Genetics and Cell Bio Program

Programs of Study
Genetics and Cell/Molecular Biology

Knowledge of the philosophy and techniques of genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology and biotechnology is fundamental to both basic research and practical applications in the fields of medicine and allied health, pharmaceutics, forensics, microbiology, botany and zoology. It has applications in such fields as wildlife and natural resources management as well. There is a high demand in research and production laboratories for people with experience in molecular technologies.

The Biology Department has increased the range of expertise in genetics and cell/molecular biology by hiring four new faculty members who have technical and research expertise in the variety of materials and applications of modern genetics and cell/molecular biology, in addition to a sound backing in basic biology. The Department now has six faculty whose expertise falls within this area of biology and is rapidly expanding its course offerings in the Genetics and Cell/Molecular area.

The Genetics and Cell/Molecular Biology Emphasis has heightened goals for students related to laboratory skills and performance. Students learn techniques and work with the equipment common to contemporary biotech facilities. Additionally, the emphasis nurtures facility in written, visual, and oral presentation that is fundamental to scientific and technological communication. Emphasized is facility in accurate record keeping of work/experiments performed, data analysis, communication (oral and written), discussion of results and their implications, and the ability to work with a laboratory team.

To ensure maximal preparation, a full year, half-time internship/directed research experience is required. Students will be mentored individually, either on or off campus, and will be expected to make use of the skills discussed in the preceding paragraph. This experience will be evaluated through a formal paper, essentially a senior thesis. The rigor associated with this requirement is essential in the preparation of students for direct employment or for entrance to graduate school in the highly competitive field of genetics and cell/molecular biology.

Students should plan to complete the following courses in addition to meeting the core and other requirements for the Biology major:

BIO 422 (4 cr.) Embryology - OR - BIO 432 (4 cr.) Comparative Animal Physiology
BIO 423 (3 cr.) Plant Biotechnology
BIO 426 (2 cr.) Nucleic Acids Laboratory
BIO 490 Internship - OR - BIO 499 Research in Biology - (6 cr.)

-- 2 courses out of the following 3:
BIO 411 (3 cr.) Genetics of Cancer and Development
BIO 414 (3 cr.) Molecular Biology of the Gene
BIO 416 (2 cr.) Advanced Genetics Laboratory

CHM 241 (5 cr.) Organic Chemistry I
CHM 242 (5 cr.) Organic Chemistry II
CHM 461 (4 cr.) Biochemistry I
CHM 462 (3 cr.) Techniques in Biochemistry

PHY 220 (5 cr.). or PHY 230 (5 cr.)

PHY 221 (5 cr.) or PHY 231 strongly recommended

See proposed Schedule of Courses.

Faculty with interests in Genetics and Cell/Molecular Biology:

Sheila Blackman - Plant cell biology; plant developmental biology
Margaret Dietrich - Cell and molecular biology and biochemistry; plant biology
Roderick Morgan - Microbiology; molecular biology
Alex Nikitin - Genetic regulation of embryogenesis
Bruce Ostrow - Developmental biology
Nancy Shontz - Genetics; cancer; development
Mark Staves - Plant physiology; plant cell biology
Patrick Thorpe - Microbiology; molecular biology; evolution

Page last modified August 27, 2010