Spring 2022

Seminar in Biology of Metals: a molecular/cellular perspective

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-470


Jeeyon Jeong (Section 01)


Metals are required for the function of about one-third of all proteins and are involved in vital biological processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, gene regulation, DNA replication and repair, signal transduction, and antioxidant defense. However, essential metals are potentially toxic due to the same properties that make them indispensable. To cope with such a paradox, metals must be tightly regulated.

This advanced seminar will focus on the molecular and cellular biology of metals. Topics of discussion will include metal homeostasis strategies (e.g. import/export, chelation, subcellular compartmentalization), metal cofactors of biochemical processes, inherited metal metabolism disorders, and genetics of hyperaccumulators. We will also discuss prospects of manipulating metal homeostasis to aid human health and environmental sustainability. The course will consist of discussions of primary literature and student presentations. Assignments will include written reviews of literature.

Requisite: One of the following courses, BIOL 241, 251, 291, 330, 331, or permission from instructor. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Jeong.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Emphasis on primary literature, speaking, and presenting. Students with documented disabilities who will require accommodations in this course should be in consultation with Accessibility Services and reach out to the faculty member as soon as possible to ensure that accommodations can be made in a timely manner.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2016, Spring 2022