Course Descriptions

For detailed course descriptions on a quarterly basis, please see the Registrar’s Office class description browser.

New Courses Offered Fall 2017-

Picture of Dr. Xiaomin BaoBIOL_SCI 380-The Biology of Cancer is a new course offered to any students who have completed the BIOL_SCI 315 or BIOL_SCI 390 requirement. Dr. Xiaomin Bao has prepared an amazing course which is "focused on the molecular/cellular mechanism underlying cancer initiation and progression. Students are expected to have a thorough understanding of molecular and cell biology before taking this class. Various mechanisms controlling cell proliferation, signal transduction, DNA damage repair, cell fate decisions and cell-cell communications will be discussed" during the two 80-minute lectures and one-hour office hour per week in which the class will be held. Topics will also include nature/hallmarks of cancer and current strategies for cancer treatment. The goal of this course is to have a rich intellectual exchange of ideas while taking an in depth look at the molecular causes of cancer which will be evaluated by two mid-term exams and one final exam. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 315 or BIOL_SCI 390.



Picture of Dr. Madhav Mani
BIOL_SCI 354 -Quantitative Analysis of Biology is a new course for the Fall 2017 term. Dr. Madhav Mani says that it "will be a course where we cover some of the landmark results in quantitative biology. Every module (of which there are 5-6) will end with analysis of a data set acquired from the authors of studies and reanalysis and re-plotting of a central result from the paper. En route to that I will teach you the biology mathematics physics and statistics required to make the plots. The landmark papers will span from studies in gene regulation, developmental biology, sequencing etc. We will also have various crash courses in coding, image analysis, etc.Introduction to landmark insights into quantitative biology. Random genetic processes, gene expression, cell adaption, cell cycle,developmental morphogens, phylogenomics." Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215; BIOL_SCI 217 or BIOL_SCI 219; MATH 220 or 224; PHYSICS 130-1,2,3 OR 135-1,2,3.

Description of Courses With No Prerequisites:

BIOL-SCI 103 Diversity of Life Comparative survey of organisms, emphasizing adaptation and phylogenetic relationships. Particular emphasis on animals.

BIOL_SCI 109 The Nature of Plants Plant adaptations for growth, survival, and reproduction. Plant defense against herbivory, pollination, and seed dispersal.

BIOL_SCI 150 Human Genetics Basic principles of human inheritance and genetic variation.

BIOL_SCI 164 Genetics and Evolution Principle of inheritance as they apply to evolution. May not receive credit after taking BIOL_SCI 215.

Descriptions of Courses With Prerequisites:

BIOL_SCI 213 Undergraduate Laboratory Teaching Assistantship (0 units) Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.

BIOL_SCI 215 Genetics and Molecular Biology Principles of inheritance; gene function; mechanisms by which DNA is replicated, transcribed into RNAs, and translated into proteins; basics of the process of natural selection. Prerequisite: CHEM 102, CHEM 131, CHEM 151 OR CHEM 171.

BIOL_SCI 217 Physiology Organization and functioning of the major organ systems in mammals. Prerequisite: CHEM 102, CHEM 131, CHEM 151 OR CHEM 171.

BIOL_SCI 219 Cell Biology Mechanisms that cells use to compartmentalize and transport proteins, to move, to regulate growth and death, and to communicate with their environments. Prerequisite: CHEM 102, CHEM 131, CHEM 151 OR CHEM 171.

BIOL_SCI 220 Genetic and Molecular Processes Laboratory (.34 units) Laboratory techniques and experiments in fundamental aspects of transmission genetics and molecular biology. Prerequisite: CHEM 102, CHEM 131, CHEM 151 OR CHEM 171.

BIOL_SCI 221 Cellular Processes Laboratory (.34 units) Laboratory techniques and experiments in fundamental aspects of cell biology. Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 220.

BIOL_SCI 222 Investigative Laboratory (.34 units) A culminating life-science lab experience. Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 221.

BIOL_SCI 240 Molecular and Cell Biology for ISP Cell biology, transcription, translation, regulation of gene expression. Prerequisite: ISP standing.

BIOL_SCI 241 Biochemistry for ISP Synthesis and metabolism of organic molecules; structure and function of proteins. Prerequisite: ISP standing and previous or con-current registration in CHEM 212-1.

BIOL_SCI 301 Principles of Biochemistry Biochemical processes. May not receive credit for both BIOL_SCI 301 and BIOL_SCI 308. Prerequisite: CHEM 210-2 or  CHEM 212-2.

BIOL_SCI 302 Fundamentals of Neurobiology Cellular and biochemical approaches to the nervous system, focusing on neuron structure and function. May not receive credit for both BIOL_SCI 302 and NEUROSCI 202. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, BIOL_SCI 217, BIOL_SCI 219, BIOL_SCI 220, BIOL_SCI 221, BIOL_SCI 222, and BIOL_SCI 308.

BIOL_SCI 303 Molecular Neurobiology Exploration of the overlap between neurobiology and molecular biology. May not receive credit for both BIOL_SCI 302 and NEUROSCI 202. Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 302 or BIOL_SCI 311.

BIOL_SCI 305 Neurobiology Laboratory Hands-on experience in the performance of experiments in cellular neuro-physiology. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 222; BIOL_SCI 302 or BIOL_SCI 311.

BIOL_SCI 308 Biochemistry Fundamental biochemical processes in cells. May not receive credit for both BIOL_SCI 301 and BIOL_SCI 308. Prerequisite: CHEM 210-2 or CHEM 212-2.

BIOL_SCI 315 Advanced Cell Biology Relationship of shape, structural dynamics, and function with the cellular state and gene expression; cell-to-cell communication. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, BIOL_SCI 217, BIOL_SCI 219, BIOL_SCI 222, and BIOL_SCI 308.

BIOL_SCI 323 Bioinformatics: Sequence and Structure Analysis Use of informational and modeling techniques to explore evolutionary and other problems related to the genome. Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 241 or BIOL_SCI 308.

BIOL_SCI 325 Animal Physiology Physiological principles and mechanisms responsible for the ability of animals to regulate variables in the steady state. Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 217.

BIOL_SCI 326 Neurobiology of Learning and Memory Molecular and neural bases of memory. May not receive credit for both BIOL_SCI 326 and NERUOSCI 326.  Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 302 or BIOL_SCI 311.

BIOL_SCI 328 Microbiology How microbes interact with their environments, including with humans. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, BIOL_SCI 217, BIOL_SCI 219, BIOL_SCI 222, and BIOL_SCI 308.

BIOL_SCI 330 Plant Biology Plant structure, physiology, photosynthesis, evolutionary diversity, and ecology. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, and BIOL_SCI 219.

BIOL_SCI 332 Conservation Genetics Critical issues in the management and understanding of endangered populations. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215 or ENVR SCI 202.

BIOL_SCI 336 Spring Flora Life cycles, vegetative and reproductive structures, and adaptations for pollinations and fruit and seed dispersal of the wildflowers, trees, and shrubs of oak woodland. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215 or ENVR SCI 202.

BIOL_SCI 337 Quantitative Methods for Ecology and Conservation Approaches, methods, and techniques for analyzing datasets in ecology and conservation biology. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215 or ENVR SCI 202; a course in statistics.

BIOL_SCI 339 Critical Topics in Ecology and Conservation Seminar discussing historical and modern publications in the field. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215 or ENVR SCI 202.

BIOL_SCI 341 Population Genetics Processes that affect allele frequency change and thus cause evolution. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, BIOL_SCI 217, BIOL_SCI 219, BIOL_SCI 308; a course in statistics.

BIOL_SCI 342 Evolutionary Processes Evolutionary mechanisms (natural selection, genetic drift), evolutionary history (speciation, phylogenetics), and adaptations (sex, cooperation, aging, life history). Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, BIOL_SCI 217, BIOL_SCI 219, BIOL_SCI 308; a course in statistics.

BIOL_SCI 344 Anatomy of Vertebrates Vertebrate phylogeny illustrated via comparative morphology; anatomical/functional and ontogenetic considerations; dissections. This class is taught at the Field Museum; with provided travel from 12:15 to 4:50 pm. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215 and BIOL_SCI 222.

BIOL_SCI 347 Conservation Biology Evolution, ecology, and conservation of patterns of biological diversity. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215 or ENVR SCI 202; a course in statistics.

BIOL_SCI 349 Plant Community Ecology Abundance, distributions, diversity, and scaling in plant communities in space-time. Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 330.

BIOL_SCI 350 Plant Evolution and Diversity Laboratory Introduction to the diversity and evolutionary history of land plants. Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 330.

BIOL_SCI 354 Quantitative Analysis of Biology Random genetic processes, gene expression, cell adaptation, cell cycle, developmental morphogens, phylogenomics. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215; BIOL_SCI 217 or BIOL_SCI 219; MATH 220 OR MATH 224; PHYSICS 130-1,2,3 OR PHYSICS 135-1,2,3.

BIOL_SCI 355 Immunobiology Nature of host resistance; characteristics of antigens, antibodies; basis of immune response; hypersensitivity. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, BIOL_SCI 217, BIOL_SCI 219, BIOL_SCI 222, and BIOL_SCI 308.

BIOL_SCI 359 Quantitative Experimentation in Biology Laboratory in experimental methods in quantitative biology. Random genetic processes, gene expression, cell cycle, developmental morphogens, genome sequencing. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 354 and permission of instructor.

BIOL_SCI 361 Protein Structure and Function Protein interaction with small molecules; x-ray crystallography and NMR. Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 308.

BIOL_SCI 363 Biophysics Protein interaction with small molecules; protein tertiary structure determination. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, BIOL_SCI 217, BIOL_SCI 219, and BIOL_SCI 308. 

BIOL_SCI 378 Functional Genomics Patterns of gene expression and their causes. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, BIOL_SCI 219; a course in statistics.

BIOL_SCI 380 The Biology of Cancer The disease of cancer; causation at the cell and molecular levels; treatment. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 315 or BIOL_SCI 390.

BIOL_SCI 390 Advanced Molecular Biology Nucleic acid structure; DNA mutation, repair, recombination, replication, restriction, and modification; translation. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, BIOL_SCI 217, BIOL_SCI 219, and BIOL_SCI 308.

BIOL_SCI 393 Genetic Analysis Advanced transmission and regulatory genetics. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 215, BIOL_SCI 217, BIOL_SCI 219, and BIOL_SCI 308.

BIOL_SCI 398 Tutorial in Biology Supervised reading and discussion or supervised laboratory week. P/N only.

BIOL_SCI 399 Independent Research Supervised independent research project. Prerequisites: BIOL_SCI 398 or previous BIOL_SCI 399.

Courses Not Offered in the Academic Year of 2017-2018:

BIOL_SCI 160 Human Reproduction Basic biology of reproduction; relation between hormones, emotions, intelligence, and behavior; related policy issues.

BIOL_SCI 304 Developmental Neurobiology Cellular aspects of nervous system development: relationship between structure and function. May not receive credit for both BIOL_SCI 304 and NEUROSCI 304. Prerequisite: BIOL_SCI 302 or BIOL_SCI 311.

BIOL_SCI 327 Biology of Aging Biological aspects of aging, from molecular to evolutionary.

BIOL_SCI 331 Medicinal Plants

BIOL_SCI 334 Soils and the Environment: The Earth's Critical Zone

BIOL_SCI 346 Field Ecology

BIOL_SCI 348 Plant Population Genetics

BIOL_SCI 353 Molecular Biology Laboratory

BIOL_SCI 356 Endocrinology

BIOL_SCI 358 Advanced Physiology Laboratory

BIOL_SCI 391 Development and Evolution of Body Plans

BIOL_SCI 392 Developmental Genetics Laboratory

BIOL_SCI 395 Molecular Genetics