Wilhelm Cruz

Wilhelm Cruz

Teaching Professor of Biology
BA in Biology, Saint Louis University
PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Saint Louis University

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    CB 1137
    One Brookings Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899

Courses Taught:

L41 Biol 2960 - Principles of Biology I

L41 Biol 2970 - Principles of Biology II

L41 Biol 4522 - Laboratory in Protein Analysis, Proteomics, and Protein Structure

U29 Bio 101 - General Biology I

U29 Bio 102 - General Biology II

U29 Bio 406 - Introduction to Biochemistry

recent courses

Principles of Biology I

An introduction to biological molecules and biochemical strategies employed by the three domains of life. The flow of genetic information within cells is discussed in the context of cellular structure, organization, and function. Investigation and manipulation of genetic information by molecular genetic technologies, such as recombinant DNA, forms the final phase of the course. Labs reinforce concepts from lectures and explore common laboratory techniques and computer-based resources.

    Principles of Biology II

    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.

      Laboratory in Protein Analysis, Proteomics, and Protein Structure

      This laboratory class is structured around a biochemical question of relevance to the research community. Students will design and generate mutants of an enzyme to test hypotheses about its mechanism and kinetics. The course consists of three sections: molecular biology, protein biochemistry, and structural biology. In the first section, students the learn the principles of DNA manipulation, cloning, mutagenesis, and DNA sequencing and apply them to design and generate mutant constructs of the protein of interest. In the second section, students learn the principles of heterologous expression of proteins in bacteria, protein purification, SDS-PAGE, protein quantification, and kinetic analysis of enzyme activity. These methods are applied to test the students' hypotheses by assaying the activity of their mutant enzymes. The final section of the course introduces students to concepts of structural biology including protein crystallization, x-ray diffraction, and computer modeling of protein structures.