This course focuses on the molecular pieces that make up a living organism. Some pieces are physical entities like enzymes; others are abstract concepts like Gibbs free energy. Together they help us understand why organisms are the way they are. In a sense, the overarching goal for this course is for you to build a bridge between the molecular pieces and the processes occurring in the cell. More specifically, this course should enable you to…
- Describe the molecular basis for cellular processes such as respiration, hormonal signaling, transport, gene expression, or immunological responses.
- Explain the relationship between chemical structure and biological function for each of the major classes of biomolecules.
- Apply the structure/function relationships to predict how normal cellular processes might respond to drugs or disease.
- Develop and apply tools of scientific inquiry through experimentation and literature research.
You will be evaluated in this course through 3 exams, a variety of short assignments, and a group oral presentation. The short assignments are based on a variety of lab activities and case studies to help illustrate concepts we are discussing in lecture. The oral presentation is the culmination of an extended lab project in which you design an experiment to evaluate the effects of a substance (you choose what it is) on the morphology and viability of a human cell culture. More details for these assignments are described in the course syllabus.