Department of Biology

Last updated: September 10, 2014 at 3:13 p.m.

Objectives

Undergraduate Major
The undergraduate program in biology, leading either to the BA or to the BS degree, is designed to give students an understanding of fundamental and current biological knowledge in a variety of fields. The program offers a wide array of courses to undergraduates, ranging from introductory to advanced, specialized, and graduate-level courses in many of these areas. The biology department has more than twenty-five full-time faculty members with teaching and research interests in the fields of genetics, molecular biology, development, cancer, immunology, microbiology, neurobiology, motility, cell biology, structural biology, animal behavior, and ecology.

Because the interests and needs of our students vary, the major is designed to provide flexibility once the core courses have been completed. Students may elect undergraduate-level courses in a variety of areas of biology and biochemistry or may choose to obtain more-advanced, in-depth training in one particular area. Students are also encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to become integral members of research laboratories and to attend departmental colloquia.

A major in biology provides excellent preparation for students intent on careers in biological research; for those seeking careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, and dentistry; and for those interested in the allied health professions such as public health, genetic counseling, physical therapy, nursing, or physician assistant. For those seeking courses concerned with ecology or environmental science, the biology department offers study in those areas. See "Special Note B" below for additional programs in those areas.

Graduate Programs in the Biological Sciences
For MS and PhD degrees in the biological sciences, see the separate listings for molecular and cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics, neuroscience, and genetic counseling programs in this Bulletin.

Learning Goals

Biology is the science of life. We may study biology for its practical applications in fields that include medicine, agriculture, and manufacturing, or simply because of what E.O. Wilson terms "biophilia", our innate fascination with living things. B.A. and B.S. programs build upon fundamental concepts to give an understanding of major areas of modern biology, including molecular biology, neurobiology, ecology, and structural biology. Courses for non-majors introduce aspects of the biology of our everyday lives. They provide background for students to make choices in areas such as diet and immunization, and to be informed participants in broader debate of issues such as stem cell research and human impact on the environment.

Knowledge
Living things work in ways that reflect principles of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Biology majors will demonstrate an appropriate understanding of these subjects. All biology majors will demonstrate basic knowledge of cell biology. This includes knowledge of the molecular building blocks of cells, structure-function relationships of molecules and cells, and the flow of energy, materials, and information within and between cells. All biology majors will demonstrate basic knowledge of molecular biology and genetics. This includes knowledge of the flow of genetic information from genes to proteins, and from generation to generation of cells and organisms. All biology majors will demonstrate knowledge of techniques and equipment commonly used in modern biology and genetics laboratories. These include the use of recombinant DNA techniques and the genetic manipulation of model organisms. Additionally, students will demonstrate knowledge of subjects chosen, depending upon their interests and career goals, from a broad range of elective courses.

Skills
Students who major in biology will develop skills in three core areas. Firstly, they will develop skills in collecting and analyzing quantitative data, including the creation of visual representations of data, and statistical analysis. Secondly, students will develop critical thinking skills by interpreting biological data and scientific reports. Thirdly, they will develop skills in written and oral communication of scientific observations, ideas, data, and opinions.

Upon graduation
The flexible bachelor's degree program educates biology graduates for a variety of careers, which may depend upon the elective courses taken. Some will enter the workforce in technical positions in biological research in academic, medical or industrial laboratories. Others will go on to graduate study in dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, and allied health professions such as genetic counseling, physical therapy, physician assistant, or public health. Some students will enter master's or doctoral programs in the life sciences. Still others will bring their scientific backgrounds to other professions, including business, secondary and post-secondary education, and law.

How to Become a Major

In general, students wishing to major in biology should enroll in BIOL 14a (Genetics and Genomics) in the fall semester and BIOL 15b (Cells and Organisms) in the spring semester. These students should also enroll in the CHEM 11a,b or CHEM 15a,b General Chemistry series, along with associated laboratories CHEM 18a,b or CHEM 19a,b. The advantage of the 14a/15b order is that most Biology electives require one or both of these courses as prerequisites. Students could then begin to take electives during the sophomore year.

Alternatively, students may begin the Biology series with BIOL 16a (Evolution and Biodiversity) in fall and BIOL 15b in spring. BIOL 14a would be taken the following year. Students who are interested in organismal biology, ecology or evolution may be better served by this order.

Students who do not have a strong background in biology may want to wait until the spring semester and begin the required biology series with BIOL 15b. Students who do not have a strong background in Math who intend to take calculus are encouraged to enroll in MATH 5a, precalculus, in the Fall.

Typically, students would take the Introductory Laboratory series, BIOL 18a,b, in their sophomore year after taking BIOL 14a and BIOL 15b. Students should note that BIOL 14a must be taken prior to or concurrently with BIOL 18a, and BIOL 15b must be taken prior to or concurrently with BIOL 18b. We recommend that during their sophomore year, students also enroll in CHEM 25a and b (Organic Chemistry), with associated labs.

Other course schedules are possible, but students should be aware that some courses have a prerequisite of completion of CHEM 25a. Taking CHEM 25a and b in the sophomore year allows students to begin taking these courses in their junior year, as well as to begin completing the remaining requirements for the BA or BS degree in biology. Students also have the option of enrolling in BIOL 93a (Independent Research) during their junior or senior year, and BIOL 93a and BIOL 99b, or BIOL 99a and b (Senior Research) during the senior year.

To learn more about the biology major, students should attend one of the special departmental or UDR programs held each fall or consult with the undergraduate advising head.

Faculty

Sacha Nelson, Chair (National Center for Behavioral Genomics; Volen National Center for Complex Systems)
Synaptic integration in the visual cortex.

Susan Birren, Dean of Arts and Sciences (National Center for Behavioral Genomics; Volen National Center for Complex Systems)
Developmental neurobiology.

Paul Garrity (National Center for Behavioral Genomics; Volen National Center for Complex Systems)
Neural development and behavior.

Bruce Goode (Rosenstiel Center)
Biochemistry and genetics of yeast cytoskeleton.

Leslie Griffith (Director, Volen National Center for Complex Systems; National Center for Behavioral Genomics) (on leave fall 2014)
Biochemistry of synaptic plasticity.

James Haber (Director, Rosenstiel Center) (one leave academic year 2014-2015)
Genetics and molecular biology of yeast meiotic and mitotic recombination. Mating-type switching. Repair of broken chromosomes.

Lizbeth Hedstrom (on leave academic year 2014-2015)
Enzyme structure-function. Chemical biology. Mechanisms of retinal degeneration.

Melissa Kosinski-Collins (on leave fall 2014)
Protein biochemistry and biology education.

Nelson Lau (Rosenstiel Center)
Gene and genome regulation by RNAi and small RNAs. Molecular biology of germline gene and transposon regulation.

John Lisman (Volen National Center for Complex Systems)
Mechanisms of phototransduction. Molecular mechanism of memory storage.

Susan Lovett (Assistant Director, Professional Science Master's Program in Biotechnology; Rosenstiel Center) 
Genetics and molecular biology of bacteria and yeast. DNA repair. Recombination and mutagenesis.

Michael Marr (Rosenstiel Center)
Mechanisms controlling gene expression.

Eve Marder (Volen National Center for Complex Systems) (on leave academic year 2014-2015)
Neurotransmitter modulation of neural circuits.

Paul Miller (Volen National Center for Complex Systems)
Computational and theoretical neuroscience.

James Morris
Epigenetics and biology education.

Daniela Nicastro (Rosenstiel Center) (on leave fall 2014)
Electron tomography of cellular and macromolecular structures.

Suzanne Paradis (National Center for Behavioral Genomics; Volen National Center for Complex Systems)
Molecular mechanisms of synapse development.

Dan L. Perlman
Ecology, conservation biology, animal behavior.

Joan Press, BIOL 93a and BIOL 99 Senior Honors Coordinator (Rosenstiel Center) 
Developmental immunology and immunogenetics.

Ruibao Ren (Rosenstiel Center)
Signal transduction.

Avital Rodal (Rosenstiel Center, Volen National Center for Complex Systems)
Endosomal Membrane Traffic in Neurons.

Michael Rosbash (National Center for Behavioral Genomics; Volen National Center for Complex Systems)
RNA processing and molecular neurobiology.

Piali Sengupta (National Center for Behavioral Genomics; Volen National Center for Complex Systems) 
Behavioral and neuronal development in C. elegans.

Neil Simister (Undergraduate Advising Head, fall 2014; Director, Professional Science Master’s Program in Biotechnology; Rosenstiel Center)
Molecular immunology. Antibody transport.

Judith Tsipis (Chair, Genetic Counseling)
Genetic counseling.

Gina Turrigiano (National Center for Behavioral Genomics; Volen National Center for Complex Systems) 
Activity-dependent regulation of neuronal properties.

Stephen Van Hooser (Volen National Center for Complex Systems)
Development and function of cortical circuits.

Lawrence Wangh
Mammalian embryogenesis. Gene expression in single cells. DNA amplification and in vitro DNA diagnostics.

Rachel Woodruff (Undergraduate Advising Head, spring 2015)
Science Education and DNA Damage Tolerance.

Satoshi Yoshida (Rosenstiel Center)
Cytoskeletal organization during cell division.

Requirements for the Major

A. Core Courses required of all candidates: BIOL 14a; BIOL 15b; BIOL 16a; BIOL 18a,b lab; CHEM 11a,b or CHEM 15a,b; CHEM 18a,b or CHEM 19a,b lab; CHEM 25a,b; CHEM 29a,b lab; and Option I or II below.

Option I: The BA Degree in Biology
The BA is the standard biology option that provides students with a general background in biology. In addition to the Core courses required of all candidates (listed above), students must complete one course from the Quantitative Course List below. Also, students must complete a total of five Elective Courses, three of which must be taken at Brandeis. At least three electives must come from the Biology Elective Group; up to two may be chosen from the General Science Elective Group.

Courses required of all BA candidates or those used to fulfill the Quantitative Course requirement cannot also be used for Elective credit.

Option II: The BS Degree in Biology
The BS is the intensive biology option that provides students with a strong background in several areas of biology. In addition to the Core courses required of all candidates (listed as in A above), students must complete two courses from the Quantitative Course List. They must also complete PHYS 10a,b or PHYS 11a,b or PHYS 15a,b; and PHYS 18a,b or PHYS 19a,b lab. In addition, students must complete six elective courses, at least four of which be taken at Brandeis. At least four electives must come from the Biology Elective Group; up to two may be chosen from the General Science Elective Group.

Courses required of all BS candidates or those used to fulfill the Quantitative Course requirement cannot also be used for Elective credit.

Quantitative Course List
BIOL 51a
BIOL 107a
BIOL 135b
any COSI course numbered 10 or higher
HSSP 100b
any MATH course numbered 10 or higher
NBIO 136b
any QBIO course
PSYC 51a

Biology Electives
BIOL 17b
any BIOL course numbered 23 or higher (excluding courses numbered 90-99)
ANTH 116a
BCHM 100a
BCHM 155b
BCHM 172a
COSI 178a
any BIBC course
any CBIO course
any NBIO course
any QBIO course

One semester of BIOL 93 plus one semester of BIOL 99, or two semesters of BIOL 99 (or NEUR 99a,b) may count as one elective with permission of the biology department honors coordinator.

General Science Electives (no more than 2 full course electives can come from this group): Any course from BCHM, CHEM, COSI, MATH, PHYS numbered 10 or higher (excluding courses numbered 90-99 and courses in the Biology Elective Group). Lab courses not listed as a requirement for A. Option I (BA) or A. Option II (BS) can be used as electives in the General Science elective group.

Note: Two-credit laboratory courses are counted as one-half of a regular semester course and 4-credit laboratory courses will be counted as a full semester course.

AP credit cannot be used to satisfy the quantitative requirement or the elective requirement. The Biology AP cannot be used to fulfil BIOL 14a, 15b or 16a.

B. Independent Research (BIOL 93)
Any junior or senior majoring in biology may enroll in BIOL 93 (Independent Research). This course on its own does not count as an elective but may be used for course credit. The internship may be done during the summer or during one academic semester. No more than one BIOL 93 course may be taken. Students must petition the department for participation in BIOL 93. Petitions and information about the research internships are available in the biology department office or you can download the petition and information from http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/undergrad/biology/BIOL_93_petition.pdf. See BIOL 93 course description for details.

C. Senior Research
Any senior majoring in biology may enroll in senior research. This two-semester program is taken as a combination of two courses, which can be either BIOL 93 and BIOL 99, or BIOL 99a and BIOL 99b

In the first option, the student can do the BIOL 93 research internship in the summer of junior year followed by BIOL 99a in fall semester of senior year; or the student may do the BIOL 93 research internship in fall semester, followed by BIOL 99 in spring semester of senior year. 

In the second option, the student enrolls in BIOL 99a in fall semester and BIOL 99b (or BIOL 99e) in spring semester of the senior year. The combination of BIOL 93 and BIOL 99, or the combination of BIOL 99a and BIOL 99b, may be used as one elective in biology. No more than 3 courses (combinations of BIOL 93, BIOL 99) may be taken for course credit. Students petition the department for participation in BIOL 93 or BIOL 99. Petitions and information about the research internship and senior research are available in the biology department office or you can download the petition and information from http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/undergrad/biology/BIOL_93_petition.pdf and http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/undergrad/biology/BIOL_99_petition.pdf. See BIOL 93 and BIOL 99 course descriptions for details.

D. Senior Honors Program
Intensive laboratory research and scholastic excellence are major components of the senior honors program. The student enrolls in senior research (as described above, in section C above). At the conclusion of their second research semester (BIOL 93 and BIOL 99a or BIOL 99b, or BIOL 99a and BIOL 99b), candidates for senior honors will give an oral defense of their senior honors thesis to a designated faculty research committee. At the conclusion of their senior year, candidates for senior honors must have either (i) a minimum 3.30 GPA in all courses offered for the biology major, or (ii) a minimum 3.00 GPA in courses offered for the biology major and also have achieved an average of B+ or higher in three biology electives (BIOL 93 or BIOL 99 electives are not included in the GPA calculation for Honors). Petitions and information about the senior honors program are available in the biology department office or you can download the petition and information from http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/undergrad/biology/BIOL_99_petition.pdf.

E. No course offered for major requirements in either Option I or II may be taken on a pass/fail basis.

F. Satisfactory grades (C- or above) must be earned in all Biology Core courses with BIOL designations (BIOL 14a, 15b, 16a, 18a, 18b), all Quantitative courses and in all Elective courses from the Biology Elective and the General Science Elective groups offered for the major in Biology. No more than one D or D+ may be earned in any other courses offered for the major. No grade of D- will be allowed.

Combined BS/MS Program

Four-year Combined BS/MS Program in Biology

Undergraduate students majoring in Biology may be admitted to a four-year BS/MS program upon recommendation by the faculty research sponsor and approval by the Biology Undergraduate Advising Head and the Graduate School. BS/MS candidates must do senior honors research, i. e., take two semesters of BIOL 99 and receive departmental honors. Additional courses must be taken. The student must meet in their junior year with the Biology Undergraduate Advising Head to receive approval to apply to the Graduate School for the BS/MS program. Application to the Graduate School must be made by May 1 preceding the senior year. For specific details about the BS/MS requirements, see http://www.bio.brandeis.edu/undergrad/biology/bsms.html.

Five-year Combined BA /MS or BS/MS Program in Biotechnology

This combined degree program allows students to complete the full master’s program in biotechnology with one additional year of graduate study after earning a BA or BS degree at Brandeis. Requirements for the bachelor's degree, defined by the College of Arts and Sciences, remain unaffected by participation in this program. Students who successfully complete the five-year program must receive the bachelor's degree by the end of their fourth year and will matriculate in the Graduate School in the fifth year.

Applicants must demonstrate (through their transcripts and in their application statement of purpose) that they can complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree while pursuing the courses of the full Year 1 master's degree in biotechnology curriculum. Students may achieve the bachelor’s degree in any major, but must have completed one full year of introductory biology and laboratory (BIOL 14a, 15b, 16a, BIOL 18a,b) and introductory chemistry and laboratory (CHEM 11a,b or CHEM 15a,b and CHEM 18a,b or CHEM 19a,b) to qualify for admission into the 5-year program.

Students interested in this option should apply to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences by March 1 of their junior year using the links on the biotechnology program website. If accepted into the program, students will be expected to take the six required courses of the Biotechnology Year 1 program, plus CONT 300 Ethical Practice in Health-Related Sciences, in their senior year. Students may elect one additional course of their choosing each semester to complete any bachelor’s degree requirements. At the end of the first year in the combined program, student progress will be evaluated by the program directors. At the discretion of the Biotechnology program directors, any students who did not perform satisfactorily in the Biotechnology program courses in that year may not be allowed to proceed to the fifth year of the program.

Brandeis 5-year degree students will then continue with the biotechnology summer internship and enter the Year 2 master’s degree in biotechnology curriculum in the fall of their 5th year.

Special Notes Relating to the Undergraduate Program

A. BIOL 18a and b (labs) and BIOL 14a and 15b will satisfy the general biology entrance requirements of most medical schools. 

B. Biology majors wishing to study ecology and conservation may wish to look into the environmental studies program described in this Bulletin, as well as the following programs:

School for Field Studies: SFS offers programs at a number of different sites around the world, including East Africa, Costa Rica, Baja Mexico, Australia, and the West Indies.

School for International Training: SIT offers programs around the world in ecology, conservation, and sustainable development.

Denmark's International Studies Program: DIS offers a range of programs in marine biology and ecology, environmental biology, medical practice and policy, and molecular biology and genetics.

Students should see Mr. D.L. Perlman for further information on these programs, including information on the transferability of course credits as biology electives.

C. Biology majors who wish to enroll in PHYS 11a and b (Basic Physics), rather than PHYS 10a and b (Physics for the Life Sciences), must complete both MATH 10a and b as prerequisites.

D. AP exam credit: Students receiving AP credit as per university guidelines may use these to satisfy the general chemistry (CHEM 11) or physics (PHYS 10, 11) requirements. However, neither AP Math AB scores of 4, 5 nor AP Math BC scores of 3, 4, 5 may be used to satisfy the quantitative course requirement for the biology major.

Master of Science in Biotechnology

Program of Study
The program provides interdisciplinary, professionally-oriented training in biotechnology, stressing both science and business concepts. Mastery of the field of biotechnology will be taught both in the classroom and through hands-on laboratory work. In addition, students will build professional skills in data analysis, searching and reading the scientific literature, scientific writing, oral presentation and teamwork.

The program includes a summer internship at a biotechnology or pharmaceutical company or non-profit research center or in one of many biological sciences research laboratories on the Brandeis campus. Research areas on campus include genetics, molecular biology, developmental biology, cell biology, chemical biology, biophysics, structural biology, immunology, and neurobiology. Students should enroll in BIOT 212a for credit for the internship.

A total of twelve other courses are required for the program. Four lecture courses are mandatory for all biotechnology students. These are BIOL 101a Molecular Biotechnology*, BIOT 200a Biotechnology Proseminar, BIOT 201b Business of Biotechnology, and BIOT 203b Fundamentals of Management for Biotechnology.
*Students who previously have taken a course equivalent to BIOL 101a Molecular Biotechnology may substitute an elective course with the consent of the program directors.

All biotechnology students are required to take one of the following courses: BCHM 100a Introductory Biochemistry, BIOL 100b Advanced Cell Biology, BIOL 102b Structural Molecular Biology, or BIOL 103b Mechanisms of Cell Function.

Two laboratory courses are mandatory. These are BIOL 156 Biotechnology Project Laboratory and BCHM 155 Biochemistry Laboratory.

All students will take two biology, biochemistry, or chemistry electives numbered higher than 100 and one business elective.‡ The remaining courses may be additional biology, biochemistry, or chemistry electives (as above), or relevant business‡, computer science, economics, or sociology courses as well as relevant courses in the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, at appropriate levels approved by the program directors, or additional laboratory courses. The laboratory courses may be project laboratories (e.g. Project Laboratory in Live Cell Imaging, BIOL 158) or research in laboratories approved by the program directors (students should enroll in Biotechnology Research, BIOT 293).

‡Two 2-credit business modules, e.g. BUS 226f Managing Global Human Capital, BUS 228f Management Communication, may be taken in place of a 4-credit course.

In addition, all students are required to take CONT 300b (Responsible Conduct of Science), offered in the spring.

Students must receive grades of B- or better in all courses and may be terminated from the program if their academic records are unsatisfactory.

Residence Requirement
The minimum residence requirement is two years.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

BIOL 14a Genetics and Genomics
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May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 22a in prior years.
Studies fundamentals of genetics, genomics, molecular biology and biological problem-solving. Topics include heredity, meiosis, molecular basis of phenotypic variations in individuals and populations, as well as an introduction to the tools and techniques used by past and current researchers in genetics and genomics. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Woodruff

BIOL 15b Cells and Organisms
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May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 22b in prior years.
Introduces contemporary biology with an emphasis on cells, organs, and organ systems. Topics include the forms and functions of macromolecules, organelles, and cells, the integration of cells into tissues, and the physiology of fundamental life processes. The course is intended to prepare students to understand the biology of everyday life, and to provide a strong foundation for those who continue to study the life sciences. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Simister

BIOL 16a Evolution and Biodiversity
[ qr sn ]
May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 60b in prior years.
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," Dobzhansky said famously. Evolution is the unifying theory of biology because it explains both the unity and diversity of life. This course examines processes and patterns of evolution, including the sources and fate of variation, natural selection and genetic drift, the species concept and the origin of species, species interactions and the evolution of sociality, biogeography, and the history and diversity of life on Earth. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Morris

BIOL 17b Conservation Biology
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No longer writing intensive beginning spring 2013.
Considers the current worldwide loss of biological diversity, causes of this loss, and methods for protecting and conserving biodiversity. Explores biological and social aspects of the problems and their solutions. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Hitchcock

BIOL 18a General Biology Laboratory
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Prerequisite: BIOL 14a. The prerequisite is waived if students have successfully completed BIOL 22a in a prior semester. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. Yields full-course credit. Laboratory fee: $150 per semester. This lab is time-intensive and students will be expected to come in to lab between regular scheduled lab sessions. In order to accommodate students with time conflicts it may be necessary to re-assign students without conflicts to another section of the course. Students' section choice will be honored if possible.
Provides firsthand experience with a wide array of organisms and illustrates basic approaches to experimental design and problem solving in genetics and genomics. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Kosinski-Collins

BIOL 18b General Biology Laboratory
Prerequisite: BIOL 15b. The prerequisite is waived if students have successfully completed BIOL 22b in a prior semester. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Yields half-course credit. Laboratory fee: $150 per semester. This lab is time-intensive and students will be expected to come to lab between regular scheduled lab sessions. In order to accommodate students with time conflicts it may be necessary to re-assign students without conflicts to another section of the course. Students' section choice will be honored if possible. This course offers a 2-credit optional practicum.
Provides firsthand experience with modern molecular biology techniques and illustrates basic approaches to experimental design and problem solving in molecular and cellular biology including applications of biochemical techniques. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Baade

BIOL 23a Ecology
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Prerequisites: BIOL 16a or 60b, or a score of 5 on the AP Biology Exam, or permission of the instructor.
Studies organisms and the environments in which they live. Focuses on the physical factors and intra- and interspecies interactions that explain the distribution and abundance of individual species from an evolutionary perspective. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Hitchcock

BIOL 25b General Zoology
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or 15b or 16a or BIOL 22a and 22b, or permission of the instructor.
Introduces the vast diversity and evolution of the animal kingdom, focusing on form and function of organisms. "Climbing" the tree of life, students learn the basics of the morphology, physiology, behavior, ecological and evolutionary relationships among major animal groups. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Nicastro

BIOL 32a Field Biology
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Introduces students to the biodiversity of southern New England, emphasizing woody plants. Course work primarily takes place on field trips to various terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 32aj Field Biology
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Introduces students to the biodiversity of southern New England, emphasizing woody plants. Course work primarily takes place on field trips to various terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Offered as part of JBS program.
Staff

BIOL 42a Physiology
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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b. CHEM 25a and b are recommended.
Introduces basic physiological principles. Topics include the physiology of human nervous and endocrine systems, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, water and electrolyte regulation, digestion and absorption, reproduction, and immunology. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 43b Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
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Prerequisite: BIOL 15b or 22b.
Provides a solid basis for understanding of vertebrate and, in particular, human anatomy. The gross and microscopic morphology of each organ system is considered in depth. Comparative anatomy, embryology, and relationships between structure and function are emphasized. Lectures, laboratory dissections, and clinical cases are used to illustrate the structure and function of vertebrates. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Morris

BIOL 44a The Biology of Human Sports and Exercise
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Prerequisite: BIOL 42a or BIOL 43b. BIOL 42a or 43b may be taken concurrently.
Examines the physiology and anatomy behind exercise science looking specifically at how the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems respond to physical activity. We will consider how the body reacts differently depending on activity type, environment and age. Special one-time offering, fall 2014.
Ms. Miara

BIOL 50b Animal Behavior
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Prerequisites: BIOL 23a or BIOL 16a or BIOL 60b.
Examines a wide range of animal behavior, including mating and reproductive tactics, territoriality, and social behaviors. The course employs an ecological framework to understand the evolution of behavior. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

BIOL 51a Biostatistics
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Prerequisite: MATH 10a.
A basic introduction to methods of statistics and mathematical analysis applied to problems in the life sciences. Topics include statistical analysis of experimental data, mathematical description of chemical reactions, and mathematical models in neuroscience, population biology, and epidemiology. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 55b Diet and Health
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Prerequisite: BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b must be successfully completed prior to taking BIOL 55b.
Reviews the current evidence concerning dietary impact on the chronic diseases of humans. Topics include genetics and nutrition, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. Students also examine the involvement of specific nutrients; for example, fat and cholesterol, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and alcohol in these disease processes. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Lai

BIOL 70a Immunology
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Prerequisites: BIOL14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b. CHEM 25a is recommended. May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 125a in prior years.
Topics include properties and functions of cells involved in innate and adaptive immunity; genes, structure and function of immunoglobins, B cell receptors and T cell receptors; lymphocyte differentiation; genetic regulation; MHC restriction; cell interactions and signaling; pathogen immunity (bacteria, viruses) and vaccines; tolerance and autoimmunity. Usually offered year.
Ms. Press

BIOL 71a General Microbiology
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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b, and CHEM 25a. May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 132a in prior years.
Topics include the physiology and properties of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms; microbial nutrition, metabolism, growth; bacterial genetics; horizontal gene transfer; microbial pathogenesis; immunity; antibiotics and other means of microbial control. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Lovett

BIOL 75b Infectious Disease
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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
Discusses infectious disease with a focus on host-microbe relationships and disease pathogenesis. Topics include characteristics of microbial agents, immune responses, concepts in epidemiology and infectious disease, and factors influencing whether microbes are 'perceived' as commensals or pathogens. Emerging infectious diseases and system-specific diseases are discussed. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Press

BIOL 93a Research Internship and Analysis
Supervised biological research experience in a Brandeis University laboratory. In consultation with a Brandeis faculty member, the student will design and execute an individual research project, culminating in an oral and written presentation. Students seeking to do biology research in Brandeis laboratories outside the biology department must obtain sponsorship of a biology department faculty member as well as permission of the departmental BIOL 93a coordinator. This course is not intended to and will not provide credit for off-campus internships. BIOL 93a is offered both semesters but is a one-semester course and may be taken only once. Students must petition the department for permission to enroll in BIOL 93a. Course requirements include laboratory research, a written report and an oral presentation, as specified in the BIOL 93a petition. Students wishing to do a summer internship for academic credit must obtain permission from the BIOL 93 coordinator and their biology department sponsor prior to commencing the internship; complete the summer internship (a minimum of 10 weeks full-time); and complete the appropriate academic work. Credit will be awarded via the student enrolling in BIOL 93a in the subsequent fall term. BIOL 93a may also be used as one of the two courses needed for Senior Research (see BIOL 99). Usually offered every semester.
Staff

BIOL 95a Laboratory Research Internship (Study Abroad)
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a, BIOL 15b and BIOL 18a and b.
Intended for students who wish to conduct independent laboratory research at a pre-approved study abroad institution. Enrollment in this course requires a petition through the Biology department and approval from the Biology Undergraduate Advising Head (UAH). Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 98a Readings in Biology
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b. Does NOT meet requirements for the major in biology. May not be taken for credit by students who have satisfactorily completed BIOL 98b. Students must petition the department for permission to enroll in BIOL 98a and receive permission from the departmental Undergraduate Advising Head as well as the faculty sponsor.
Open to exceptionally well-qualified students. This is a tutorial course with readings in a specified biological field. The student will be given a reading list, including current literature and reviews of the topic to be discussed. Course requirements include weekly discussions and the writing of several papers. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 98b Readings in Biology
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b. Does NOT meet the major requirement in biology. May not be taken for credit by students who have satisfactorily completed BIOL 98a. Students must petition the department for permission to enroll in BIOL 98b and receive permission from the departmental Undergraduate Advising Head as well as the faculty sponsor.
See BIOL 98a for course description. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 99a Senior Research
The first of a two-semester course involving the student in an independent research project conducted under the supervision of a staff member and serving as an intensive introduction to specific methods of biological research. In cases where students are able to do unusually long, intensive work in the laboratory, they may request a third course credit during the petition process; if this request is approved by the senior honors coordinator, students should register for BIOL 99a (fall) followed by BIOL 99e (spring). The combined enrollments for BIOL 93 and BIOL 99 may not exceed three semester course credits. Two semesters of BIOL 99 may be used as one elective for the biology major. Students may also use one semester of BIOL 93 and one semester of BIOL 99 to count as senior research and one elective. To fulfill the BIOL 99 requirements, students must (1) submit to their research sponsor, at the conclusion of their first BIOL 99 semester, a paper that reviews the literature pertinent to their field of research (or, fulfill the BIOL 93 requirements), and (2) submit to their research sponsor, at the conclusion of their second BIOL 99 semester, a senior thesis that includes an abstract, an introduction, a review of materials and methods, results, discussion, and references. Students must petition the department for permission to enroll in BIOL 99. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 99b Senior Research
A continuation of BIOL 99a. See BIOL 99a for course description.
Staff

BIOL 99e Senior Research
See BIOL 99a for course description. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

BISC 1b Biology for Poets, Lawyers and Budding Scientists
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Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Modern biology and genetics offer answers to enduring questions about who we are and our relationship to other organisms. This course will explore how these findings should affect how you think about yourself and the biological world around you. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Rosbash

BISC 2b Genes and the Human Story
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Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Correlates findings from a wide variety of genetic sources with anthropological, cultural, historical, and religious information about human origins, human reproduction, infectious diseases, and lineages of human populations. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Wangh

BISC 4a Heredity
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Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Explores genes and their functions. Examines how genes are inherited, how they work, and how changes in genes can cause inherited diseases. Also investigates recent biological developments such as the Human Genome Project, gene therapy, stem cells, and the new medical and ethical challenges these developments pose in the twenty-first century. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

BISC 4b Food, Nutrition, and Health
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Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Nutrition is the science of food and its role in health and disease. This course will introduce the biological background to provide students with tools to better understand everything from how we choose food to how our diet influences our long-term health. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Lai

BISC 4bj Food, Nutrition, and Health
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Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Nutrition is the science of food and its role in health and disease. This course will introduce the biological background to provide students with tools to better understand everything from how we choose food to how our diet influences our long-term health. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Lai

BISC 5a Pathogens and Human Disease
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Prerequisite: High school chemistry and biology. Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
This course discusses the life cycle, pathogenesis, transmission, and epidemiology of certain organisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.) that cause important human diseases. Other topics include emerging diseases, host defense mechanisms, vaccines, and public health concerns. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Press

BISC 5b Diseases of the Mind
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Prerequisite: High school chemistry. May not be taken by students who have completed BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b. Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
An exploration of biology of several protein folding diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, ALS, and mad cow disease and their effect on normal brain function. Examines the medical and ethical challenges of therapies, drug design, and clinical trials on patients afflicted with these disorders. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Kosinski-Collins

BISC 6bj Environmental Health
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Yields six semester-hour credits towards rate of work and graduation. Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
An introduction to the science and tools of environmental health, giving students hands-on skills to explore directly current issues experienced by local communities. Students will become familiar with the environmental health paradigm, the conceptual model of the field, including underlying principles of hazard identification, exposure assessment, toxicology, risk assessment, and characterization and interpretation of epidemiological studies. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Goldin and Mr. Stewart

BISC 8a Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
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Prerequisite: High school biology and chemistry. Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Examines the science, history, policies and ethics behind this biomedical field. Although stem cells and regenerative medicine are touted as the next breakthroughs in human therapies, they have also engendered much argument and controversy. This course provides the scientific context for understanding the debate over stem cell research, and discusses the promises and pitfalls of the field. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Lau

BISC 9b Biology of Cancer
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Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Introduces the fundamental aspects of cancer development, progression and treatment with an emphasis on the cellular and molecular changes thought to lead to cancer. Both genetic and lifestyle factors and their impact on the predisposition to develop and recover from cancer will be discussed. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Woodruff

BISC 10aj Diabetes
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Does not meet the requirements for the major in Biology.
Studies the rising prevalence of diabetes that has taken an alarming human and societal toll. This course explores the science behind Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes plus gestational diabetes, the contribution of modern Western lifestyle to disease development, current diabetes treatments including insulin and non-insulin drugs and bariatric surgery, future treatment such as stem cell therapy, the increasing diabetes treatment cost and impact on current healthcare policy. Emphasis will be placed on discussion of molecular genetic research that has illuminated our understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. A new food lab is included to further inform about the importance of food and nutrition (together with exercise) in the management and prevention of Type 2 diabetes. Offered as part of JBS program.
Ms. Lai

EBIO 98a Readings in Science Education
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b and BIOL16a. Does NOT meet requirements for the major in biology. May not be taken for credit by students who have satisfactorily completed EBIO 98b. Students must petition the department for permission to enroll in EBIO 98a and receive permission from the departmental Undergraduate Advising Head as well as the faculty sponsor.
Open to exceptionally well-qualified students. This is a tutorial course with readings in a specified field of science education. The student will be given a reading list, including current literature and reviews of the topic to be discussed. Course requirements include weekly discussions and the writing of several papers. Usually offered every year.
Staff

EBIO 98b Readings in Science Education
Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b, and BIOL 16a. Does NOT meet the major requirement in biology. May not be taken for credit by students who have satisfactorily completed EBIO 98a.
See EBIO 98a for course description. Usually offered every year.
Staff

NBIO 45a The Cognitive and Neurobiological Basis of Memory
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May meet the requirements for the major in Neuroscience. Please see "Neuroscience Electives" under the Requirements for the Major in Neuroscience for further details or contact the Neuroscience department.
How does the brain store and recall memories? We will review studies that have elucidated the molecular, cellular, and network mechanisms involved. This provides insights to deficits in memory, such as Alzheimer's disease, and into strategies for improving memory. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Lisman

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

BIBC 126b Molecular Mechanisms of Disease
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Prerequisite: BCHM 100a. May not be taken for credit by students who took BIOL 126b in prior years.
Explores biochemical changes—in proteins, enzymes and metabolic pathways—that underlie human diseases. Examines molecular mechanisms for a variety of diseases, with a particular focus on molecular mechanisms for therapies. Draws heavily on current literature.
Ms. Westover

BIOL 100b Advanced Cell Biology
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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
An advanced course on cell biology. Topics include structure and organization of the cell, principles of signal transduction, and cell division and proliferation. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Miara

BIOL 101a Molecular Biotechnology
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Prerequisite: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a.
Studies molecular biology techniques such as PCR, DNA sequencing, genomics, cloning, microarrays, and siRNA, and their relation to human disease research applications. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Woodruff

BIOL 102b Structural Molecular Biology
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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b, or permission of the instructor.
Cells are filled with machines that carry materials about the cell, that chemically transform molecules, that transduce energy, and much more. Our understanding of how these machines work depends on understanding their structures. This introduction to the structural basis of molecular biology examines the designs of proteins, their folding and assembly, and the means whereby we visualize these structures. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Kosinski-Collins

BIOL 103b Mechanisms of Cell Functions
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Prerequisite: BIOL 15b or 22b or BIOL 100b.
An advanced course focusing on the mechanistic basis of cell biological processes and how they are elucidated experimentally. Classic and modern research papers are used to illustrate a range of genetic, biochemical, and imaging-based experimental approaches. While topics include cell compartmentalization, membrane traffic, cytoskeleton, cell motility, and cell division, the primary learning goal is to understand how the scientific method is applied in cell biology research. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Goode

BIOL 105b Molecular Biology
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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
Examination of molecular processes in replication and expression of genetic information and techniques by which this understanding has been achieved. Topics include recombinant DNA and other molecular biological techniques, structure and organization of DNA in chromosomes, DNA replication, transcription and regulation of gene expression, RNA structure and processing, mRNA stability, and other mechanisms of post-translational control. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Marr and Mr. Lau

BIOL 107a Data Analysis and Statistics Workshop
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The interpretation of data is key to making new discoveries, making optimal decisions, and designing experiments. Students will learn skills of data analysis through hands-on, computer-based tutorials and exercises that include experimental data from the biological sciences. Knowledge of very basic statistics (mean, median) will be assumed. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Van Hooser

BIOL 111a Developmental Biology
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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
How do complex organisms build themselves starting from single cells? Examines how processes such as fertilization, embryogenesis, cell differentiation, and tissue-specific gene expression occur; what is known about the key molecules and genes that orchestrate these processes; and how genetic changes affecting these processes underlie the evolution of body form. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Paradis

BIOL 112b Evolutionary Developmental Biology
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Prerequisite: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 16a or BIOL 60b.
Examines both the evolution of developmental processes and the impact of development on evolution. This course will draw on the many sub-disciplines that feed into Evo-Devo including developmental biology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology, ecology and paleontology. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Miara

BIOL 122a Molecular Genetics
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Prerequisite: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a.
A lecture- and literature-based course emphasizing strategies of genetic analysis in understanding complex processes, mostly in eukaryotes such as budding and fission yeast, fruit flies, worms, and mice. Examples will focus on the control of DNA replication, the regulation of the cell cycle and cell differentiation, and on mechanisms that preserve genetic stability and ensure accurate transmission of genetic information from generation to generation in both somatic and germ cells. Classical genetic methods and recent molecular genetic and genomic approaches will be examined. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Haber

BIOL 124b Epigenetics
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Prerequisites: BIOL 18a and b, BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
Our genes are much more than just DNA code. Our cells actually orchestrate multiple layers of gene expression control through alterations in chromatin structure. This course explores this dynamic layer of genetic control, called Epigenetics, where gene alterations can be inherited and reversed in response to the environment. Drawing on readings from the primary literature, this course explores how diverse epigenetic phenomena affect organism development, evolution, and human health. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Lau

BIOL 128a Human Genetics
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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
Survey of topics, including: mutation and polymorphism; molecular methodology; single-gene inheritance and complexities thereof; multifactorial conditions, risk assessment, and Bayesian analysis; cytogenetics; hemoglobinopathies; population genetics; gene mapping; cancer genetics; ethical considerations in genetics; immunogenetics; pharmacogenetics; genetics of development; biochemistry of selected genetic diseases; gene therapy, genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 134b Topics in Ecology
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Prerequisites: BIOL17b, BIOL23a, or BIOL 32a, or permission of the instructor. Topics may vary from year to year. Please consult the Course Schedule for topic and description. Course may be repeated once for credit with permission of the instructor.
Annually, a different aspect of the global biosphere is selected for analysis. In any year the focus may be on specific ecosystems (e.g., terrestrial, aquatic, tropical, arctic), populations, system modeling, restoration ecology, or other aspects of ecology. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Hitchcock

BIOL 135b The Principles of Biological Modeling
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Prerequisite: MATH 10a or 10b.
With examples from neuroscience, cell biology, ecology, evolution, and physiology, dynamical concepts of significance throughout the biological world are discussed. Simple computational and mathematical models are used to demonstrate important roles of the exponential function, feedback, stability, oscillations, and randomness. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Miller

BIOL 149b Molecular Pharmacology
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Prerequisites: BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b and CHEM 25a and b. NBIO 140b strongly recommended.
Covers the essentials of pharmacology and the study of the actions of chemical agents (drugs, toxins, neurotransmitters, and hormones) that interact with living systems. Emphasizes molecular mechanisms of neuropharmacology. Topics include pharmacokinetics, hormone action, autonomic pharmacology, and the psychopharmacology of drugs of abuse and mental disorders. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Griffith

BIOL 155a Project Laboratory in Genetics and Genomics
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Prerequisites: BIOL 18a and b, BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b. Course fee: $150.
This small, laboratory-based course provides an opportunity for students to pursue a genuine research project. Each semester, we focus on a specific topic, such as DNA mutation and repair, epigenetics, or plant biology, and design and carry out original experiments. Students learn basic molecular biology techniques, genetic and genomic analysis, experimental design, and the fundamentals of reading and writing research papers. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Morris

BIOL 156a Project Laboratory in Biotechnology
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Prerequiste: BIOL 18a and b, BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b or equivalents. Course fee: $150.
Encompasses the many facets that present itself to a researcher in a laboratory setting. The primary goal of this course is to teach current methods in molecular biology to establish a foundational skill set that makes a student viable in today's research market. Along with this, enhancing the presentation of acquired data via a notebook, presentation and scientific writing is emphasized. Though the course meets during its scheduled time, additional work will be required during off days as it is meant to instill a form of independent research. Some of the techniques taught will include DNA isolation, DNA sequence analysis, generation of mutations, recombinant DNA cloning, RNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction including real-time quantitative PCR, and DNA/RNA hybridization methods. As part of the course, students will contribute to real research projects of unknown outcome with the possible option of continued independent researcher in the spring. Students will be required to perform tasks when the class is not in session. This class has a larger time commitment and should not be taken in conjunction with other research laboratories or internships. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Marr and Mr. Sutera

BIOL 159a Project Laboratory in Microbiology
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Prerequisites: BIOL 18a and b. Laboratory fee: $150 per semester.
A discovery-based laboratory to study the diversity of microorganisms in particular environments. We will isolate microbes with ability to metabolize complex compounds from special environments, characterize their properties and identify them by DNA sequence analysis. This course will teach the fundamentals of microbiology through hands-on activities. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Cooper

BIOL 160b Human Reproductive and Developmental Biology
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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
Course deals with hormonal, cellular, and molecular aspects of gametogenesis, fertilization, pregnancy, and birth. Pathological and abnormal variations that occur and the available medical technologies for intervention, correction, and facilitation of these processes are discussed. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Jackson

BIOL 172b Growth Control and Cancer
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Prerequisites: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b and CHEM 25a.
Covers the fundamental rules of behavior of cells in multicellular organisms. Examines the research that has revealed the molecular basis of cancer development, including the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern cell growth, differentiation and survival in normal cells, and how this regulation is disrupted in cancer. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Woodruff

BIOL 176b RiboNucleicAcids (RNA)
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Prerequisite: BIOL 105b.
Examines the versatility and biological functions of RiboNucleicAcides (RNA) in an upper-level seminar and primary-literature based course.Topics include splicing and the spliceosome, the ribosome, ribozymes and the RNA World Hypothesis, RNA editing, RNA interference, and long non-coding RNAs. Usually offered second every year.
Mr. Lau and Mr. Rosbash

CBIO 101a Chemical Biology
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Prerequisites: A satisfactory grade (C- or better) in BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b, and CHEM 25a and b, or the equivalent.
Explores how scientific work in chemistry led to fundamental understanding of and ability to manipulate biological processes. Emphasis is placed on chemical design and synthesis as well as biological evaluation and utility. Content based on scientific literature readings. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Pochapsky

CBIO 106b Chemical Biology: Medicinal Enzymology
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Prerequisites: Satisfactory grade in BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b, CHEM 25a and 25b, and BCHM 100a or the equivalent.
Introduces students to the conceptual framework and experimental methods in medicinal chemistry. Topics include mechanisms of drug-target interactions, strategies for lead optimization and issues in metabolism, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Readings drawn from textbooks and the original scientific literature. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Hedstrom

NBIO 123b Population Genetics/Genomics
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Prerequisite: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a.
Overviews the causes and consequences of genetic differences between and within species. Introduces classical population genetics and modern genomics and explores their application to understanding the genetics of behavior and neurological disorders. Topics include DNA and RNA sequencing technologies and their application, pharmacogenomics, metagenomics, the microbiome, comparative genomics and studies of human traits. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Garrity

NBIO 136b Computational Neuroscience
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Prerequisite: NBIO 140b or PHYS 10a or approved equivalents.
An introduction to concepts and methods in computer modeling of neural systems. Topics include single and multicompartmental models of neurons, information representation and processing by populations of neurons, synaptic plasticity and models of learning, working memory, decision making and neuroeconomics. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Miller

NBIO 140b Principles of Neuroscience
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Prerequisite: Sophomore standing, BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b, and one of the following. One year of college-level chemistry with lab, one year of college-level physics with lab, or any math course above 10a,b. AP scores are not accepted to meet the prerequisite.
Examines the basic principles of neuroscience. Topics include resting potentials, action potentials, synaptic transmission, sensory systems, motor systems, learning, neural circuits underlying behavior, neurological diseases, and mental illness. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Turrigiano

NBIO 142b Sleep
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Prerequisite: NBIO 140b.
Studies how we spend one-third of our lives asleep, but the function of sleep is essentially unknown. This course will explore via lecture and discussion of papers from the primary literature what we know about sleep in humans and other animals. We will discuss the behavioral, cellular and molecular control of sleep and its effects on physiology. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Griffith

NBIO 143b Developmental Neurobiology
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Prerequisite: BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b or permission of the instructor.
Discusses the molecular mechanisms used in the development of the nervous system in both invertebrate and vertebrate experimental systems. Topics include determination of neuronal cell fates, axon growth and guidance, plasticity during development, and mechanisms responsible for generation of connectivity in the nervous system. This course emphasizes reading of original scientific research papers and class discussion and oral presentations. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Paradis

NBIO 145b Systems Neuroscience
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Prerequisite: NBIO 140b.
Explores a fundamental question in neuroscience about how our brains extract and compute features and functions--such as direction of motion from visual stimuli--and how experience allows the microcircuits within our brains to become better tuned to such features. Understanding these processes requires insight into the cellular and network mechanisms that give rise to them. We will examine classical literature and recent advances in understanding the cellular and network properties of brain microcircuits. The course emphasizes reading from original papers, exploration of neural circuit simulations, and extensive class discussion. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Van Hooser

NBIO 146a The Neurobiology of Human Disease
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Prerequisite: BIOL100b, BIOL103b or NBIO 140b.
A lecture- and literature-based overview of the neurobiological underpinnings of neurological and psychiatric disorders including autism, mental retardation, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other developmental and degenerative disorders. Usually offered every second year.
Ms Rodal

NBIO 147a Neurogenetics
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Prerequisites: BIOL 18a and BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a.
Topics include function of genes, neurons and neuronal circuits in the generation of behavior. The use of genetics and genetic manipulations in the study of behavior will be emphasized. Model organisms to be discussed will include Drosophila, C. elegans, zebrafish and mammals.Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Sengupta

NBIO 148b Cellular Mechanisms of Neuronal Excitability and Plasticity
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Prerequisite: NBIO 140b or permission of the instructor. Graduate students may take this course concurrently with NBIO 140b.
Neurons are complex computing devises that transmit and store information. This course will explore the cellular and molecular mechanisms of excitability, as well as the plastic mechanisms that allow neurons and synapses to store information. Students will examine classic experiments on action potentials and synaptic transmission, as well as the contemporary literature on our evolving understanding of the cellular mechanisms of developmental and learning-related plasticity. The course emphasizes reading from original papers and extensive class discussion. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Nelson

NBIO 150a Autism and Human Developmental Disorders
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Prerequisite: BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b.
Autism and other developmental disorders are characterized by cognitive and behavioral deficits and by subtle changes in brain development. This course takes an integrative approach to investigate the biological, behavioral, medical, and social aspects of human developmental disorders. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Birren

NBIO 157a Project Laboratory in Neurobiology and Behavior
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Prerequisites: BIOL 18a and b, BIOL 14a or BIOL 22a, and BIOL 15b or BIOL 22b. A statistics class (e.g. BIOL 51a or PSYC 51a) is recommended but not required. Laboratory fee: $150 per semester.
Focuses on neurobiology, the study of the function of the nervous system. Research conducted by students will address unanswered biological questions in this field. This course will focus on temperature sensation and regulation, using the fruit fly Drosophila as a model system. Students will learn: techniques for studying animal behavior in a rigorous lab setting, experimental design and analysis, and the fundamentals of reading and writing scientific research papers. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Vecsey

NBIO 160a Cellular and Network Mechanisms of Memory
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Prerequisite: NBIO 140b.
How do we form memories? This course will deal with cellular questions, such as the mechanisms of synaptic change during LTP, and with systems questions, such as brain regions and cell types that encode memory. Readings will be from the primary literature. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Lisman

(200 and above) Primarily for Graduate Students

BIOL 200a Proseminar
For first-year PhD students. Emphasizes the reading, analysis, and presentation of scientific papers. There is considerable emphasis on oral presentations and writing. Students will be guided toward preparing research papers and grant applications, presenting talks and posters at scientific meetings, and writing and defending PhD qualifying exams. Also examines how scientists frame important questions and design appropriate experiments. Papers will be chosen by the instructor for discussions and exercises. Papers focus on one specific research topic while encompassing a broad range of molecular biological, genetic, structural, and biochemical approaches. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Garrity

BIOL 202d Introduction to Genetic Counseling
A two-semester sequence that provides the historical and theoretical foundations for the practice of genetic counseling and the role of genetic services within the health care delivery system. Introduces students to some of the practical aspects of genetic counseling, including case preparation, pedigree construction/interpretation, risk assessment, psychological assessment and support, patient education and medical documentation. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Schneider

BIOL 203a Proseminar: The Molecular Basis of Genetic Diseases
Covers the molecular basis of muscular dystrophy, fragile X syndrome, cystic fibrosis, Huntington's disease, and several inherited cancer syndromes. A historical perspective is used for each topic; molecular diagnostics and genetic counseling issues are addressed as well. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Tsipis

BIOL 204b Clinical Genetics I
Introduces the major practice areas of clinical genetics: prenatal, pediatrics, biochemical and cancer genetics for first year students. The course is broken into fours blocks, each devoted to one of these areas. The blocks include didactic lectures from experts in the field as well as case discussions led by practicing genetic counselors meant to allow students to put what they have learned into practice. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Schneider and Ms. Stoler

BIOL 205b Counseling Theory and Technique
A comprehensive overview of counseling theory and practice. Topics include listening, observation, and interview skills and strategies; family dynamics and development; coping and adaptation processes; referral and consultation procedures; and ethical principles. Students are provided an opportunity to integrate clinical experiences with the coverage of topics. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Rintell

BIOL 206d Genetic Counseling Journal Club
Noncredit.
Informal biweekly meeting of students and faculty at which recent papers are discussed. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Tsipis

BIOL 207a Genetic Counseling: Case Conferences and Family Counseling
Examines case studies providing the basis for discussion of a variety of genetic disorders and the application of counseling modalities. Students have an opportunity to share experiences gained during clinical internships. Discussions emphasize the interplay of medical, psychological, ethical, legal, social, and cultural factors in genetic counseling. Co-taught by a clinical psychologist and a certified genetic counselor. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Rintell and Ms. Rosenfield

BIOL 211a Genetic Counseling Fieldwork Placement: Part I
Students work one day per week in a community-based health service organization, school, clinic, or public health agency to develop awareness of disability-related issues and the variety of community-based services for individuals with special needs. Students also observe in a genetics clinic twenty to thirty hours over the course of the semester to gain exposure to concepts learned in BIOL 202d (Introduction to Genetic Counseling). Periodic course discussions supplement the fieldwork experience. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Foster

BIOL 211b Genetic Counseling Fieldwork Placement: Part II
To begin preparing for clinical genetics internships, students participate in a variety of experiences that serve to foster and integrate the concepts introduced in courses and presentations. Students are exposed to procedures in clinical labs through lectures, site visits, and/or lab work. In addition, students continue observations in a genetics clinic and meet several times with a family with a child with a disability. Periodic course discussions supplement the fieldwork experience.
Ms. Foster

BIOL 212a Genetic Counseling Internship I
Students complete a 30 contact day clinical genetic internship under the supervision of a genetic counselor or other qualified clinician. Students increase their knowledge of clinical genetics and master genetic counseling skills by offering genetic counseling services in a prenatal, pediatric, cancer, general, adult ,or specialty clinic setting. Usually offered every summer.
Ms. Schneider

BIOL 212b Genetic Counseling Internship II
Students complete a 25 contact day clinical genetic internship under the supervision of a genetic counselor or other qualified clinician. Students increase their knowledge of clinical genetics and master genetic counseling skills by offering genetic counseling services in a prenatal, pediatric, cancer, general, adult, or specialty clinic setting. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Schneider

BIOL 213a Genetic Counseling Research I
In the summer semester students chose a research project, do a review of the literature and summarize key findings, and write a research proposal for a thesis project (to be done in the following fall/spring semesters). Usually offered in the summer.
Ms. Rosen Sheidley

BIOL 213b Genetic Counseling Research II
Prerequisite: BIOL 213a.
Students are introduced to the principles and basic techniques of social science research in a series of seminars while they implement their thesis research projects. Usually offered fall and spring.
Ms. Rosen Sheidley

BIOL 214c Genetic Counseling Process Group
In this small group setting, students can share and learn from their collective experiences in their field placements, courses, and individual lives and have the opportunity to process and integrate the experience of becoming a genetic counselor. Usually offered every semester.
Mr. Cunningham

BIOL 215b Readings in Molecular Biology
A combination of readings and clinical laboratory work to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the molecular biology of several human genetic diseases and the techniques used for their diagnosis. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Tsipis

BIOL 216b Internship Seminar Series
This is a noncredit seminar required for all genetic counseling students.
Students meet once a week for a series of lectures, presentations and mock sessions that explore issues related to advanced practice in genetic counseling. Topics include advanced genetic counseling case management, Baysian analysis, and the use of the NSGC code of ethics. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 220a Clinical Genetics II
Prerequisite: BIOL 204b or permission of the instructor.
Continuation of BIOL 204b with emphasis on the genetic and developmental disorders of most major organ systems. The course includes discussion of neurogenetics, neuromuscular, hematological, cardiovascular, connective tissue, skeletal dysplasias and craniosynostoses, vision and hearing disorders as well as coverage of renal, immunological and GI and pulmonary disorders. Each week covers a different system in both a didactic lecture and a case discussion. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Schneider and Ms. Stoler

BIOL 235b American Health Policy & Practice and the Delivery of Genomic Health Care
Enrollment limited to Genetic Counseling or Health Policy graduate students or with permission of the instructor.
The continuous discovery of genetic markers for common diseases is leading to an increasing demand for genetic services, and for the integration of traditional medical genetics with mainstream medicine and public health care. In addition, the American healthcare system is evolving and huge changes in how is accessed, financed and delivered can be expected in the coming years. Those providing genetic services will therefore need a strong background in the structure of the American health care system and how public policy is influencing the field of medical genetics. This course is specifically designed to meet this objective using a mixture of readings from the literature, writing assignments, lecture, class discussion, guest speakers and student presentations. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Lerner

BIOL 236b Genetics, Law, and Social Policy
Explores legal doctrines, developing skills in analyzing legal and policy issues arising in professional practice and preparing students to actively participate in the development of institutional and public policies. Topics covered include confidentiality, patient autonomy, regulation of genetic, reproductive rights, and genetic discrimination. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Noble

BIOL 296a Master's Research Lab
Prerequisite: Permission of the Program Director.
Students engage in biological research by working in the laboratory of a faculty member for a minimum of 10 hours per week for one semester. Intended for students in the MS Program in Molecular and Cell Biology. Usually offered every semester.
Ms. Nicastro

BIOL 297a Readings in Molecular and Cell Biology
Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 298a Independent Study in Molecular and Cell Biology
Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 299a Master's Research Project
Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 300a Biological Research
Primarily for the first-year student, with the purpose of introducing him or her to biological research and to the work in progress in the laboratories of a number of faculty members. In consultation with the graduate adviser, the student plans a sequence of such tenures, each comprising nine weeks, and then carries out experimental investigations under the guidance of the faculty members involved. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 300b Biological Research
Primarily for the first-year student, with the purpose of introducing him or her to biological research and to the work in progress in the laboratories of a number of faculty members. In consultation with the graduate adviser, the student plans a sequence of such tenures, each comprising nine weeks, and then carries out experimental investigations under the guidance of the faculty members involved. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 301b Biological Research
Yields half-course credit.
See BIOL 300a for course description.
Staff

BIOL 305a Topics in Molecular Genetics and Development
Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 305b Topics in Molecular Genetics and Development
Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 316a Mechanisms of Recombination
Usually offered every year.
Mr. Haber and Ms. Lovett

BIOL 316b Mechanisms of Recombination
Usually offered every year.
Mr. Haber and Ms. Lovett

BIOL 320a Current Topics in Chromatin Structure
Yields half-course credit. Two semester sequence BIOL 320a in fall and BIOL 320b in spring.
Explores the key processes of DNA replication, transcription, DNA repair by recombination, and chromosome segregation that all take place in the context of chromatin. Topics including how chromatin is established and maintained during these key life processes will greatly enrich the curriculum. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Haber and Mr. Marr

BIOL 320b Current Topics in Chromatin Structure
Two semester sequence BIOL 320a in fall and BIOL 320b in spring. Continuation of BIOL 320a. Yields half-course credit.
Explores the key processes of DNA replication, transcription, DNA repair by recombination, and chromosome segregation that all take place in the context of chromatin. Topics including how chromatin is established and maintained during these key life processes will greatly enrich the curriculum. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Haber and Mr. Marr

BIOL 350a Graduate Student Research Seminar
Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 350b Graduate Student Research Seminar
Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 401d Dissertation Research
Independent research for PhD candidates. Specific sections for individual faculty members as requested.
Staff

BIOT 200a Biotechnology Proseminar
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
Prepares students to work in life science industries. Skills taught include reading and evaluating print and online sources, including peer-reviewed publications. Develops skills in written and oral communication for scientific and non-scientific audiences. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Simister

BIOT 201b Business of Biotechnology
Prerequisite: BIOT 203b.
Biotechnology industries are based upon recombinant DNA methodology. Most are in areas of medicine, agriculture, and manufacturing. Business of Biotechnology gives an overview of these sectors and introduces their research and development models, regulation, financing, and marketing. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Simister

BIOT 203b Fundamentals of Management for Biotechnology
Prerequisite: BIOT 200a.
Introduces basic business concepts and tools, with an emphasis on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. It provides an overview of accounting, alliances, entrepreneurship, ethics, finance, human capital, leadership, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, organizational behavior, project management, and strategy. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Simister

BIOT 212a Biotechnology Internship
Prerequisites: BIOL 156a and BIOT 200a and permission of the instructor. Yields six semester-hour credits.
Biotechnology Internship is a real-world workplace experience. Students work in industrial or academic laboratories or in managerial positions in biotechnology or related industries. The internship is an opportunity to develop professional skills, explore career paths, and make connections with employers. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Simister

BIOT 293a Biotechnology Research
Prerequisites: BIOL 156a and BIOT 200a. Approval of the Program Director is required. May be repeated for credit up to three times.
Students in the MS Program in Biotechnology work in industrial or academic laboratories in biotechnology or related areas for a minimum of 10 hours per week for 12 weeks. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Simister

CONT 300b Responsible Conduct of Science
Required of all graduate students supported on a sponsored project. Not for credit.
Ethics is an essential aspect of scientific research. This course, taught by university faculty from several graduate disciplines, covers major ethical issues germane to the broader scientific enterprise, including areas or applications from a number of fields of study. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Karel

BIOL Quantitative Course List

For students entering 2013 or later. In addition to the courses listed below, the quantitative requirement is also fulfilled by any COSI course numbered 10 or higher, any MATH course numbered 10 or higher and any QBIO course.

BIOL 51a Biostatistics
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Prerequisite: MATH 10a.
A basic introduction to methods of statistics and mathematical analysis applied to problems in the life sciences. Topics include statistical analysis of experimental data, mathematical description of chemical reactions, and mathematical models in neuroscience, population biology, and epidemiology. Usually offered every year.
Staff

BIOL 107a Data Analysis and Statistics Workshop
[ qr sn ]
The interpretation of data is key to making new discoveries, making optimal decisions, and designing experiments. Students will learn skills of data analysis through hands-on, computer-based tutorials and exercises that include experimental data from the biological sciences. Knowledge of very basic statistics (mean, median) will be assumed. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Van Hooser

BIOL 135b The Principles of Biological Modeling
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Prerequisite: MATH 10a or 10b.
With examples from neuroscience, cell biology, ecology, evolution, and physiology, dynamical concepts of significance throughout the biological world are discussed. Simple computational and mathematical models are used to demonstrate important roles of the exponential function, feedback, stability, oscillations, and randomness. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Miller

HSSP 100b Introduction to Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Population Health
[ qr ss ]
Core course for the HSSP major and minor. Open to junior and senior HSSP majors only.
Provides an orientation to the science of epidemiology, the quantitative foundation for public health policy. As a comprehensive survey course, students from varying academic backgrounds are introduced to biostatistics and major epidemiological concepts, and provided with training in their application to the study of health and disease in human populations. Case studies examine how environmental, physical, behavioral, psychological, and social factors contribute to the disease burden of populations. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

NBIO 136b Computational Neuroscience
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Prerequisite: NBIO 140b or PHYS 10a or approved equivalents.
An introduction to concepts and methods in computer modeling of neural systems. Topics include single and multicompartmental models of neurons, information representation and processing by populations of neurons, synaptic plasticity and models of learning, working memory, decision making and neuroeconomics. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Miller

PSYC 51a Statistics
[ qr ss ]
Prerequisite: PSYC 10a (formerly PSYC 1a) or the permission of the instructor. Students must consult with the department one semester before anticipated enrollment. This course normally should be completed by the end of the sophomore year.
Covers the fundamentals of descriptive and inferential statistics. Techniques useful in the behavioral sciences will be emphasized. Students learn the theory of statistical decisions, practical application of statistical software, and how to analyze journal articles. Usually offered every semester.
Staff

BIOL Elective Course List

For students entering 2013 or later. In addition to the courses listed below, the elective requirement is also fulfilled by any BIOL course numbered 23 or higher (excluding courses numbered 90-99), any BIBC course, any CBIO course, any NBIO course and any QBIO course.

ANTH 116a Human Osteology
[ sn ss ]
Anthropology majors have priority for enrollment. Students wishing to enroll during early registration should waitlist themselves.
Skeletal anatomy and application of forensic techniques to archaeological problems. Hands-on laboratory sessions focus on methods of estimating age at the time of death, determining sex, assessing skeletal variability, detecting instances of bone remodeling, and identifying cultural and natural modifications to bony tissue. Case studies exemplify bioarchaeological approaches. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Urcid

BCHM 100a Introductory Biochemistry
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Prerequisite: One year of organic chemistry with laboratory.
Topics include chemistry, reaction, and metabolism of biologically important compounds; formation and utilization of "energy-rich" compounds; introduction to enzyme mechanisms; interrelation and comparison of basic biochemical and chemical processes; and metabolic regulation. Usually offered every year in multiple sections.
Ms. Westover

BCHM 155b Biochemistry Laboratory
[ oc sn ]
Prerequisite: BCHM 100a must be taken before or concurrently with this course. Required course for the MS in Biotechnology. Course fee: $150.
Time-intensive laboratory class provides hands-on experience in biochemical techniques, with a focus on proteins. Students engage in skill-building and inquiry-based experiments. Students present research findings in written and oral formats. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Westover

BCHM 172a Cholesterol in Health and Disease
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Prerequisite: BCHM 100a.
Considers cholesterol from the perspectives of biophysics, biochemistry, cell biology and physiology by analyzing primary research literature, historical reviews, and popular literature. Throughout this course, we will learn about the much-maligned molecule cholesterol. Students will give oral presentations. Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Westover

BIOL 17b Conservation Biology
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No longer writing intensive beginning spring 2013.
Considers the current worldwide loss of biological diversity, causes of this loss, and methods for protecting and conserving biodiversity. Explores biological and social aspects of the problems and their solutions. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Hitchcock

COSI 178a Computational Molecular Biology
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Open to advanced undergraduate students and graduate students.
Information and computing technologies are becoming indispensable to modern biological research due to significant advances of high-throughput experimental technologies in recent years. This course presents an overview of the systemic development and application of computing systems and computational algorithms/techniques to the analysis of biological data, such as sequences, gene expression, protein expression, and biological networks. Hands-on training will be provided. Usually offered every other year.
Mr. Hong