Biological Sciences (BIOL)

Department of Biological Sciences

STEPHEN MILLER, Graduate Program Director

BIEBERICH, CHARLES J., Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; Developmental biology
CRONIN, THOMAS W., Ph.D., Duke University; Vision science
FARABAUGH, PHILIP J., Ph.D., Harvard University; Molecular genetics
LINDAHL, LASSE, Ph.D., University of Copenhagen; Gene expression, ribosome biogenesis and stability, nucleolar function
OMLAND, KEVIN E., , Ph.D, State University of New York, Albany; Evolution, molecular systematics, animal behavior, bird plumage coloration, molecular ecology, population genetics, speciation
OSTRAND-ROSENBERG, SUZANNE, Ph.D.,California Institute of Technology; Immunology
ROBINSON, PHYLLIS, R., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; Signal transduction in the visual system, elucidation of the mechanisms of activation and deactivation of vertebrate visual pigments
SOKOLOVE, PHILLIP G., Ph.D., Harvard University; Neurobiology, biological rhythms, invertebrate physiology
WOLF, RICHARD E., Jr., Ph.D., University of Cincinnati; Molecular biology, gene regulation

Associate Professors
BREWSTER, RACHEL, Ph.D., University of Michigan; Neuroscience, genetics, molecular and cell biology
BUSTOS, MAURICIO M., Ph.D., University of California, Irvine; Plant molecular biology
EISENMANN, DAVID M., Ph.D., Harvard University; Developmental biology, signal transduction
LEIPS, JEFFERY W., Ph.D., Florida State University; Evolution, ecological and quantitative genetics
LIN, WEIHONG, Ph.D., Colorado State University: Neurobiological studies of chemical sensations mediated by olfactory, taste and trigeminal systems with emphases on signal transduction and modulations.
LU, HUA, Ph.D., Texas A&M University; Molecular genetics and signal transduction during plant-pathogen interactions.
MENDELSON, TAMRA, Ph.D., Duke University; Evolution, mechanisms of speciation, sexual selection
MILLER, STEPHEN M, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Development, evolution of development, algal biofuels
SCHREIER, HAROLD J., Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University; Microbiology, gene regulation

Assistant Professors
ERILL, IVAN, Ph.D., Computer Sciences, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain; Development and integration of soft-computing techniques of analyzing genetic regulation, expression and interaction in prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes
GARDNER, JEFFREY, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Molecular-genetic analysis of bacterial physiology and metabolism
KANN, MARICEL, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Computational approaches for the detection of protein domains and protein interactions, and bioinformatics methodologies to understand the molecular basis of diseases
LOHR, BERNARD, Ph.D., Duke University; Auditory physiology an sensory biology, animal behavior and evolution
STARZ-GAIANO, MICHELLE. Ph.D., New York University; Cell migration during Drosophila development, with focus on signaling pathways

Senior Research Scientists
LI, XIANG, Ph.D., UMBC; Development and cancer biology
SINHA, PRATIMA, Ph.D, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences. Molecular and cellular basis of tumor immunity

LUEPEN, SARAH, Ph.D., Northwestern University
WAGNER, CYNTHIA, Ph.D., Washington University

Degrees Offered

M.S., Ph.D.

Program Description

The Ph.D. and M.S. programs in biological sciences are designed to offer a broad, multi-disciplinary, modern education in the life sciences coupled with the development of in-depth expertise and research training within a specialized area. Because many current problems in the biological sciences overlap traditional disciplinary boundaries, a single graduate program is offered rather than the traditional separate programs in botany, microbiology, zoology and other areas. The research of the faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences covers a broad range, from structure and function of nucleic acids to the feeding behavior of animals. Therefore this program provides a diversity of opportunities for research and graduate education in biology. Program specialties include: molecular biology as studied in bacterial, yeast, plant and animal systems; cellular and developmental biology; genetics; cellular immunology; neurobiology; behavior; population biology and ecology.

Degree Requirements

Because of the breadth of the program and the diversity of student backgrounds and interests, the program is individualized for each student through consultation with his or her advisory committee. Although no specific courses are required for the Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, students will take graduate courses totaling at least 18 credits, of which one must be a three-credit seminar course. They also will participate in a research seminar (journal club) each semester after their first year, serve as a teaching assistant for two semesters and complete 12 credits of dissertation research. In addition, doctoral students will participate in at least three research rotations during their first year. For these rotations, faculty will design short projects for the students to provide an introduction to experimental research, as well as an opportunity to learn more about specific areas of research in the biological sciences before choosing a dissertation project. An average grade of B must be maintained in all nonresearch course work.

Upon completion of the first year of study, Ph.D. students should choose a dissertation advisor from the departmental faculty and begin their dissertation research. In the fall of the second year, students must form and meet with their permanent advisory committee. This committee will be composed of the dissertation advisor, three other members of the departmental faculty and an additional scientist from outside the department. Before the end of their fifth semester in residence, students must prepare and submit to their advisory committee a research proposal written in the format of an NSF or NIH grant. Defense of this proposal, along with a test of general knowledge in the candidate's chosen field, constitutes the preliminary examination. Students must meet annually with their advisory committee to report on their progress toward completion of their dissertation research.

The M.S. in Biological Sciences has thesis (research) and non-thesis options. In addition to fulfilling the M.S. degree requirements of the Graduate School, M.S. students pursuing the thesis option will take one three-credit graduate seminar and six credits of BIOL 799, while students pursuing the non-thesis option take one three-credit graduate seminar and three credits of BIOL 709.

Program Admission Requirements

Although candidates for admission should present a bachelor's degree with undergraduate training in calculus, cell biology, general biology, genetics, organic chemistry, physics and statistics the program is sufficiently flexible to accommodate students with a wide range of backgrounds. Students who do not meet these and any other qualifications thought to be important by their advisory committee may be asked to complete further undergraduate course work early in their graduate careers. All applicants are required to take the aptitude sections of the Graduate Record Examination. All original application documents must be sent directly to the Graduate School, not to the graduate program.

Facilities and Special Resources

Students in the Biological Sciences Program have ready access to extensive facilities for all types of modern biological research. These facilities include advanced equipment for molecular biology (real-time PCR machines, a phosphor-imager and image documentation systems), cell biology (confocal and electron microscopes and flow cytometer), biochemistry (ultracentrifuges, HPLC and FPLC and fully equipped cold rooms) and neurophysiology (microspectrophotometers, micromanipulators and video-image analysis systems). Support facilities include a transgenic plant facility in a modern greenhouse, NIH-approved animal quarters, aquaria, darkrooms, controlled-temperature rooms and excellent shops for mechanical work and electronics. Numerous computers provide department research support. The network infrastructure serving the Biological Sciences Building and the adjacent Martin Schwartz Hall was upgraded in 2001 to support high-speed streaming video and graphics through switched 10/1000 MB connections to every computer. Some faculty have appointments in the Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland Medical School. Students in these labs also have access to all of the facilities in the Cancer Center.

Financial Assistance

Various types of financial support are available to students seeking a graduate degree. All Ph.D. candidates are offered financial support until completion of their degree through teaching or research assistantships, contingent on available funds and on making satisfactory progress toward their degree. The large amount of sponsored research in the department provides opportunities for graduate students to be employed on research projects.


BIOL 430
Biological Chemistry [4]

An introductory course describing the essential principles of biochemistry. Topics include the structure and characterization of biological macromolecules, the energetics and thermodynamics of coupled biological reactions and enzymology. The most important metabolic pathways are described, emphasizing their cellular compartmentalization, integration and control. (Fall) Prerequisite: BIOL 141, 142 and CHEM 352. Recommended: BIOL 303.

BIOL 600
Advanced Laboratory Projects in Biological Sciences [1-4]

This course is primarily for graduate students at the M.S. level. It is designed to increase the students� familiarity with modern experimental techniques employed in the biological sciences. Students will be assigned to individually supervised laboratory projects. A detailed account of the progress of the project will be required.

BIOL 601
Advanced Tutorial Projects in Biological Sciences [1-4]

Independent studies to be carried out by graduate students under the supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

BIOL 602
Introduction to Laboratory/Field Research [1-3]

The purpose of this course is to introduce incoming graduate students to the breadth of possible research areas at UMBC. Students taking this course will do research for roughly half a regular semester in each of two or three professors� laboratories. This will acquaint the students with laboratory techniques and faculty members in several areas before they make a decision on a thesis advisor. Note: One credit is earned per laboratory.

BIOL 605
Advanced Topics in Comparative Animal Physiology [4]

This course takes a comparative approach to the study of how various selective pressures have resulted in the evolution of specific solutions to physiological problems. These solutions are viewed within the context of the fundamental limitations to biological evolution that are set by the physical and chemical properties of matter. The exact topic will change from semester to semester. Representative topics might include vision, temperature regulation and thermal tolerance, renal physiology or cognitive neurophysiology. Most of the material covered will be from original research reports that will be evaluated critically by each student. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

BIOL 610
Management of Municipal Aquaria [2]

This course will focus on the organization and operation of aquaria and aquaculture facilities. The scientific and practical criteria used to select the mammals, fish and invertebrates displayed at aquaria or the species grown commercially by aquaculture methods will be described, as will the taxonomy, ecology, population dynamics, collection methods, transportation, nutrition, methods of handling and health maintenance of those species. Finally, the roles and missions of such facilities will be discussed, with particular attention to aquaria. This segment of the course will demonstrate how marketing and visitors� services, as well as programs in education and research, are used to meet civic responsibilities and public concerns.

BIOL 612
Microbial Systems and Synthetic Biology [4]

"This advanced course analyzes principles and current topics in bacterial physiology, genetics, and metabolism. The study of microorganisms as a complex system will be considered in the context of the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome. Topics will include regulatory networks used for complex metabolic processes, how microbes sense their surroundings, mechanisms microbes use to survive in extreme environments, and biotechnological applications of studying microbial systems."

BIOL 611
Bacterial Physiology [4]

The combined approaches of bacterial genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry are applied to the study of bacterial physiological processes. An emphasis is placed on examining adaptation strategies used by bacteria upon encountering alterations in environment. Topics include mechanisms of transcriptional and post-translational control, regulation of carbon and nitrogen metabolism, biosynthesis, energy transduction, signal transduction systems and bacterial development. Prerequisite: BIOL 302 and BIOL 303 or consent of instructor. Recommended: BIOL 430 or CHEM 437.

BIOL 614
Eukaryotic Genetics and Molecular Biology [4]

Genetics and molecular biology of lower and higher eukaryotes and their viruses. The course will focus on the maintenance and expression of genetic material as it relates to cell growth and development. It will cover current topics in the molecular genetics of several lower and higher eukaryotes at an advanced level, including mechanisms of genetic control that operate at the level of DNA replication, transcription and translation. Topics to include the molecular basis of phenomena, such as gene amplification, global control of transcription initiation, protein sorting and secretion, control of yeast mating type as a model for development, the origin of antigen diversity, oncogenesis, pattern formation in Drosophila and sex determination in mammals. (Fall) Prerequisite: BIOL 302 and BIOL 303 or consent of instructor.

BIOL 618
Human Molecular Biology [4]

The approaches of molecular biology and modern cell biology as applied to the study of both normal and diseased human states. Where appropriate, the analysis of other mammalian experimental systems may be included. The course will involve the critical reading and discussion of the relevant research literature and the preparation of one or more papers on specific issues or topics. The precise topics covered in any one semester will depend on the interest of the faculty and students and with current developments in the field. Possible topics include: the molecular and cellular basis for human disease, human molecular genetics, the human genome and proteomic project, human genetic therapy and human evolution. Note: May be repeated for credit with a different topic. Prerequisites: Undergraduate courses in genetics (e.g. BIOL 302) and cell biology (e.g. BIOL 303) and consent of instructor.

BIOL 620
Advanced Topics in Cell Biology [4]

A course designed to acquaint graduate students with contemporary problems of structure and function at the cellular level through a critical examination of the current literature. The course will include lecture material and presentations by students of oral and written reports on selected topics. The area covered in any semester will vary according to recent developments in the field and according to the interests of the students and faculty. The list of available areas includes structure and function of biomembranes; composition, structure and replication of chromosomes; assembly, growth and reproduction of cytoplasmic organelles; cellular growth and division; regulation of cellular function; and nuclearcytoplasmic interactions. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: BIOL 303 and/or consent of instructor.

Biological Electron Microscopy [4]
Theory and practice of the study of biological materials with the high resolution of electron microscope. Specimens will be prepared for examination by a variety of modern procedures. These include tissue and cell fixation, embedding for ultra-thin sectioning, carbon film preparation, mounting of particulate materials and macromolecules, positive and negative staining, metal shadowing in the vacuum evaporator and critical point drying. An introduction to scanning electron microscopy will be provided. The photographic darkroom procedures required for the production of finished electron micrographs are included. Prerequisite: BIOL 303 and/or the consent of instructor.

BIOL 625
Immunology [4]

This course will pursue in depth the rapidly expanding areas of cellular, humoral and tumor immunology. Following a brief overview of the immune system's response to exogenous antigen, the course will concentrate on such topics as anti-body production, structure and gene organization, lymphocyte subpopulations, cell-cell interactions, cell-mediated immune responses, cell surface alloantigens, histocompatability, immunogenetics, transplantation and tumor immunology. Note: The exact content of the course will vary from year to year depending on the status of research in the field. Prerequisite: BIOL 302 and BIOL 303 or consent of instructor. Recommended: BIOL 430.

BIOL 626
Approaches to Molecular Biology [4]

This course will focus on the molecular biology of eukaryotic cells and will include such topics as the sequence organization of DNA and genes, chromosome structure, messenger RNA synthesis and processing, messenger RNA translation and the regulation of the expression of genetic information. Prerequisite: BIOL 302 and BIOL 303 or consent of instructor.

BIOL 628
Computer Applications in Molecular Biology [4]

This course is designed as an introduction for biology and biochemistry students to the use of applications software in the analysis of DNA, RNA and protein sequence data. The course will be taught in a lab/ lecture format with two lecture hours and four lab hours per week. Topics will include operating systems; telecommunications with off-campus databases and specific software packages for general and analytical treatment of DNA, RNA and protein sequence data. Some elementary programming will be included. Prerequisite: BIOL 302 and BIOL 303.

BIOL 634
Microbial Molecular Genetics [4]

The approaches of microbial genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry are combined for the study of the molecular mechanisms regulating gene expression in bacteria. Emphasis is placed on critical reading of research literature. Application of the combined approaches of microbial genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry to the study of fundamental biological processes will be demonstrated. Research literature will be used to describe the current state of knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of prokaryotic gene regulation and the genetic biochemistry of chromosome structure and DNA replication, repair and recombination. Prerequisite: BIOL 302 and BIOL 303 or consent of instructor. Recommended: BIOL 430 or CHEM 437.

BIOL 635L and 636L
Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory [7, 7]

This two-semester course is designed to demonstrate the approaches and methodologies of molecular biology used to study the organization, expression and regulation of genes. Emphasis is on acquiring facility in the design of experiments, analysis of data and troubleshooting, as well as on developing a broad range of technical skills and the ability to use modern laboratory equipment. The first part of the course focuses on in vitro or recombinant DNA/cloning techniques and emphasizes the isolation, manipulation and molecular characterization of DNA and RNA. The second part involves in vivo genetic analysis in selected prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. It includes mutagenesis and genetic mapping in E.coli, as well as use of gene fusions to assess gene expression in vivo. Eukaryotic cell culture and immunological techniques are used to illustrate their utility in molecular biology. Note: Enrollment priority will be given to AMB students. Prerequisite: BIOL 624, CHEM 437 and CHEM 437L. Recommended: CHEM 438.

BIOL 642
Introduction to Developmental Biology [4]

A lecture and discussion course that considers the two major aspects of animal development: 1) the means by which, starting with a fertilized egg, progeny cells progressively differentiate from their precursors and one another to produce the ultimate diversity of the multicellular organism and 2) the processes by which this increasingly complex population of cells is synthesized into a single integrated organism. (Fall)

BIOL 643
Topics in Advanced Developmental Biology [4]

Designed to emphasize cellular, molecular and biochemical aspects of basic developmental questions, this course will introduce the student to modern approaches to determination, differentiation and morphogenesis. Experimental design and analysis of data are emphasized. Topics include molecular and cellular aspects of gametogenesis, fertilization, embryogenesis and continuous development in the adult; mechanisms of intra- and inter-cellular communication developmental model systems using unicellular organisms will be considered. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: BIOL 642 and/or consent of instructor.

BIOL 645
Signal Transduction [4]

This course will examine some of the methods by which the reception of signals from the environment leads to the changes in gene and protein activity in responding cells, which constitute a biological response. Signal transduction in the context of developmental biology and neurobiology will be the main areas of study. Six to eight topics will be covered in detail. The design and interpretation of scientific experiments will be emphasized through critical reading, analysis and presentation of original articles from the primary literature. The use of genetic, molecular and biochemical techniques to address questions in the field of signal transduction will be examined. Prerequisite: Undergraduate-level courses in genetics and cell biology and permission of instructor.

BIOL 651
Neurobiology [4]

A study of nervous-system function at the cellular and organismic level. Topics include mechanisms underlying electrical activity in nerve cells and synapses, transduction and integration of sensory information, action of certain drugs and neurotoxic agents, activity in population of neurons, trophic and plastic properties of nerve cells and neural systems analysis. Prerequisite: BIOL 305 or consent of instructor.

BIOL 653
Physiological Bases of Behavior [4]

Studies of behavioral patterns and their physiological bases. The course begins with an extensive review of the fundamentals of neurobiology and basic principles of animal behavior, followed by neurophysiological analyses of specific invertebrate behaviors such as locomotion, feeding, prey capture and predator evasion and learning. Prerequisite: BIOL 305 or consent of instructor.

BIOL 654
Vision Science [4]

This course will focus in depth on visual systems of animals and humans. Coverage will span the range of modern research from the biochemistry and physiology of the photoreceptiors to the ecology, evolution and functional optimization of visual systems. Topics include visual pigments, biochemical basis of phototransduction, visual processing and organization of visual centers of the brain, eyes, optical arrays, visual evolution and ecology. Prerequisite: BIOL 305 or equivalent. Recommended: BIOL 451.

BIOL 656
Plant Molecular Biology [4]

Following a brief review of some important principles and techniques in molecular biology, this course will pursue in depth such topics as the cloning and characterization of chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear genomes in plants, interactions of the nuclear and chloroplast gene products, genetic engineering of the nitrogen fixation genes, DNA plant viruses and the Agrobacterium Ti plasmid. The course content will reflect the status of research in this rapidly developing area. Prerequisite: BIOL 302 and BIOL 303 or consent of instructor.

BIOL 657
Physiology of Marine and Estuarine Animals [4]

A study of the physiological specializations demanded by marine/estuarine environments, including the following topics: physiological mechanisms for coping with stresses imposed by extremes of temperature, salinity, aerial exposure and low oxygen concentrations; sensory physiology, including visual, chemical and mechanical modalities; exogenous and endogenous rhythms related to tidal or diel cycles and bioluminescence. Note: The course will include one or more trips to field laboratories. Prerequisite: BIOL 305.

BIOL 663
Theoretical and Quantitative Biology [4]

Mathematical, statistical and computer techniques used in quantitative analysis of biological phenomena. Topics will include the theoretical bases for commonly used uni-variate tests, as well as multi-variate techniques, such as discriminant, canonical factor and cluster analyses. Applications of methods will be discussed. Data sets will be assigned for analysis. Note: Also listed as STAT 350. Prerequisites: BIOL 301 and BIOL 309.

BIOL 666
Population and Quantitative Genetics [4]

The emphasis in this course will be the study in natural populations of characters whose variation is controlled by multiple genes. The foundations in Mendelian and population genetics will be described, followed by a comprehensive treatment of the field of quantitative genetics and then by a discussion of the place of quantitative genetics in behavioral genetics, physiological ecology and in population biology in general. Prerequisite: STAT 350, BIOL 142 and BIOL 309 or consent of instructor.

BIOL 676
Antibiotics: Origin, Mechanism, Resistance [4]

Infectious agents, the bacteria and viruses, accounted for 57 percent of the deaths in the United States in 1900 and less than 4 percent in 1990. The discovery and application of antibiotics and other chemotherapeutic agents are largely responsible for this dramatic reversal. In this course, the origin of selected chemotherapeutic agents, their detailed mode of action and the basis for emergence of resistant microbial populations will be discussed. Similarly, the action of selected drugs used in chemotherapy, which attempts to control cancer cell growth, will be outlined. The principle of "rational drug design" and radical "new" methods of attacking microbial populations will be explored. Prerequisites: BIOL 302, BIOL 303, CHEM 351, BIOL 352 and BIOL 275 are recommended.

BIOL 680
Animal Behavior (4):

This course explores the general themes and important questions in animal behavior. We cover subjects that examine how and why animals interact in the way they do with each other and with their environment. Topics will include the genetics of behavior, behavioral development, learning, animal communication, habitat selection, foraging, sexual selection, and mating systems, among others. This is a quantitative course, a familiarity with basic statistics and mathematics is assumed. This course will involve 2hours of lecture per week, and 2 hours of combined seminar/discussion and class participation projects (4 credit hours per semester). Pre-requisites: BIOL 142 or equivalent, STAT 350 or equivalent

BIOL 681
Advanced Topics in Evolutionary Biology [4]

This advanced course analyzes principles of and current topics in evolutionary biology. The study of evolution informs every facet of biological inquiry and every level of biological organization, from molecules to ecosystems. Topics will vary across semesters according to current research and the interests of faculty. Representative topics may include the origin of species, natural and sexual selection, neutral theory, comparative methods, and evolutionary ecology. The course is a mix of lectures, problem-based learning, and student-led presentations of primary research literature. This course is repeatable for credit.

BIOL 683
Genes to Genomes [4]

This is a combined lecture, paper discussion and hands-on computing course comprising four major sections that study the applications of evolutionary theory to the exploration and analysis of phenotypic and biological sequence data. We begin by building a sound conceptual basis for the theory of evolution, including an introduction to population genetics. Real biological sequence data is then introduced and used to illustrate and extend this theory. From here, the focus shifts to some major branches of current evolutionary research, introducing recent published work for each topic. During the last part of the course, students give presentations on a research topic in evolution of their choice. A term paper on this topic is required from each student at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: BIOL 142.

BIOL 685
Problems in Vertebrate Evolution [4]

This course will provide a comprehensive survey treatment of the five vertebrate classes, emphasizing paleontological approaches, their morphological and behavioral adaptations and evolution in relation to climatic and geologic change. Both past and present vertebrate communities will be considered. The laboratory component of this course will stress structure and composition of past communities, species identification and biomechanics. Prerequisite: BIOL 301 or consent of instructor.

BIOL 686
Genome Sciences [4]

Genome science represents a convergence of classical biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology with the new discipline of bioinformatics into a new field. Advances in biomedical and agricultural research are developing the potential of genome science in both the private and public sectors. Important questions that have been unapproachable are now thought to be within reach. BIOL 686 provides students with the requisites for understanding genome science. It includes basic instruction in experimental functional genomics, and analytical bioinformatics. For example, students in BIOL 686 will learn how genome science is providing tools to unravel the arcane genetics of complex diseases and traits. Information sources will include textbook, the primary literature, and computer methods.

BIOL 695
Seminar in Bioinformatics [3]

This course will introduce basic and advanced computational issues and methods used in computational biology. I will combine core lectures, with programming assignments and a final project. Topics will include algorithmms for alignment of biological sequences, multiple sequence alignment, and gene prediction. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

BIOL 700
Introduction to Graduate Experience [1]

This seminar course is designed for first year graduate students who have just matriculated in the Department of Biological Sciences. This course introduces new graduate students to the graduate culture in the Department of Biological Sciences. Students are required to attend the Department's weekly seminars as well as a one hour class discussion with the instructor.

BIOL 709
Literature Research Tutorial [3]

Tutorial designed for non-thesis M.S. candidates to research and write a scholarly paper to complete the requirements for the non-thesis master's degree.

BIOL 710
Graduate Seminar: Topics in Genetics [3]

An examination of current problems in prokaryotic and eukaryotic genetics. Such problems may include transcription and translation, recombination, DNA and chromosome replication, chromosome organization, gene regulation and extrachromosomal inheritance. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and passage of the genetics qualifying examination.

BIOL 712
Mentoring in the Sciences [1]

This seminar course is designed for graduate students working in the sciences and addresses key concerns and challenges faced by mentors at all levels in scientific disciplines. The topics covered in this seminar include intellectual issues (scientific teaching, comprehension and learning how to ask questions), technical issues (experimental design, precision, accuracy), personal growth issues (developing confidence, creativity and independence) and interpersonal issues (dealing with students of diverse experiences and backgrounds, motivation, honesty between mentor and student, scientific integrity and discrimination). The course uses a discussion format using case studies and reading materials relevant to each topic to provide tangible starting points for discussion. The grade is based on participation in discussion, completion of written assignments and presentations in class. Prerequisites: Graduate student/post-doctoral status in a scientific discipline.

BIOL 720
Graduate Seminar: Cell Structure and Function [3]

Critical discussions on current problems in cell biology, concentrating on the structure and function of the various cellular structures and the relations among them. The topics will include the structure and function of cell membranes, the cell nucleus, mitochondria, chloroplasts and other organelles. Additional topics will include genetic transcription and translation, cell growth and division, cell motility and regulation of cellular processes. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and passage of the cell biology qualifying examination.

BIOL 721
Research Seminar in Membrane Biology [1]

Designed primarily for students currently engaged in some aspect of membrane research. Critical discussion of literature and ongoing research, a seminar presentation and a paper are required. Note: May be repeated for credit with the consent of the instructor. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in biochemistry and consent of instructor.

BIOL 725
Research Seminar in Immunology [1]

Intended primarily for students engaged in research in immunology. Students and faculty will present results of their recent experiments and/or important papers from current literature for critical discussion. Participation in the discussion of the work of others is expected. Note: May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 730
Graduate Seminar: Plant Biology [3]

An examination and critical review of current problems in plant biology, concentrating on molecular approaches to these problems. Topics may include control of growth and development, responses to the environment, improvement of crop production in agriculture, molecular analysis of photosynthesis, host/pathogen interactions, plant reproduction and model systems for molecular genetic analyses. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Recommended: BIOL 304 and BIOL 456 or equivalent.

BIOL 737
Research Seminar in Bioinformatics [1]

This is a research and literature review seminar course intended primarily for students engaged in research in bioinformatics, computational biology and related disciplines. The course is based on critical discussion of current literature and ongoing research. Students are required to make seminar presentations on their work and on important new developments in these research areas. Note: May be repeated for credit, Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

BIOL 739
Research Seminar in Molecular Biology [1]

This course is intended primarily for students engaged in research in molecular biology. Students and faculty will present results of their recent experiments and/or important papers from current literature for critical discussion. Participation in the discussion of the work of others is expected. Note: May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 740
Graduate Seminar: Analysis of Development [3]

An examination and critical review of literature pertaining to persistent problems in developmental biology and the differentiation of cell types. Topics to be covered include gametogenesis, fertilization and cleavage patterns, biochemical events during early embryogenesis, nucleocytoplasmic interactions in development, inductive phenomena, the role of cell contact specificities in morphogenesis, stability of the differentiated state and the hormonal controls in differentiating cell systems. The theory of differential gene expression will be evaluated by examining the cytological and biochemical evidence for time and tissue specificities of gene action. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and passage of the developmental biology qualifying examination.

BIOL 745
Research Seminar in Developmental Biology [1]

This is a research and literature review course focused on the field of developmental biology. Recent primary scientific literature and reviews reporting on important developments in the broad area of developmental biology will be presented by students and faculty for critical discussion. Topics chosen may come from work on prokaryotic, animal or plant model systems. Note: May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 750
Graduate Seminar: Advanced Topics in Organismic Biology [3]

This seminar course is designed to familiarize the student with contemporary problems and experimental approaches in the field of regulatory biology at the organismic level. Emphasis will be placed on critical evaluation of current literature in one of the following areas: respiratory and circulatory systems, ion and water balance, mechanisms of hormonal regulation, biological basis of behavior, temperature regulation and compensation or sensory neurophysiology. The topic chosen will vary each semester. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and passage of the organismic biology qualifying examination.

BIOL 754
Research Seminar in Animal Physiology and Behavior [1]
This course is designed primarily for students engaged in research into aspects of animal physiology and behavior at the organismic and cellular levels. Critical discussion of current literature and ongoing research and a seminar presentation are required. Note: May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 755
Research Seminar in Cellular Neurobiology and Behavior [1]

This is a research and literature review seminar course in the area of cellular neurobiology. Primary scientific literature and recent reviews reporting on important new developments in research on nervous systems will be presented and discussed. One or two general topics will provide the focus for each semester's study. Note: May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 759
Research Seminar in Plant Biology [1]

This course is intended primarily for students engaged in research in plant biology. Students and faculty will present results of their recent experiments and/or important papers from current literature for critical discussion. Participation in the discussion of the work of others is expected. Note: May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 760
Graduate Seminar in Ecology and Evolution [3]

This seminar emphasizes critical examination of the literature in one or more current research areas in ecology and evolutionary biology. Possible topics include mechanisms of adaptation at different levels of organization, multi-variate interpretation of data from natural populations, evolution of life history patterns, population growth and regulation, inter-specific competition, predator-prey interactions, mutualisms and indirect effects in food webs, community structure and function and nutrient cycling and energy flow. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and passage of the population biology qualifying examination.

BIOL 769
Research Seminar in Evolution and Ecology [1]

This course is intended primarily for students engaged in research in ecology and evolution. Students and faculty will present results of their recent experiments and/or important papers from current literature for critical discussion. Participation in the discussion of the work of others is expected. Note: May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 770
Graduate Seminar in Molecular Biology [3]

The class will consist of a series of student led seminars related to a specific topic in molecular biology. The topic will change from year to year and normally will be in an area where substantial progress recently has been reported. Each weekly session will include student presentation of several papers assigned by the class director upon discussion with the student in charge of a given seminar. The presentation will be intermingled with discussion among the seminar participants. All students are expected to have read assigned papers before each seminar and to contribute to the discussion. Note: Grading will be based on the quality of the presentation(s) and the participation in the discussion.

BIOL 799
Master's Thesis Research [2-9]

Master's thesis research is conducted under the direction of a faculty member. Note: Six credit hours required for the master's degree with thesis.

BIOL 899
Doctoral Dissertation Research [9]

Research on doctoral dissertation is conducted under direction of faculty advisor. Note: A minimum of 18 credit hours are required.