Biology Senior Lecturer
PhD, University of Michigan
Understanding enzyme structure and function is essential in many important drug design projects. This course focuses on common methods used to investigate enzyme active sites to elucidate binding interactions between small molecules and enzymes. Students use 3D protein viewing software to design and model modifications to an enzyme active site, then perform those modifications using recombinant DNA technology and site-directed mutagenesis. This course also introduces other commonly used methods to assay active-site metals, characterize inhibitors, over-express and purify proteins, and use UV spectroscopy to analyze enzyme activity. This is an investigative course in which students perform collaborative research projects in small groups. Fulfills the upper-level laboratory requirement for the generic biology major and the biochemistry track; intended for students who have no other courses that fulfill these requirements.
Students will work to develop a fluency in biological language, methods, and reasoning as applied to human health. We will study the molecular, cellular, and physiological perspectives for each health-related topic. We will zoom in to study processes at the molecular level, swing back out again to examine processes at the cell or physiological level, and examine data and methods that support this knowledge. We will emphasize problem-solving and reasoning as it applies to understanding biological processes.
The course provides an introduction to cell biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology. An understanding of cellular structure and mechanisms, and the properties of biological macromolecules are integrated with a discussion of the flow of genetic information within cells. Examples of how these concepts can be applied to selected areas in modern biology will be discussed. Weekly labs reinforce material from lectures and explore common laboratory techniques and computer-based resources.
A broad overview of genetics, including Mendelian assortment, linkage, chromosomal aberrations, variations in chromosome number, mutation, developmental genetics, quantitative genetics, population genetics, mechanisms of evolution, and phylogenetics.
Content equivalent to Bio 4342. Students electing the writing intensive option are required to revise two short papers and two long papers (on their sequence improvement project and their annotation project) in response to critiques from a peer and the instructors. Papers are revised at least once, but twice if needed.