MCB Course Listing
*MCB 181R Introductory Biology I (3 units)
This is a core course required for the MCB major. Introduction to biology covers fundamental principles in molecular and cellular biology and basic genetics. Emphasis is placed on biological function at the molecular level, with a focus on the structure and regulation of genes, the structure and synthesis of proteins, how these molecules are integrated into cells, and how these cells are integrated into multicellular systems. Examples stem from current research in bacteria, plants, and animals (including humans) in the areas of cell biology, genetics, molecular medicine and immunology.
Typically offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer
This is the first course in a three part upper division series required for MCB majors. The course encompasses foundational material for the study of Molecular and Cellular Biology. The focus will be on the fundamental concepts governing the interaction of biological macromolecules required for the central dogma of molecular biology: DNA > RNA > protein. Topics to be covered: DNA structure, replication, RNA transcription, structure, modification, processing and turnover, protein translation and modification. Protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions required for these processes will be explored in-depth. In addition to lectures, small group in-class activities will: 1) introduce concepts that are the basis of interaction in large molecular assemblies, 2) introduce molecular and cell biology concepts that put macromolecular assemblies in a biological context.
Typically offered: Spring
*MCB 304 Molecular Genetics (4 units)
This is the second course in a three part upper division series required for MCB majors. The course will cover the foundations of genetics and genomics: 1) how cells and organisms transmit information to the next generation, 2) how the phenotypes of cells and organisms are connected to the information encoded within a DNA template, and 3) how DNA sequencing and recombinant DNA technology can be used to sequence and analyze the entire set of DNA in cells. In the first half of the course, the topics will include the mechanisms of genetic transmission, basis of traits, genome replication, and gene expression. The focus of the second half of the course will be to synthesize our understanding of these fundamental processes and to explore their application to the analysis of a wide range of biological phenomena. Prerequisite: 301.
Typically offered: Fall
*MCB 305 Cell and Developmental Biology (4 units)
This is the third course in a three part upper division series required for MCB majors. This course focuses on the structure and function of eukaryotic cells through the lens of cell and developmental biology. We cover topics in membrane structure, protein transport, regulation of cell division and properties of the cytoskeleton and how abnormalities in these cellular processes lead to cancer. We consider how the individual properties of cells collectively form patterns during development and how stem cells function in tissue repair and regeneration. The key ideas in cell and developmental biology are presented as working models; students use research data to confirm, refine or expand these models. Students actively engage in reasoning with models by solving research-related problems both in and out of class. Examples are based on health and environmental issues that affect our daily lives. We emphasis problem solving, critical thinking, collaborative learning and active participation in class. Through these activities, students gain scientific thinking skills and abilities to design and interpret experiments. Prerequisites: 301, 304.
Typically offered: Spring
Special topics seminar course for Juniors and Seniors. Course includes small group discussion, research, and presentations on a variety of molecular and cellular biology related special topics of interest. Current research, relevant issues, historical perspectives and guest speakers may be included. Sophomores may enroll with consent of the department.
The purpose of the STEM Recruitment & Outreach (SORT) Team is to engage undergraduate students majoring in the life sciences in educational outreach by generating an interest in and promoting an understanding of the biological science topics among elementary school students, middle school students, high school students, fellow undergraduates, and the general public. In the area of recruitment (primarily the role of MCB Ambassadors) is to serve as representatives of the MCB department, and to assist current and potential future MCB students through related recruitment and outreach activities. This course will provide training in public speaking, outreach, and recruitment for participants.
Instructor: Angel Pimentel
Instructor: Joyce Schroeder
This course offers an intensive lab experience to teach students the practical and theoretical aspects of modern molecular biology. In the first part of the course, recombinant DNA methods and bioinformatics are used to clone and identify an unknown gene. In the second part of the course DNA microarray technology is used to determine the effect of environmental stress on the global gene expression program in yeast, and to identify genes that control the stress response. Weekly lectures compliment the lab sessions, covering the theory and principles underlying the experiments performed during the course.
The course focuses on the use of model organisms and other approaches to tackle current topics in biomedical and life sciences. Emphasis will be placed on discoveries that identify causes of, and therapies for, human disease. The course will be divided into four sections, each taught by an MCB faculty who is an expert in the topic under discussion. Students will be required to actively participate in critical thinking exercises throughout the course.