This course will present the student with a detailed overview of a cell's main components and functions. The course is roughly organized into four major areas: the cell membrane, cell nucleus, cell cycle, and cell interior. The student will approach most of these topics straightforwardly, from a molecular and structural point of view. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to: explain what a eukaryotic cell is, identify the components of the cell, and describe how a cell functions; explain how cell membranes are formed; identify the general mechanisms of transport across cell membranes; list the different ways in which cells communicate with one another--specifically, via signaling pathways; define what the extracellular matrix is composed of in different cells and how the extracellular matrix is involved in forming structures in specific tissues; list the components of the cell's cytoskeleton and explain how the cytoskeleton is formed and how it directs cell movements; explain the fundamentals of gene expression and describe how gene expression is regulated at the protein level; define and explain the major cellular events involved in mitosis and cytokinesis; identify the major cellular events that occur during meiosis; describe the eukaryotic cell cycle and identify the events that need to occur during each phase of the cell cycle; identify all of the major organelles in eukaryotic cells and their respective major functions. (Biology 301)
Biology of cells of higher organisms: structure, function, and biosynthesis of cellular membranes and organelles; cell growth and oncogenic transformation; transport, receptors and cell signaling; the cytoskeleton, the extracellular matrix, and cell movements; chromatin structure and RNA synthesis.
The goal of this course is to teach both the fundamentals of nuclear cell biology as well as the methodological and experimental approaches upon which they are based. Lectures and class discussions will cover the background and fundamental findings in a particular area of nuclear cell biology. The assigned readings will provide concrete examples of the experimental approaches and logic used to establish these findings. Some examples of topics include genome and systems biology, transcription, and gene expression.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) orchestrates different cellular processes by which proteins are synthesized, correctly folded, modified and ultimately transported to their final destinations. As part of this crucial biosynthetic process, proteins that are not properly folded and consequently detrimental to normal cellular function are constantly generated. A common signature of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, is accumulation and deposition of misfolded proteins that arise when the ability of cells to deal with the burden of misfolded proteins is compromised. In this course, we will explore how the ER quality control machinery ensures that only properly assembled proteins exit the ER while distinguishing between nascent proteins en route to their biologically active folded state from those that are terminally misfolded.
How genetics can add to our understanding of cognition, language, emotion, personality, and behavior. Use of gene mapping to estimate risk factors for psychological disorders and variation in behavioral and personality traits. Mendelian genetics, genetic mapping techniques, and statistical analysis of large populations and their application to particular studies in behavioral genetics. Topics also include environmental influence on genetic programs, evolutionary genetics, and the larger scientific, social, ethical, and philosophical implications.
Introduction to the use of computers to automate data analysis or model hypotheses in the field of biology, and its application for molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, neuroscience and evolution.
Study and discussion of computational approaches and algorithms for contemporary problems in functional genomics. Topics include DNA chip design, experimental data normalization, expression data representation standards, proteomics, gene clustering, self-organizing maps, Boolean networks, statistical graph models, Bayesian network models, continuous dynamic models, statistical metrics for model validation, model elaboration, experiment planning, and the computational complexity of functional genomics problems.
Used for students receiving Advanced Placement credit and transfer credit. Program of study or research to be arranged with a Department faculty member. Written report required. Permission of Department required.
In this course, the student will learn about the field of developmental biology from its origins to the present day. The course will take a look at historical experiments as well as modern techniques and the mechanisms of development. The student will follow a variety of metazoan organisms from their start at fertilization through the stages of their development and on to entire organismal and post-embryonic development, learning along the way about the molecular and genetic regulations involved in these processes. (Biology 310)
The principles involved in morphogenesis and the determination of complex cellular patterns are examined using examples from animal systems in which the tools of genetics, molecular biology and cell biology have been applied to reveal mechanism. This graduate and advanced undergraduate level lecture and literature discussion course covers the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate animal development. Evolutionary mechanisms are emphasized as well as the discussion of relevant diseases. Vertebrate (mouse, chick, frog, fish) and invertebrate (fly, worm) models are covered. Specific topics include formation of early body plan, cell type determination, organogenesis, morphogenesis, stem cells, cloning, and issues in human development.
Considers molecular control of neural specification, formation of neuronal connections, construction of neural systems, and the contributions of experience to shaping brain structure and function. Topics include: neural induction and pattern formation, cell lineage and fate determination, neuronal migration, axon guidance, synapse formation and stabilization, activity-dependent development and critical periods, development of behavior.