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I teach two courses completed by many life science majors:

BIOL 1107. Principles of Biology I.

This course is designed to prepare students for more specialized coursework in the molecular and cellular life sciences. It is intended to complement BIOL 1108, Principles of Biology II, which focuses on organismal biology and ecology. In both courses, students will develop an understanding of five core concepts in biology:

  • Evolution: The diversity of life evolved over time by processes of mutation, selection, and genetic change.
  • Structure and function: Basic units of structure define the function of all living things.
  • Information flow: The growth and behavior of organisms occur through the expression of genetic information in context.
  • Transformations of energy and matter: Biological systems, from cells to organisms to ecosystems, grow and change by processes based on chemical transformation pathways and are governed by the laws of thermodynamics.
  • Systems: Living systems are interconnected and interacting over multiple scales. 

BCMB/BIOL/CHEM 3100. Introductory Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

The overall objectives for this course are for students to:

  • Explain how macromolecules (proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipids) are synthesized and metabolized.
  • Explain the relationship between macromolecular structure and function.
  • Explain how enzymes function, including their mechanisms and regulation.
  • Explain the energetics of biochemical reactions.
  • Explain the idea of “flux” and its relationship to the function and regulation of metabolic pathways.
  • Explain how chemical parameters, such as pH and availability of energy, affect biological processes.
  • Apply the knowledge above to solve biochemical problems.
  • Apply the knowledge above to analyze, interpret, and evaluate biochemical data.

I design all of my courses for students to:

  • Gain new knowledge about biology through readings and lectures
  • Develop their thinking skills, primarily by applying their new knowledge to answer questions, analyzing data and scenarios, and solving problems either during class or on homework assignments
  • Work with broadly relevant and daily life examples that illustrate what I find fun, interesting, and exciting about the life sciences in the hopes that students will find it fun, interesting, and exciting, too.