Biological Sciences | The General Education Requirement in the Biological Sciences | Courses for Non-Biology Majors | Core Biology | Topics Courses for Non-Majors | Biology Sequences | Pre-Med Sequence for Non-Majors | Courses for Biological Sciences Majors | Other Majors

Biological Sciences

All students are required to complete at least two quarters of Biological Sciences course work to satisfy the general education requirement in the biological sciences. The goal is to provide students of all majors and academic interests with a broad foundational understanding of the concepts of biology and a sharper, more targeted examination of one or more specific areas within the discipline. The requirement should be completed by the end of the second year. Students may choose to take BIOS 10130 Core Biology and a topics course or one of three two-quarter sequences. An option is also available for students interested in completing the requirements for medical school but who do not want to major in Biological Sciences.

The General Education Requirement in the Biological Sciences

Students choose one of the following options to meet the general education requirement in the biological sciences:

  1. a two-quarter general education sequence for non-majors; or
  2. The Pre-Med Sequence for non-biology majors (described below, the first two courses of BIOS 20170 through BIOS 20175); or
  3. BIOS 20153 Fundamentals of Ecology and Ev and BIOS 20151 Introduction to Quantitative Modeling in Biology (Basic) or BIOS 20152 Introduction to Quantitative Modeling in Biology (Advanced)

Advanced Placement Credit

For students who do not plan to major in the Biological Sciences or prepare for the health professions, a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Biology test confers credit for BIOS 10130 Core Biology. These students meet the general education requirement with either one or two topics courses in the biological sciences, depending on how the requirements in the mathematical and physical sciences are met; students should contact their College adviser for details.

Students with a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Biology test who complete the first three quarters of an Advanced Biology Fundamentals Sequence will be awarded a total of two quarters of credit to be counted toward the general education requirement in the biological sciences.

Courses for Non-Biology Majors

Students choose from the following two options to meet the biological sciences requirement. The requirement should be completed by the end of the second year.

1. Students may choose to take BIOS 10130 Core Biology as their first course. For their second quarter, students choose from a menu of topics courses (BIOS 11000–19999) that are comprehensive reviews of specialized topics in the biological sciences (descriptions follow). Non-majors are encouraged to enroll in additional Biological Sciences courses that cover topics of interest to them.

Core Biology

Multiple sections of BIOS 10130 Core Biology are taught throughout the year. Sections are taught from a different perspective based upon the specialty of the instructor. The different descriptions are listed below. Students should register for the section that best suits their interests based upon the descriptions below.

BIOS 10130. Core Biology. 100 Units.

What is life? How does it work and evolve? This course uses student-centered interactive learning in the lab, assigned readings from both the popular press and primary scientific literature, and directed writing exercises to explore the nature and functions of living organisms, their interactions with each other, and their environment.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter

Section Descriptions of 10130. Core Biology

A. Neurobiology. This course explores the principles governing the organization, operation, and evolution of living systems by examining these concepts through the lens of neuroscience. Through laboratory investigations, readings from the popular and scientific press, and directed writing exercises, the methods of scientific inquiry and logic of scientific reasoning will be introduced. In this exploration, the following questions will be addressed: How are all living organisms organized and how does that organization contribute to their function? What are the mechanisms by which organisms sense and respond to changes in their environment and engage in functional interactions within that environment? What are the biological and evolutionary mechanisms that underlie natural organismal behaviors including, but not limited to, motivated and circadian-driven behaviors? Both invertebrate and vertebrate model systems will be examined to explore the processes at work in all living systems as well as the  mechanisms underlying the formation and maintenance of life's diversity. M. McNulty. Autumn, Spring. L.

B. Microbes and Immunity. These sections cover the most basic concepts in biology, such as life, macromolecules, cells, energy, metabolism, evolution, and genomics, as well as human anatomy and physiology. These particular sections draw examples from microbiology and immunology to tie these basic concepts together. The impact of our interactions with microorganisms in our evolution is highlighted in many ways. Hands-on laboratories, readings, and discussion sessions complement lectures. B. Fineschi. Autumn, Winter, Spring. L.

C. Basic Biology. What is life? How does it work and evolve? This course uses student-centered interactive learning in the lab, assigned readings from both the popular press and primary scientific literature, and directed writing exercises to explore the nature and functions of living organisms, their evolution, and their interactions with each other. A. Hunter. Autumn, Spring. L.

D. Biotechnology. In the first half of this course, basic biology concepts related to biotechnology are covered. These include lectures on life, cells, macromolecules, metabolism, and genetics, complemented by hands-on laboratories. The second half of the course involves student-led topical research and presentations on various aspects of biotechnology, such as plant biotechnology, animal biotechnology, microbial biotechnology, response to bioterrorism, and examining the consequences of developments in these areas. N. Bhasin. Spring. L.

E. Ecology. Have you wondered how the environment has influenced your anatomy, physiology, and psychology through your lifetime? Each one of us continuously interacts, directly or indirectly, with the rest of the Earth’s biodiversity at different levels, from molecules, cells, organisms, populations, ecosystems, and the whole biosphere. Are we really independent individuals, or do we need a better concept that broadens our understanding of the world we live in? In this course you will examine fundamental biological principles to understand how organisms live and thrive in a complex and intricate network that we call nature. You will develop your own criteria based on evidence obtained through hypothesis testing and identification of legitimate sources of information. O. Pineda. Autumn, Winter. L.

F. Ecology and Evolution. This course focuses on the interaction of organisms with their environment and evolutionary processes that lead to diversity and adaptation.  We will examine biological processes at the cellular and organismal levels across a wide range of organisms, considering their ecological similarities and differences in an evolutionary framework.  Population and ecosystem levels will be examined to promote understanding of the importance of diversity in ecosystem health and the impacts of an ever increasing human population. E. Larsen. Winter. L

Topics Courses for Non-Majors

The courses that follow have a prerequisite of BIOS 10130 Core Biology, or a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Biology test. Attendance is required at the first class to confirm enrollment. Students who choose to complete only one general education course in the mathematical sciences may take a second topics course as part of the general education requirements.

BIOS 11125. Life Through a Genomic Lens. 100 Units.

The implications of the double helical structure of DNA triggered a revolution in cell biology. More recently, the technology to sequence vast stretches of DNA has offered new vistas in fields ranging from human origins to the study of biodiversity. This course considers a set of these issues, including the impact of a DNA perspective on the legal system, on medicine, and on conservation biology.

Instructor(s): A. Turkewitz, M. Nobrega     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 12402

BIOS 11140. Biotechnology for the 21st Century. 100 Units.

This course is designed to provide a stimulating introduction to the world of biotechnology. Starting with an overview of the basic concepts of molecular biology and genetics that serve as a foundation for biotechnology, the course will segue into the various applied fields of biotechnology. Topics will include microbial biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology, biofuels, cloning, bioremediation, medical biotechnology, DNA fingerprinting and forensics. The goal of this course is to provide the Biology non-majors with an appreciation of important biotechnology breakthroughs and the associated bioethics issues.

Instructor(s): N. Bhasin     Terms Offered: Autumn Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 12114. Nutritional Science. 100 Units.

This course examines the underlying biological mechanisms of nutrient utilization in humans and the scientific basis for setting human nutritional requirements. The relationships between food choices and human health are also explored. Students consider how to assess the validity of scientific research that provides the basis for advice about how to eat healthfully. Class assignments are designed to help students apply their knowledge by critiquing their nutritional lifestyle, nutritional health claims, and/or current nutrition policy issues.

Instructor(s): P. Strieleman     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Summer
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.
Note(s): Credit may not be earned for both BIOS 12114 and BIOS 10501

BIOS 12115. Responses of Cardiopulmonary System to Stress. 100 Units.

This course is designed to provide students an overview of basic concepts involved in the functioning of cardiopulmonary vascular systems. Special emphasis will be given to different regulatory mechanisms working at the cell, tissue and organ levels to control the systems functioning during stress conditions. We also discuss recent topics related to molecular basis of adaptation and drugs designed to treat mal-adaptive changes taking place in the heart and lungs (vessels) subjected to various-types of pathological stresses. Instructors, who are both actively engaged in research to understand molecular basis of cardiopulmonary vascular diseases, take this course beyond the knowledge of standard textbook content.

Instructor(s): M. Gupta, Y. Fang     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 12116. The Human Body in Health and Disease. 100 Units.

This course is designed to provide an overview of physiological organ systems under different states of health and disease. A comprehensive tour through the human body will take students through the anatomy and functioning of several systems including, but not limited to, the cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, renal, gastrointestinal, and immune systems. We will examine each of these systems under normal conditions and from the perspective of disease. A variety of pathological conditions including diabetes, heart and kidney diseases, neurodegenerative conditions, and autoimmune diseases, will be covered with an emphasis on how many diseases involve multiple organ systems.

Instructor(s): M. McNulty     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 12117. The 3.5 Billion Year History of the Human Body. 100 Units.

This course looks at the structure, function, and deep history of the human body. Each major organ and system of the body is explored from perspectives of anatomy, paleontology, and developmental genetics to reveal the deep history of the body and our connections to the rest of life on the planet.

Instructor(s): N. Shubin     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 13111. Natural History of North American Deserts. 100 Units.

This lecture course focuses on the ecological communities of the Southwest, primarily on the four subdivisions of the North American Desert, the Chihuahuan, Sonoran, Mohave, and Great Basin Deserts. Lecture topics include climate change and the impact on the flora and fauna of the region; adaptations to arid landscapes; evolutionary, ecological, and conservation issues in the arid Southwest, especially relating to isolated mountain ranges; human impacts on the biota, land, and water; and how geological and climatic forces shape deserts.

Instructor(s): E. Larsen     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 13112. Natural History of North American Deserts; Field School. 100 Units.

This lecture/lab course is the same course as BIOS 13111, but includes a lab section preparatory to a two-week field trip at end of Spring Quarter, specific dates to be announced. Our goal in the lab is to prepare proposals for research projects to conduct in the field portion of this course. Field conditions are rugged. Travel is by twelve-passenger van. Lodging during most of this course is tent camping on developed campsites.

Instructor(s): E. Larsen     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.
Note(s): Need based financial assistance for field trip may be available. Apply to the Master of BSCD (jmalamy@bsd.uchicago.edu)

BIOS 13123. Biological Evolution. 100 Units.

This course is an introduction to evolutionary processes and patterns in present-day organisms and in the fossil record and how they are shaped by biological and physical forces. Topics emphasize evolutionary principles. They include DNA and the genetic code, the genetics of populations, the origins of species, and evolution above the species level. We also discuss major events in the history of life, such as the origin of complex cells, invasion of land, and mass extinction. This course is part of the College Course Cluster program: Climate Change, Culture and Society. (L)

Instructor(s): D. Jablonski     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130; No Biological Sciences majors except by petition to the BSCD Senior Advisers.
Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 13900

BIOS 13126. Tropical Ecology: Biodiversity and Human Impacts. 100 Units.

This course covers the description of the geographic distribution of the tropics, the nature of biological communities found there in contrast with temperate communities, and the interrelations of those communities with human society, both indigenous and global. Conservation of tropical biodiversity and ecosystem services related to human populations and exploitation of resources is a major theme of the course.

Instructor(s): E. Larsen     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 13128. Plant-Animal Interactions. 100 Units.

In this course we investigate the ecological interactions between plants and animals, and their evolution. Through readings and discussion we explore herbivory and mutualisms (pollination, seed dispersal). How do plants defend themselves against herbivores? How have plants and their seed dispersers, pollinators, and predators co-evolved?

Instructor(s): A. Hunter     Terms Offered: Autumn Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 13140. The Public and Private Lives of Insects. 100 Units.

This course examines the ecology and evolution of insects, from their early evolution over 350 million years ago to their adaptations that allow them to exploit nearly every habitat on earth and become the most diverse animal group on the planet. We explore the basic biology of insects that have allowed them to become the largest group of animals on the planet, making up approximately 1.5 million of the 2 million described species.

Instructor(s): E. Larsen     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 13141. The Mathematics of Evolution. 100 Units.

In this course, students will learn fundamental concepts and models of population dynamics, selection and evolution. The course will emphasize the importance of population thinking, information, chance, competition and selection in finite populations in determining dynamical outcomes. We will emphasize how genetic information can be modeled and transmitted under variation and selection across generations, providing a modern framework to understand mathematical theories of evolution by natural selection. This then leads to the central theme of the course, creating a general view of evolution as learning in populations, which establishes connections between ecology and evolution and computer science, economics and complex systems.

Instructor(s): L. Bettencourt, M. Steinruecken     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130, STAT 22000, and MATH 13300 or higher. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 13253. Apes and Human Evolution. 100 Units.

This course is a critical examination of the ways in which data on the behavior, morphology, and genetics of apes have been used to elucidate human evolution. We emphasize bipedalism, hunting, meat eating, tool behavior, food sharing, cognitive ability, language, self-awareness, and sociability. Visits to local zoos and museums, film screenings, and demonstrations with casts of fossils and skeletons required.

Instructor(s): R. Tuttle     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 21428, HIPS 21428, EVOL 38600, ANTH 38600

BIOS 14112. Workings of the Human Brain: From Brain to Behavior. 100 Units.

This course examines how the brain generates behavior. Topics include the organization of the nervous system; the mechanisms by which the brain translates external stimuli into electrical and chemical signals to initiate or modify behavior; and the neurological bases of learning, memory, sleep, cognition, drug addiction, and neurological disorders.

Instructor(s): M. McNulty     Terms Offered: Spring Summer
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS, NEUROSCIENCE, OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 14114. Drugs Galore: What They Are and What They Do to You. 100 Units.

The course will cover several drugs used and abused (such as alcohol, ritalin, adderall, cannabinoids), their targets and pharmacological actions.

Instructor(s): R. Zaragoza     Terms Offered: Autumn Spring
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 14116. Introduction to Social Neuroscience. 100 Units.

This course on social neuroscience addresses a timely topic in the fields of medicine, psychology, and the neurosciences. Specifically, a key challenge in the study of the brain and its effects on health and behavior resides not only in determining how one's mental states and processes map onto their own patterns of brain activity but also how this activity is modulated by shared representations with other individuals through various neural, hormonal, cellular, and genetic mechanisms. These are questions that fall within the field of social neuroscience - the study of the neural, hormonal, cellular, and genetic mechanisms underlying the superorganismal structures and processes that define social species. When social neuroscience was first proposed a quarter century ago, attention had to be given to address why the notion of a "social neuroscience" was not an oxymoron and to articulate a set of principles (the doctrine of multilevel analysis) that justified attention to super- organismal structures (e.g., a pair bond, marriage, salutary relationship) in the analysis of the function of the nervous system and brain. This was prior to the recognition of the importance of epigenetics and prior to the sophisticated means of probing the neural aspects of shared representations, embodied cognition, and the social brain in normal, waking humans and animals that exist today. Indeed, genes were still thought to be strong if not invariant determinants of human illness, phenotypes and behavior. So where does social neuroscience now fit within medicine and the science of brain, mind, and behavior? That is the focus of the course.

Instructor(s): S. CACIOPPO     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 15115. Cancer Biology: How Good Cells Go Bad. 100 Units.

This lecture/discussion course examines the multi-step process by which normal cells become malignant cancer cells. Topics include how defects in the regulation of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis can occur in cancer cells, as well as how cancer cells can acquire the ability to attract blood vessels (angiogenesis) and to invade other organ systems (metastasis). We emphasize the study of signal transduction pathways and how they are altered in cancer cells. The concept of genes that cause cancer (oncogenes) and genes that deter cancer (tumor suppressor genes) is discussed. New disease treatments that target specific molecular defects within cancer cells are reviewed.

Instructor(s): M. Villereal     Terms Offered: Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 15124. The Principles of Microbiology/Global Infectious Diseases. 100 Units.

Infectious diseases - of both viral and bacterial origins - remain a major global health burden. This course introduces students to the excitingly diverse world of microbes and discusses the roles they play in causing infectious diseases in humans. Various types of microbes are described, with the focus on viruses and bacteria that have caused, or continue to cause, significant morbidity and mortality in humans worldwide. A central part of this subject outlines some of the strategies used by infectious agents to cause disease, their transmission, and principal mechanisms employed by the human immune system to prevent disease. Other measures of controlling infectious diseases, including vaccines and antimicrobial therapies, are also discussed. This course provides students with an understanding of the basic concepts in Microbiology/Infectious Diseases.

Instructor(s): M. Gack     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-MAJOR PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 16120. The Biological Nature of Psychological Problems. 100 Units.

This course is based on the strong assumption that psychology is a biological science, albeit with elements of the social sciences. The course uses a combination of lectures and classroom discussion of primary and secondary source readings assigned for each class meeting. It presents a strong biological science perspective on individual differences in emotions, motivations, and cognitions that cause distress or interfere with adaptive life functioning, but does so in a non-stigmatizing manner. The course begins with a description and discussion of the nature of psychological problems. The course will survey what is known about the genetic, environmental, and epigenetic bases of such problems and the methods used to study genetic influences and gene-environment interactions. Next, students will review what is currently known about the neural and other biological mechanisms involved in maladaptive individual difference in emotion, motivation, and cognitive processes, with discussion of the methods of studying such mechanisms in humans and nonhumans. The pros and cons of the medical model of 'mental illness' will be discussed as the major contrast with the natural science view advocated by the instructor.

Instructor(s): B. Lahey     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10130. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-MAJOR PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 28850

Biology Sequences

2. Students may choose one of the sequences below (BIOS 10450 Pharmacological Perspectives in Cell and Molecular Biology and BIOS 10451 Pharmacological Perspectives II; or BIOS 10500 Metabolism and Exercise and BIOS 10501 Metabolism and Nutrition; or BIOS 10602 Multiscale Modeling of Biological Systems I and BIOS 10603 Multiscale Modeling of Biological Systems II as an alternative to BIOS 10130 Core Biology plus a topics course. Students MUST take BOTH courses in a sequence to complete the general education requirement in the biological sciences.

BIOS 10450. Pharmacological Perspectives in Cell and Molecular Biology. 100 Units.

This course introduces concepts related to the use, pharmacodynamic properties, manner in which drugs act at the molecular and/or cellular level, and their effects at the organismal level.

Instructor(s): R. Zaragoza     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition. This course MUST be followed by the second course in the sequence.

BIOS 10451. Pharmacological Perspectives II. 100 Units.

Must new taken in sequence with BIOS 10450. The goal of this course is to learn the pharmacological principles by which drugs act, at the molecular and cellular level, to affect an organ/organ systems of the human body. The pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetic, pharmacotherapeutics and toxicology of a number of drugs are discussed. Drugs currently in the media, how these drugs affect different systems ranging from cardiovascular to the central nervous system, and the fundamental basis for the use of drugs are covered.

Instructor(s): R. Zaragoza     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10450. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 10500. Metabolism and Exercise. 100 Units.

Must be taken in sequence with BIOS 10501. This course examines the flow of energy through the human body-from what we eat to what we can do. Basic physiology, metabolism, and exercise concepts are covered from cells to systems. Students should be prepared to alter their diet and/or physical activity. This course is intended to be followed by BIOS 10501 (Metabolism and Nutrition). Prerequisite(s): This course MUST be followed by the second course in the sequence. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS, except by petition.

Instructor(s): J. Kennedy     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): This course MUST be followed by the second course in the sequence. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

BIOS 10501. Metabolism and Nutrition. 100 Units.

Must be taken in sequence with BIOS 10500. Taking a scientific approach to nutrition, this course covers nutritional requirements and why they are required for human health by exploring their function at the cellular and molecular level. Basic physiology concepts related to nutritional health are covered, including digestive physiology and some aspects of endocrinology. As a continuation of the exercise concepts covered in BIOS 10501, the relationship between exercise and nutrition is considered. Students complete a dietary analysis of their food intake to critique their individual nutritional health.

Instructor(s): P. Strieleman     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10500. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.
Note(s): Credit may not be earned for both BIOS 10501 and BIOS 12114.

BIOS 10602. Multiscale Modeling of Biological Systems I. 100 Units.

This two-sequence course is intended for students with strong quantitative background, such as those majoring in physical sciences or economics. Modern biology generates massive amounts of data; this course is devoted to biological information and the models and computational techniques used to make sense of it. The first course in the sequence begins with the organization of life at the molecular level, and builds a physical understanding to the structure of macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. Students learn about biological databases, algorithms for sequence alignment and phylogenetic tree building. Students will also be introduced to basics of high performance computation and its application to the field of bioinformatics. They will learn how to use our in-house supercomputer to process and analyze next generation gene sequencing data in order to identify disease-relevant variants. Students implement computational algorithms using R and Unix.

Instructor(s): E. Haddadian     Terms Offered: Autumn. L.
Prerequisite(s): MATH 13300/15300/16300 or equivalent placement. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition. This course MUST be followed by the second course in the sequence.

BIOS 10603. Multiscale Modeling of Biological Systems II. 100 Units.

Must be taken in sequence with BIOS 10602. Major Advances in understanding how life works at the molecular level have revolutionized biology. The second course in the sequence is dedicated to the study of how large molecules, such as proteins, DNA, carbohydrates, and phospholipids, perform their functions. The course will begin with a solid grounding in molecular chemistry and the forces that govern interactions between atoms and molecules. This is followed by an overview of structure and function of macromolecules, in particular of proteins and enzymes. The students will learn how to visualize macromolecules and measure their basic properties and to model their physical movements by means of molecular dynamic simulations running at university's super computer facility. The course will then proceed to describe how interactions of these molecules produce functioning organelles and cells, and how molecular mishaps can lead to disease.

Instructor(s): E. Haddadian     Terms Offered: Winter. L.
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 10602 or consent of instructor. NO BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES MAJORS OR NON-BIOLOGY PRE-MED STUDENTS, except by petition.

Pre-Med Sequence for Non-Majors

BIOS 20170 through BIOS 20175 

This integrated sequence explores the molecular, cellular, organismal, and biochemical properties of living systems. It is designed to prepare students who do not intend to major in biology for graduate study in the health professions. This five-course sequence begins with BIOS 20170 Microbial and Human Cell Biology in the Winter Quarter and both BIOS 20171 Human Genetics and Developmental Biology and BIOS 20172 Mathematical Modeling for Pre-Med Students I in the Spring Quarter. These two courses will complete a student's general education requirement in the biological sciences. The second year of the sequence continues with BIOS 20173 Perspectives of Human Physiology in the Autumn Quarter and concludes with BIOS 20175 Biochemistry and Metabolism in the Winter Quarter. BIOS 20172 must be taken concurrently with BIOS 20171 in the Spring Quarter of the first year. The Fundamentals sequence for biology majors is also open to non-majors completing their pre-med biology requirements and provides comparable topical coverage. This sequence is open only to first- and second-year non-biology majors and cannot be applied toward a major in Biological Sciences.

BIOS 20170. Microbial and Human Cell Biology. 100 Units.

This course is the entry point into an integrated biology sequence designed to prepare non-biology majors for application to medical school. We explore topics in human cell biology within the context of evolutionary biology, chemistry, microbiology, and medicine. We pay special attention to the influence of prokaryotes on the history of life and to the ecological interactions between humans and their microbiota, which have major implications for human health and disease. Students read and discuss papers from the scientific literature, attend discussions led by physicians, researchers, and other medical professionals, and gain experience with microbiological basic microscopy techniques in lab.

Instructor(s): C. Andrews, R. Zaragoza, E. Kovar     Terms Offered: Winter. L.
Prerequisite(s): First or second-year standing, or consent of instructors.

BIOS 20171. Human Genetics and Developmental Biology. 100 Units.

This course covers the fundamentals of genetics, with an emphasis on human traits and diseases. Topics include Mendelian genetics, simple and complex traits, genetic diseases, the human genome, and testing for human traits and diseases. After establishing a foundation in genetics, we will discuss mechanisms underlying differentiation and development in humans. We will focus on events that lead to gastrulation and the establishment of the body plan (how humans develop from an unpatterned egg into a recognizable human form). Other topics may include limb development and stem cell biology.

Instructor(s): O. Pineda-Catalan, R. Zaragoza     Terms Offered: Spring. L.
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 20170

Courses for Biological Sciences Majors

All first-year students who wish to major in Biological Sciences must take BIOS 20153 Fundamentals of Ecology and Ev in the Winter Quarter and either BIOS 20151 Introduction to Quantitative Modeling in Biology (Basic) (Spring) or BIOS 20152 Introduction to Quantitative Modeling in Biology (Advanced) (Winter) during their first year as prerequisites for the Fundamentals courses, which form the foundation of the Biological Sciences major.

The Fundamentals Sequence

BIOS 20153 and 20151 or 20152 will satisfy the general education requirement in the biological sciences. Majors will continue into one of three Fundamentals tracks.

BIOS 20151. Introduction to Quantitative Modeling in Biology (Basic) 100 Units.

The goal for this course is to give future biologists the quantitative tools to fully participate in modern biological research. These include descriptive statistics, linear regression, stochastic independence and hypothesis testing, Markov models and stationary probability distributions, solutions of linear differential equations, equilibria and stability analysis of nonlinear differential equations. The ideas are applied to different areas of biology, e.g. molecular evolution, allometry, epidemiology, and biochemistry, and implemented by students in computer assignments using the R computational platform.

Instructor(s): D. Kondrashov     Terms Offered: Spring. L.
Prerequisite(s): Two quarters of calculus of any sequence (MATH 13200 or 15200 or 16200) AND CHEM 10100-10200 or CHEM 11100-11200 or CHEM 12100-12200. First-year Biology Major standing only.

BIOS 20152. Introduction to Quantitative Modeling in Biology (Advanced) 100 Units.

This is a more advanced version of 20151, intended for students with greater mathematical maturity. In addition to the topics covered in the regular version, students will learn about nonlinear least-squares fitting, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, bifurcations and bistability in differential equations. Additional applications will include phylogenetic distance and systems biology.

Instructor(s): D. Kondrashov     Terms Offered: Winter. L.
Prerequisite(s): MATH placement of 15200 or higher OR completion of MATH 16200 AND CHEM 10100-10200 or CHEM 11100-11200 or CHEM 12100-12200. First-year Biology Major standing only.

BIOS 20153. Fundamentals of Ecology and Ev. 100 Units.

This course surveys the basic principles of ecology and evolutionary biology to lay the foundation for further study in all fields of biology. Broad ecological concepts, such as population growth, disease dynamics, and species interactions, will be explored through a combination of published data, simulations, and mathematical models. The emphasis is on "ecological thinking" rather than specific notions. Essential topics in the modern study of evolutionary biology will be covered with a focus on both theory and empirical examples. Examples of topics include history of evolutionary thought, evidence for evolution, mechanisms of microevolution, phylogenetics, molecular evolution, and speciation. This course requires a weekly 120-minute discussion period.

Instructor(s): T. Price, M. Kronforst, C. Andrews, A. Hunter.      Terms Offered: Winter. L.
Prerequisite(s): Concurrent enrollment in CHEM 10100--10200 or CHEM 11100-11200 or CHEM 12100

Other Majors

Students should note that several majors have specified requirements for how the biological sciences portion of the general education requirements must be satisfied. These include Biological Chemistry, Neuroscience, Environmental Science, Geophysical Sciences, and Molecular Engineering.