Spring 2023

Molecular Neurobiology: CURE

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-303  |  Neuroscience, as NEUR-303


Sally A. Kim (Sections 01 and 01L)


(Offered as BIOL 303 and NEUR 303) An analysis of the molecules and molecular mechanisms underlying nervous system function, development, and disease. We will explore the proteins that contribute to the unique structure and function of neurons, including an in-depth analysis of synaptic communication and the molecular processes that modify synapses. We will also study the molecular mechanisms that control brain development, from neurogenesis, neurite growth, and synaptogenesis to cell death and degeneration. In addition to analyzing neural function, throughout the course we will also study nervous system dysfunction resulting when such molecular mechanisms fail, leading to neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disease. Readings from primary literature will emphasize current molecular techniques utilized in the study of the nervous system. This course is a CURE, a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience. Students will engage in scientific practice, make novel discoveries, participate in iterative work and collaborate with peers. The goal is to give students an authentic research experience in which they will acquire necessary skills for being a scientist. Four classroom hours and three hours of laboratory per week.

Requisite: BIOL 214 or BIOL 260. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Kim.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority will first be given to biology and neuroscience seniors who require the course to graduate and then to junior biology and neuroscience majors followed by senior and junior BCBP majors and then by class year or instructor consent.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Learning in BIOL-303 is facilitated by two lectures per week, in addition to group work that is emphasized in both the laboratory and discussion (team-based learning) sections. Skills being emphasized include analytical thinking, scientific communication, synthesis, reflection and creativity. Assessments include individual exams, team quizzes, lab reports/worksheets, and participation in team-based learning activities.

BIOL 303 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM SCCE A013
Th 10:00 AM - 11:20 AM SCCE A013

BIOL 303 - LAB

Section 01L
W 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM SCCE A301


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023