BIOL 107 – Biological
BIOL 107 students learn about the molecules, chemical reactions and processes that underlie the basic functions of a cell.
Even though they have to learn (and ocassionally memorize) some really weird names and chemical structures, their long-term learning objective is to develop a deeper understanding of the principles and basic concepts of molecular and cellular biology that go beyond the specific examples that we use to illustrate them in class. We look at diverse cell and molecular biology processes through the unifying lenses of structure-function relationships, energy flow and evolutionary biology. I strive to equip my BIOL 107 students with a firmer and more abstract understanding of basic molecular and cell biology principles that they can later apply to other biological problems that they face in their careers.
BIOL 655D – Seminar in Genetics
In BIOL 655D, we apply everything we know about genetics, cell and molecular biology, to find out all the things that we still don’t know.
Through discussions of recent papers in genetics, we reinforce our understanding of the subject and explore how far experts can go before doubt, speculation and fearless hypothesizing kick in. BIOL 655D students learn new pathways, modules and some molecular biology. But their long-term learning objective in this course is to approach genetics research with a critical eye. They learn to recognize, emphasize and praise good genetics research, but also to discuss the limitations (both conceptual and technical) in the field.