MCDB Core Courses

[Choose any 2 for the BA degree. Choose any 3 for the BS and BS INT degrees.]

MCDB 200b. Molecular Biology.
     Anna Pyle, Farren Isaacs
     MW 9.00-10.15
A study of the fundamental principles of molecular biology, including the experimental methodologies used in biological research. Topics include the structure, function, and chemical behavior of biological macromolecules (DNA, RNA, and protein), chromosome and genome organization, replication and maintenance of the genome, transcriptional and translational regulation, microRNAs and other noncoding RNAs, RNA processing, systems biology, and synthetic biology. Designed to provide an accelerated venue for MCDB majors and other students seeking to understand the molecular basis for gene expression and the resultant implications for medicine and biological engineering. Prerequisite: CHEM 161, 165, or 167 and BIOL 101, or with permission of instructor.

MCDB 202a. Genetics.
     Stephen Dellaporta, Joshua Gendron
     TTh 11.35-12.50
An introduction to classical, molecular, and population genetics of both prokaryotes and eukaryotes and their central importance in biological sciences. Emphasis on analytical approaches and techniques of genetics used to investigate mechanisms of heredity and variation. Topics include transmission genetics, cytogenetics, DNA structure and function, recombination, gene mutation, selection, and recombinant DNA technology. Prerequisite: BIOL 103 or equivalent performance on the corresponding biological sciences placement examination.

MCDB 205b. Cell Biology.
     Thomas Pollard, Shirin Bahmanyar, David Breslow
     TTh 9.00-10.15 {OML 202}
A comprehensive introductory course in cell biology. Emphasis on the general principles that explain the molecular mechanisms of cellular function. Prerequisite: BIOL 101 and 102, or equivalent performance on the corresponding biological sciences placement examinations, or a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement test in Biology, or a score of 710 or above on the SAT Biology M test, or MCDB 200.

MCDB 210a. Developmental Biology.
     Scott Holley, Douglas Kankel, Josien van Wolfswinkel
     TTh 1.00-2.15
This course provides a survey of the molecular and genetic control of embryonic development, cell-cell communication and cell differentiation. Emphasis is on mechanistic investigation in model organisms that reveal fundamental concepts explaining human birth defects and disease. Topics include: gastrulation; neural and mesoderm induction; limb development; heart and vascular development; craniofacial development; adult and embryonic stem cells; regeneration; evolution and development. Prerequisites: BIOL 101, 102, and 103, or equivalent performance on the corresponding biological sciences placement examinations.

MCDB 290b. Microbiology.
     Christine Jacobs-Wagner, Stavroula Hatzios
     TTh 1.00-2.15
Cell structure of bacteria, bacterial genetics, microbial evolution and diversity, bacterial development, microbial interaction, chemotaxis and motility, gene regulation, microbial genomics and proteomics, CRISPR, metabolism, infectious diseases, mechanisms of pathogenesis, host defense systems, viruses, gut microbiota in health and disease. Prerequisites: BIOL 101 and 102, or equivalent performance on the corresponding biological sciences placement examinations; or a term of biochemistry, cell biology, or genetics, or molecular biology.


MCDB 300aG/MB&B 200a. Biochemistry.
     Ronald Breaker, Donald Engelman
     MWF 9.25-10.15
An introduction to the biochemistry of animals, plants, and microorganisms, emphasizing the relations of chemical principles and structure to the evolution and regulation of living systems. Prerequisites: BIOL 101, or equivalent performance on the corresponding biological sciences placement examinations; one term of organic chemistry; or with permission of instructor.

MBB 300aG. Principles of Biochemistry I.
     Michael Koelle, Enrique De La Cruz, Candice Paulson, Matthew Simon
     TTh 11.35-12.50
Discussion of the physical, structural, and functional properties of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates, three major classes of molecules in living organisms. Energy metabolism, hormone signaling, and muscle contraction as examples of complex biological processes whose underlying mechanisms can be understood by identifying and analyzing the molecules responsible for these phenomena. Prerequisite: After BIOL 101; after or concurrently with CHEM 175 or 220.