Major

The biology major is designed to introduce students to concepts, knowledge, and experimental approaches that span the breadth of the field. Nine biology courses are required:

Biology 131 and 132
Seven courses beyond 131 and 132

  • One course at the 200-level (with or without lab)
  • Two courses from each the following two categories (4 total). At least one in each category must have a lab.
    • Courses that focus on the advanced study of molecules, genes, and/or cells: BIOL 213, 216, 313, 316, 318, 326, 327, 335, 343, 417, 418, 419, 425, 427, 433
    • Courses that focus on the advanced study of organisms, populations, and/or ecosystems: BIOL 215, 221, 224, 314, 325, 322, 323, 325, 332, 333, 334, 416
  • Two additional lab courses at the 200, 300, or 400 level.  Students may use a 500-level credit-earning research experience as one of these lab courses.                                           

Please note the following: 

1. Students may include only two 200-level courses toward the major
2. At least four of the seven courses must be 200-level or above laboratory courses (exclusive of the research experience) taken in residence at Dickinson in Carlisle.
3. Students may include only one 550 or 560 course toward the major

CHEM 241 and 242

Two semesters of mathematical sciences (Calculus and/or Statistics), and two semesters of physics, are strongly recommended for students intending graduate study toward an advanced degree in biology or the health professions. Students should consult with their faculty advisors about taking additional courses in other sciences that might be important to their career plans.

Research Experience. All biology majors must include a research experience as part of their undergraduate program. During this research experience, students are expected to actively participate in research design, execution, and data analysis, to contribute new information in the field of Biology, and to demonstrate independence with respect to the project. Biology majors are required the present the results of the research experience in an on-campus symposium or at a regional or national conference.

This research requirement may be satisfied by the successful completion of one of the following options. The student’s faculty advisor should be consulted prior to undertaking a project to determine whether or not the completed experience satisfies this major requirement.

  1. an independent research project (550) or a student/faculty collaborative research project (560) for biology credit
  2. an on-campus or off-campus research experience during the summer. Students are encouraged to complete the transcript notation (REXP) via the Career Center.
  3. 412 - Seminar;
  4. a research experience not covered by the above but deemed equivalent by the faculty advisor

Minor

Six courses
BIOL 131 and 132
Four courses at the upper level (200, 300, 400-level)

  • Only one course may be at the 200-level
  • Two of upper level courses must have labs
  • One upper level course in each of two categories:
    • Courses that focus on the advanced study of molecules, genes, and/or cells: BIOL 213, 216, 313, 316, 318, 326, 327, 335, 343, 417, 418, 419, 425, 427, 433
    • Courses that focus on the advanced study of organisms, populations, and/or ecosystems: BIOL 215, 221, 224, 314, 325, 322, 323, 325, 332, 333, 334, 416

CHEM 131 and 132 (or 141)

Suggested curricular flow through the major

The Biology major is designed so that students explore the breadth of Biology offered by the department and choose courses that focus on his/her specific interests within this discipline, and to provide flexibility for those students who study abroad.

First year:  Chemistry 131 and 132, or 141; Biology 131 or 132

Sophomore:  Chemistry 241 and 242, Biology 132 or 131
                        One or two Biology 200-level courses

Junior:  Study abroad! Three Biology 300-level courses

Senior:  Research experience. Two or more Biology 300 and/or 400
               level courses.        

Other courses not required for the biology major but that you might consider, depending on your interests: two semesters of mathematical sciences (Calculus and/or Statistics) and two semesters of Physics are strongly recommended for students intending graduate study toward an advanced degree in Biology or the health professions.

NOTE: For students who entered the college before FA17, information about the old curriculum can be found at http://www.dickinson.edu/download/downloads/id/6238/bulletin_16-17.pdf

 

 

Independent study and independent research

All biology majors must include a research experience as part of their undergraduate program. All biology majors will be required to present the results of their research experience in on campus symposia or at regional or national conferences. This requirement may be satisfied by the successful completion of any one of the following:

  1. an independent research project OR a student/faculty collaborative research project for biology credit;
  2. an off-campus internship with significant research component;
  3. 412 - Seminar;
  4. a research experience not covered by the above but deemed equivalent. Proposals should be submitted to the student's faculty advisor who will determine whether or not the completed experience satisfies the research requirement.

Honors

The biology faculty will award Honors to a biology major based on the candidate's entire undergraduate biology program. This includes all courses required for the major, the student's grades and the successful completion of a two semester (or summer and semester) research project. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required in all courses that count toward the major, including CHEM 131, 132 (or 141), 241, and 242 (or their equivalent) and transfer courses that receive biology credit. The student’s GPA determination for Honors will be calculated using the first 7 semesters of grades in the biology major. The Honors research project should be distinguished by the originality and definition of the research problem, the sophistication of the experimental design and its execution, and the analysis and presentation of the results. The Honors thesis represents the culmination of the process and typically should be of publishable or near publishable quality.

 

Opportunities for off-campus study

Field Biology Courses at the School for Field Studies. Dickinson is an affiliate of the School for Field Studies (SFS), which offers courses and on-site fieldwork in ecology, behavior, and conservation biology. Students can spend a semester at one of five permanent campus centers to study coastal ecology (British Columbia), wetlands ecology (Mexico), rainforest ecology (Australia), wildlife management (Kenya), or marine ecology (Turks and Caicos Is., Bahamas). A typical semester program would receive two biology and two general Dickinson credits. SFS also has summer courses. The SFS programs afford a unique opportunity for intensive study and active biological research in diverse environments.

Marine and Ecosystem Studies. Dickinson is an affiliate of the Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole, MA) and of the Duke University Marine Laboratory. These programs offer specialized, full-semester options with field and lab courses for biology students.

The Dickinson Science Program in England. Biology students have the opportunity to study for a semester or a year in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, England. This Dickinson program is overseen by an on-site Dickinson faculty member who advises students and teaches courses. UEA has an excellent biology program which was recently awarded the highest rating possible for teaching and research by the British government.

The Dickinson Science Program in Australia.  Biology students have the opportunity to study for one semester at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Brisbane, Australia. The University of Queensland offers a variety of outstanding science programs ranging from premedical studies to marine education. Examples of programs in which Dickinson students have participated include ecology of the Great Barrier Reef, human anatomy, and tropical rainforest ecology. UQ was recently selected as "Australia's University of the Year."

Co-curricular activities/programs

Research experiences for students

The department recognizes the great value of students being engaged in the process of scientific discovery, and so we require that all majors have an approved research experience as part of their undergraduate program, and that students present the results of their research experience during a campus symposium or regional or national conference. Students may fulfill the research experience during the summer on or off campus, or during the academic year. Students who complete their research experience during the academic year may do so for course credit, usually by enrolling in Biology 550, Independent Research or Biology 560, Student-Faculty Collaborative Research. Students who perform research during the summer are encouraged to complete the Research Experience Notation (REXP) through the Career Center. Upon successful completion of a research experience and corresponding departmental component (overseen by the department chair and supported/processed by the Career Center), documentation is placed on the official transcript through the REXP 7xx course number.

Active learning

Active learning in the sciences at Dickinson has a long tradition and the Biology Department has been a consistent participant in this effort. The lab-based courses taught in the department are, by their very nature, excellent examples of active learning in that students engage in lab and field activities that often mirror research experiences and help illustrate key concepts in the course. However, faculty also apply numerous active learning approaches in the lecture/discussion portions of their courses to include the guided discussion of the scientific literature, the group-based solving of problems in class, the consideration of case studies, and the extensive integration of technology. Examples of the latter include virtual lab exercises, analysis of 3D representations of nucleic acid and protein structure, utilization of large scale genomic and proteomic sequence-based data sets, and incorporation of web-based data analysis.

Interdisciplinarity

Our faculty is committed to a sustained effort to erode the artificial boundaries that have tended to separate the disciplines that constitute the natural sciences and mathematics. We are also well aware that a multidisciplinary approach is a key way to solve complex research problems. We work to instill in students the multidisciplinary knowledge and tools they will require to operate productively in today’s research environment. In the most basic sense our program is interdisciplinary because students are required to take chemistry courses to complete the major. However the level of interdisciplinary that exists in the program is far more extensive given that teaching and research in Biology incorporates areas such as biochemistry and molecular biology, neuroscience, environmental science, mathematics, computer science, physics, health studies and climate science.

Global campus

Biology majors study off campus without delaying progress towards graduation. The Biology faculty have helped initiate, shape and lead the Dickinson overseas science programs at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK and at the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia and our majors have shown a high level of participation in both of these partner programs. Department faculty have served as the on-site faculty director of the Dickinson UEA science program and have collaborated with UEA and UQ faculty in teaching and research efforts. Recently, a department member developed the Dickinson Global Scholars program to facilitate intensive student-faculty research at our partner institutions abroad and the initial program took place at UQ in Spring 2012. The international dimension of our program is not limited to these excellent study abroad opportunities but also extends into faculty teaching and research programs, including the incorporation of international dimensions into coursework as well as collaboration with international investigators in terms of research. In addition, we have two formal institutional affiliations with off-campus programs that serve our biology majors: the School for Field Studies and the Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory.

Sustainability

Dickinson has been one of the leading colleges in the country in the area of Sustainability, and the Biology faculty are strongly committed to the support of this effort. The college has a proud tradition in this area given that the famous 19th century naturalist and one of the first true conservation biologists, Spencer Fullerton Baird, was a Dickinson graduate and faculty member. Many of our faculty have incorporated aspects of sustainability into their teaching and research and have utilized Dickinson’s certified organic farm and Reineman Wildlife Sanctuary as natural laboratories. Recent student/faculty research projects have studied carbon metabolism in hybrid poplar trees grown for biofuel production, examined the impacts of deer grazing on forest plant biodiversity, analyzed the distribution of globally endangered plant species, examined the effectiveness of sustainable agriculture practices, experimented with aspects of integrated pest management strategies, and studied the impacts of climate change related ocean acidification on the chemical defenses of marine plants and the process of embryogenesis in echinoderm planktonic larvae. In addition, many faculty have been participants in climate change-related teaching and computer modeling workshops and in research projects funded by Dickinson’s Center for Sustainability Education and its Cool the Climate grant from NASA.

Courses

131 Introduction to Organisms, Populations, and Ecosystems Topics
This introductory course spans levels of biological organization from basic multicellular microanatomy to organismal physiology and ecology, as understood through the lens of evolution. Course content will be focused around a specific theme determined by the instructor, and will include evolutionary principles of variation, selection, competition and cooperation, and how their operation at different levels of organization accounts for form and function of organisms, communities, and ecosystems. We will investigate homeostasis, reproduction and development as physiological processes that take place within organisms, and as ecological processes that interact with the environment and generate diversity of form over evolutionary time. Finally we will take stock of the existing forms and levels of biological organization and ask how their relationships establish the biosphere in which we live.
Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. This is one of two courses required of all Biology majors before entering the upper level. It is complementary to BIOL 132 – Introduction to Molecules, Genes, and Cells, and the courses may be taken in either order.
Attributes: Lab Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning, Sustainability Investigations

132 Introduction to Molecules, Genes, and Cells Topics
This introductory course approaches core biological themes from the molecular and cellular level, and is complementary to BIOL 131, Introduction to Organisms, Populations, and Ecosystems. Course content will be focused around a specific theme determined by the instructor, and will include biomolecule and cell structure and function; cell signaling and communication; chromosome and gene structure; DNA replication; transcription; and translation. The course will involve lecture, discussion, and readings from scientific literature. Laboratory exercises include both classic and modern approaches to cellular and molecular biology utilizing prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic organisms. The laboratory will stress the discovery approach in applying current techniques to biological experiments.
Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. This is one of two courses required of all Biology majors before completing upper level coursework. It is complementary to BIOL 131 – Introduction to Organisms, Populations, and Ecosystems, and the courses may be taken in either order.
Attributes: Lab Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning

201 Foundational Topics in Biology w/lab
This foundational course provides students an opportunity to explore a discipline in biology in depth. Subject areas will vary and will be based upon instructor’s interests and expertise. Topic, course structure, credit and instructor will be announced by preregistration.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisite: 131 and 132.

213 Cell and Tissue Biology w/Lab
An introduction to the structure and function of eukaryotic cells and how they interact to behave as tissues. The course will focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying cell processes and involve lectures, discussions and readings from the current literature. The laboratory will stress the discovery approach in applying state of the art techniques to cell biological and tissue-level experiments.
Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisites: 131 and 132.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs

215 Evolution w/Lab
A study of the mechanics of evolutionary change and its role within populations. Topics typically covered include macroevolution vs microevolution, natural selection, adaptation, neutral theory, population genetics, speciation, extinction, and sex and sexuality. Interactive lectures, readings from the primary literature, laboratory and field investigations, and simulation exercises will be used to actively explore the principles of evolutionary change and its consequences.
Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisites: 131 and 132; for Neuroscience majors only, 132 and PSYC 125.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, Quantitative Reasoning

216 Genetics w/Lab
A study of Mendelian genetics, linkage, and mutation. An introduction to basic DNA structure and function including replication, transcription, and translation. Laboratory exercises involve both classic and molecular approaches to genetic analysis utilizing prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: 131 & 132. For Neuroscience majors only, prerequisite is 132 and PSYC 125.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, NRSC Science Elective

221 Animal Diversity w/Lab
An exploration of the enormous diversity of animal life. We will study developmental processes and evolutionary patterns as a coherent approach to comprehending the organizational principles of disparate animal body plans. Students will be introduced to the morphological and physiological adaptations of the major phyla that fit them to their ecological roles in marine, aquatic and terrestrial environments.
Three hours lecture and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisites: 131 and 132; For Neuroscience majors only, 132 and PSYC 125.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, Sustainability Connections

224 Plant Geography & Ecology w/Lab
Analysis of factors determining the distribution and abundance of plant species, including study of plant migration patterns today and in the distant past. Lecture includes examples and readings from classic and recent research. Field, laboratory, and greenhouse studies focus on plant demography, plant-animal interactions, plant community structure, competition, soil and water relations, and other topics.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: 131 and 132 OR ENST 161 and 162.

301 Advanced Topics in Biology
This advanced course allows students to build depth in an area of biology. The topic, course, structure, credit and instructor will be announced by preregistration.
Three or six hours a week, dependent upon topic and instructor. Prerequisites: One 200-level biology course.

313 Cell Biology w/Lab
An introduction to the structure and function of cells, with emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of cellular processes. The course will involve discussion-oriented lectures and readings from the current literature. The laboratory will stress the discovery approach in applying state of the art techniques to cell biological experiments.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level BIOL course. For Neuroscience majors only, prerequisite is 132 and PSYC 125 and NRSC 200.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, NRSC Science Elective

314 Ecology w/Lab
Study of the interactions of organisms with each other, and with their environment, at the level of the individual, the population, the community, and the ecosystem. Lectures and readings consider both the theory of ecology and data from empirical research in the classic and current literature. Laboratory and field studies explore how ecologists perform quantitative tests of hypotheses about complex systems in nature.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level Biology course. For ENST/ENSC majors only, prerequisite is ENST 252. For Neuroscience majors only, prerequiste is NRSC 200.
Attributes: ES Applications of Env Sci Crs, NRSC Science Elective, SINE Elective

316 Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics w/Lab
The genome contains all the information required for the construction and operation of an organism. Selective utilization of the genome determines the transcriptome, which directs the creation of a proteome that is cell-type and condition specific. Today, molecular biologists are able to study whole genomes, transcriptomes, and proteomes allowing for an integrative analysis of living systems. This course will explore these genomic and proteomic techniques and their many applications. Central to these molecular methods are computational tools that facilitate the analysis of the large data sets generated. A variety of bioinformatics approaches will be explored through implementation of student designed, hypothesis-driven, research projects employing existing datasets.
Six hours classroom per week. Prerequisites: 216 or permission of instructor.

318 Animal Development w/Lab
This course offers an introduction to the development of multicellular animals. The study of development addresses the following question: how does a single cell—the fertilized egg—give rise to a complex organism, containing many cells of many types? Three essential processes must occur for development to proceed: an increase in cell number through division; an increase in types of cells through differentiation; and the arrangement of cells into organs, tissues, appendages and other complex structures. In this course, we will examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie these processes, with a focus on the current understanding of, and approaches used to investigate, the genetic basis of development of model organisms.
Six classroom hours a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level biology course. For Neuroscience majors only, the prerequisite is NRSC 200.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, NRSC Science Elective

321 Invertebrate Zoology w/Lab
An integrated lecture and laboratory study of the anatomy, taxonomy, evolution, ecology, physiology, and embryology of invertebrates. Representatives of the major invertebrate phyla are examined in the field and in the laboratory.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: two BIOL courses numbered between 120 and 129 or ENST 131, 132 (or 130). For Neuroscience majors, prerequisite is 124 and PSYC 125.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, NRSC Science Elective

322 Plant Systematics w/Lab
A systematic survey of the plant kingdom through the collection and study of living plants. Frequent field trips are conducted as weather permits. An herbarium of named plants is prepared. Emphasis will be placed on the diverse features of plants which permit effective study of fundamental biological problems.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level Biology course. For ENST/ENSC majors only, prerequsite is ENST 252.
Attributes: ES Applications of Env Sci Crs

323 Algae, Fungi & Lichens W/Lab
Study of the systematics, morphology, ecology, evolution, physiology and development of algae, fungi, and lichens. Lecture and discussion include examples and readings from classic and recent research. Laboratories include field surveys and collections, follow-up laboratory identifications, and experimental investigations including directed individual or small-group research projects.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level Biology course. Offered every other year.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs

325 Plant Physiology w/Lab
A study of plant structure and function, with emphasis on the flowering plants. Includes plant cells and organelles, mineral nutrition, translocation processes, and hormonal regulation of growth, development, and reproduction. Biochemical and environmental aspects of photosynthesis are emphasized.
Six hours classroom/laboratory a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level Biology course. For ENST/ENSC majors only, prerequisite is ENST 252.
Attributes: ES Applications of Env Sci Crs, Food Studies Elective, Writing in the Discipline

326 Microbiology w/Lab
Molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry (structure and function) of bacteria, archaea, and viruses. Includes an introduction to the immune system and mechanisms of medical control of microbes. Molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis are addressed via readings from the recent primary literature. Laboratory exercises include the isolation and characterization of unknown bacteria using traditional and molecular methods, and modern genomic approaches to characterizing host response to infection.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level BIOL course. For Neuroscience majors, prerequisite is NRSC 200.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, Health Studies Elective, NRSC Science Elective

327 Developmental Neurobiology w/Lab
This course explores the development of the nervous system, from the early patterning of the neural plate, through the differentiation of embryonic cells into diverse neuronal subtypes, and culminating with the integration of multiple neuronal subtypes into the complex wiring circuits that underlie our sensory, motor, and cognitive abilities. We will study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neural specification, the formation of neuronal connections, neural patterning by programmed cell death, and experience-dependent modulation of neural circuits. We also will examine the ways that neural development can go awry. In the laboratory we will explore topics such as neural induction, cell lineage and fate determination, neuronal migration, axon guidance, activity-dependent development and critical periods, and the development of behavior. The focus of the course will be on the development of the mammalian nervous system, but the contributions of simpler animal models to our understanding of the human brain will be a secondary emphasis.
Prerequisites: One 200-level BIOL course. For Neuroscience majors, prerequisite is NRSC 200.
Attributes: Biology Zoology Requirement, NRSC Science Elective

330 Neurobiology w/Lab
This course takes a cellular approach to the structure and function of nervous systems. Integrated laboratory and classroom study focus on the physical and chemical properties of neurons that make them different from other cells, and the relationships between neurons that allow nervous systems to interpret the environment and to generate behavior. Extracellular and intracellular electrical recording methods are used extensively, and are supplemented by histochemical and anatomical techniques such as immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy.
Prerequisites:One 200-level BIOL course. For Neuroscience majors, prerequisite is NRSC 200.
Attributes: NRSC Science Elective

331 Principles of Biochemistry
This course will explore the structure and function of fundamental organic biomolecules of life, including nucleotides, peptides, carbohydrates, and lipids; their biosynthesis and interactions in an aqueous solution; and enzyme kinetics and catalysis. Special attention will be dedicated to how dysregulation of these systems manifests itself in human disease. Students may not receive credit for both CHEM 331 and CHEM 342. This course does not have an associated lab.
Prerequisite: CHEM 242. This course is cross-listed as CHEM 331.
Attributes: NRSC Science Elective

332 Natural History of Vertebrates w/Lab
An exploration into the lifestyles of vertebrates heavily focused on field biology. Natural history is strongly dependent on descriptive anatomy and systematics and therefore this course will cover the evolutionary relationships among vertebrates highlighting unique features that facilitated the success of the major groups. In field labs, students will develop observational skills such as how to identify a bird by its song, a frog by its call, a mammal by the color of its pelage, and a snake by its shed skin. Indoor labs will focus on identifying species from preserved specimens as well as providing students with the skills necessary to preserve vertebrates for future study. Preservation methods could include preparing museum-quality mammal and bird skins, formalin fixation of fish, and skeletal preparations.
Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level Biology course. For ENST/ENSC majors only, prerequisite is ENST 252. This course is cross-listed as ENST 332. Offered every two years.
Attributes: ES Applications of Env Sci Crs, Sustainability Connections

333 Physiology w/Lab
A study of physiological mechanisms in the animal kingdom, stressing the structural and functional bases of biological activities. Emphasis is on vertebrate organs and organ systems. Laboratory includes experimental physiological studies of selected organisms.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level BIOL course. For Neuroscience majors, prerequisite is NRSC 200.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, Health Studies Elective, NRSC Science Elective

334 Vertebrate Biology w/Lab
An integrated lecture and laboratory study of the anatomy, embryology, physiology, and evolution of vertebrates. Representative live and dissection specimens are studied from the perspective of structure and function.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: One 200-level BIOL course. For Neuroscience majors, prerequisite is NRSC 200.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, NRSC Science Elective

335 Microanatomy
An integrated lecture and laboratory course focused on the functional microanatomy/histology of mammals. This course will examine the microscopic anatomy of cells, tissues, organ, and organ systems and the crucial relationship between form and function. The laboratory portion of the course will emphasize the process of microscopic examination and cover methods of contemporary histologic technique.
Prerequisites: One 200-level BIOL course. For Neuroscience majors, prerequisite is NRSC 200.
Attributes: Health Studies Elective, NRSC Science Elective

342 Structure and Function of Biomolecules w/Lab
This course is an introductory biochemistry course focused on the chemistry of the major molecules that compose living matter. The structure and function of the major classes of biomolecules (nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates) are addressed along with other topics including bioenergetics, enzyme catalysis, and information transfer at the molecular level. The laboratory portion of the course focuses on methods used to study the properties and behavior of biological molecules and their functions in the cell.
Three hours lecture and four hours of laboratory per week. Prerequisite: CHEM 242; an introductory biology course is highly recommended. This course is cross-listed as CHEM 342.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, NRSC Science Elective

343 Metabolism
A survey of the metabolic processes in animals and plants, including signal transduction, aerobic and anaerobic respiration, and photosynthesis, as well as the biosynthesis of the major types of biomolecules. For each metabolic pathway, we will examine the regulation of enzymes and related genes, their energetic requirements, and the function of pathway end products. Both the normal functioning of metabolic pathways and common metabolic malfunctions, e.g., human inborn errors of metabolism, will be considered. Selected readings from the primary literature and the popular press are required. Students will complete detailed case studies focusing on human metabolism and metabolic disorders.
Three hours classroom a week. Prerequisite: CHEM 242. This course is cross-listed as CHEM 343.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, Food Studies Elective

380 Immunology
An in-depth study of the field of immunobiology with an emphasis on the mammalian immune system. Topics include the innate and adaptive immune responses, immunochemistry, immunogenetics, and immunopathology. Emphasis in the class and the laboratory will be on the process and analysis of experimental investigation.
Prerequisites: BIOL 213 or 216.
Attributes: Health Studies Elective

401 Special Topics
An in-depth study of specialized subject areas of biology. Some recent topics included Experimental Virology, Ornithology, and Histology. Topic, course structure, credit, and instructor will be announced by preregistration.
Prerequisite dependent upon topic. Offered occasionally.

412 Seminar
Through detailed study of the primary biological literature, students acquire an understanding of the methodology and philosophy of scientific research. Includes study of the formulation of hypotheses, the design of experiments or observations to test these hypotheses, and the interpretation of results. This course will normally require a major research-based presentation and/or paper and may also involve the conduct of research by students. This course satisfies the requirement for a research experience for the biology major.
Prerequisites: two Biology courses numbered between 120 and 129, and one upper-level biology course.

416 Population Genetics w/Lab
This is a course on advanced genetics in the genomics age. Whole genome sequences are accumulating at an increasingly rapid pace. Our current challenge is to uncover meaning in the hundreds of billions of base pairs that are now available. The fields of study that strive to make sense of all this variation are population and quantitative genetics. In this course, we will survey topics in population genetics, the study of frequencies of alleles in populations, and quantitative genetics, the study of continuously varying traits, with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of the connection between genotypes and phenotypes. This course will integrate lectures, in-class discussions, and wet and dry (computational) labs to provide a comprehensive perspective on population and quantitative genetics.
Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week. Prerequisite: 215 or 216.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs

417 Molecular Genetics w/Lab
A study of the molecular aspects of gene structure and function. Course topics include recombinant DNA techniques, regulation of gene expression, oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, molecular developmental genetics, and human molecular genetics. The laboratory studies utilize contemporary, molecular methods to explore DNA organization and function.
Six hours classroom/laboratory a week. Prerequisites: One of the following: 216, 313, 316, 318, 326, 327, 380, or permission of the instructor.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs, NRSC Science Elective

418 Developmental Genomics
In this course we focus on the regulation of gene expression during development. Course topics include mechanisms of control of gene expression, comparative genomics, molecular evolution, the theory and use of bioinformatics to address these topics, and molecular techniques used to assess and perturb gene expression during development. Laboratory studies will utilize molecular and data-mining approaches to investigate the roles of genes during development.
Six hours classroom a week. Prerequisites: 216.

419 RNA w/Lab
A focused study of biochemical, cellular, and molecular aspects of ribonucleic acid (RNA). Topics of study include RNA structure, RNA processing and turnover, splicing, ribozymes and riboswitches, RNA interference, RNA editing and modification, small RNAs and RNA viruses. Regular reading and discussion of primary literature will complement the lectures. The laboratory will utilize modern molecular biology techniques for working with and using RNA to perform original research.
Six hours classroom/laboratory a week. Prerequisites: BIOL 216, 313, 316, 318, 326, 327 or 380.

425 The Biology of Cancer w/lab
Cancer is a genetic disorder that affects some 10 million people worldwide. In the United States, cancer is a close second to heart disease as the leading cause of death. This course will examine the molecular basis of cancer including the genes and signaling pathways involved in malignant transformation and the physiological consequences of uncontrolled cell growth. Current methods in cancer research and recent advances in cancer treatment will also be discussed. Specific topics covered will include: oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, oncogenic mutation, tumor viruses, apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastasis, tumor immunology, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and biological therapy.
Six hours classroom/laboratory a week. Prerequisite: One of the following: 216, 313, 316, 318, 326, 327, 380, or permission of the instructor.
Attributes: ES Foundations of Env Sci Crs

427 Virology
An introduction to the molecular and cellular biology of viruses. Topics of study include the life cycle of viruses in general and their relationships with their hosts, including the processes of attachment to, entry into, genomic replication within, and exit from, cells. Aspects of pathogenesis, disease, the immune response to viruses, and vaccines, also will be studied. Related topics (such as prions, RNA interference, and public health issues) may be discussed. Regular reading and discussion of primary literature will complement the lectures.
Three hours classroom a week. Prerequisite: 213, 216, 313, 316, 318, 326 or 327.
Attributes: Health Studies Elective

433 Molecular Pathophysiology w/Lab
Human diseases often result from disordered physiology (pathophysiology) and therefore the abilities to understand disease and design specific and effective treatments are dependent on understanding normal physiological processes and the ways in which these can become disordered. This course will review the normal structure and function of select systems in the human body and subsequently examine the cellular, molecular, and systemic pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie common diseases related to that system with an emphasis on critical analysis of current biomedical literature. The laboratory portion of the course will involve original research projects using cell culture and animal models of human disease. Six hours of classroom/laboratory a week. Prerequisites: at least one upper-level physiology or cellular & molecular biology course: 216, 313, 318, 326, 327, 330 ,333, 334, 335, 342, 380 or permission of instructor.
Attributes: Writing in the Discipline