken forcredit by students who have satisfactorily completed BIOL 98b.

Open to exceptionally well-qualifiedstudents. This is a tutorial course with readings in a specifiedbiological field. The student will be given a reading list, includingcurrent literature and reviews of the topic to be discussed. Courserequirements include weekly discussions and the writing of severalpapers. Usually offered every year.


BIOL 98b Readings in Biology

Prerequisite: BIBC 22a andBIOL 22b. Signature of the instructor required. Does NOT meetthe concentration requirement in biology. May not be taken forcredit by students who have satisfactorily completed BIOL 98a.

See BIOL 98a for course description.Usually offered every year.


BIOL 99d Senior Research

Signatures of the instructorand the senior honors coordinator (Ms. Press) required. Does NOTmeet the concentration requirement in biology.

A year-long, two-semester courseinvolving the student in an independent research project conductedunder the supervision of a staff member and serving as an intensiveintroduction to specific methods of biological research. Admissiononly with permission of the department and the staff member proposedas the research supervisor. In cases where students are able todo unusually long, intensive work in the laboratory, they mayrequest a third course credit during the petition process; ifthis request is approved by the senior honors coordinator, studentsshould register for BIOL 99d (fall) and BIOL 99e (spring) or,alternatively, for BIOL 99e (spring) followed by BIOL 99d (fall).The combined enrollments for Senior Research may not exceed threesemester course credits. To fulfill the BIOL 99 requirements,students must (1) submit to their research sponsor, at the conclusionof their first BIOL 99 semester, a paper that reviews the literaturepertinent to their field of research, and (2) submit to theirresearch sponsor, at the conclusion of their second BIOL 99 semester,a senior thesis that includes an abstract, an introduction, areview of materials and methods, results, discussion, and references.Usually offered every year.


BIOL 99e Senior Research

Signatures of the instructorand the senior honors coordinator (Ms. Press) required. Does NOTmeet the concentration requirement in biology.

See BIOL 99d for course description.Usually offered every semester.


(100-199) For Both Undergraduateand Graduate Students

BIOL 102b Structural MolecularBiology

[ sn ]

Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b; or permission of the instructor.

An introduction to the structuralbasis of molecular biology. It will include background materialon the designs of proteins and nucleic acids and their assembly,as well as the techniques used to visualize structure. A majortheme will be the physical and chemical basis for specificityin molecular recognition. Usually offered every year.

Mr. DeRosier

BIOL 103b Mechanisms ofCell Functions

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Prerequisite: BIOL 22b orpermission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 50. A libraryintensive course.

This course follows biologicalinformation (in nucleic acids, proteins, and second messengers)through a cell. Topics examined include the control of the cellcycle and the behavior of chromosomes, how information encodedin nucleic acid is translated into protein, how proteins are putin the appropriate places in cells or outside cells, and how externalsignals (hormones, cell-matrix interactions) influence the activitiesof enzymes and of genes. Usually offered every year.

Ms. Davis

BIOL 104a Structural Approachesto Cell Biology

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The purpose of this courseis to rigorously develop the foundations of structural cell biology.The first part of this course reviews the mathematical methodsand physical principles required to understand how the structureof macromolecules and macromolecular assemblies are determined.The second part of the course deals specifically with individualmethods, including light microscopy, higher resolution electronmicroscopy of macromolecules, and protein crystallography. Usuallyoffered every third year. Last offered in the spring of 1993.

Mr. DeRosier

BIBC 105b Molecular Biology

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b.

Examination of molecular processesin replication and expression of genetic information and techniquesby which this understanding has been achieved. Topics includerecombinant DNA and other molecular biological techniques, structureand organization of DNA in chromosomes, DNA replication, transcriptionand regulation of gene expression, RNA structure and processing,mRNA stability, and other mechanisms of post-translational control.Usually offered every year.

Messrs. Rosbash and Sen

BIOL 111a DevelopmentalBiology

(Formerly BIOL 61a)

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Prerequisites: BIOL 18a,b;BIBC 22a, BIOL 22b. This course may not be repeated for creditby students who have taken BIOL 61a in previous years.

How do complex organisms buildthemselves starting from single cells? We will examine how processessuch as fertilization, embryogenesis, cell differentiation, andtissue-specific gene expression occur; what is known about thekey molecules and genes that orchestrate these processes; andhow genetic changes affecting these processes underlie the evolutionof body form. Usually offered in even years.

Ms. White

BIOL 112b Interpretationof Genes

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Prerequisite: BIBC 22a andBIOL 22b.

The discovery of sequence similaritybetween a gene of your interest to known genes often providesclues about its function. This course will cover the basic theoriesand practices of sequence analysis. Topics include basic algorithmand statistics, biological data bases, data base searches, sequencealignment, phylogenetic trees, genome project, etc. Usually offeredin even years.

Messrs. Dixon and Ren

BIOL 122a Molecular Genetics

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b (or equivalents) or permission of the instructor.

A lecture and literature-basedcourse concerning mechanisms that control genetic change and geneticstability. Lectures cover the topics of genetic mutation, geneticrecombination, repair of genetic damage, and chromosome structureand transmission. Research papers of current and historical interestwill be discussed. Usually offered in even years.

Mr. Haber and Ms. Lovett

BIOL 125a Immunology

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b.

Topics include properties,functions of cells involved in immunity; genes, structure, functionof immunoglobins and T cell receptors; cell interactions; antigenrecognition; lymphokines; tolerance; lymphocyte differentiation;genetic regulation; viral immunity; autoimmunity; AIDS; vaccines.Usually offered every year.

Ms. Press

BIOL 126b Protein Structureand Disease

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Prerequisite: BIBC 22a andBIOL 22b, or the equivalent, or permission of the instructor.Enrollment limited to 25.

Reviews the basic principlesof protein structure, so that the functional aspects of differentprotein designs may be understood. We examine various proteinmutations related to certain molecular diseases and the architectureof some key viruses and their infectivity. Consideration of drugdesign is an integral part of the course. Student presentationsare essential to the course. Usually offered every third year.Last offered in the spring of 1998.

Ms. Cohen

BIOL 128a Human Genetics

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b. Enrollment limited to 50.

Survey of classical and nonclassicalpatterns of inheritance; cytogenetics; applications of moleculargenetics techniques in human genetics, analysis of variation,gene mapping, identification of candidate genes and genetic diseasediagnoses; single gene vs. complex gene inheritance; and issuesin human population genetics. Usually offered every year.


BIOL 132a General Microbiology

(Formerly BIOL 32a)

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b, (BCHM concentrators may substitute BCHM 100a); CHEM25a and 25b.

A survey of the physiologyof bacteria and other microorganisms. We will concentrate on thoseaspects of cell structure and function that are important fordiverse microbial lifestyles. In addition, we will pay specialattention to the biology of disease-causing organisms and microbiologicalproblems facing medicine today. Usually offered in odd years.

Ms. Lovett

BIOL 133b Marine MicrobialEcology

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b.

Diversity and evolution ofmicrobial life in the ocean. The fundamental importance of aquaticmicrobial assemblages in the biosphere. Aerobic, anaerobic, andextreme environments, global biogeochemical cycles, trophic structureof natural communities, energy flow in ecosystems, global warming,bioremediation.

Mr. Epstein

BIOL 134b Topics in Ecology

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b. This course may be repeated for credit. Signatureof the instructor required. A library intensive course.

Annually, a different aspectof the global biosphere is selected for analysis using contemporarytools and approaches. In any year the focus may be on specificecosystems (e.g. terrestrial, aquatic, tropical, arctic), populations,system modeling, or the contributions of physical or chemicalfactors defining a particular system. Please consult the CourseSchedule for the particular topic. Usually offered every year.


NBIO 136b ComputationalNeuroscience

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Prerequisites: MATH 10aand b, and either PHYS 10a and 10b, CHEM 11a and 11b, BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b, or approved equivalents.

An introduction to methodsand results in mathematical and computer modeling of neural systems.Topics include the basic biophysics of ion conduction, singleand multi-compartment neuron models, information theory and neuralcodes, the representation and processing of images by the visualsystem, and models of synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory.Usually offered every other year.

Mr. Abbott

NBIO 140b Principles ofNeuroscience

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Prerequisite: BIBC 22b orpermission of the instructor.

Basic principles of neurobiology.Topics include ion channels and their role in generating restingand action potentials; basics of synaptic physiology and pharmacology;locomotion, visual processing; learning, among others. Usuallyoffered every year.

Ms. Marder

NBIO 143b DevelopmentalNeurobiology

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Signature of the instructorrequired.

Mechanisms used in the formationof the nervous system will be discussed. Topics include determinationof the neuronal precursors, pattern formation in the nervous system,neuronal differentiation, and mechanisms responsible for neuralspecificity. Usually offered in even years.

Ms. Birren

NBIO 144b The Neurobiologyof Memory

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Prerequisite: NBIO 140b.Signature of the instructor required.

Topics include definition ofthe types of memory, genetic and pharmacological perturbationsof memory, and neural network approaches to memory. Principalfocus on the cellular and molecular basis of memory. Anatomical,biochemical, and physiological work on long-term potentiationin the hippocampus will be extensively discussed. Usually offeredin odd years.

Mr. Lisman

NBIO 145b Integrative Neuroscience

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Prerequisite: NBIO 140b.

Analysis of how the nervoussystem processes information and generates behavior, with emphasison understanding how circuit dynamics result from the interactionof cellular and synaptic processes. Topics include generationof rhythmic behaviors, structure and function of the auditory,visual, and sematosensory systems, representation of sensory information,learning and memory. Usually offered every year.

Mr. Abbott

NBIO 147a Neurogenetics

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Prerequisites: BIOL 18a,b, BIBC 22a and BIOL 22b. Signature of the instructor required.

Development and function ofthe nervous system and responses of excitable cells studied inneurological and behavioral mutants. Characterization and manipulationof genes, defined by these mutations and using molecular biologicaltools. Organisms: microbes, roundworms, fruit flies, mammals.Neurobiological areas: embryonic neural development, nerve celldifferentiation and pattern formation, membrane excitability,responses to visual and chemical stimuli, biological rhythms,reproductive behavior. Usually offered every third year. Lastoffered in the fall of 1995.

Mr. Hall

NBCH 148b Advanced Topicsin Neuroscience

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Prerequisite: NEUR 140bor permission of the instructor. May be taken concurrently withNEUR 140b.

Focuses on the ionic and molecularbasis of action and synaptic potentials. Students examine theHodgkin-Huxley experiments on axonal action potentials and thepropagation of action potentials in the dendrites of CNS neurons.Students also examine ionotropic glutamate receptors; includingtheir electrical and molecular properties, interaction with otherproteins, and their involvement in synaptic plasticity. Usuallyoffered every year.

Ms. Turrigiano

BIOL 149b Molecular Pharmacology

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22a,BIOL 22b, and CHEM 25a and b. NBIO 140b strongly recommended.Signature of the instructor required.

Covers the essentials of pharmacologyand the study of the actions of chemical agents (drugs, toxins,neurotransmitters, and hormones) that interact with living systems.Emphasizes molecular mechanisms of neuropharmacology. Topics includepharmaco-kinetics, hormone action, autonomic pharmacology, andthe psychopharmacology of drugs of abuse and mental disorders.Usually offered every third year.

Ms. Griffith

BIOL 160b Human ReproductiveBiology

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b. Signature of the instructor required.

This course deals with hormonal,cellular, and molecular aspects of gametogenesis, fertilization,pregnancy, and birth. We will also discuss pathological and abnormalvariations that occur and the available medical technologies forintervention, correction, and facilitation of these processes.Usually offered every year.

Mr. Hayes

BIOL 172b Cancer

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Prerequisite: BIBC 22a andBIOL 22b. Enrollment limited to 80.

Cancers are a collection ofdiseases that disturb the most fundamental rules of behavior ofthe cells in a multicellular organism. This course will coverthe nature and cause of cancer, the molecular mechanism of oncogenesis,and the molecular biology of tumor viruses. Usually offered ineven years.

Mr. Ren

BIOL 173b Programmed CellDeath

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Prerequisites: BIBC 22a,BIOL 22b, and BCHM 100a or permission of the instructor. Enrollmentlimited to 24.

Apoptosis, the programmed deathof vertebrate cells, is essential for normal development and health.We examine the topic through recent research papers, lectures,and student presentations, with emphasis on the mechanism of apoptosisand its role in human diseases such as cancer and neurologicaldisorders. Usually offered in even years.

Mr. Fulton

BIOL 175b Advanced Immunology

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Prerequisite: BIOL 125aor permission of the instructor.

A survey of recent advancesin molecular immunology. Topics include hematopoietic stem cellbiology, blood lineage commitment, growth factor signal transduction,the nature and specificity of antigen receptors, the regulationand mechanism of V(D)J recombination, and B and T cell development.Usually offered in odd years.

Messrs. Ren and Sen


For biophysics consult biophysicsofferings in this Bulletin.

(200 and above) Primarilyfor Graduate Students

BIOL 200a Proseminar

A library intensive course.

For first year graduate students.Emphasizes the reading, analysis, discussion and writing of researchpapers. We also examine how scientists frame important questionsand design appropriate experiments. Papers will be chosen fordiscussion, covering molecular biological, genetic and biochemicalapproaches.

Usually offered every year.

Mr. Haber and Ms. Lovett

BIOL 220a Clinical GeneticsII

Prerequisites: Completionof BIOL 204b or permission of the instructor.

An in-depth discussion of organsystem genetics. Topics include genetic disorders of the CNS,the skeleton, the immune system, the cardiovascular system, thekidneys, and the urogenital system. Usually offered every year.

Mr. Natowicz

BIOL 221b Advanced Topicsin Structural Biology

Prerequisites: BIBC 22aand BIOL 22b, or the equivalent.

Analysis of current literatureon cell structure. Usually offered every year.

Mr. DeRosier

BIBC 224b The RNA World

Prerequisites: BCHM 100a,BIBC 105b, or permission of the instructor.

This course employs seminarsand lectures to approach a wide range of topics in RNA research.Topics include RNA enzymes, RNA structure, protein-RNA interactions,pre-MRNA splicing, and RNA localization. Usually offered everyyear.

Ms. Moore

BIOL 300a and b BiologicalResearch

Primarily for the first-yearstudent with the purpose of introducing him or her to biologicalresearch and to the work in progress in the laboratories of anumber of faculty members. In consultation with the graduate advisor,the student plans a sequence of such tenures, each comprisingnine weeks or more, and then carries out experimental investigationsunder the guidance of the faculty members involved. Usually offeredevery year.


BIOL 302b Readings in PlantDevelopment

Offered on demand.

Mr. Klein

BIOL 305d Topics in MolecularGenetics and Development

Usually offered every year.


NBIO 306d Topics in Neurobiology

Usually offered every year.

Ms. Sengupta

BIOL 307d Topics in Immunology

Usually offered every year.


BIOL 310d Structural BiologyJournal Club

Usually offered every year.


BIOL 316d Mechanisms ofRecombination

Usually offered every year.

Mr. Haber and Ms. Lovett

BIOL 320d Current Topicsin Drosophila Molecular Genetics

Usually offered every year.

Ms. White

NBIO 340d Computationaland Systems Neurosciences

Usually offered every year.

Mr. Abbott

BIOL 350d Graduate StudentResearch Seminar

Usually offered every year.


Research Courses

BIOL 404d DevelopmentalNeurobiology

Ms. White

BIOL 405d Cell Differentiationand Morphogenesis

Mr. Fulton

BIOL 406d Neurophysiology

Ms. Marder

BIOL 407d Structural Biochemistry

Ms. Cohen

BIOL 408d Behavioral Genetics

Mr. Hall

BIOL 409d Biophysics ofVisual Transduction

Mr. Lisman

BIOL 410d Plant Development

Mr. Klein

BIOL 411d Gene Control

Mr. Wangh

BIOL 412d Structural MolecularBiology

Mr. DeRosier

BIOL 414d Gene OrganizationEukaryotes

Mr. Rosbash

BIOL 415d Genetics and MolecularBiology of Yeast

Mr. Haber

BIOL 416d Immunology

Mr. Simister

BIOL 418d DevelopmentalImmunology

Ms. Press

BIOL 420d Nutritional Pathophysiology

Mr. Hayes

BIOL 421d Molecular Immunology

Mr. Sen

BIOL 422d Synaptic Plasticity

Ms. Griffith

BIOL 423d Mechanisms ofRecombination

Ms. Lovett

BIOL 424d DevelopmentalNeurobiology

Ms. Birren

BIOL 425d Modeling of NeuralNetworks

Mr. Abbott

BIOL 426d Synaptic Integration

Mr. Nelson

BIOL 427d Regulation ofNeuronal Properties

Ms. Turrigiano

BIOL 428d Signal Transduction

Mr. Ren

BIOL 429d DevelopmentalNeurobiology

Ms. Sengupta

BIOL 430d Cell Biology ofYeast

Ms. Davis

CONT 300b Ethical Practicein Health-Related Sciences

Required of all first-yeargraduate students in health-related science programs. Not forcredit.

Scientists are becoming increasinglyaware of the importance of addressing ethical issues and valuesassociated with scientific research. This course, taught by Universityfaculty from several graduate disciplines, will cover major ethicalissues germane to the broader scientific enterprise, includingareas or applications from a number of fields of study. Lecturesand relevant case studies will be complemented by two public lecturesduring the course. Usually offered every year.

Ms. Ringe

Cross-Listed Courses

ANTH 116a

Human Osteology