Courses

Year 1: Required Core Courses
All students are required to complete a series of core courses related to the interdisciplinary nature of the program.  Students have the option to choose the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCD) concentration or the Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (E3B) concentration but are not required. In most core courses, material will be presented as a combination of traditional lecture and analysis of original literature.

 


BIOL 6101. Hypothesis Testing . Design and analysis of biological experiments and critical analysis of experimental design in publications in the current biological literature.  (Fall)

BIOL 6260. Careers in Bioscience: Professional Development and Responsible Conduct. Professional development for Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows.  The focus will be on teaching toward the Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST) initiative and the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) directive. (Fall)

BIOL 6102. Advanced Cellular and Molecular Biology. This course integrates information into the context of regulation of cellular function. Topics will include: Structure of cellular components; the cell cycle; regulation of transcription, translation, and protein trafficking; cell membranes and transport; cell-cell communication, including signal transduction; extracellular matrix. (Spring)

BIOL 6140. Evolutionary Biology. Fundamental evolutionary forces of mutation, genetic drift, natural selection, and gene flow;  mechanisms generating biological diversity in molecules, genomes, and populations; relationship of micro-evolutionary change and macro-evolutionary patterns. (Spring)


Year 1 and Year 2: Electives

These courses provide a selection of specialized courses to enhance the interdisciplinary nature of the program. At least half of the 9 elective course credits taken must be at the 8000 level. The availability of 5000 level courses outside of the primary discipline of the student will make material accessible. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the program, students are strongly encouraged, in consultation with the major advisor and Dissertation Committee, to take elective courses in STEM-related departments including but not limited to Bioinformatics and Genomics, Nanoscale Science, Chemistry, Biophysics, Engineering, Kinesiology, Geography and Earth Sciences. The major advisor or dissertation may require certain electives be taken as part of the student's program.  Upon completion of any courses outside of BIOL, a Special Request form is needed to ensure that the Degree Works system will "recognize" the individual's course of study.

E3B concentration

BIOL 5000. Advanced Topics in Biology. Topics may vary. Course may be repeated.

BIOL 5111. Evolution. Theories of evolution and forces which affect gene frequencies. (Fall)  

BIOL 5121. Biometry. Design and analysis of experiments. Three lecture hours and one laboratory period of three hours a week. (Spring) 

BIOL 5144. Advanced Ecology. Energy flow, nutrient cycles, community structure, population growth and regulation. Three lecture hours and one laboratory period of three hours a week. (Fall) 

BIOL 5162. Advanced Biotechnology I. Problem-based learning approach where students work in teams to develop solution strategies that use biotechnology to solve real-world problems. Three lecture hours per week. (Fall) 

BIOL 5163. Advanced Biotechnology II. Students work in teams to implement solution strategies developed in BIOL 5162 that use biotechnology to solve real-world problems. One laboratory period and two lecture hours per week. (On demand) 

BIOL 5168. Recombinant DNA techniques. Modern molecular biological methods (such as DNA cloning, gel electrophoresis, nucleic acid hybridization, PCR, and DNA sequencing) data analysis and interpretation. One lecture hour and two laboratory periods of three hours a week. (Fall) 

BIOL 5184. Plant Biotechnology. A laboratory- oriented course designed to integrate plant molecular biology, recombinant DNA technology, and plant cell and tissue culture. One lecture hour and two laboratory periods of three hours a week. (Spring) (Alternate years) 

BIOL 5189. Mechanisms of Development. Cellular and molecular bases of differentiation; an exploration of the experimental analysis of causal and controlling factors in development. (Spring) 

BIOL 5199. Molecular Biology. Structural and functional interaction of nucleic acids and proteins in the replication, transcription and translation of genetic material. (Spring) 

BIOL 5205 Advanced Horticulture. Topics in ornamental horticulture and landscaping, including greenhouse projects and field trips. Two lecture hours and three hours of lab a week. (Spring) 

BIOL 5221 Plant Systematics. Identification and classification of vascular plants, including experimental concepts of speciation. Three lecture hours and one laboratory period of three hours a week. (Spring) 

BIOL 5229 Dendrology. The identification, structure, function, ecology, reproduction, and evolutionary relationships of woody plants. Three lecture hours and one three-hour lab a week. (Fall) 

BIOL 5234 Wildlife Biology. Concepts, principles and techniques of wildlife biology. Identification and life histories with emphasis on the value, study attraction, management, conservation and control of wildlife species. (On demand) 

BIOL 5235 Mammalogy. Taxonomy, anatomy, physiology and life histories of the mammals. Three lecture hours and one laboratory period of three hours a week. (Fall) 

BIOL 5242 Biology of Birds. Overview of general avian biology, including taxonomy and anatomy, but concentrating on behavior, ecology and conservation of birds. Focus is on birds of the southeastern U.S. (Spring) 

BIOL 5242L. Biology of Birds Lab. Meets for one three-hour period per week. The laboratory and field portion of the Biology of Birds focus on field identification and inventory techniques, with an introduction to anatomy. Students will need binoculars. (Spring) 

BIOL 5243 Animal Behavior. An ethological approach to how animals respond to their environment. Causation, development and adaptive significance of behavior in social systems. (Fall) 

BIOL5244 Conservation Biology. Conservation values, extinction rates, genetic diversity, demography, habitat fragmentation, reserve management, ecological restoration. (Yearly) 

BIOL 5250 Microbiology. Morphology, physiology, pathogenicity, metabolism and ecology of micro-organisms. (Spring, Fall) 

BIOL 5250L. Microbiology Lab. One laboratory period of three hours a week. (Spring, Fall) 

BIOL 5253. Marine Microbiology. Bacteria, fungi and viruses of marine origin, and their response to the salt, temperature, pressure and nutrient environment of the ocean. Roles of marine microorganisms in public health, pollution and fouling. Three lecture hours and one laboratory period of three hours a week. (On demand) 

BIOL 5257 Microbial Physiology and Metabolism. Bacterial cell growth and division, transport mechanisms, catabolism and energy production, biosynthesis of cellular components, global regulation of gene expression in response to the environment, and cell-cell communication between bacteria. (Spring)

BIOL 5260 Population Genetics. The genetics of qualitative and quantitative traits in populations, including an assessment of the factors affecting the extent and pattern of the genetic variation in these traits. (On demand) 

BIOL 5277. Endocrinology. Endocrine glands and their physiological roles in metabolism, growth and reproduction. (On demand) 

BIOL 5282 Developmental Plant Anatomy. Study of plant cells, tissues, organs and patterns of growth and differentiation. (Spring) 

BIOL 5282L. Developmental Plant Anatomy Lab. One laboratory period of three hours a week. (Spring) 

BIOL 5283. Animal Development. Developmental processes occurring chiefly during gametogenesis, fertilization, early embryogenesis and organogenesis. (Fall) 

BIOL 5283L. Animal Development Lab. One laboratory period of three hours a week. (Fall) 

BIOL 5293. Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy. Comparative studies of the anatomy, physiology and functional adaptations of selected vertebrates with emphasis on evolutionary developments, especially in mammals. Three lecture hours and one laboratory period of three hours a week. (Spring) 

BIOL 6241. Environmental Biology.  An overview of ecological principles as they apply to relationships and interactions between organisms and their environment, with investigation of current research topics and issues related to impacts of human activities on environmental processes. 

BIOL 6000/8000. Special Topics in Biology. Courses offered on demand. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Recent offerings include:

  • BIOL 6000/8000. Advanced Topics in Cell Biology.
  • BIOL 6000/8000. Metals Biological Systems.
  • BIOL 6000/8000. Evolution of Development and Disease.
  • BIOL 8000/MEGR 8109. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. This interdisciplinary course will integrate key areas of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Biotechnology and Bioengineering incorporates lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and writing. Lectures will establish a strong background in the biochemical basis of cells and biotechnology; key aspects of Biomedical Engineering will be discussed to introduce biotechnological innovations based in Engineering. Invited lectures by researchers will provide examples of how basic science establishes the foundation for innovation.
  • BIOL 8000/PHYS 8101. Biophysics. This course will provide a survey of physical principles relevant to biological research followed by a more in depth treatment of these principles related to optical and imaging techniques for biomedical applications: (A) Elements of Optical Science and Technology and (B) Optics in Biomedical Sciences. The use of light for (non-invasive) high resolution imaging will be discussed. The focus will be on light-tissue interaction to identify (diseased) tissues. Additional imaging applications include: topography of heart valve motion, 3-D image reconstruction, and computer simulations. All aspects of diagnostics and treatment utilities will be viewed in their relation to normal physiological functions, including: fluid dynamics (blood flow), mechanics (muscle contraction), and electronics (cell electrical activity).

MCD concentration

BIOL 5000. Advanced Topics in Biology. Topics can vary. Course may be repeated.

BIOL 5121. Advanced Biometry. Design and analysis of experiments. Three lecture hours and one laboratory period of three hours a week. (Spring) 

BIOL 5162. Advanced Biotechnology I. Problem-based learning approach where students work in teams to develop solution strategies that use biotechnology to solve real-world problems. Three lecture hours per week. (Fall) 

BIOL 5163. Advanced Biotechnology II. Students work in teams to implement solution strategies developed in BIOL 5162 that use biotechnology to solve real-world problems. One laboratory period and two lecture hours per week. (On demand) 

BIOL 5168. Recombinant DNA Techniques. Modern molecular biological methods (such as DNA cloning, gel electrophoresis, nucleic acid hybridization, PCR, and DNA sequencing) data analysis and interpretation. One lecture hour and two laboratory periods of three hours a week. (Fall) 

BIOL 5171. Cell Physiology. The fundamental physicochemical properties of cells. (Fall) 

BIOL 5189. Mechanisms of Development. Cellular and molecular bases of differentiation; an exploration of the experimental analysis of causal and controlling factors in development. (Spring) 

BIOL 5199. Molecular Biology. Structural and functional interaction of nucleic acids and proteins in the replication, transcription and translation of genetic material. (Spring) 

BIOL 5167. Medical Genetics.

BIOL 5233. Parisitology. Morphology, life cycles, ecology, taxonomy, and medical and economic importance of parasites. Three lecture hours a week. (On demand) 

BIOL 5250 Microbiology. Morphology, physiology, pathogenicity, metabolism and ecology of micro-organisms. (Spring, Fall) 

BIOL 5250L. Microbiology Lab. One laboratory period of three hours a week. (Spring, Fall) 

BIOL 5251. Immunology. Cellular, molecular and genetic basis for immunity; physical chemistry of antigens and antibodies and their interactions; defense mechanisms. (Spring, Summer) 

BIOL 5251L. Immunology Lab. One laboratory period of three hours a week. (Spring) 

BIOL 5254. Epidemiology. History and practices of epidemiology with emphasis on modes of transmission of clinically important infectious agents and the analysis of epidemiological data. Three lecture hours a week. (On demand) 

BIOL 5255. Bacterial Genetics. Regulation of gene expression in bacterial systems. Bacteriophage genetics. DNA transfer in bacteria.

BIOL 5256. Pathogenic Bacteriology. Cellular and molecular interactions of mammalian hosts with procaryotic parasites. (Fall) 

BIOL 5256L. Pathogenic Bacteriology Lab. One laboratory period of three hours a week. (Fall)    

BIOL 5257. Microbial Physiology and Metabolism. A laboratory-oriented course covering such topics in general microbiology as the preparation and use of cell-free systems, isolation of auxotrophs, transport mechanisms, etc. Lectures in microbial metabolism and physiology and reading on recent development in microbiology. Two, one-hour lectures and two, two-hour laboratory periods per week

BIOL 5259. Advanced Virology. Morphology, classification, genetics and pathogenicity of bacterial and animal viruses. (Fall) 

BIOL 5259L. Advanced Virology Lab. One laboratory period of three hours per week. (Fall) 

BIOL 5265. Drugs: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms.

BIOL 5258. Epidemics and Plagues.

BIOL 5276. Cardiovascular Physiology.

BIOL 5277. Endocrinology. Endocrine glands and their physiological roles in metabolism, growth and reproduction. (On demand) 

BIOL 5279. Neurology. Physiology and anatomy of nervous systems, especially mammalian. (Spring) 

BIOL 5282. Developmental Plant Anatomy. Study of plant cells, tissues, organs and patterns of growth and differentiation. (Spring) 

BIOL 5282L. Developmental Plant Anatomy Laboratory. One laboratory period of three hours a week. (Spring) 

BIOL 5283. Animal Development. Developmental processes occurring chiefly during gametogenesis, fertilization, early embryogenesis and organogenesis. (Fall) 

BIOL 5283L. Animal Development Laboratory. One laboratory period of three hours a week. (Fall) 

BIOL 5292. Advances in Immunology. Current topics in immunology with particular emphasis upon the genetic systems and molecular mechanisms underlying immune reactions. (Fall) 

BIOL 6103/8103. Immunology of Infection. This course will focus on the function and pathogenesis of prokaryotes, as well as related aspects of host response. Topics will include microbial physiology with an emphasis on aspects relevant to pathogenesis; bacterial genetics with an emphasis on operons and regulons as models of control of bacterial gene expression; pathogenic microbiology. The Immunology module will focus on the interaction between immunology and chemistry (immuno-toxicology), molecular biology and microbiology (resistance to infection and tumors).

BIOL 6104/8104. Integrative Systems Physiology. The purpose of the Integrative Physiology course is to synthesize the content of the preceding core courses into the function of an intact mammalian organism with an emphasis on human physiology. In addition to a traditional survey of organ systems function, the course will serve as a bridge between the preceding core courses and the engineering aspects of the program by addressing problems of the response of cells within tissues to stress and their impact on organismal response.

BIOL 8270 Biological Pathways and Metabolism. (Fall, Spring)

BIOL 6273/8273. Advanced Human Physiology.

BIOL 6274/8274. Advanced Human Pathophysiology.

BIOL 6000/8000 Special Topics in Biology. Courses offered on demand. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.  Recent offerings include:

  • BIOL 6000/8000. Advanced Genetics: Epigenetics. The study of heritable changes in gene function that cannot be explained by changes in DNA sequence. In this course the molecular biology of and seminal papers for topics related to epigenetic regulation and the role of heritable gene regulation in biology will be covered.
  • BIOL 6000/8000. Advanced Topics in Cell Biology.
  • BIOL 6000/8000. Cancer Genetics. Primary literature is used to introduce students to major oncogenes and tumor supressors and pathways that lead to the development of cancer at the genetic and molecular biologic level. Both normal and disrupted function of proteins will be discussed.
  • BIOL 6000/8000. Carcinogenesis and Immunity.
  • BIOL 6000/8000. Evolution of Development and Disease.
  • BIOL 6000/8000. Viruses: Applications in Health and Technology.
  • BIOL 8000/MEGR 8109. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. This interdisciplinary course will integrate key areas of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Biotechnology and Bioengineering. Biotechnology and Bioengineering incorporates lectures, discussions, demonstrations, and writing. Lectures will establish a strong background in the biochemical basis of cells and biotechnology; key aspects of Biomedical Engineering will be discussed to introduce biotechnological innovations based in Engineering. Invited lectures by researchers will provide examples of how basic science establishes the foundation for innovation.
  • BIOL 8000/PHYS 8101. Biophysics. This course will provide a survey of physical principles relevant to biological research followed by a more in depth treatment of these principles related to optical and imaging techniques for biomedical applications: (A) Elements of Optical Science and Technology and (B) Optics in Biomedical Sciences. The use of light for (non-invasive) high resolution imaging will be discussed. The focus will be on light-tissue interaction to identify (diseased) tissues. Additional imaging applications include: topography of heart valve motion, 3-D image reconstruction, and computer simulations. All aspects of diagnostics and treatment utilities will be viewed in their relation to normal physiological functions, including: fluid dynamics (blood flow), mechanics (muscle contraction), and electronics (cell electrical activity).

BIOL 6010/8010 Special Topics in Microbiology. Advanced courses in microbiology. May be repeated for credit as topics vary.