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Which area of neuroscienceiology deals with the effects of genetics and drug discovery based on brain microcircuits?

Which area of neuroscienceiology deals with the effects of genetics and drug discovery based on brain microcircuits?



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So the title I chose might be a bit too broad or even misleading compared to the specific example I have in mind, but I couldn't choose something longer or more specific than that, so I apologize if that's the case!

Due to its close connection to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and even some personality dimensions in psychology and my interest in these topics, I was reading an article about the reward circuit (cortico-basal ganglia reward network: microcircuitry, Susan R Sesack and Anthony A. Grace, 2010) which in my opinion is a pretty nice article and as the title suggests talks about the different parts of the cortico-basal ganglia network mostly at a fairly high level of detail (e.g. nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmental area, prefrontal cortex, etc), their interconnections, some physical characteristics of those interconnections, the associated neurotransmitters for the different parts and connections, and some of the functional implications of these topics, and also presents a couple of nice diagrams depicting the afferents and efferents of this circuit. as far as I understand and perhaps obviously, most of this data comes from primate and mouse data, however I would imagine there could be a lot of similarity in humans, and we also approximately know from cognitive neuroscience or other disciplines the general function of some (if not most) parts of this circuit.

The question that came to my mind is, which area of neuroscience or biology deals with modeling and simulating this circuit at this level (not necessarily at the neuron to neuron level) to understand it better, and also understand the effects that genetics or environment could have on it, so that ultimately we might for example come up with a treatment for ASD? is it more related to systems neuroscience, computational neuroscience, systems biology, or even bioinformatics and computational genomics?

Thanks in advance!


Basically you are sketching a situation where:

  • Brain circuits are modeled (Computational Neuroscience), which often depends on anatomical (Neuroscience, Biology), structural imaging and functional imaging (Neuroimaging) and electrophysiological data (Electrophysiology). Various other disciplines may come into play (Histology, Pathology, Anatomy, etc.).
  • Genetic (Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cell Physiology) and environmental effects (Behavioral Psychology, Medicine, Psychiatry) also encompass a wide list of expertise, out of which a small handful is mentioned in bold.
  • The realm of drug discovery harbors Medicine, Toxicology, Organic Chemistry, Pharmacology, perhaps even Physics and likely a host of others.

In short, your question could, perhaps, better be phrased as 'What Biomedical fields of research disciplines are not related to Drug Discovery?


Which area of neuroscienceiology deals with the effects of genetics and drug discovery based on brain microcircuits? - Biology

Optogenetic approaches have the potential to contribute throughout the drug discovery pipeline from target identification to clinical trials.

Optogenetic assays can probe specific targets and cell types within a rich physiological context.

Optogenetic measurements in patient-derived neurons can elucidate genotype–phenotype relationships and probe disease mechanisms.

The integration of optogenetics with high-throughput screening requires advances in molecular tools, instrumentation, and data analytics.

Recent advances in optogenetics have opened new routes to drug discovery, particularly in neuroscience. Physiological cellular assays probe functional phenotypes that connect genomic data to patient health. Optogenetic tools, in particular tools for all-optical electrophysiology, now provide a means to probe cellular disease models with unprecedented throughput and information content. These techniques promise to identify functional phenotypes associated with disease states and to identify compounds that improve cellular function regardless of whether the compound acts directly on a target or through a bypass mechanism. This review discusses opportunities and unresolved challenges in applying optogenetic techniques throughout the discovery pipeline – from target identification and validation, to target-based and phenotypic screens, to clinical trials.


Contents

The earliest study of the nervous system dates to ancient Egypt. Trepanation, the surgical practice of either drilling or scraping a hole into the skull for the purpose of curing head injuries or mental disorders, or relieving cranial pressure, was first recorded during the Neolithic period. Manuscripts dating to 1700 BC indicate that the Egyptians had some knowledge about symptoms of brain damage. [8]

Early views on the function of the brain regarded it to be a "cranial stuffing" of sorts. In Egypt, from the late Middle Kingdom onwards, the brain was regularly removed in preparation for mummification. It was believed at the time that the heart was the seat of intelligence. According to Herodotus, the first step of mummification was to "take a crooked piece of iron, and with it draw out the brain through the nostrils, thus getting rid of a portion, while the skull is cleared of the rest by rinsing with drugs." [9]

The view that the heart was the source of consciousness was not challenged until the time of the Greek physician Hippocrates. He believed that the brain was not only involved with sensation—since most specialized organs (e.g., eyes, ears, tongue) are located in the head near the brain—but was also the seat of intelligence. [10] Plato also speculated that the brain was the seat of the rational part of the soul. [11] Aristotle, however, believed the heart was the center of intelligence and that the brain regulated the amount of heat from the heart. [12] This view was generally accepted until the Roman physician Galen, a follower of Hippocrates and physician to Roman gladiators, observed that his patients lost their mental faculties when they had sustained damage to their brains. [13]

Abulcasis, Averroes, Avicenna, Avenzoar, and Maimonides, active in the Medieval Muslim world, described a number of medical problems related to the brain. In Renaissance Europe, Vesalius (1514–1564), René Descartes (1596–1650), Thomas Willis (1621–1675) and Jan Swammerdam (1637–1680) also made several contributions to neuroscience.

Luigi Galvani's pioneering work in the late 1700s set the stage for studying the electrical excitability of muscles and neurons. In the first half of the 19th century, Jean Pierre Flourens pioneered the experimental method of carrying out localized lesions of the brain in living animals describing their effects on motricity, sensibility and behavior. In 1843 Emil du Bois-Reymond demonstrated the electrical nature of the nerve signal, [14] whose speed Hermann von Helmholtz proceeded to measure, [15] and in 1875 Richard Caton found electrical phenomena in the cerebral hemispheres of rabbits and monkeys. [16] Adolf Beck published in 1890 similar observations of spontaneous electrical activity of the brain of rabbits and dogs. [17] Studies of the brain became more sophisticated after the invention of the microscope and the development of a staining procedure by Camillo Golgi during the late 1890s. The procedure used a silver chromate salt to reveal the intricate structures of individual neurons. His technique was used by Santiago Ramón y Cajal and led to the formation of the neuron doctrine, the hypothesis that the functional unit of the brain is the neuron. [18] Golgi and Ramón y Cajal shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906 for their extensive observations, descriptions, and categorizations of neurons throughout the brain.

In parallel with this research, work with brain-damaged patients by Paul Broca suggested that certain regions of the brain were responsible for certain functions. At the time, Broca's findings were seen as a confirmation of Franz Joseph Gall's theory that language was localized and that certain psychological functions were localized in specific areas of the cerebral cortex. [19] [20] The localization of function hypothesis was supported by observations of epileptic patients conducted by John Hughlings Jackson, who correctly inferred the organization of the motor cortex by watching the progression of seizures through the body. Carl Wernicke further developed the theory of the specialization of specific brain structures in language comprehension and production. Modern research through neuroimaging techniques, still uses the Brodmann cerebral cytoarchitectonic map (referring to study of cell structure) anatomical definitions from this era in continuing to show that distinct areas of the cortex are activated in the execution of specific tasks. [21]

During the 20th century, neuroscience began to be recognized as a distinct academic discipline in its own right, rather than as studies of the nervous system within other disciplines. Eric Kandel and collaborators have cited David Rioch, Francis O. Schmitt, and Stephen Kuffler as having played critical roles in establishing the field. [22] Rioch originated the integration of basic anatomical and physiological research with clinical psychiatry at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, starting in the 1950s. During the same period, Schmitt established a neuroscience research program within the Biology Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, bringing together biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. The first freestanding neuroscience department (then called Psychobiology) was founded in 1964 at the University of California, Irvine by James L. McGaugh. [23] This was followed by the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, which was founded in 1966 by Stephen Kuffler. [24]

The understanding of neurons and of nervous system function became increasingly precise and molecular during the 20th century. For example, in 1952, Alan Lloyd Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley presented a mathematical model for transmission of electrical signals in neurons of the giant axon of a squid, which they called "action potentials", and how they are initiated and propagated, known as the Hodgkin–Huxley model. In 1961–1962, Richard FitzHugh and J. Nagumo simplified Hodgkin–Huxley, in what is called the FitzHugh–Nagumo model. In 1962, Bernard Katz modeled neurotransmission across the space between neurons known as synapses. Beginning in 1966, Eric Kandel and collaborators examined biochemical changes in neurons associated with learning and memory storage in Aplysia. In 1981 Catherine Morris and Harold Lecar combined these models in the Morris–Lecar model. Such increasingly quantitative work gave rise to numerous biological neuron models and models of neural computation.

As a result of the increasing interest about the nervous system, several prominent neuroscience organizations have been formed to provide a forum to all neuroscientists during the 20th century. For example, the International Brain Research Organization was founded in 1961, [25] the International Society for Neurochemistry in 1963, [26] the European Brain and Behaviour Society in 1968, [27] and the Society for Neuroscience in 1969. [28] Recently, the application of neuroscience research results has also given rise to applied disciplines as neuroeconomics, [29] neuroeducation, [30] neuroethics, [31] and neurolaw. [32]

Over time, brain research has gone through philosophical, experimental, and theoretical phases, with work on brain simulation predicted to be important in the future. [33]

The scientific study of the nervous system increased significantly during the second half of the twentieth century, principally due to advances in molecular biology, electrophysiology, and computational neuroscience. This has allowed neuroscientists to study the nervous system in all its aspects: how it is structured, how it works, how it develops, how it malfunctions, and how it can be changed.

For example, it has become possible to understand, in much detail, the complex processes occurring within a single neuron. Neurons are cells specialized for communication. They are able to communicate with neurons and other cell types through specialized junctions called synapses, at which electrical or electrochemical signals can be transmitted from one cell to another. Many neurons extrude a long thin filament of axoplasm called an axon, which may extend to distant parts of the body and are capable of rapidly carrying electrical signals, influencing the activity of other neurons, muscles, or glands at their termination points. A nervous system emerges from the assemblage of neurons that are connected to each other.

The vertebrate nervous system can be split into two parts: the central nervous system (defined as the brain and spinal cord), and the peripheral nervous system. In many species — including all vertebrates — the nervous system is the most complex organ system in the body, with most of the complexity residing in the brain. The human brain alone contains around one hundred billion neurons and one hundred trillion synapses it consists of thousands of distinguishable substructures, connected to each other in synaptic networks whose intricacies have only begun to be unraveled. At least one out of three of the approximately 20,000 genes belonging to the human genome is expressed mainly in the brain. [34]

Due to the high degree of plasticity of the human brain, the structure of its synapses and their resulting functions change throughout life. [35]

Making sense of the nervous system's dynamic complexity is a formidable research challenge. Ultimately, neuroscientists would like to understand every aspect of the nervous system, including how it works, how it develops, how it malfunctions, and how it can be altered or repaired. Analysis of the nervous system is therefore performed at multiple levels, ranging from the molecular and cellular levels to the systems and cognitive levels. The specific topics that form the main foci of research change over time, driven by an ever-expanding base of knowledge and the availability of increasingly sophisticated technical methods. Improvements in technology have been the primary drivers of progress. Developments in electron microscopy, computer science, electronics, functional neuroimaging, and genetics and genomics have all been major drivers of progress.

Molecular and cellular neuroscience Edit

Basic questions addressed in molecular neuroscience include the mechanisms by which neurons express and respond to molecular signals and how axons form complex connectivity patterns. At this level, tools from molecular biology and genetics are used to understand how neurons develop and how genetic changes affect biological functions. The morphology, molecular identity, and physiological characteristics of neurons and how they relate to different types of behavior are also of considerable interest.

Questions addressed in cellular neuroscience include the mechanisms of how neurons process signals physiologically and electrochemically. These questions include how signals are processed by neurites and somas and how neurotransmitters and electrical signals are used to process information in a neuron. Neurites are thin extensions from a neuronal cell body, consisting of dendrites (specialized to receive synaptic inputs from other neurons) and axons (specialized to conduct nerve impulses called action potentials). Somas are the cell bodies of the neurons and contain the nucleus.

Another major area of cellular neuroscience is the investigation of the development of the nervous system. Questions include the patterning and regionalization of the nervous system, neural stem cells, differentiation of neurons and glia (neurogenesis and gliogenesis), neuronal migration, axonal and dendritic development, trophic interactions, and synapse formation.

Computational neurogenetic modeling is concerned with the development of dynamic neuronal models for modeling brain functions with respect to genes and dynamic interactions between genes.

Neural circuits and systems Edit

Questions in systems neuroscience include how neural circuits are formed and used anatomically and physiologically to produce functions such as reflexes, multisensory integration, motor coordination, circadian rhythms, emotional responses, learning, and memory. In other words, they address how these neural circuits function in large-scale brain networks, and the mechanisms through which behaviors are generated. For example, systems level analysis addresses questions concerning specific sensory and motor modalities: how does vision work? How do songbirds learn new songs and bats localize with ultrasound? How does the somatosensory system process tactile information? The related fields of neuroethology and neuropsychology address the question of how neural substrates underlie specific animal and human behaviors. Neuroendocrinology and psychoneuroimmunology examine interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine and immune systems, respectively. Despite many advancements, the way that networks of neurons perform complex cognitive processes and behaviors is still poorly understood.

Cognitive and behavioral neuroscience Edit

Cognitive neuroscience addresses the questions of how psychological functions are produced by neural circuitry. The emergence of powerful new measurement techniques such as neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI, PET, SPECT), EEG, MEG, electrophysiology, optogenetics and human genetic analysis combined with sophisticated experimental techniques from cognitive psychology allows neuroscientists and psychologists to address abstract questions such as how cognition and emotion are mapped to specific neural substrates. Although many studies still hold a reductionist stance looking for the neurobiological basis of cognitive phenomena, recent research shows that there is an interesting interplay between neuroscientific findings and conceptual research, soliciting and integrating both perspectives. For example, neuroscience research on empathy solicited an interesting interdisciplinary debate involving philosophy, psychology and psychopathology. [36] Moreover, the neuroscientific identification of multiple memory systems related to different brain areas has challenged the idea of memory as a literal reproduction of the past, supporting a view of memory as a generative, constructive and dynamic process. [37]

Neuroscience is also allied with the social and behavioral sciences as well as nascent interdisciplinary fields such as neuroeconomics, decision theory, social neuroscience, and neuromarketing to address complex questions about interactions of the brain with its environment. A study into consumer responses for example uses EEG to investigate neural correlates associated with narrative transportation into stories about energy efficiency. [38]

Computational neuroscience Edit

Questions in computational neuroscience can span a wide range of levels of traditional analysis, such as development, structure, and cognitive functions of the brain. Research in this field utilizes mathematical models, theoretical analysis, and computer simulation to describe and verify biologically plausible neurons and nervous systems. For example, biological neuron models are mathematical descriptions of spiking neurons which can be used to describe both the behavior of single neurons as well as the dynamics of neural networks. Computational neuroscience is often referred to as theoretical neuroscience.

Nanoparticles in medicine are versatile in treating neurological disorders showing promising results in mediating drug transport across the blood brain barrier. [39] Implementing nanoparticles in antiepileptic drugs enhances their medical efficacy by increasing bioavailability in the bloodstream, as well as offering a measure of control in release time concentration. [39] Although nanoparticles can assist therapeutic drugs by adjusting physical properties to achieve desirable effects, inadvertent increases in toxicity often occur in preliminary drug trials. [40] Furthermore, production of nanomedicine for drug trials is economically consuming, hindering progress in their implementation. Computational models in nanoneuroscience provide alternatives to study the efficacy of nanotechnology-based medicines in neurological disorders while mitigating potential side effects and development costs. [39]

Nanomaterials often operate at length scales between classical and quantum regimes. [41] Due to the associated uncertainties at the length scales that nanomaterials operate, it is difficult to predict their behavior prior to in vivo studies. [39] Classically, the physical processes which occur throughout neurons are analogous to electrical circuits. Designers focus on such analogies and model brain activity as a neural circuit. [42] Success in computational modeling of neurons have led to the development of stereochemical models that accurately predict acetylcholine receptor-based synapses operating at microsecond time scales. [42]

Ultrafine nanoneedles for cellular manipulations are thinner than the smallest single walled carbon nanotubes. Computational quantum chemistry [43] is used to design ultrafine nanomaterials with highly symmetrical structures to optimize geometry, reactivity and stability. [41]

Behavior of nanomaterials are dominated by long ranged non-bonding interactions. [44] Electrochemical processes that occur throughout the brain generate an electric field which can inadvertently affect the behavior of some nanomaterials. [41] Molecular dynamics simulations can mitigate the development phase of nanomaterials as well as prevent neural toxicity of nanomaterials following in vivo clinical trials. [40] Testing nanomaterials using molecular dynamics optimizes nano characteristics for therapeutic purposes by testing different environment conditions, nanomaterial shape fabrications, nanomaterial surface properties, etc. without the need for in vivo experimentation. [45] Flexibility in molecular dynamic simulations allows medical practitioners to personalize treatment. Nanoparticle related data from translational nanoinformatics links neurological patient specific data to predict treatment response. [44]

Neuroscience and medicine Edit

Neurology, psychiatry, neurosurgery, psychosurgery, anesthesiology and pain medicine, neuropathology, neuroradiology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, clinical neurophysiology, addiction medicine, and sleep medicine are some medical specialties that specifically address the diseases of the nervous system. These terms also refer to clinical disciplines involving diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.

Neurology works with diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and stroke, and their medical treatment. Psychiatry focuses on affective, behavioral, cognitive, and perceptual disorders. Anesthesiology focuses on perception of pain, and pharmacologic alteration of consciousness. Neuropathology focuses upon the classification and underlying pathogenic mechanisms of central and peripheral nervous system and muscle diseases, with an emphasis on morphologic, microscopic, and chemically observable alterations. Neurosurgery and psychosurgery work primarily with surgical treatment of diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Translational research Edit

Recently, the boundaries between various specialties have blurred, as they are all influenced by basic research in neuroscience. For example, brain imaging enables objective biological insight into mental illnesses, which can lead to faster diagnosis, more accurate prognosis, and improved monitoring of patient progress over time. [46]

Integrative neuroscience describes the effort to combine models and information from multiple levels of research to develop a coherent model of the nervous system. For example, brain imaging coupled with physiological numerical models and theories of fundamental mechanisms may shed light on psychiatric disorders. [47]

Modern neuroscience education and research activities can be very roughly categorized into the following major branches, based on the subject and scale of the system in examination as well as distinct experimental or curricular approaches. Individual neuroscientists, however, often work on questions that span several distinct subfields.

List of the major branches of neuroscience
Branch Description
Affective neuroscience Affective neuroscience is the study of the neural mechanisms involved in emotion, typically through experimentation on animal models. [48]
Behavioral neuroscience Behavioral neuroscience (also known as biological psychology, physiological psychology, biopsychology, or psychobiology) is the application of the principles of biology to the study of genetic, physiological, and developmental mechanisms of behavior in humans and non-human animals.
Cellular neuroscience Cellular neuroscience is the study of neurons at a cellular level including morphology and physiological properties.
Clinical neuroscience The scientific study of the biological mechanisms that underlie the disorders and diseases of the nervous system.
Cognitive neuroscience Cognitive neuroscience is the study of the biological mechanisms underlying cognition.
Computational neuroscience Computational neuroscience is the theoretical study of the nervous system.
Cultural neuroscience Cultural neuroscience is the study of how cultural values, practices and beliefs shape and are shaped by the mind, brain and genes across multiple timescales. [49]
Developmental neuroscience Developmental neuroscience studies the processes that generate, shape, and reshape the nervous system and seeks to describe the cellular basis of neural development to address underlying mechanisms.
Evolutionary neuroscience Evolutionary neuroscience studies the evolution of nervous systems.
Molecular neuroscience Molecular neuroscience studies the nervous system with molecular biology, molecular genetics, protein chemistry, and related methodologies.
Nanoneuroscience An interdisciplinary field that integrates nanotechnology and neuroscience.
Neural engineering Neural engineering uses engineering techniques to interact with, understand, repair, replace, or enhance neural systems.
Neuroanatomy Neuroanatomy is the study of the anatomy of nervous systems.
Neurochemistry Neurochemistry is the study of how neurochemicals interact and influence the function of neurons.
Neuroethology Neuroethology is the study of the neural basis of non-human animals behavior.
Neurogastronomy Neurogastronomy is the study of flavor and how it affects sensation, cognition, and memory. [50]
Neurogenetics Neurogenetics is the study of the genetical basis of the development and function of the nervous system.
Neuroimaging Neuroimaging includes the use of various techniques to either directly or indirectly image the structure and function of the brain.
Neuroimmunology Neuroimmunology is concerned with the interactions between the nervous and the immune system.
Neuroinformatics Neuroinformatics is a discipline within bioinformatics that conducts the organization of neuroscience data and application of computational models and analytical tools.
Neurolinguistics Neurolinguistics is the study of the neural mechanisms in the human brain that control the comprehension, production, and acquisition of language.
Neurophysics Neurophysicsis the branch of biophysics dealing with the development and use of physical methods to gain information about the nervous system.
Neurophysiology Neurophysiology is the study of the functioning of the nervous system, generally using physiological techniques that include measurement and stimulation with electrodes or optically with ion- or voltage-sensitive dyes or light-sensitive channels.
Neuropsychology Neuropsychology is a discipline that resides under the umbrellas of both psychology and neuroscience, and is involved in activities in the arenas of both basic science and applied science. In psychology, it is most closely associated with biopsychology, clinical psychology, cognitive psychology, and developmental psychology. In neuroscience, it is most closely associated with the cognitive, behavioral, social, and affective neuroscience areas. In the applied and medical domain, it is related to neurology and psychiatry.
Paleoneurobiology Paleoneurobiology is a field which combines techniques used in paleontology and archeology to study brain evolution, especially that of the human brain.
Social neuroscience Social neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field devoted to understanding how biological systems implement social processes and behavior, and to using biological concepts and methods to inform and refine theories of social processes and behavior.
Systems neuroscience Systems neuroscience is the study of the function of neural circuits and systems.

The largest professional neuroscience organization is the Society for Neuroscience (SFN), which is based in the United States but includes many members from other countries. Since its founding in 1969 the SFN has grown steadily: as of 2010 it recorded 40,290 members from 83 different countries. [51] Annual meetings, held each year in a different American city, draw attendance from researchers, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduates, as well as educational institutions, funding agencies, publishers, and hundreds of businesses that supply products used in research.

Other major organizations devoted to neuroscience include the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), which holds its meetings in a country from a different part of the world each year, and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), which holds a meeting in a different European city every two years. FENS comprises a set of 32 national-level organizations, including the British Neuroscience Association, the German Neuroscience Society (Neurowissenschaftliche Gesellschaft), and the French Société des Neurosciences. The first National Honor Society in Neuroscience, Nu Rho Psi, was founded in 2006. Numerous youth neuroscience societies which support undergraduates, graduates and early career researchers also exist, like Project Encephalon. [52]

In 2013, the BRAIN Initiative was announced in the US. An International Brain Initiative was created in 2017, [53] currently integrated by more than seven national-level brain research initiatives (US, Europe, Allen Institute, Japan, China, Australia, Canada, Korea, Israel) [54] spanning four continents.

Public education and outreach Edit

In addition to conducting traditional research in laboratory settings, neuroscientists have also been involved in the promotion of awareness and knowledge about the nervous system among the general public and government officials. Such promotions have been done by both individual neuroscientists and large organizations. For example, individual neuroscientists have promoted neuroscience education among young students by organizing the International Brain Bee, which is an academic competition for high school or secondary school students worldwide. [55] In the United States, large organizations such as the Society for Neuroscience have promoted neuroscience education by developing a primer called Brain Facts, [56] collaborating with public school teachers to develop Neuroscience Core Concepts for K-12 teachers and students, [57] and cosponsoring a campaign with the Dana Foundation called Brain Awareness Week to increase public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. [58] In Canada, the CIHR Canadian National Brain Bee is held annually at McMaster University. [59]

Neuroscience educators formed Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience (FUN) in 1992 to share best practices and provide travel awards for undergraduates presenting at Society for Neuroscience meetings. [60]

Finally, neuroscientists have also collaborated with other education experts to study and refine educational techniques to optimize learning among students, an emerging field called educational neuroscience. [61] Federal agencies in the United States, such as the National Institute of Health (NIH) [62] and National Science Foundation (NSF), [63] have also funded research that pertains to best practices in teaching and learning of neuroscience concepts.


Morgan Sheng

In 2006, Genentech re-entered into the neuroscience fray by partnering with AC Immune to develop novel Alzheimer disease treatments. A year and half later, Morgan Sheng joined the biotech firm as Vice President of Neuroscience, and was tasked with putting together a plan to eke new drug candidates out of emerging science. Ten years on, the firm's neuroscience pipeline includes three Alzheimer drugs, one amyotrophic lateral sclerosis drug, one pain drug and a number of preclinical candidates. Sheng spoke with Asher Mullard about his continued faith in the amyloid hypothesis, the case for novel Alzheimer disease targets, the promise of emerging Parkinson disease genetics and the overlap between psychiatric disease and neurodegeneration.

When you started at Genentech, one of your first tasks was to set up the company's road map for neuroscience. What did you focus on then, and has your focus shifted?


‘Hidden Biological Link’ Among Autism Genes Revealed

Summary: Study reveals the disruptions in prenatal neurogenesis can increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder. Findings also reveal estrogen can protect against the disruption of neurogenesis and steer the embryonic brain on the course of normal development.

Source: UCSF

A new study of autism risk genes by UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley scientists implicates disruption in prenatal neurogenesis – a process in which specialized “progenitor” cells give rise to new brain cells – in the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The study also shows that estrogen, perhaps in a form produced within brain cells, can protect against this disruption and steer the brain on a normal course of development.

The most striking findings in the study, published on January 25, 2021 in Neuron, were derived from experiments using embryos of the western clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis), a species prized by biologists for the unique insights it offers into development. Human genes involved in development have counterparts with similar functions in Xenopus, and extensive studies correlating human embryonic stages with those of the frog mean that genetic studies in Xenopus can have direct relevance to human development in both health and disease.

“Xenopus has been a cornerstone in developmental biology for many reasons, and a lot of what we know about human brain development is based on foundational research in frogs,” said Helen Rankin Willsey, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the Weill Institute for Neurosciences laboratory of co-senior author Matthew W. State, MD, PhD, the Oberndorf Family Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UCSF. “The development of frogs’ brains is quite similar to that of humans, and many of the same genes, proteins, and molecules that shape the human brain do the same thing in the developing frog brain. These factors make Xenopus an attractive species to gain a deeper understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders.”

Over the past decade, genomic analyses of humans, including many led by State and colleagues, have identified gene mutations strongly associated with ASDs, allowing scientists to collectively assemble a list of dozens of “high-confidence” genes that confer significant risk of developing these disorders. With increasing knowledge of how, when, and where in the brain these genes exert their influence during development, autism researchers have begun to piece together in general terms what may go awry in ASDs.

Many of the identified mutations are in genes known to contribute to the formation and function of synapses – the sites of communication between brain cells – and also to affect the proper orchestration of which genes are ultimately translated into proteins. But the data underlying these conclusions come from disparate and incomplete sources, and these well-known risk genes are probably involved in different functions at different times during brain development.

As a direct test of these ideas, and to determine whether other developmental processes affected by these mutations may have been overlooked, Willsey, first author of the new study, turned to Xenopus, and brought together the State lab with those of renowned developmental biologist Richard Harland, PhD, the C.H. Li Distinguished Professor of Genetics, Genomics and Development at UC Berkeley, and UCSF’s Jeremy Willsey, PhD, assistant professor in the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, a leader in systems-biology approaches to neurodevelopmental disorders,

Helen Willsey and her research team first selected the “top ten” ASD risk genes identified in humans so far, and then conducted experiments assessing where and when their frog equivalents are activated in the frog brain during development. They found that all ten were expressed in the frog forebrain at a stage corresponding to human mid-prenatal development, which lined up well with computational analyses of autism risk genes carried out in 2013 by State and Jeremy Willsey, co-senior author of the new paper.

Xenopus females can lay more than 4,000 eggs at a time, which quickly develop into two-cell embryos large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Using high-throughput CRISPR gene-targeting technology, Helen Willsey’s team mutated each of the ten genes in turn, but in only one cell in the two-cell embryos – with this technique, any developmental differences induced by the genetic modification would occur in only one half of the brain, while the other side developed normally.

The ability to easily compare the two halves of the brain made it clear that there were significant size differences in the side of the brain in which the genes had been disabled – when certain genes were mutated the affected half was larger, with others it was smaller. But cellular and molecular work revealed that all these size differences were due to skewing of the process of neurogenesis, which was reflected in atypical ratios of progenitor cells, the forerunners of brain cells, to mature neurons in the areas lining the ventricles of the forebrain.

Because the researchers are as interested in resilience – ways in which the effects of ASD genes might be overcome – as in risk, they tested more than 130 drug compounds in the Xenopus embryos. One, related to estrogen, restored a typical pattern of neurogenesis, with the resulting brain size matching on both sides of the animal. Conversely, when two other compounds that inhibit the estrogen pathway were tested, neurogenesis was more severely disrupted. Xenopus do not yet have gonads during the developmental stage at which the research team tested estrogen, so Willsey believes that estrogen produced locally in the brain, rather than in sex organs, may confer protection from disturbances in neurogenesis during development.

Helen Willsey and her research team first selected the “top ten” ASD risk genes identified in humans so far, and then conducted experiments assessing where and when their frog equivalents are activated in the frog brain during development. Image is in the public domain

The protective effects of an estrogen-related compound were also seen in human neural progenitor cell lines in which various ASD risk genes had been inhibited with a special CRISPR technique, and also in similarly modified human brain organoids, 3D clusters of cells that scientists use to study tissue and organ development.

Willsey said that estrogen’s ability to reverse disparate effects on neurogenesis and brain size that result from the independent action of many different genes should provide reassurance in a field in which the rapid pace of gene discovery has led to worries that ASDs may be too complex to tackle with therapeutics.

Nonetheless, estrogen has profound effects on sexual differentiation during development, and Willsey’s team showed that it regulates neurogenesis through a master signaling pathway called Sonic hedgehog, which plays crucial roles in everything from brain development to limb formation. The team’s identification of estrogen as a protective factor, she said, should only be thought of as a scientific toehold on the problem that can guide the eventual development of safer, more targeted therapies.

“There are already so many confirmed ASD genes that it’s conceivable it is an intractable problem to come up with therapies that will be effective across broad groups of individuals,” Willsey said. “But this work supports that idea that we can get a handle on this. These genes do different things, turn different gears, but our findings ultimately point to a critical nexus of ASD pathology and reveal a previously hidden biological link connecting a highly disparate group of genes.”


The Coming Boom In Brain Medicines

TONY COLES COULD have had any job he wanted in the drug industry. In five years at the helm of cancer drug developer Onyx Pharmaceuticals he increased its market cap eightfold by purchasing an experimental blood cancer drug for $800 million, developing it into a big seller and flipping the whole company to Amgen

Instead, Coles, 54, is using his own money to build a Cambridge, Mass.-based startup called Yumanity that is using yeast, the microbes that help make bread and beer, to study how misfolded proteins in the brain cause Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's disease and Parkinson's, and to create drugs based on that knowledge. There's already interest from Big Pharma. Coles says he chose to attack brain diseases, not tumors, because the need is so dire and the science is so fresh.

"We've got 50 million people around the world who have these diseases, costing $650 billion a year, and lots of families like mine that have been affected," says Coles. "I had a grandmother who died of the complications of Alzheimer's disease. I think about my own health as well."

The modern drug business was built on brain medicines: Valium was the first blockbuster, selling 2 billion tablets in 1978, and Prozac defined the industry in the 1990s. But stagnant science since then led many big drug companies, including GlaxoSmithKline , Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca, to flee neuroscience, even as an aging population promises a dramatic surge in brain disease. In the past five years the number of drugs being developed by large drugmakers for brain and nervous system disorders fell 50% to 129, according to NeuroPerspective, an industry newsletter.

But now, thanks to scientific advances such as genetic sequencing and new DNA editing technologies, the industry is in the midst of a dramatic reversal. Last year investors poured $3.3 billion into firms that are developing drugs for brain-destroying or psychiatric illnesses, more than in any of the last ten years, says NeuroPerspective. Some big drug companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Roche and Novartis, are finding ways to reinvigorate their efforts. New medicines for severe depression, psychosis and schizophrenia could reach the market within the next few years, and treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and some forms of autism are a real possibility, too.

"I do think that it's early days. There has been a fair amount of overpromising in neuroscience drug discovery," says Ryan Watts, director of neuroscience at Roche's Genentech division. "We have to understand there are going to be a large number of failures and little incremental victories that will start to build, and then you'll see things cracking open."

It will still take years for neuroscience to metamorphose from a backwater into a hotbed of innovation, but it's happening. Mark Fishman, the head of research at Novartis, puts it bluntly: "We're revolutionizing the field."

THE HISTORY OF BRAIN DRUGS IS BASED ALMOST entirely on luck. The first antipsychotic, Thorazine, was tried on schizophrenics in the 1950s as a sedative and miraculously stopped their hallucinations. The first antidepressant, imipramine, was an attempt at making a new antipsychotic that failed but turned out to improve mood.

New blockbuster brain drugs of the past few decades--Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Zyprexa, Risperdal, Abilify--all mostly plumb the same basic mechanisms as the old ones: boosting neurotransmitters like serotonin for the antidepressants blocking the dopamine receptor D2 for antipsychotics. They differ somewhat with regard to efficacy and a lot with regard to side effects, but they operate in essentially similar ways. For years drug companies have been trying out new drugs that hit other chemicals without a good understanding of whether, or in whom, they'll work.

But thanks to the revolution in our understanding of the human genome and other advances, scientists are finally starting to grasp the overwhelming complexity of illnesses that afflict the brain--and how to treat them. "Depression isn't one disease, it's many diseases," says Novartis' Fishman, who finds the new insights hopeful rather than discouraging. "Like cancer, once you understand the disease you have hope for making drugs," he says.

Some of the improvements are incremental. Psychiatry clinical trials often fail because placebo groups do better than they should. Part of the problem is that patients can exaggerate their symptoms to get into a study, and developing a relationship with their new doctor actually makes their symptoms seem better.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals watched its Nuplazid, for Parkinson's psychosis, fail in a clinical trial. In 2013 it ran another study that used videoconferencing, having the same specially trained group of doctors rate the symptoms of all patients. The dramatically positive results have sent the stock up 437% and have shown other companies that psychiatry trials can still succeed. "We expect to become the leading neurology company in the U.S.," crows Acadia Chief Executive Uli Hacksell.

Other research has led to giant leaps forward. In 2004 researchers at the National Institutes of Health suspected that a brain receptor called N-methyl-D-aspartate, or NMDA, which is key to forming memories, was also involved in depression. By luck, a group at Yale realized at the same time that ketamine, a widely used anesthetic that is also abused as a club drug called "Special K," blocked NMDA.

The results of the first trial of ketamine in just 17 depressed people were amazing. Twelve of the patients, or 71%, improved, and five, or 29%, had their depression go into remission after getting the drug intravenously. Incredibly, their depression lifted in a matter of hours. Existing antidepressants work in only a third of patients and take weeks to have any effect. Some doctors are already giving ketamine to their patients, though the practice is controversial.

Husseini Manji, who led the NIH group doing the ketamine study, left to run neuroscience at Johnson & Johnson in 2008, where he has made a nose-spray derivative of the drug one of his top priorities it is now entering late-stage trials. But he has competition from several other companies, including tiny Naurex of Evanston, Ill. Ketamine causes hallucinations. Naurex makes drugs that don't and has even tested a pill version.

Cindy Kelly, a 48-year-old mother of two, had suffered from depression on and off for 20 years until a final debilitating bout that was making it hard for her to work or relate to other people. Getting into a clinical trial for one of Naurex's drugs changed her life.

"Within 15 minutes my symptoms were gone, and it was like magic," she says. The effect wore off a week later, and she fought to get into a second study that would allow her to take the medicine again. She succeeded, and after several treatments her depression is gone, seemingly for good.

"When you're thinking, 'Why am I even alive',' something that takes two weeks to kick in is not helpful," says Kelly of older depression drugs. "Something that can kick in right away so you can think clearly? That can save lives."

Another way to find drugs that have big effects: develop treatments for rare, terrible diseases, where creating any hope can change people's lives. That's the approach taken by Sage Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Mass.-based startup that went public in July, as it attacks a rare form of epilepsy.

Melissa Fishburn, 21, started having seizures at 14. Last November she stiffened like a board and fell to the ground in a seizure that would not end. Doctors put her in a medically induced coma because the only hope for patients with this condition is that after resting the patient can be brought back to consciousness and the seizure will have stopped.

But for Melissa, seizures were detectable on an electroencephalogram (EEG) even when she was fully unconscious. Doctors tried every drug they could think of, and nothing worked. "They were telling us either the seizures or the medication would end her life, one way or another," says her father, Dale.

Melissa's sister read about Sage's experimental drug, Sage-547, on the Internet. It blocks haywire electrical signals from jumping across nerve synapses in the brain and central nervous system. Dale mentioned it to her neurologist. Melissa, still in a coma, was flown from Springfield, Mo. to Wichita, Kans. to be part of a clinical trial.

After 24 hours her EEG readings improved. Six days later doctors started to wean her off of the drugs that kept her in a coma. A few days after that she regained consciousness. Now she loves singing Ed Sheeran songs at karaoke. It's not perfect: She's never been on a date and takes 22 pills a day. But because of the Sage treatment, she's alive.

TREATMENTS LIKE SAGE'S ARE JUST THE START of the changes scientists hope to bring about in the way we battle brain disease. Right now, for instance, patients who go to see a psychiatrist often get put on a medication based simply on what a patient tells them about how they're feeling. When one medication doesn't work (which is more than half the time) the doctor tries another, or a combination of drugs, based on his or her experience and gut feeling about what will work.

The reason this hit-and-miss approach fails so often, scientists are now coming to believe, is that it is based on attacking symptoms but not necessarily on what is biologically wrong with the patient.

In the future, hopes Ricardo Dolmetsch, who heads neuroscience drug discovery at Novartis, when you go to a psychiatrist she'll consider not only your symptoms but she'll sequence your genome.

That will allow her to decide on the right combination of two or three drugs to treat what is actually wrong with you. (Thomas Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, has even proposed creating a new, more genetics-based classification system for mental illness that could eventually replace the weighty bible of conditions that psychiatrists use to diagnose patients and bill insurers.)

This approach promises huge improvements in the treatment of mental illness because scientists are only now discovering just how tricky the underlying biology of mental illness can be, thanks to genetic testing.

For example, an average person has a 1-in-100 chance of developing schizophrenia. There's a single genetic mutation called 22q11 that increases those odds to 1 in 4, but it's rare. That's not the only way you can develop the disease, though. You can also suffer from schizophrenia if you have lots of little mutations that add up to increase your risk. On average, people with lots of these smaller mutations might have a one-in-ten risk of developing the disease, Dolmetsch says, although the data are evolving.

It gets even more confusing, though, because many of those same tiny mutations that can cause schizophrenia can also lead to autism, ADHD, or bipolar disorder. It's not so much that they cause any one disease, Dolmetsch says. It's that each mutation makes the brain's machinery a little more "flaky," in his words. Depending on these variations and when in a brain's development they occur, different mental disorders result.

To deal with this terrifying complexity, drug companies are embracing new technologies--including brain cells created in the laboratory expressly for research purposes--that allow them to test medicines with unprecedented speed and precision. "That's the single most important piece here," says Stevin Zorn, the head of research at Lundbeck, the $2 billion (sales) Danish maker of antidepressants. "We're starting to see a light that a lot of companies are starting to follow."

Nobody is embracing these technologies more fiercely than Dolmetsch. In 2007 he was not a pharmaceutical executive but a rising assistant professor at Stanford, studying ivory tower questions about how nerve cells communicate. Then his son was diagnosed with autism.

He gave up all the grants that were paying for his laboratory and started pursuing what are called induced pluripotent stem cells, cells that can be made from a flake of skin or a drop of blood and turned into any tissue in the body--including brain cells.

At first Dolmetsch focused on a rare disease, Timothy Syndrome, that causes both autism and heart problems. He was interested in learning about his son but became fascinated by drug discovery. "There's very little hope for these people. I really became committed to the cause," he says.

He started one project to make induced pluripotent stem cells at the pioneering Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, which is funded by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen. But after coming to Novartis to talk about collaboration, it became clear that Novartis was a better fit. The drug giant was willing to give the 44-year-old neophyte a blank slate.

The reason the stem-cell-based "brains in a dish" are a big deal is that these cells have huge advantages over mice brains, which researchers traditionally use to test drugs. Mice are not people--not even close. We're separated from Mickey by 60 million years of evolution. Mice with 22q11 mutations never get schizophrenia. Mice don't get Alzheimer's, either.

So far Dolmetsch and his Novartis team have made hundreds of batches of these brains in a dish in a sprawling laboratory in Cambridge, Mass. using samples taken from people with mental illness. For common diseases like schizophrenia and depression there will be a tedious process of turning genes on and off to see what they do. But for some rare diseases, Dolmetsch merely screens Novartis' library of drugs against the cells to see if he can make them normal.

The results are already promising. After only two years Novartis is planning to enter two medicines in clinical trials as a result of the new screening technique. That's made him, like many others in the field, boundlessly hopeful and energetic about what comes next. "I want to restart neuroscience," Dolmetsch says. The reboot is under way.

Treatments To Watch:

Here's a look at what's happening in five different areas of brain drug research:

  • DEPRESSION Outlook: Very good. Fast-acting drugs are already in late-stage trials after showing great promise. Currently: Existing drugs take weeks to have an effect. What's next: Faster-acting drugs. Alkermes is testing one that is in late-stage trials that works in days, not weeks. A J&J inhaled derivative of ketamine and new drugs being developed by Naurex all seem to work in minutes on depression that doesn't respond to other drugs. Long term: Eli Lilly has a new antidepressant pill that has shown some promise. Johnson & Johnson and Lundbeck are studying how depression might be the result of misfires by the immune system that damage the brain.
  • MULTIPLE SCLEROSISOutlook: Very good. Drugs may even reverse the disease. Current: Multiple sclerosis has been the neurological disease with the most advances for patients because doctors were able to discover its root cause--an overactive immune system--and focus treatments there. What's next: More pills along the lines of Biogen Idec's Tecfidera and Novartis' Gilenya, which keep the immune system from damaging nerves, are in development, including Forward Pharma's FP187. Long term: The big thing to watch is whether any drug can reverse the damage the immune system does and help nerve cells regrow. One candidate is Biogen Idec's drug known as anti-LINGO, which should show some results next year.
  • PARKINSON'S DISEASEOutlook: Advances coming soon, but big breakthroughs may take years. Currently: The disease, which causes shaking and loss of coordination, is treated with a synthetic drug, levodopa, that boosts levels of the brain transmitter dopamine. What's next: Many therapies focus on what to do when levodopa wears off. Acorda Therapeutics is developing an inhaled version. Voyager Therapeutics is testing a gene therapy that may make levodopa effective again when patients have developed resistance. Long term: Attempts by Merck, Roche and Pfizer to block a genetic mutation that can lead to Parkinson's ran into problems when drugs caused lung damage in monkeys. Biogen Idec hopes to clear toxins that build in the brain as a result of the disease.
  • SCHIZOPHRENIAOutlook: Fair. Interesting drugs in development but not enough of them. Currently: Drugs can be effective at treating hallucinations and paranoia but don't yet treat cognitive problems and social difficulties caused by the disease. What's next: Add-on drugs. In 2016 Forum Pharmaceuticals hopes to have results on its encenicline, aimed at helping schizophrenics think more clearly. Acadia Pharmaceuticals is testing its Nuplazid to help existing antipsychotics. Long term: Intra-Cellular Therapies, a new publicly traded company, is testing a pill that, instead of working outside neurons, gets deep inside them. "It could be the most promising advance in antipsychotic pharmacology [in decades]," says Jeffrey Lieberman, psychiatrist in chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center.
  • ALZHEIMER'S DISEASEOutlook: Treatments that have a big impact are unlikely anytime soon. Currently: Industry bet big on injectable medicines to prevent or reverse Alzheimer's by attacking the buildup of plaques in the brain--and failed. What's next: A lower-risk approach: targeting Alzheimer's symptoms but not trying to reverse the disease. Forum Pharmaceuticals expects results from one such drug next year. Another drug from Lundbeck is in late-stage trials. Long term: Drug companies won't give up on the plaque approach. Biogen Idec presents data for its plaque-buster in April Eli Lilly could release results of a big retrial of a failed drug next year Roche is testing a plaque-buster in patients with a gene that causes Alzheimer's before age 40. Merck, J&J and others are testing plaque-clearing pills.

WATCH: Some Of The Most Exciting Discoveries Coming Out Of Brain Research


Which area of neuroscienceiology deals with the effects of genetics and drug discovery based on brain microcircuits? - Biology

ARVO is organized into 13 Scientific Sections and 3 Cross-sectional Groups, which are described below. Members must select one section with which their research interests most closely identify. Each section is represented on the Board of Trustees and the Annual Meeting Program Committee.

Anatomy and Pathology/Oncology (AP)

Anatomy Sub-section includes descriptive or experimental studies about the gross and surgical anatomy, ultrastructure, organization, and development of the tissues, visual pathways, vasculature and refractive error of the eye, and the mechanisms mediating them. Anatomical research that deals exclusively with the cornea or lens is generally identified with those sections.

Pathology/Oncology Sub-section relates to pathogenesis, morphological, immunohistochemical and genetic features of both neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases affecting the eye, ocular adnexa and visual pathways, including their response to treatment. Studies involving biobanking, microscopy, biochemistry, physiology and other fundamental science methodologies are appropriate. Concerning neoplastic diseases, this comprises the pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of any ocular, orbital, ocular adnexal or visual pathway tumor and related metastases. This would include animal, cellular, genetic and molecular biology, and experimental studies involving other basic science, translational and clinical methodologies.

Biochemistry/Molecular Biology (BI)

Section encompasses biochemistry, molecular biology, molecular genetics, biophysics, and bioinformatics studies on ocular tissue or vision-related brain structures. Mechanistic studies of disease or therapies are appropriate.

Clinical/Epidemiologic Research (CL)

Section covers research using epidemiologic and biostatistical methodology on ophthalmologic disorders and vision. Emphasis is on controlled studies providing a better understanding of the etiology, risk factors, diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of diseases affecting vision, and their prevalence, incidence and impact on patients and society, including health services research and quality of life.

Cornea (CO)

Section covers both clinical and basic research concerned with the cornea, conjunctiva, the tear system, and corneal refractive surgery.

Eye Movements/Strabismus/Amblyopia/Neuro-ophthalmology (EY)

Section covers three areas: 1) The nature, control, and development of eye movements, ocular alignment and alignment-related stereopsis 2) The nature, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of strabismus, amblyopia and other disorders of eye movements, fusion and stereopsis 3) The neuro-ophthalmology of the visual sensory and oculomotor systems, including the orbit and adnexa.

Glaucoma (GL)

Section encompasses basic and clinical research related to glaucoma in normal or glaucomatous eyes.

Immunology/Microbiology (IM)

Section focuses upon basic and clinical research about ocular infections inflammation and other immunologic reactions induced by infectious agents and non-infectious immunological disorders that involve ocular or adnexal tissue.

Lens (LE)

Section encompasses basic and clinical studies that include varied aspects of the anatomy, pathology, physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, developmental biology, epidemiology and genetics of the ocular lens in normal or pathological states.

Physiology/Pharmacology (PH)

Section covers three areas of research: 1) systemic tissue cellular and molecular physiology and pharmacology 2) ocular pathophysiology and disease 3) pharmacological mechanisms including drug delivery/disposition and related bioengineering.

Retina (RE)

Section is concerned with basic and clinical studies, using a variety of techniques that augment our understanding or improve the treatment of retinal diseases. Any topic pertaining to the vitreous, retina or choroid is applicable, if it has a clinical emphasis.

Retinal Cell Biology (RC)

Section deals with basic and preclinical studies of the structure, composition, and function of the retina, retinal pigment epithelium and their associated extracellular matrices from the molecular through the tissue level of organization. Studies include a variety of topics such as membrane composition, photoreceptor outer segment renewal, neurotransmitter systems, retinal blood vessels, glia, transport, neuronal circuitry, development, growth factors, transplantation, stem cells and models of retinal degeneration.

Visual Neuroscience (VN)

Section deals with research on the neural mechanisms, structural organization, and function of the visual system, including the retina and central visual pathways of vertebrate and invertebrate species. Topics include synaptic processes, neurotransmitter systems, cellular organization, phototransduction, circadian rhythms, light responses and encoding of visual information in healthy, developing and diseased visual pathways.

Visual Psychophysics/Physiological Optics (VI)

Section deals with basic research in visual function and optics. The emphasis is on the analysis of visual processing by psychophysical, computational, physiological and imaging techniques. Optical studies include properties of the lens and eye including aberrations, their correction, accommodation, presbyopia, and refractive error and its correction. Other topics include spatial and temporal processing sensitivity, adaptation, learning, and attentional processing of basic and higher perceptual processes, low vision and visual development throughout the life span.

Cross-sectional Groups

ARVO Cross-sectional Groups were created in 2006 to meet the interdisciplinary scientific needs of ARVO members. Cross-sectional Groups give ARVO members the opportunity to network with colleagues from different but related areas of study, exchange information on topics of mutual interest and seek guidance on allied issues.

Cross-sectional Group members are elected by their group colleagues to serve on the Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC) to select abstracts for a paper session and for poster sessions. Cross-sectional Group members can also suggest programming ideas and provide feedback through the Cross-sectional Group listservs.

Genetics Group (GEN)

Description: Members of the Genetics Group are interested in the interdisciplinary aspects of the genomics and genetics of vision and ocular disease. Topics include:

  • Methods for disease gene discovery (linkage approaches, candidate gene association studies and genome-wide association studies)
  • Novel technologies, such as whole exome and whole genome sequencing
  • Phenotypic expression of genetic variants including modifier gene effects, gene-gene interactions and gene-environment interactions

Translational features of genetic and genomic research, including genetic screening, gene-based therapy, pharmacogenomics and the development of personalized medicine for ophthalmic disorders are also featured.

Low Vision Group (LV)

Description: The Low Vision Group aims to facilitate interdisciplinary communication among researchers in the disparate areas of low vision, including:

  • Epidemiology of vision impairment
  • Quality of life measures of low vision
  • Electrophysiological and brain-imaging evaluations of visual pathways in low vision
  • Psychophysical performance measures of functional vision
  • Development and validation of outcome measures
  • Conduct of clinical trials evaluating rehabilitation approaches
  • Development and evaluation of adaptive technologies for people with low vision

Multidisciplinary Ophthalmic Imaging Group (MOI)

Description: The Multidisciplinary Ophthalmic Imaging Group brings together clinicians, scientists and engineers from a variety of disciplines who are engaged in the development and application of imaging modalities.

The group seeks to provide a cross-disciplinary home for researchers who are working on a wide range of imaging applications and technologies.

The group spans technology development, fundamental research and clinical studies, as well as variety of imaging methods such as ultrasound, MR, fundus imaging, spectral imaging, microscopy and optical coherence tomography.


Constructive – if constructed appropriately

In the medical field, AI encompasses a suite of technologies that can help diagnose patients’ ailments, improve health care delivery and enhance basic research. The technologies involve algorithms, or instructions, run by software. These algorithms can act like an extra set of eyes perusing lab tests and radiological images for instance, by parsing CT scans for particular shapes and color densities that could indicate disease or injury.

Problems of bias can emerge, however, at various stages of these devices’ development and deployment, Zou explained. One major factor is that the data for forming models used by algorithms as baselines can come from nonrepresentative patient datasets.

By failing to properly take race, sex and socioeconomic status into account, these models can be poor predictors for certain groups. To make matters worse, clinicians might lack any awareness of AI medical devices potentially producing skewed results.

As an illustrative example of potential bias, Schiebinger and Zou discuss pulse oximeters in their study. First patented around 50 years ago, pulse oximeters can quickly and noninvasively report oxygen levels in a patient’s blood. The devices have proven critically important in treating COVID-19, where patients with low oxygen levels should immediately receive supplemental oxygen to prevent organ damage and failure.

Pulse oximeters work by shining a light through a patient’s skin to register light absorption by oxygenated and deoxygenated red blood cells. Melanin, the primary pigment that gives skin its color, also absorbs light, however, potentially scrambling readings in people with highly pigmented skin.

It’s no surprise, then, that studies have shown today’s industry-standard oximeters are three times more likely to incorrectly report blood gas levels in Black patients compared to white patients. Oximeters additionally have a sex bias, tending to misstate levels in women more often than men. These oximeter biases mean that dark-skinned individuals, especially females, are at risk of not receiving emergency supplemental oxygen.

“The pulse oximeter is an instructive example of how developing a medical technology without varied demographic data collection can lead to biased measurements and thus poorer patient outcomes,” said Zou.

This issue extends to the evaluation of devices after approval for clinical use. In another recent study, published in Nature Medicine and cited in the EBioMedicine paper, Zou and colleagues at Stanford reviewed the 130 medical AI devices approved at the time by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The researchers found that 126 out of the 130 devices were evaluated using only previously collected data, meaning that no one gauged how well the AI algorithms work on patients in combination with active human clinician input. Moreover, less than 13 percent of the publicly available summaries of approved device performances reported sex, gender or race/ethnicity.

Zou said these problems of needing more diverse data collection and monitoring of AI technologies in medical contexts “are among the lowest hanging fruit in addressing bias.”


BIOL - Biological Sciences

An introductory biology course for nonbiology majors. This course concentrates on major biological concepts concerning molecular biology, cellular biology, cellular reproduction, classical and molecular genetics, energetics, and ecology. This course would be beneficial to students pursuing elementary education degrees due to the discussion of biological topics included in the Virginia Standards of Learning. Cannot be substituted for BIOL𧅹N and BIOL𧅺N or BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N.

BIOL𧅪N . Biology for Nonscience Majors II . 4 Credits .

An introductory biology course for nonbiology majors. This course concentrates on plants and animals at the organismal level by examining major biological concepts involving diversity, ecology, behavior, and evolution. This course would be beneficial to those students who are pursuing elementary education degrees because it teaches biological topics included in the Virginia Standards of Learning. Cannot be substituted for BIOL𧅹N and BIOL𧅺N or for BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N.

BIOL𧅮N . Environmental Sciences . 3 Credits .

An introductory, non-sequential course for nonbiology majors focusing on scientific inquiry and the fundamental biological underpinnings of environmental science. The course concentrates on ecology, evolution, the nature of and threats to biodiversity, and conservation solutions. Cannot be substituted for BIOL𧅹N or BIOL𧅻N. BIOL𧅮N + BIOL𧅯N satisfy four credits of the University's Nature of Science general education requirement. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧅯N.

BIOL𧅯N . Environmental Sciences Lab . 1 Credit .

Laboratory activities and scientific experiments that enhance understanding of environmental science through a hands-on approach that cannot be provided in the lecture classroom setting. BIOL𧅮N + BIOL𧅯N satisfy four credits of the University's Nature of Science general education requirement. Cannot be substituted for BIOL𧅺N or BIOL𧅼N. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧅮N.

BIOL𧅰N . Environment and Man . 3 Credits .

An introductory, non-sequential course for nonbiology majors focusing on the most serious environmental problems our society is facing today and how these problems can be solved. The course concentrates on the science behind natural resources and resource management, toxicology, environmental policies and ethics, and sustainable living. Cannot be substituted for BIOL𧅹N or BIOL𧅻N. BIOL𧅰N and BIOL𧅱N satisfy four credits of the University's Nature of Science general education requirement. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧅱N.

BIOL𧅱N . Environment and Man Laboratory . 1 Credit .

Laboratory activities and experiments that enhance understanding of the scientific method and environmental sciences through a hands-on approach that cannot be provided in the lecture classroom setting. This course cannot be substituted for BIOL𧅺N or BIOL𧅼N. BIOL𧅰N + BIOL𧅱N satisfy four credits of the University's Nature of Science general education requirement. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧅰N.

BIOL𧅵N . Introduction to Human Biology . 3 Credits .

An introductory lecture course for non-majors focusing on scientific inquiry and the structure and function of the human body with units on diet, nutrition, exercise, infectious disease, and cancer. Cannot be substituted for BIOL𧅹N or BIOL𧅻N. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧅶N.

BIOL𧅶N . Introduction to Human Biology Lab . 1 Credit .

An introductory lab course for non-majors focusing on scientific inquiry and the structure and function of the human body with units on diet, nutrition, exercise, infectious disease, and cancer. Cannot be substituted for BIOL𧅺N or BIOL𧅼N. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧅵N.

BIOL𧅹N . General Biology I . 3 Credits .

An introduction to the process of science, biological molecules, cell biology, metabolism, molecular biology, and Mendelian genetics. Students required to take BIOL𧅹N cannot earn credit for BIOL𧅩N, BIOL𧅪N, BIOL𧅮N, BIOL𧅰N, or BIOL𧅵N. Prerequisites: Placement into ENGL𧅮C. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧅺N and MATH𧅦M or higher.

BIOL𧅺N . General Biology I Lab . 1 Credit .

A lab course emphasizing the process of science, biological molecules, cell biology, metabolism, molecular biology, and Mendelian genetics. Students required to take BIOL𧅺N cannot earn credit for BIOL𧅯N, BIOL𧅱N, or BIOL𧅶N. Prerequisites: Placement into ENGL𧅮C. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧅹N and MATH𧅦M or higher.

BIOL𧅻N . General Biology II . 3 Credits .

An introduction to the process of science, evolutionary biology, ecology, and the basic biology of viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes. Students required to take BIOL𧅻N cannot earn credit for BIOL𧅩N, BIOL𧅪N, BIOL𧅮N, BIOL𧅰N, or BIOL𧅵N. Prerequisites: Placement into ENGL𧅮C and qualifying Math SAT/ACT score, or qualifying score on the Math placement test, or completion of MATH𧅦M or higher, and BIOL𧅹N passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧅼N.

BIOL𧅼N . General Biology II Lab . 1 Credit .

A lab course emphasizing the process of science, evolutionary biology, ecology, and the basic biology of viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes. Students required to take BIOL𧅼N cannot earn credit for BIOL𧅯N, BIOL𧅱N, or BIOL𧅶N. Prerequisite: Placement into ENGL𧅮C and qualifying Math SAT/ACT score, or qualifying score on the Math placement test, or completion of MATH𧅦M or higher, and BIOL𧅹N. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧅻N.

BIOL𧆈N . Honors General Biology I . 3 Credits .

This course is available only to students in the Honors College. An introduction to the process of science, biological molecules, cell biology, metabolism, molecular biology, and Mendelian genetics. Students required to take BIOL𧆈N cannot earn credit for BIOL𧅩N, BIOL𧅪N, BIOL𧅮N, BIOL𧅰N, or BIOL𧅵N. Prerequisites: Placement into ENGL𧅮C and qualifying Math SAT/ACT score, or qualifying score on the Math placement test, and enrollment in the Honors College. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧆉N and MATH𧅦M or higher.

BIOL𧆉N . Honors General Biology I Lab . 1 Credit .

This lab course is available only to students in the Honors College. This lab course emphasizes the process of science, biological molecules, cell biology, metabolism, molecular biology, and Mendelian genetics. Students required to take BIOL𧆉N cannot earn credit for BIOL𧅯N, BIOL𧅱N, or BIOL𧅶N. Prerequisites: Placement into ENGL𧅮C and qualifying Math SAT/ACT score, or qualifying score on the Math placement test, and enrollment in the Honors College. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧆈N and MATH𧅦M or higher.

BIOL𧆊N . Honors General Biology II . 3 Credits .

This course is available only to students in the Honors College. An introduction to the process of science, evolutionary biology, ecology, and the basic biology of viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes. Students required to take BIOL𧆊N cannot earn credit for BIOL𧅩N, BIOL𧅪N, BIOL𧅮N, BIOL𧅰N, or BIOL𧅵N. Prerequisite: Placement into ENGL𧅮C and qualifying Math SAT/ACT score, or qualifying score on the Math placement test, or completion of MATH𧅦M or higher, enrollment in the Honors College, and BIOL𧆈N. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧆋N.

BIOL𧆋N . Honors General Biology II Lab . 1 Credit .

This lab course is available only to students in the Honors College. This lab course emphasizes the process of science, evolutionary biology, ecology, and the basic biology of viruses, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes. Students required to take BIOL𧆋N cannot earn credit for BIOL𧅯N, BIOL𧅱N, or BIOL𧅶N. Prerequisite: Placement into ENGL𧅮C and qualifying Math SAT/ACT score, or qualifying score on the Math placement test, or completion of MATH𧅦M or higher, enrollment in the Honors College, and BIOL𧆈N. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧆊N.

BIOL𧆖 . Introductory Microbiology . 3 Credits .

A course designed to acquaint the student with the elementary principles of bacteriology and other disease causing microorganisms. Emphasis is placed on microorganisms as etiological agents in disease, on practical methods of disinfection, and on the factors of infection and immunity. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧆗.

BIOL𧆗 . Introductory Microbiology Laboratory . 1 Credit .

A course designed to acquaint the student with the elementary principles of bacteriology and other disease causing microorganisms. Emphasis is placed on microorganisms as etiological agents in disease, on practical methods of disinfection, and on the factors of infection and immunity. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧆖.

BIOL𧇃 . Biology Lab Topics . 1-3 Credits .

BIOL𧇄 . Topics . 1-3 Credits .

BIOL𧇰 . Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology I . 4 Credits .

This is the first of a two-part course that investigates the structure and function of the human body. Emphasis is on the basic organization of the body, biochemical composition, cellular structure, function, tissues and organs of the following systems: integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous, sensory and endocrine. In lab, students will study the interrelationship between structure and function of the human body using models, histological preparations, and human and feline anatomical specimens. Students with credit for BIOL𧇰 cannot receive credit for BIOL𧇺.

BIOL𧇱 . Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology II . 4 Credits .

The second of a two-part course that investigates the structure and function of the human body. Emphasis is on the basic organization of the body, biochemical composition, cellular structure, function, tissues and organs of the following systems: cardiovascular, lymphatic, immune, respiratory, urinary, digestive, reproductive and human development. In lab, students will study the interrelationship between structure and function of the human body using models, histological preparations, and human and feline anatomical specimens. Students with credit for BIOL𧇱 cannot receive credit for BIOL𧇻. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇰.

BIOL𧇺 . Human Anatomy and Physiology I . 4 Credits .

This course emphasizes the gross anatomical relationships and the molecular, cellular, physiological, and metabolic process of the integument, musculoskeletal, neural, and immune systems. Students with credit for BIOL𧇺 cannot receive credit for BIOL𧇰.

BIOL𧇻 . Human Anatomy and Physiology II . 4 Credits .

This course emphasizes the physiology and pathophysiology of the cardiac, pulmonary, renal, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Only BIOL𧇻 (4 credits) may count toward upper-division elective requirements for the Biology major. Students with credit for BIOL𧇻 cannot receive credit for BIOL𧇱. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇺 or permission of the instructor.

BIOL𧈣 . Ecology . 3 Credits .

An introduction to the basic concepts of ecology for both biology majors and nonmajors. The concepts are introduced with respect to terrestrial and aquatic environments. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N or BIOL𧆊N and BIOL𧆋N must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧈤 . Evolution . 3 Credits .

An introduction to the basic concepts of evolution for both biology majors and nonmajors. The concepts are introduced with respect to terrestrial and aquatic environments. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N or BIOL𧆊N and BIOL𧆋N must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧈥 . Cell Biology . 3 Credits .

A comprehensive course in the structural and functional features of cells, including prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The course will also examine biomacromolecules, techniques in cell and molecular biology, and current frontiers in cell biology research. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N or BIOL𧆊N and BIOL𧆋N must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧈦 . Genetics . 3 Credits .

An introduction to the principles of biological inheritance and variation and the molecular basis of gene structure and function. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N or BIOL𧆊N and BIOL𧆋N must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧈬 . Fundamental Biomolecules . 3 Credits .

This course provides a detailed understanding of the four major classes of organic biological molecules as well as inorganic biological molecules (vitamins and trace minerals). The course focuses on how these biomolecules relate to everyday life for a diversity of organisms. This course will additionally emphasize current research and topics in the media as they pertain to biomolecules. This course counts as an elective for BIOL majors students with premedical, dental or veterinary emphasis should consider if this course will satisfy requirements for medical, dental, or veterinary schools. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N or BIOL𧆊N or BIOL𧇻 with a C or better and CHEM𧅫N or CHEM𧅻N or CHEM𧆭T with a C or better.

BIOL𧈮 . Introduction to immunology . 3 Credits .

A review of the phenomena of immune resistance, the cells and tissues involved in immune responses and the consequences of immunization. Prerequisite: BIOL𧈥.

BIOL𧈰 . Animal Nutrition . 3 Credits .

The course incorporates the fields of animal physiology, biochemistry, ecology and behavior to provide a comprehensive framework for energy acquisition, processing, and use in animals. The course content integrates cellular and molecular mechanisms of digestion and absorption, with tissue-specific and whole-animal metabolism, to the environmental influences on food resource availability and the diverse adaptations of animals to specific dietary and energetic constraints. The course primarily focuses on vertebrate animals. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧈱.

BIOL𧈱 . Animal Nutrition Laboratory . 2 Credits .

This course in comparative animal nutrition and metabolism explores how diverse animals accomplish the universal task of acquiring food energy from their environments, processing and assimilating these resources, and use food energy in metabolism to support vital functions (e.g. growth, repair, reproduction). Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧈰.

BIOL𧈲 . Human Genetics . 3 Credits .

Human genetics applies the principles of genetics to understanding human disease and evolution. It covers classical genetics, molecular genetics and population genetics, meeting the undergraduate genetics requirement for biology and biochemistry majors. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅹N, BIOL𧅺N, BIOL𧅻N, and BIOL𧅼N or the equivalent with a grade of C (2.0) or better. Pre- or corequisite: CHEM𧊹.

BIOL𧈳 . Invertebrate Zoology . 5 Credits .

An examination of the invertebrate phyla with emphasis on classification, morphology, phylogeny, and general biology. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧈴 . Botany . 4 Credits .

A general introduction to the structure, function, ecology, and diversity of plants. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧈵 . Foundations of Pathophysiology . 4 Credits .

This course is designed to teach the fundamentals of abnormal functions essential to understanding diseases, disease processes, and production of signs and symptoms. Chemical, biological, and biochemical alterations in physiology of all major organ systems will be considered. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇰/BIOL𧇱 OR BIOL𧇺/BIOL𧇻.

BIOL𧈶 . Field Invertebrate Zoology . 5 Credits .

An examination of the invertebrate phyla with emphasis on classification, morphology, phylogeny, and general biology. This course will be taught as a full, immersive, field course in the Florida Keys. Prerequisite: BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧈷 . Global Change Biology . 3 Credits .

This course will emphasize the application of evolutionary and ecological principles such as species geographic range shifts, changes in phenology, acclimation, adaptation, and extinction in response to global environmental changes. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher.

BIOL𧈹 . Introduction to Neuroanatomy . 4 Credits .

This course is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of the structure and function of the human nervous system, with a major focus on neuroanatomy. The basic principles of cellular neuroscience, neurophysiology, as well as, the sensory and motor pathways will be discussed in detail. Clinically relevant applications will be discussed when relevant. The laboratory component of this course will use cadavers and human tissue to study head and neck structures. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇱 or BIOL𧇻 and BIOL𧈥 must be passed with a C (2.0) or better.

BIOL𧈺 . Developmental Biology . 5 Credits .

An analysis of development in animals. Lectures will explore experimental approaches to the study of gametogenesis, fertilization, cleavage and morphogenesis. Laboratories will emphasize the morphological features of the developing vertebrate embryo. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇰 or BIOL𧇺 and BIOL𧇱 or BIOL𧇻 must be passed with a grade of C or higher. Pre- or corequisite: CHEM𧇓.

BIOL𧈼 . General Microbiology . 3 Credits .

This lecture course is a general survey of the nature and diversity of microorganisms, especially bacteria but including viruses and fungi, the roles and functions of microorganisms and basic microbiological research. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈥 and BIOL𧈦 must be passed with a grade of C or higher. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧈽.

BIOL𧈽 . General Microbiology Laboratory . 2 Credits .

Laboratory course emphasizing basic techniques in microbiology. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈥 and BIOL𧈦 must be passed with a grade of C or higher. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧈼.

BIOL𧉂 . Ethnobotany . 3 Credits .

A survey of plants used for food, fiber, medicine, dyes, perfumes, oils, and waxes. The role of plants in folklore and religion is included. A student research project with a written paper and presentation is required. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈤 AND BIOL𧈴 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧉋 . Marine Biology . 3 Credits .

A survey of the variety, ecology and adaptations of marine organisms. The course is designed to broadly introduce students to life in the oceans and the many special features of marine species that have evolved in the earth's oldest and most extensive ecosystem. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher.

BIOL𧉎 . Field Ethnobotany . 4 Credits .

Identification, ecology, and uses of plants and mushrooms for food, oils, dyes, and cordage, based on collection and preparation of local materials. A field-intensive course with hands-on experience. A class project and presentation are required. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧉐 . Vertebrate Zoology . 4 Credits .

This course will emphasize the organisms classified as vertebrates - fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals - in addition to their evolutionary relatives. Detailed discussions of the changes that accompany this diversification of life will include topics in evolution, comparative anatomy, geology, and taxonomy. The lab will be a survey of specimens representing the major groups discussed in lecture. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher.

BIOL𧉔 . Field Botany . 4 Credits .

A survey of plants and plant communities of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. Skills in plant and mushroom identification, specimen preparation, and research databases are emphasized. Most classes are field trips. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧉚 . Plant Geography . 3 Credits .

The distribution and characteristics of major plant community types in North America and practices used in the study of biogeography are discussed. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧉞 . Phage Discovery and Genomics I . 4 Credits .

This course is the first semester of a two-semester laboratory and scientific writing course designed to provide a unique undergraduate research experience. It focuses on the discovery of viruses (also known as bacteriophage or phage) that infect bacteria with an emphasis on laboratory techniques. Students will collect phage from environmental samples and learn the laboratory techniques required for the isolation, purification and propagation of viruses. Students will further characterize phage based on microscopy, molecular microbiology techniques, and nucleic acid sequencing. This course emphasizes independent research and additional time outside of the laboratory will be required for sample collection and analysis. This course also is designed to complement the MonarchTeach curriculum. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈦.

BIOL𧉟 . Phage Discovery and Genomics II . 3 Credits .

This is the second course of a two semester laboratory and scientific writing sequence that is designed to provide a unique research experience for undergraduate students. The second semester course is a continuation of the research on the phage project that was started in Phage Discovery and Genomics I (BIOL𧉞). The students will analyze the newly sequenced bacteriophage genome using bioinformatics tools with an emphasis on Genomics. The bioinformatics will be completed using computer software, mathematical modeling and presented in formal scientific laboratory reports and formal presentations. Upon successful completion of the year-long course, some students will be invited to participate in the SEA-PHAGE program coordinated by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The course is designed with an emphasis on independent research that could lead to a scientific publication. Prerequisites: BIOL𧉞 and BIOL𧈦 must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher.

BIOL𧉣 . Stem Cell Biology . 3 Credits .

Tissue homeostasis requires the birth of new cells, typically derived from stem cells, as well as the removal of cells that are not needed or have become damaged. This course will focus on understanding the mechanisms by which new cells are generated and old or diseased cells are removed. The pathological consequences of failures in one or both of these key processes will be explored as well. Applications of stem cells to regenerative medicine will be considered in detail. Prerequisites: A grade of "C" or higher in BIOL𧈥.

BIOL𧉯 . Cooperative Education . 1-3 Credits .

Student participation for credit in a paid work environment based on the academic relevance of the work experience as determined by the department and the Cooperative Education program, prior to the semester in which the work experience is to take place. Unstructured course. Students must identify a full-time biology faculty member with the expertise to determine if the cooperative education experience is appropriate for a biology curriculum, approve the learning contract, review the submitted assignments (student report and supervisor’s evaluation) and assign a P/F grade. Prerequisites: approval by the department chair and Cooperative Education/Career Development Services.

BIOL𧉰 . Internship . 1-3 Credits .

Supervised participation in non-research professional setting. Requires a minimum of 3 hours per week or equivalent for 1 credit, completion of work report and other documents relevant to the work experience, and supervisor evaluation. Unstructured course. Students must identify a full-time biology faculty member with the expertise to determine if the internship is appropriate for a biology curriculum, approve the learning contract, review the submitted assignments (student report and supervisor’s evaluation) and assign a P/F grade. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher, junior standing, and the approval of a full-time biology faculty member.

BIOL𧉱 . Practicum . 1-3 Credits .

A supervised experience in a research, teaching, or a work/field setting and culminating in the preparation of a written document relevant to the practicum experience. Unstructured course. Students must identify a full-time biology faculty member with the expertise to determine if the practicum is appropriate for a biology curriculum, approve the learning contract, review the submitted assignments (student report and supervisor’s evaluation) and assign a P/F grade. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher, acceptance as a declared major, junior class status, and approval by the sponsoring full-time biology faculty member and the practicum coordinator.

BIOL𧉼 . Research in Pathogen Biology I: Laboratory Investigation . 4 Credits .

This is the first course of a two-semester laboratory and analysis sequence that is designed to provide a genuine research experience for undergraduate students. Students will design a novel research question in pathogen biology, then use modern laboratory techniques such as polymerase chain reaction and next-generation DNA sequencing to examine this question and test hypotheses. Data generated in this course will be analyzed in the second course in the series, BIOL𧉽. Data and analyses generated during these courses may be used for publication in scientific journals. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈦.

BIOL𧉽 . Research in Pathogen Biology II: Analysis . 4 Credits .

This is the second course of a two-semester laboratory and analysis sequence that is designed to provide a genuine research experience for undergraduate students. In this semester, students will analyze data generated during the previous semester in BIOL𧉼. Modern methods of data analysis will be used, including statistical and bioinformatics techniques. Data and analyses generated during these courses may be used for publication in scientific journals. Prerequisite: BIOL𧈦 BIOL𧉼 preferred.

BIOL𧊋 . Topics . 1-3 Credits .

A structured specialty course designed to meet the needs of students in biology. Students are expected to perform at the level of other junior level classes. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL𧊌 . Topics in Biological Sciences . 4-5 Credits .

A structured specialty course for students at the junior level. Courses may include lecture and laboratory components. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N with grades of C or better.

BIOL 400/500 . Plant Systematics . 4 Credits .

An evolutionary survey of vascular plant families and the principles and methodologies that define them lab emphasis is placed on recognition and skills of identification. A lab and field intensive hands-on course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈤 and BIOL𧈴 with a C or better.

BIOL 401W/501 . Entomology . 4 Credits .

A comprehensive survey of the insects, including taxonomy, morphology, physiology, reproductive and developmental biology, and ecology. Research techniques in entomology will be learned through both field and laboratory work. Writing skills will be learned through written summaries, essay exams, laboratory reports and research proposals. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher.

BIOL 402/502 . Scientific Diving Methods for Marine Research . 4 Credits .

This lecture/field experience course will train students in the common techniques used by marine scientists who employ scuba for their research. It satisfies the requirements for an American Academy of Underwater Scientist certification and covers other topics such as: use of underwater research equipment and marine resource surveys. A multi-day scuba trip is required. Prerequisites: junior standing and scuba diving certification.

BIOL 403/503 . Medical Microbiology . 3 Credits .

This course integrates the disciplines of microbiology, immunology, and biochemistry with the pathophysiology of infections and the appropriate pharmacology in a problem-based learning setting. Students will learn the fundamental concepts and terminologies of infectious diseases. The material will be case studies in small group tutorials and emphasize independent learning. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇰 or BIOL𧇺, BIOL𧈼 and BIOL𧈽, and CHEM𧊹 must be passed with a grade of C or higher or instructor approval.

BIOL 404/504 . Conservation Biology . 5 Credits .

The application of fundamental biological principles to the preservation of biodiversity, including the role of ecological and evolutionary theory to the preservation of biotas on a regional and global basis. Lectures will cover modern approaches to conservation biology, including conservation ethics and management issues. Laboratories will include discussion of case studies, introduction to software applicable to conservation biology, presentations by regional conservation practitioners, and visits to relevant field sites. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 must be passed with a grade of C or higher and junior standing or permission of instructor.

BIOL𧊕W . Biology Seminar . 3 Credits .

This course offers a capstone experience in scientific writing, faculty-mentored library research, the review and synthesis of material from the primary technical literature, and oral presentation. Students will develop a deeper understanding of the purposes and types of scientific writing, the structure and interpretation of technical papers, and the oral and written communication skills appropriate to the discipline. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣, BIOL𧈤, BIOL𧈥, and BIOL𧈦 and two 300- or 400-level elective courses, a grade of C or better in ENGL𧇓C or ENGL𧇝C or ENGL𧇧C, and CS𧅸G or CS𧅹G or CS𧅾G or HLTH𧅸G or IT𧆖G or STEM𧇻G.

BIOL 407/507 . The Pharmacology and Neurobiology of How Recreational Drugs Work . 3 Credits .

This course in drug use and abuse is designed to distinguish between drug use and drug abuse as well as provide pharmacological knowledge of how recreational drugs work. Students will acquire knowledge regarding the abuse of prescription drugs, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, marijuana and inhalants. This information will be used to analyze pathophysiological conditions that can occur as a result of drug use and abuse. Prerequisite: BIOL𧈥 or equivalent. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧊘 recommended.

BIOL 408/508 . Introduction to Pharmacology . 4 Credits .

This is a general introductory course in pharmacology dealing with chemistry, general properties and pharmacological effects on various physiological systems, therapeutic usefulness and toxicities of drugs. The course is designed to prepare upper-level undergraduate and graduate students for more advanced courses in pharmacology. Prerequisite: course background in cell biology and/or human physiology.

BIOL 411/511 . Zymology: Fermentation Science . 4 Credits .

This is an introductory course in the theory and practice of zymology (fermentation). Edible and potable products of fermentation (beer, wine, mead, yogurt, cheese) have been known since antiquity and play an important role in today’s society. The science of fermentation touches on many biological disciplines, such as microbiology and biochemistry, and the study of yeasts has provided considerable foundation to the fields of cell biology and molecular biology. In this course, we will cover fundamentals of fermentation and its practical application to production of beer, one of the oldest beverages produced by humans. Prerequisite: BIOL𧈥.

BIOL 412/512 . Plant Physiology . 4 Credits .

Discover the incredible secrets behind what makes our green friends tick. This course includes a traditional lecture covering the physiological and chemical processes occurring in plants. A laboratory, greenhouse, and/or field-oriented lab will provide hands-on opportunities to understand plant stress responses, nutrient use, cell metabolism-respiration, photosynthesis, hormones, and processes driving growth patterns. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈤 OR BIOL𧈴 must be passed with a grade of C or higher. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧈥 and CHEM𧇓.

BIOL 415W/515 . Marine Ecology . 5 Credits .

A lecture and laboratory course designed to introduce students to important ecological processes operating in coastal marine environments this is a writing-intensive course. The course covers synthetic topics as well as the ecology of specific marine habitats. The laboratory is designed to provide students with experience in marine research and the organisms and ecological conditions common in various marine habitats visited by the class. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧉋 and ENGL𧇓C or ENGL𧇝C or ENGL𧇧C must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher instructor approval required.

BIOL 416/516 . Clinical Immunology . 3 Credits .

A description of common immunological problems seen in the clinic. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈮.

BIOL 419/519 . Wetland Plants . 4 Credits .

An exploration of the ecology of inland and coastal wetlands and their plants. The course emphasizes wetland and aquatic plant identification, field and laboratory methods, and core concepts important to wetland plants and their ecology. Linkages to wetland delineation and wetland adjacent systems will be made. Weekly field-based laboratories are expected to local wetlands focusing on hands on opportunities and research methods. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 OR BIOL𧈴 must be passed with a grade of 'C' or higher prerequisite waivers may be requested from the instructor.

BIOL 420/520 . Ichthyology . 5 Credits .

The biology of marine and freshwater fishes including morphology, physiology, evolution, distribution, ecology, and reproduction. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of C or higher and junior standing.

BIOL 422/522 . Field Studies in Ornithology . 4 Credits .

A combined lecture and field study of birds with emphasis on identification, behavior, and field methods. Extensive field trips, including at least one weekend, are taken. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of C or higher or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 423W/523 . Cellular and Molecular Biology . 3 Credits .

The molecular organization of eukaryotic cells is presented along with cell evolution, molecular genetics, the internal organization of the cell and the behavior of cells in multicellular organisms. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈥, BIOL𧈦, and a grade of C or better in ENGL𧇓C or ENGL𧇝C or ENGL𧇧C.

BIOL 424/524 . Comparative Animal Physiology . 5 Credits .

An introduction to the basic mechanisms by which different animals function. How organisms acquire and use energy, regulate their internal environment, circulate and exchange gases and wastes, receive and conduct information about their environment, and move and use muscles will be some of the topics covered. Emphasis will be on how organisms make changes in these basic mechanisms to deal with different environmental conditions. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 425/525 . Cancer Biology . 3 Credits .

This course will examine how mutation leads to altered gene products and expression, subverted cell activity, cell immortalization, and tumor formation. Students will explore the differences between benign tumors and malignant tumors as well as the factors involved in malignancy. The course will conclude with the exploration of current cancer therapy. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈥 and BIOL𧈦 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 426/526 . Histology . 5 Credits .

The structure and function of cells, tissues and organs at both the light microscopic and ultrastructural levels. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇰 or BIOL𧇺 and BIOL𧈥 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 430W/530 . Microbial Pathogenesis . 3 Credits .

Examination of bacterium-host interactions with an emphasis on how bacteria cause disease, particularly the means by which the bacterium is able to circumvent host defense mechanisms. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈼 and BIOL𧈽 and a grade of C or better in ENGL𧇓C or ENGL𧇝C or ENGL𧇧C.

BIOL𧊰W . Modern Plant-Animal Interactions . 3 Credits .

This is a writing intensive course. It is designed to engage students in learning about the different types of plant-animal interactions that occur in a variety of the Earth’s ecosystems. The goal is to understand these interactions and their significance, how they shape communities and ecosystems, and how they maintain biodiversity. A variety of animal taxa and their relationships with plants are investigated, including birds, mammals, bats, fishes, and insects. Varied ecosystems, including wetlands, prairies, tropical and hardwood forests, agricultural lands, tundra, oceans, lakes and more, will be considered. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧈤.

BIOL 435/535 . Marine Conservation Biology . 3 Credits .

This highly interdisciplinary science of conserving marine biodiversity will be taught through a review of old and new literature. This will include its history, marine ecology related to conservation biology, threats to marine biodiversity, assessment of extinction risk, conservation challenges of marine habitats and regions, and methods for conserving marine biodiversity. Prerequisites: BIOL𧉋 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 436W/536 . Infectious Disease Epidemiology . 3 Credits .

This lecture course will focus on concepts related to the spread and control of infectious diseases. This course is a writing-intensive course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣, and BIOL𧈥, and BIOL𧈦, and MATH𧇈 or MATH𧆣 or MATH𧇓 or MATH𧇍, and STAT𧆂M or STAT𧈶, and ENGL𧇧C or ENGL𧇝C or ENGL𧇓C all must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher.

BIOL 437W/537 . One Health: People, Animals and the Environment . 3 Credits .

A course that examines the interdependence between human health, animal health and environmental health. The One Health approach to the threat of emerging infectious diseases includes understanding the interconnectedness of human and animal pathogens, epidemic zoonoses and corresponding environmental factors, insights into mechanisms of microbial evolution towards pathogenicity, new technologies and approaches towards disease surveillance, and political and bureaucratic strategies. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧈥. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧈤 and BIOL 303 a Microbiology course is recommended.

BIOL 438/538 . The Biology of Woody Plants . 4 Credits .

The study of trees and shrubs (dendrology), their identification, ecology, structure and anatomy, and uses are emphasized in this field-oriented course. A research project including a written paper and presentation is required. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈴 or its equivalent must be passed with a grade of 'C' or higher.

BIOL 440/540 . Methods in Immunological Research . 4 Credits .

The major objective of this hands-on course is to use basic laboratory techniques to prepare monoclonal antibodies to use for identification and characterization of mouse immune cells. Students will learn basic training in molecular and cellular biology techniques aiming at building basic knowledge in flow cytometry, from the experimental designs to data acquisition and analysis. The course will cover instrumentation, sample preparation, data analysis, and applications in immunology. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈮, BIOL𧈼 and BIOL𧈽.

BIOL 441/541 . Animal Behavior . 5 Credits .

Animal behavior with special attention to its evolution and ecological significance. Field and laboratory activities will emphasize the observational and experimental techniques used to study behavior. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of C or higher and junior standing or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 444/544 . Field Studies in Marine Biology . 5 Credits .

An intensive study abroad field course offered during the summer at a foreign marine laboratory where students will be engaged in lectures and field studies of coastal marine environments. Check with the Director of the Marine Biology Concentration Program for details. Prerequisite: BIOL𧉋 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 445/545 . Community Ecology . 3 Credits .

The goal of this course is to introduce and evaluate both classical and emerging paradigms in community ecology. This will be achieved by examining those processes (biotic and abiotic) that structure ecological communities and by exposing students to quantitative and theoretical aspects of these paradigms. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 446/546 . Comparative Biomechanics . 3 Credits .

The principles of fluid and solid mechanics will be applied to a variety of plant and animal systems to understand how organisms deal with the immediate physical world and its accompanying constraints. A diverse range of topics will be covered, including aerial flight in insects, wind resistance in trees, jet propulsion in squid, flow within blood vessels, forces on intertidal organisms, viscoelasticity in biological materials, and energy storage during terrestrial movement. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈥 must be passed with a grade of C or higher PHYS𧅯N and PHYS𧅰N are recommended.

BIOL𧋁 . Microbial Impact on Human Health . 3 Credits .

This course introduces the student to microorganisms with particular emphasis placed on their role in health, wellness and disease. Economic, social and cultural issues related to utilization, control, and research of the bacteria and viruses are also considered. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈥 or BIOL𧈦 must be passed with a grade of C or better.

BIOL 450/550 . Principles of Plant Ecology . 4 Credits .

This course explores theoretical concepts in plant ecology through review of classical and cutting-edge literature and practice with field-based experimental design and statistical methods. This course emphasizes the structure, development, and processes that drive patterns in plant communities and the ecological communities they support. Weekly field-based laboratories involve hands-on experience and opportunities to explore field methods in ecological research. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 OR BIOL𧈴.

BIOL 451/551 . Bioinformatics and Genomics I . 4 Credits .

The application of computer science to biology has led to major breakthroughs in the ability to read and understand the code written in genomes. This course will give students the skills to participate in the computational revolution in biology. The course will give students hands-on experience in writing simple yet powerful computer programs in the Python programming language and making beautiful data visualizations in the R programming language. Students will also learn how to combine existing pieces of bioinformatics software for their own workflows. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher, junior standing, and permission of the instructor.

BIOL 452/552 . Bioinformatics and Genomics II . 4 Credits .

The application of computer science to biology has led to major breakthroughs in the ability to read and understand the code written in genomes. This course will give students the skills to participate in the computational revolution in biology. The course will build on the knowledge of writing programs. Students will learn about some key techniques “under the hood” of software that have been critical to the genomics revolution. Topics will include: graph algorithms, evolutionary trees, probability models for DNA and protein sequences, and an introduction to deep learning in biology. Prerequisites: Knowledge of Python programming and permission of instructor, or BIOL𧋃 must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher.

BIOL 453/553 . Molecular Ecology . 4 Credits .

This course will explore the biology of organisms by using molecular (nucleic acid and/or protein) techniques and data. It covers a wide variety of subdisciplines within Biology, including genetics, physiology, ecology, and evolution. This course will explore basic theory in population genetics, ecology, and evolution and cover DNA, RNA, and Protein techniques and their application to biological research. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣, BIOL𧈤, BIOL𧈥, AND BIOL𧈦 all must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 457/557 . General Virology . 3 Credits .

A basic course covering the history of virology, viral taxonomy, genetics, and the molecular biology and host responses to the major mammalian virus groups. Examples of recent impacts of viruses on human health such as influenza pandemics will also be covered. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈥 and BIOL𧈦 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 460/560 . Frontiers in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology . 1 Credit .

Review of the structure, synthesis and properties of key nano-materials and their impact on living systems. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈥 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 461/561 . Human Cadaver Dissection . 5 Credits .

Students will dissect a human cadaver fully and learn all of the major structures. The course will be divided into three sections: back and limbs, TAP (thorax, abdomen and pelvis), and head and neck. Instructor demonstrations include brain removal and dissection. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇱 or BIOL𧇻, or its equivalent, must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher.

BIOL 462/562 . Microbial Genetics . 3 Credits .

This course will emphasize the fundamental concepts of microbial genetics including the study of gene structure, gene regulation, operons, DNA replication, RNA biology, protein synthesis, plasmid biology, mobile genetic elements, and recombinant DNA technology. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈼 and BIOL𧈽 must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher.

BIOL 463/563 . Cell Signaling in Host Pathogen Interactions . 3 Credits .

This course will emphasize cell dynamics including host and pathogen induced cellular signaling, the regulation of actin cytoskeleton rearrangement, and the modulation of host transcription and translation by different pathogens. Prerequisite: BIOL𧈥.

BIOL 464/564 . Biomedical Applications of Low Temperature Plasmas . 3 Credits .

This course is cross listed between ECE and Biology. It is intended for senior undergraduate students and first year graduate students. The course contents are multidisciplinary, combining materials from engineering and the biological sciences. The course covers an introduction to the fundamentals of non-equilibrium plasmas, low temperature plasma sources, and cell biology. This is followed by a detailed discussion of the interaction of low temperature plasma with biological cells, both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Potential applications in medicine such as wound healing, blood coagulation, sterilization, and the killing of various types of cancer cells will be covered. Prerequisites: Senior standing.

BIOL 465/565 . Biotechnology . 3 Credits .

This course provides an overview of how microbes are manipulated to solve practical problems through biotechnology. Topics include basic concepts in microbial technology, industrial microbiology, microbes in drug development, food microbiology, microbial interactions, gut microbiota, and metagenomics. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈼 and BIOL𧈽 must be passed with a grade of C or higher or permission of instructor.

BIOL 466W/566 . Introduction to Mitigation and Adaptation Studies . 3 Credits .

Students will be introduced to the science underpinning mitigation of human-induced changes in the Earth system, including but not limited to climate change and sea level rise, and adaptation to the impacts of these changes. The course will cover the environmental hazards and the opportunities and limitations for conservation, mitigation and adaptation. This is a writing intensive course. Cross listed with IDS𧋒W and OEAS𧋒W. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 or permission of instructor.

BIOL 467/567 . Sustainability Leadership . 3 Credits .

In this class, students will discover what makes a leader for sustainability. They will consider a range of global and local crises from a leadership point of view in the context of sustainability science, which addresses the development of communities in a rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental system-of-systems environment. The course will be based on taking a problem-motivated and solution-focused approach to the challenges considered. The course includes a service learning project focusing on a leadership experience in solving a real-world environmental problem. Prerequisite: BIOL𧋒W or OEAS𧋒W or IDS𧋒W.

BIOL𧋔W . Research Methods in Mathematics and Science . 3 Credits .

Emphasizes the tools and techniques used to solve scientific problems. Topics include use and design of experiments, use of statistics to interpret experimental results, mathematical modeling of scientific phenomena, and oral and written presentation of scientific results. Students will perform four independent inquiries, combining skills from mathematics and science to solve research problems. Required for Biology teaching licensure track not available as upper-division elective in content area. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈳 or BIOL𧈴 or BIOL𧈼 and BIOL𧈽 or MATH𧇔 and ENGL𧇓C or ENGL𧇝C or ENGL𧇧C and STEM𧇉 must be passed with a grade of C or higher or permission of instructor, and admission to Monarch Teach.

BIOL 470T/570 . Diseases that Changed our World . 3 Credits .

Despite advancements in the development of antimicrobials and vaccines and in securing clear water and food supplies, modern civilizations are not immune to epidemic diseases. This course will provide insight into the role of different technologies in the struggle to attain disease control and eradication and explore the challenge of forecasting emerging plagues, describing the nature and evolution of diseases and conveying their significance in shaping Western culture and civilization, their impact, their consequences, their costs, and the lessons learned. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing with a general biology course (BIOL𧅻N or BIOL𧆊N or BIOL𧅵N).

BIOL 471W/571 . Marine Vertebrate Ecology, Management & Conservation . 3 Credits .

Course will explore the biology, diversity and major life history patterns of a suite of marine megafauna, including sea turtles, marine mammals, seabirds and sharks. Students will determine the major drivers behind large-scale declines of many marine megafauna species and be challenged to understand and attempt to solve conservation and management issues. This is a writing intensive course, with a focus on the content and mechanics of scientific writing. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣, BIOL𧈤, and ENGL𧇓C or ENGL𧇝C or ENGL𧇧C must be passed with a C (2.0) or better. Pre- or corequisites: BIOL𧉋 OR OEAS𧈲.

BIOL 474/574 . Mushrooms . 4 Credits .

This field oriented course emphasizes the identification, classification, ecology, culture, and uses of mushrooms and other fleshy fungi. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈴 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 475/575 . Neurobiology . 3 Credits .

This course will focus on understanding brain structure as well as the morphology and function of the central nervous system in general. Fundamental processes such as neuron morphogenesis, guidance, polarity, migration, and growth cone motility will be emphasized. The cellular and molecular basis of neurological disorders also will be discussed. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇰 or BIOL𧇺 or BIOL𧈥 must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher or permission of instructor.

BIOL 476/576 . Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy . 3 Credits .

Introduction to the immune system, tumor antigens, immunosuppressive cells and molecules, and cancer immunotherapy treatment approaches. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N, BIOL𧅼N, and BIOL𧈥 or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 478/578 . Microbial Ecology . 3 Credits .

Study of the interactions between microorganisms, particularly bacteria, and their environment. Emphasis is placed on nutrient cycling and the influence of microbes on global mineral dynamics. The effects of physical and chemical factors on the distribution and activity of microbes in their environments and the applications (biotechnology) of these interactions are studied. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈼 and BIOL𧈽 must be passed with a grade of C or higher.

BIOL 479/579 . Microbial Ecology Laboratory . 1 Credit .

A laboratory for measurement of microbial numbers and activity in natural environments. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧋞.

BIOL 481W/581 . Forensic and Medical Entomology . 5 Credits .

This is a writing intensive course that provides a comprehensive survey of the insects used in legal investigations and medically important insects. Topics covered include the taxonomy, morphology, physiology, reproductive and developmental biology, and ecology of these insects along with the diseases they may vector. Research techniques in forensic and medical entomology will be learned through both field and laboratory activities. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧈤 must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher.

BIOL 482/582 . Human and Veterinary Parasitology . 3 Credits .

The course will emphasize the principles of parasitism, including biology, physiology, genetics, morphology, and phylogeny of the major parasitic groups with a specific focus on the significant parasites of humans and animals of veterinary importance. The general biology of parasites including their life cycles, diagnosis, and treatment will be included as well. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈥 and BIOL𧈦 must be passed with a grade of C or higher or permission of instructor.

BIOL𧋧 . Honors Research in Biology . 2 Credits .

Student performs mentored research in biological science. Student and faculty mentor must meet on a regular basis. The course is intended to be taken as a series with BIOL𧋨W. Available for pass/fail grading only. Prerequisites: admission to the Honors Program and senior standing.

BIOL𧋨W . Honors Research in Biology . 4 Credits .

Independent study and scheduled meetings with faculty advisor. Supervised independent study in an area of individual interest in biology. The work in this course results in the production of a thesis. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧋧, admission to the Honors Program, senior standing, and a grade of C or better in ENGL𧇓C or ENGL𧇝C or ENGL𧇧C.

BIOL 490/590 . Advanced Human Physiology . 4 Credits .

All major physiological systems will be examined with an emphasis on normal physiology. Some clinical applications will be discussed. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇱 or BIOL𧇻 must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher.

BIOL𧋮 . Entrepreneurship in Biology . 3 Credits .

Ecological entrepreneurs consider the impact of products on the environment and are mindful of natural resources, sustainability, and social equity. In this novel class students will test their skill at biologically-inspired entrepreneurship after learning about biomimicry, sustainability, and other relevant concepts. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧈤.

BIOL 496/596 . Topics in Biological Sciences . 1-4 Credits .

A structured specialty course for students at the senior level. Courses may include lecture and laboratory components. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher, junior standing, and permission of instructor.

BIOL𧋱 . Undergraduate Research . 1-3 Credits .

The student performs laboratory and/or field research under the supervision of a Department of Biological Sciences faculty member. The student must devote a minimum of 3 hours per week for the equivalent of 1 credit. The student must maintain lab/field notes, must submit a written report, may be required to give an oral presentation, and must be evaluated by the faculty supervisor. If 3 credits are taken, then BIOL𧋱 counts as an upper-level biology elective course with a laboratory or field component. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N or BIOL𧆊N and BIOL𧆋N must be passed with a grade of C or higher, junior standing, permission of the supervising faculty member, and permission of the Chief Departmental Advisor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences.

BIOL 498/598 . Independent Study . 1-3 Credits .

This unstructured course is based on a supervised project, without a laboratory or field component, that is selected to suit the needs of the individual student. The completion of a formal scientific paper documented with the appropriate primary technical literature is required. An oral presentation also may be required. Contact the Chief Departmental Advisor for details. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N and BIOL𧅼N or BIOL𧆊N and BIOL𧆋N must be passed with a grade of C or higher junior standing, permission of the supervising faculty member, permission of the Chief Departmental Advisor, and permission of the Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences also are required.

BIOL𧋴 . Plant Systematics . 4 Credits .

An evolutionary survey of vascular plant families and the principles and methodologies that define them lab emphasis is placed on recognition and skills of identification. A lab and field intensive hands-on course. Prerequisites: A botany course.

BIOL𧋵 . Entomology . 4 Credits .

A comprehensive survey of the insects, including taxonomy, morphology, physiology, reproductive and developmental biology, and ecology. Research techniques in entomology will be learned through both field and laboratory work.

BIOL𧋶 . Scientific Diving Methods for Marine Research . 4 Credits .

This lecture/field experience course will train students in the common techniques used by marine scientists who employ scuba for their research. It satisfies the requirements for an American Academy of Underwater Scientist certification and covers other topics such as: use of underwater research equipment and marine resource surveys. A multi-day scuba trip is required. Prerequisite: scuba diving certification.

BIOL𧋷 . Medical Microbiology . 3 Credits .

This course integrates the disciplines of microbiology, immunology, and biochemistry with the pathophysiology of infections and the appropriate pharmacology in a problem-based learning setting. Students will learn the fundamental concepts and terminologies of infectious diseases. The material will be case studies in small group tutorials and emphasize independent learning. Prerequisites: Microbiology and Biochemistry courses, anatomy course recommended, or instructor approval.

BIOL𧋸 . Conservation Biology . 5 Credits .

The application of fundamental biological principles to the preservation of biodiversity, including the role of ecological and evolutionary theory to the preservation of biotas on a regional and global basis. Lectures will cover modern approaches to conservation biology, including conservation ethics and management issues. Laboratories will include discussion of case studies, introduction to software applicable to conservation biology, presentations by regional conservation practitioners, and visits to relevant field sites.

BIOL𧋻 . The Pharmacology and Neurobiology of How Recreational Drugs Work . 3 Credits .

This course in drug use and abuse is designed to distinguish between drug use and drug abuse as well as provide pharmacological knowledge of how recreational drugs work. Students will acquire knowledge regarding the abuse of prescription drugs, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, marijuana and inhalants. This information will be used to analyze pathophysiological conditions that can occur as a result of drug use and abuse. Prerequisite: Background in cell biology. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧋼 recommended.

BIOL𧋼 . Introduction to Pharmacology . 4 Credits .

This is a general introductory course in pharmacology dealing with chemistry, general properties and pharmacological effects on various physiological systems, therapeutic usefulness and toxicities of drugs. The course is designed to prepare upper-level undergraduate and graduate students for more advanced courses in pharmacology.

BIOL𧋿 . Zymology: Fermentation Science . 4 Credits .

This is an introductory course in the theory and practice of zymology (fermentation). Edible and potable products of fermentation (beer, wine, mead, yogurt, cheese) have been known since antiquity and play an important role in today’s society. The science of fermentation touches on many biological disciplines, such as microbiology and biochemistry, and the study of yeasts has provided considerable foundation to the fields of cell biology and molecular biology. In this course, we will cover fundamentals of fermentation and its practical application to production of beer, one of the oldest beverages produced by humans. Prerequisite: BIOL𧈥.

BIOL𧌀 . Plant Physiology . 4 Credits .

Discover the incredible secrets behind what makes our green friends tick. This course includes a traditional lecture covering the physiological and chemical processes occurring in plants. A laboratory, greenhouse, and/or field-oriented lab will provide hands-on opportunities to understand plant stress responses, nutrient use, cell metabolism-respiration, photosynthesis, hormones, and processes driving growth patterns.

BIOL𧌃 . Marine Ecology . 5 Credits .

A lecture and laboratory course designed to introduce students to important ecological processes operating in coastal marine environments. The course covers synthetic topics as well as the ecology of specific marine habitats. The laboratory is designed to provide students with experience in marine research and the organisms and ecological conditions common in various marine habitats visited by the class. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈣 and BIOL𧉋 and ENGL𧇓C or ENGL𧇝C or ENGL𧇧C must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher instructor approval required.

BIOL𧌄 . Clinical Immunology . 3 Credits .

A description of common immunological problems seen in the clinic. Prerequisite: Coursework in cell biology and immunology.

BIOL𧌇 . Wetland Plants . 4 Credits .

An exploration of the ecology of inland and coastal wetlands and their plants. This course emphasizes wetland and aquatic plant identification, field and laboratory methods, and core concepts important to wetland plants and their ecology. Linkages to wetland delineation and wetland adjacent systems will be made. Weekly field-based laboratories are expected to local wetlands focusing on hands on opportunities and research methods. Prerequisites: A botany course.

BIOL𧌈 . Ichthyology . 5 Credits .

The biology of marine and freshwater fishes including morphology, physiology, evolution, distribution, ecology, and reproduction.

BIOL𧌊 . Field Studies in Ornithology . 4 Credits .

A combined lecture and field study of birds with emphasis on identification, behavior, and field methods. Extensive field trips, including at least one weekend, are taken.

BIOL𧌋 . Cellular and Molecular Biology . 3 Credits .

The molecular organization of eukaryotic cells is presented along with cell evolution, molecular genetics, the internal organization of the cell and the behavior of cells in multicellular organisms. Prerequisites: course background in cell biology and genetics or permission of the instructor.

BIOL𧌌 . Comparative Animal Physiology . 5 Credits .

An introduction to the basic mechanisms by which different animals function. How organisms acquire and use energy, regulate their internal environment, circulate and exchange gases and wastes, receive and conduct information about their environment, and move and use muscles will be some of the topics covered. Emphasis will be on how organisms make changes in these basic mechanisms to deal with different environmental conditions.

BIOL𧌍 . Cancer Biology . 3 Credits .

This course will examine how mutation leads to altered gene products and expression, subverted cell activity, cell immortalization, and tumor formation. Students will explore the differences between benign tumors and malignant tumors as well as the factors involved in malignancy. The course will conclude with the exploration of current cancer therapy. Prerequisites: Cell Biology and Genetics courses.

BIOL𧌎 . Histology . 5 Credits .

The structure and function of cells, tissues and organs at both the light microscopic and ultrastructural levels.

BIOL𧌒 . Microbial Pathogenesis . 3 Credits .

Examination of bacterium-host interactions with an emphasis on how bacteria cause disease, particularly the means by which the bacterium is able to circumvent host defense mechanisms Prerequisites: microbiology course.

BIOL𧌗 . Marine Conservation Biology . 3 Credits .

This highly interdisciplinary science of conserving marine biodiversity will be taught through a review of old and new literature. This will include its history, marine ecology related to conservation biology, threats to marine biodiversity, assessment of extinction risk, conservation challenges of marine habitats and regions, and methods for conserving marine biodiversity.

BIOL𧌘 . Infectious Disease Epidemiology . 3 Credits .

This lecture/lab course will focus on concepts related to the spread and control of infectious diseases. The lectures will focus on concepts while the labs will provide quantitative skills essential to the study of infectious diseases. Prerequisites: Undergraduate coursework in statistics and biology.

BIOL𧌙 . One Health: People, Animals and the Environment . 3 Credits .

A course that examines the interdependence between human health, animal health and environmental health. The One Health approach to the threat of emerging infectious diseases includes understanding the interconnectedness of human and animal pathogens, epidemic zoonoses and corresponding environmental factors, insights into mechanisms of microbial evolution towards pathogenicity, new technologies and approaches towards disease surveillance, and political and bureaucratic strategies. Pre- or corequisite: A Microbiology course is recommended.

BIOL𧌚 . The Biology of Woody Plants . 4 Credits .

The study of trees and shrubs (dendrology), their identification, ecology, structure and anatomy, and uses are emphasized in this field-oriented course. A research project including a written paper and presentation is required. Prerequisite: A grade of "C" of higher in a botany course.

BIOL𧌜 . Methods in Immunological Research . 4 Credits .

The major objective of this hands-on course is to use basic laboratory techniques to prepare monoclonal antibodies to use for identification and characterization of mouse immune cells. Students will learn basic training in molecular and cellular biology techniques aiming at building basic knowledge in flow cytometry, from the experimental designs to data acquisition and analysis. The course will cover instrumentation, sample preparation, data analysis, and applications in immunology. Prerequisites: BIOL𧈮, and BIOL𧈼 and BIOL𧈽 or equivalent course work.

BIOL𧌝 . Animal Behavior . 5 Credits .

Animal behavior with special attention to its evolution and ecological significance. Field and laboratory activities will emphasize observational and experimental techniques used to study behavior.

BIOL𧌠 . Field Studies in Marine Biology . 5 Credits .

An intensive study abroad field course offered during the summer at a foreign marine laboratory where students will be engaged in lectures and field studies of coastal marine environments. Check with the Director of the Marine Biology Concentration Program for details. Prerequisite: BIOL𧉋.

BIOL𧌡 . Community Ecology . 3 Credits .

The goal of this course is to introduce and evaluate both classical and emerging paradigms in community ecology. This will be achieved by examining those processes (biotic and abiotic) that structure ecological communities, and by exposing students to quantitative and theoretical aspects of these paradigms. Prerequisites: Ecology course.

BIOL𧌢 . Comparative Biomechanics . 3 Credits .

The principles of fluid and solid mechanics will be applied to a variety of plant and animal systems to understand how organisms deal with the immediate physical world and its accompanying constraints. A diverse range of topics will be covered, including aerial flight in insects, wind resistance in trees, jet propulsion in squid, flow within blood vessels, forces on intertidal organisms, viscoelasticity in biological materials, and energy storage during terrestrial movement. Prerequisites: Cell biology course and physics course recommended.

BIOL𧌦 . Principles of Plant Ecology . 4 Credits .

This course explores theoretical concepts in plant ecology through review of classical and cutting-edge literature and practice with field-based experimental design and statistical methods. This course emphasizes the structure, development, and processes that drive patterns in plant communities and the ecological communities they support. Weekly field-based laboratories involve hands-on experience and opportunities to explore field methods in ecological research.

BIOL𧌧 . Bioinformatics and Genomics I . 4 Credits .

The application of computer science to biology has led to major breakthroughs in the ability to read and understand the code written in genomes. This course will give students the skills to participate in the computational revolution in biology. The course will give students hands-on experience in writing simple yet powerful computer programs in the Python programming language and making beautiful data visualizations in the R programming language. Students will also learn how to combine existing pieces of bioinformatics software for their own workflows. Prerequisite: background in introductory-level biology and permission of the instructor.

BIOL𧌨 . Bioinformatics and Genomics II . 4 Credits .

The application of computer science to biology has led to major breakthroughs in the ability to read and understand the code written in genomes. This course will give students the skills to participate in the computational revolution in biology. The course will build on the knowledge of writing programs. Students will learn about some key techniques “under the hood” of software that have been critical to the genomics revolution. Topics will include: graph algorithms, evolutionary trees, probability models for DNA and protein sequences, and an introduction to deep learning in biology. Prerequisite: BIOL𧌧 or permission of the instructor.

BIOL𧌩 . Molecular Ecology . 4 Credits .

This course will explore the biology of organisms by using molecular (nucleic acid and/or protein) techniques and data. It covers a wide variety of subdisciplines within Biology, including genetics, physiology, ecology, and evolution. This course will explore basic theory in population genetics, ecology, and evolution and cover DNA, RNA, and Protein techniques and their application to biological research.

BIOL𧌭 . General Virology . 3 Credits .

A basic course covering the history of virology, viral taxonomy, genetics, and the molecular biology and host responses to the major mammalian virus groups. Examples of recent impacts of viruses on human health such as influenza pandemics will also be covered. Prerequisites: courses in cell biology and genetics.

BIOL𧌰 . Frontiers in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology . 1 Credit .

Review of the structure, synthesis and properties of key nano-materials and their impact on living systems. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

BIOL𧌱 . Human Cadaver Dissection . 5 Credits .

Students will dissect a human cadaver fully and learn all of the major structures. The course will divided into three sections: backs and limbs, TAP (thorax, abdomen and pelvis), and head and neck. Instructor demonstrations include brain removal and dissection. Prerequisite: BIOL𧇱 or BIOL𧇻, or its equivalent, must be passed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher.

BIOL𧌲 . Microbial Genetics . 3 Credits .

This course emphasizes the fundamental concepts of microbial genetics including the study of gene structure, gene regulation, operons, DNA replication, RNA biology, protein synthesis, plasmid biology, mobile genetic elements, and recombinant DNA technology. Prerequisites: Courses in cell biology, genetics and general microbiology.

BIOL𧌳 . Cell Signaling in Host Pathogen Interactions . 3 Credits .

This course will emphasize cell dynamics including host and pathogen induced cellular signaling, the regulation of actin cytoskeleton rearrangement, and the modulation of host transcription and translation by different pathogens. Prerequisites: A cell biology course.

BIOL𧌴 . Biomedical Applications of Low Temperature Plasmas . 3 Credits .

This course is cross listed between ECE and Biology. It is intended for senior undergraduate students and first year graduate students. The course contents are multidisciplinary, combining materials from engineering and the biological sciences. The course covers an introduction to the fundamentals of non-equilibrium plasmas, low temperature plasma sources, and cell biology. This is followed by a detailed discussion of the interaction of low temperature plasma with biological cells, both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Potential applications in medicine such as wound healing, blood coagulation, sterilization, and the killing of various types of cancer cells will be covered.

BIOL𧌵 . Biotechnology . 3 Credits .

This course provides an overview of how microbes are manipulated to solve practical problems through biotechnology. Topics to be covered include basic concepts in microbial technology, industrial microbiology, microbes in drug development, food microbiology, microbial interactions, gut microbiota, and metagenomics.

BIOL𧌶 . Introduction to Mitigation and Adaptation . 3 Credits .

Students will be introduced to the science underpinning mitigation of human-induced changes in the Earth system, including but not limited to climate change and sea level rise, and adaptation to the impacts of these changes. The course will cover the environmental hazards and the opportunities and limitations for conservation, mitigation and adaptation. Cross listed with OEAS𧌶.

BIOL𧌷 . Sustainability Leadership . 3 Credits .

In this class, students will discover what makes a leader for sustainability. They will consider a range of global and local crises from a leadership point of view in the context of sustainability science, which addresses the development of communities in a rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental system-of-systems environment. The course will be based on taking a problem-motivated and solution-focused approach to the challenges considered. The course includes a service learning project focusing on a leadership experience in solving a real-world environmental problem. Prerequisite: BIOL𧌶 or OEAS𧌶.

BIOL𧌺 . Diseases that Changed our World . 3 Credits .

Despite advancements in the development of antimicrobials and vaccines and in securing clear water and food supplies, modern civilizations are not immune to epidemic diseases. This course will provide insight into the role of different technologies in the struggle to attain disease control and eradication and explore the challenge of forecasting emerging plagues, describing the nature and evolution of diseases and conveying their significance in shaping Western culture and civilization, their impact, their consequences, their costs, and the lessons learned.

BIOL𧌻 . Marine Vertebrate Ecology, Management & Conservation . 3 Credits .

Course will explore the biology, diversity and major life history patterns of a suite of marine megafauna, including sea turtles, marine mammals, seabirds and sharks. Students will determine the major drivers behind large-scale declines of many marine megafauna species and be challenged to understand and attempt to solve conservation and management issues. Prerequisite: A Marine Biology course.

BIOL𧌾 . Mushrooms . 4 Credits .

The identification, classification ecology, culture, and uses of mushrooms and other fleshy fungi. A field oriented course.

BIOL𧌿 . Neurobiology . 3 Credits .

This course will focus on understanding brain structure as well as the morphology and function of the central nervous system in general. Fundamental processes such as neuron morphogenesis, guidance, polarity, migration, and growth cone motility will be emphasized. The cellular and molecular basis of neurological disorders also will be discussed. Prerequisites: BIOL𧇺 or BIOL𧈥 must be passed with a grade of "C" or higher or permission of instructor.

BIOL𧍀 . Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy . 3 Credits .

Introduction to the immune system, tumor antigens, immunosuppressive cells and molecules, and cancer immunotherapy treatment approaches. Prerequisites: BIOL𧅻N, BIOL𧅼N, and BIOL𧈥 (Cell Biology), or equivalent undergraduate coursework or permission of the instructor.

BIOL𧍂 . Microbial Ecology . 3 Credits .

Study of the interactions between microorganisms, particularly bacteria, and their environment. Emphasis is placed on nutrient cycling and the influence of microbes on global mineral dynamics. The effects of physical and chemical factors on distribution and activity of microbes in their environments and applications of these interactions are studied (biotechnology). Prerequisites: a general microbiology course.

BIOL𧍃 . Microbial Ecology Laboratory . 1 Credit .

A laboratory for measurement of microbial numbers and activity in natural environments. Pre- or corequisite: BIOL𧍂.

BIOL𧍅 . Forensic and Medical Entomology . 5 Credits .

This course provides a comprehensive survey of the insects used in legal investigations and medically important insects. Topics covered include the taxonomy, morphology, physiology, reproductive and developmental biology, and ecology of these insects along with the diseases they may vector. Research techniques in forensic and medical entomology will be learned through both field and laboratory activities.

BIOL𧍆 . Human and Veterinary Parasitology . 3 Credits .

The course will emphasize the principles of parasitism, including biology, physiology, genetics, morphology, and phylogeny of the major parasitic groups with a specific focus on the significant parasites of humans and animals of veterinary importance. The general biology of parasites including their life cycles, diagnosis, and treatment will be included as well. Pre- or corequisite: A cell biology course.

BIOL𧍎 . Advanced Human Physiology . 4 Credits .

All major physiological systems with emphasis on normal physiology. Some clinical applications made but not stressed.

BIOL𧍔 . Topics in Biological Sciences . 1-4 Credits .

A structured specialty course for students at the senior level. Courses may include lecture and laboratory components. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

BIOL𧍖 . Independent Study in Biology . 1-3 Credits .

Supervised (non-lab/field) project selected to suit the needs of the individual student. Requires completion of formal scientific paper documented with appropriate primary technical literature (see GPD for details). Unstructured course. Prerequisites: permission of the GPD and permission of instructor.

BIOL𧍡 . Special Readings in Biology . 3 Credits .

Reading and discussion course designed to explore a field of specific interest.

BIOL𧎀 . Microbial Toxins . 3 Credits .

This course will focus on the mechanisms of action of microbial toxins, including those affecting the host's nervous system, immune function, metabolism, protein synthesis, and homeostasis. The structure and function of representatives of several toxin types will be analyzed for their potential applications to biotechnology and medicine. Prerequisites: A general microbiology course required and a microbial pathogenesis course recommended.

BIOL𧎕 . Topics in Biology . 1-3 Credits .

Supervised projects and practica selected to meet the specific objectives of the student.

BIOL𧎝 . Internship in Biology . 3 Credits .

With approval of Advisory Committee.

BIOL𧎟 . Molecular and Immunological Techniques . 4 Credits .

A lab-intensive course emphasizing current methods in molecular biology.

BIOL𧎷 . Topics in Biology . 1-3 Credits .

A specially designed course concerning specific topics in the biological, environmental or allied health fields.

BIOL𧎺 . Research in Biology . 1-3 Credits .

BIOL𧎻 . Thesis . 1-3 Credits .

This course is selected with the recommendation of the faculty advisor.

BIOL𧎼 . Cardiovascular Physiology . 4 Credits .

This physiology course will focus solely on cardiovascular physiology. Lectures will focus on basic and advance cardiovascular principles. The laboratory will focus on the use of current cardiovascular research.

BIOL𧎽 . Practical Computing for Biology . 3 Credits .

This hands-on training course emphasizes the use of general computing tools to work more effectively in the biological sciences. It integrates a broad range of powerful and flexible tools that are applicable to ecologists, molecular biologists, physiologists, and anyone who has struggled analyzing large or complex data sets. Text file manipulation with regular expressions, basic shell scripting, programming in Python and R, interaction with remote devices, and basic graphical concepts will be reviewed.

BIOL𧎾 . Biomedical Sciences Journal Club . 1 Credit .

Review and discussion of current papers in the areas of biomedical sciences. Student presentation, discussions and readings in this field required.

BIOL𧎿 . Advanced Genomics Data Analysis . 3 Credits .

This course is designed to teach students the various steps involved in analyzing next-generation sequencing data for gene expression profiling and polymorphism identification and analyses. The class will follow a workshop setting with a combination of lectures, paper discussions, and instructor and student led programming sessions.

BIOL𧏁 . Advanced Microbiology . 4 Credits .

Investigate microbiology from historical perspectives to modern molecular microbiology ecological and biomedical components bacteria and viruses. Laboratory will involve designing experiments conducting and evaluating results. Prerequisite: A microbiology course.

BIOL𧏃 . Ecosystem Ecology . 5 Credits .

Ecological principles at ecosystem level of biological organization. Discussion of energy flow, nutrient cycling, ecosystem stability and ecosystem modeling. Laboratory involves field trips and methods of measuring ecosystem parameters. Prerequisites: a general ecology course.

BIOL𧏄 . Ecological Sciences Seminar . 1 Credit .

A graduate seminar course in the ecological sciences. The format of the course depends on the faculty running the seminar, but most seminars involve student-led discussions on current research articles.

BIOL𧏆 . Advanced Cell Biology . 3 Credits .

This course will cover selected current topics in cell biology that reflect recent advances in the field. Major topics include membranes and transport, signal transduction, cell adhesion and motility, cell cycle, apoptosis, and specialized cell functions. Students will read current research papers that describe the latest innovations in microscopic and molecular analysis of cellular function. This course is built on previous coursework in cell biology by reinforcing key fundamental concepts and performing a more in-depth examination of cellular mechanisms. Prerequisite: Course background in cell biology recommended.

BIOL𧏈 . Biological Microscopy . 4 Credits .

Lectures will cover theory and concepts of specimen preparation and operation of various microscopes used in the biological sciences. The laboratory experience will include specimen preparation to viewing. Prerequisites: permission of the instructor.

BIOL𧏊 . Biomedical Sciences Laboratory . 2 Credits .

Three laboratory rotations (6 credits) are required by the curriculum. Prerequisite: approval of the program director.

BIOL𧏋 . Biomedical Sciences Laboratory . 2 Credits .

BIOL𧏌 . Endocrinology . 5 Credits .

The biochemical integration of hormones and related agents on vertebrate physiology with emphasis on human endocrinology. Recent literature will be stressed.

BIOL𧏐 . Systematic Ichthyology . 3 Credits .

A systematic survey of fishes emphasizing life history, anatomy, identification and classification. Prerequisites: BIOL𧌈.

BIOL𧏔 . Neuromuscular Physiology . 3 Credits .

This course will provide a comprehensive discussion of the physiological and chemical properties of nerve and muscle cells.

BIOL𧏚 . Emerging Infectious Diseases . 3 Credits .

Discussion on current studies into new and reemerging infectious diseases with an examination of the infectious agent and factors involved in disease emergence, prevention and elimination. Prerequisite: A microbiology course.

BIOL𧏛 . Systematics and Speciation . 3 Credits .

Principles of systematic biology and discussion of speciation theory, with emphasis on generation, analysis, and interpretation of taxonomic data and application of these data to a better understanding of classification and speciation processes. Modern theories of evolutionary biology and phylogenetics will be stressed. A research paper is required.

BIOL𧏜 . GIS in the Life Sciences . 3 Credits .

This course is designed to introduce students to geographic information systems through examples and applications in the life sciences.

BIOL𧏡 . Advanced One Health . 3 Credits .

One Health is a concept that stresses the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental/ecosystem health and seeks an integrative approach to human and animal health issues. The concept provides a framework for examining complex health issues such as vector-borne and emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and food safety and security. In our globalized world, new approaches to preventing, treating, and controlling diseases are urgently needed as emerging diseases are increasing in frequency due to interconnected ecosystems and the close connections between humans and animals. Prerequisites: An introductory One Health course (BIOL𧊵W or BIOL𧌙 or equivalent).

BIOL𧏤 . Advanced Vaccinology . 3 Credits .

This course will explore a broad range of concepts important to the field of vaccinology. Primary literature will be used to discuss vaccine development topics such as vaccine design and production, delivery methods, adjuvants, One Health, and zoonotic vaccines. HIV, TB, malaria, influenza, and parasite vaccines will be included. Prerequisites: passing grade (2.0 or above) in a class (300-level or above) that covers microbiology or immunology, at the discretion of the instructor.

BIOL𧏩 . Advanced Immunology . 3 Credits .

Current concepts in cellular and molecular immunology and host defense based on critical review of the primary literature.

BIOL𧏫 . Responsible Conduct of Research . 2 Credits .

Required of all graduate students admitted to Biology programs. The course will introduce students to the responsible conduct of science and scientific research.

BIOL𧏬 . Functional Genomics and Proteomics in Animal Models . 3 Credits .

The purpose of this course is to show how animal models of human diseases can be created and analyzed using genomic and proteomic technologies. The course will overview high throughput methods of generating disease models in mice and describe ongoing efforts in this field. Attempts to identify molecular mechanisms of the disease will be presented with particular emphasis on drug target discovery. Pre- or corequisite: An immunology course.

BIOL𧏭 . Biogeography . 3 Credits .

Emphasis on historical biogeography, utilizing both dispersal and vicariance models for explanations of the geographic distribution of organisms. Ecological explanations are also considered. Useful techniques for biogeographic analyses, such as comparison of area cladograms are discussed at length.

BIOL𧏮 . Marine Benthic Ecology . 4 Credits .

Application of ecological principles at the community level to marine benthic environments. Discussion of community structure, animal-sediment relationships, roles of benthic communities in marine ecosystems. Prerequisites: BIOL𧌃 or equivalent.

BIOL𧏯 . Advanced Practices in Ethnobotany . 3 Credits .

The major objective of this course is modern methods used to study plants influencing human culture. Objectives include plant systematics and applications of DNA bar coding and fingerprinting phytochemical techniques in drug discovery and food supplements intellectual property rights ecological methods for sustainable harvesting of natural products the ethnobotanical interview and questionnaire development methods for studying crop origins, history, and development archeobotany mining historical data and importance of identification, vouching, efficacy, and conservation. This course provides a survey of interdisciplinary methodologies used in modern ethnobotanical research. A multi-day field trip is a required component.

BIOL𧏲 . Phylogeny and Molecular Lecture and Laboratory . 5 Credits .

This course is intended to be an introduction to the processes and procedures used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of living organisms. Topics include project planning, sampling strategies, molecular techniques, and analytical and tree-building programs used to infer phylogeny. Lab provides computer experience in multiple phylogenetic software packages. Prerequisites: Instructor approval required.

BIOL𧏳 . Molecular Genetics . 3 Credits .

Current molecular understanding of genetic processes will be reviewed. Applications to areas such as development and evolution will also be covered.

BIOL𧏴 . Phylogeny and Molecular Systematics . 5 Credits .

This course is intended to be an introduction to the processes and procedures used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of living organisms. Topics include project planning, sampling strategies, molecular techniques, and analytical and tree-building programs used to infer phylogeny. Lab provides computer experience in multiple phylogenetic software packages.

BIOL𧏵 . Biometry . 4 Credits .

A first course, or a refresher course, in statistical methods and experimental design for graduate students in biology and the natural sciences. The focus is on application and hypothesis testing with examples drawn from the field of biology. The course requires a significant amount of work outside of class on homework exercises and an independent project. Prerequisite: course background in statistics.

BIOL𧏶 . Molecular Ecology . 4 Credits .

Scientist are increasingly using molecular methods to help them address fundamental questions in the population ecology and evolution of biological species. This class will introduce graduate students to the basic concepts and methods in molecular evolution, phylogenetics and methods into their research. Theory and concepts from lecture will be illustrated through reading and discussion of current scientific literature. Students will also directly apply the course material to a class project investigating population structure of marine species from the tropical Indo-Pacific, for which they will be trained in methods of DNA extraction, PCR and sequencing. They will present their results orally in a mini-symposium at the end of the course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧎟.

BIOL𧏷 . Foundations and Principles in Ecology . 3 Credits .

A survey of the seminal ideas and perspectives in historical and contemporary ecology. The course is designed to provide a broad overview of the important theoretical and conceptual paradigms in ecology.

BIOL𧐂 . Advanced Study in Biology . 3 Credits .

Under the guidance of members of the graduate faculty and with the approval of the program track coordinator, the student will carry out in-depth studies of selected topics relevant to the area of specialization. Extensive surveys and analyses of the literature. Written reviews, comprehensive and synoptic, and oral presentations are required of each student.

BIOL𧐃 . Vector-Borne Diseases . 3 Credits .

Study of the role of insects, ticks and other invertebrates in the transmission of disease. Different areas of disease transmission will be examined, including physiological and biochemical aspects of microbial survival in the vector and transmission to vertebrate hosts, as well as ecological aspects.

BIOL𧐄 . Modeling and Simulation in the Life Sciences . 4 Credits .

Course is designed to introduce students to modeling and simulation techniques using examples and applications in the life sciences.

BIOL𧐇 . Grant Writing for the Life Sciences . 3 Credits .

Provides students with the skills to write competetive grant proposals to both private and federal funding sources (emphasis on NIH and NSF). Students will learn how to find the most appropriate funding mechanisms and how to position themselves to be competetive. Different grant writing formats will be illustrated through proposal development projects.

BIOL𧐍 . Autoimmunity and Transplantation . 3 Credits .

Major research advances in immunology have resulted in substantially increasing the understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of autoimmune diseases and transplantation. The course will focus on these new advances to improve the understanding of these diseases. Topics will include a brief review of the immune system multiple sclerosis, arthritis and other immune diseases and the molecular and cellular basis of transplantation and chronic rejection of organ grafts. Prerequisites: course background in cell biology and immunology recommended.

BIOL𧐕 . Gross Anatomy . 6 Credits .

An intense study of all systems from a regional approach. Extensive dissections required in lab. Clinical applications utilized. Prerequisites: An anatomy course recommended.

BIOL𧐛 . Special Topics in Biology . 1-4 Credits .

Study of special topics. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

BIOL𧐠 . Cardiovascular Physiology . 4 Credits .

This physiology course will focus solely on cardiovascular physiology. Lectures will focus on basic and advance cardiovascular principles. The laboratory will focus on the use of current cardiovascular research.

BIOL𧐡 . Practical Computing for Biology . 3 Credits .

This hands-on training course emphasizes the use of general computing tools to work more effectively in the biological sciences. It integrates a broad range of powerful and flexible tools that are applicable to ecologists, molecular biologists, physiologists, and anyone who has struggled analyzing large or complex data sets. Text file manipulation with regular expressions, basic shell scripting, programming in Python and R, interaction with remote devices, and basic graphical concepts will be reviewed.

BIOL𧐢 . Biomedical Sciences Journal Club . 1 Credit .

Review and discussion of current papers in the areas of biomedical sciences. Student presentation, discussions and readings in this field required.

BIOL𧐣 . Advanced Genomics Data Analysis . 3 Credits .

This course is designed to teach students the various steps involved in analyzing next-generation sequencing data for gene expression profiling and polymorphism identification and analyses. The class will follow a workshop setting with a combination of lectures, paper discussions, and instructor and student led programming sessions.

BIOL𧐥 . Advanced Microbiology . 4 Credits .

Investigate microbiology from historical perspectives to modern molecular microbiology ecological and biomedical components bacteria and viruses. Laboratory will involve designing experiments conducting and evaluating results. Prerequisite: A microbiology course.

BIOL𧐧 . Ecosystem Ecology . 5 Credits .

Ecological principles at ecosystem level of biological organization. Discussion of energy flow, nutrient cycling, ecosystem stability and ecosystem modeling. Laboratory involves field trips and methods of measuring ecosystem parameters. Prerequisites: a general ecology course.

BIOL𧐨 . Ecological Sciences Seminar . 1 Credit .

A graduate seminar course in the ecological sciences. The format of the course depends on the faculty running the seminar, but most seminars involve student-led discussions on current research articles.

BIOL𧐪 . Advanced Cell Biology . 3 Credits .

This course will cover selected current topics in cell biology that reflect recent advances in the field. Major topics include membranes and transport, signal transduction, cell adhesion and motility, cell cycle, apoptosis, and specialized cell functions. Students will read current research papers that describe the latest innovations in microscopic and molecular analysis of cellular function. This course is built on previous coursework in cell biology by reinforcing key fundamental concepts and performing a more in-depth examination of cellular mechanisms. Prerequisite: Course background in cell biology is recommended.

BIOL𧐬 . Biological Microscopy . 4 Credits .

Lectures will cover theory and concepts of specimen preparation and operation of various microscopes used in the biological sciences. The laboratory experience will include specimen preparation to viewing. Prerequisites: permission of the instructor.

BIOL𧐮 . Biomedical Sciences Laboratory . 2 Credits .

Three laboratory rotations (6 credits) are required by the curriculum. Prerequisite: approval of the program director.

BIOL𧐰 . Endocrinology . 5 Credits .

The biochemical integration of hormones and related agents on vertebrate physiology with emphasis on human endocrinology. Recent literature will be stressed.

BIOL𧐴 . Systematic Ichthyology . 3 Credits .

A systematic survey of fishes emphasizing life history, anatomy, identification and classification. Prerequisites: BIOL𧌈.

BIOL𧐸 . Neuromuscular Physiology . 3 Credits .

This course will provide a comprehensive discussion of the physiological and chemical properties of nerve and muscle cells.

BIOL𧐾 . Emerging Infectious Diseases . 3 Credits .

Discussion on current studies into new and reemerging infectious diseases with an examination of the infectious agent and factors involved in disease emergence, prevention and elimination. Prerequisite: A microbiology course.

BIOL𧐿 . Systematics and Speciation . 3 Credits .

Principles of systematic biology and discussion of speciation theory, with emphasis on generation, analysis, and interpretation of taxonomic data and application of these data to a better understanding of classification and speciation processes. Modern theories of evolutionary biology and phylogenetics will be stressed. A research paper is required.

BIOL𧑀 . GIS in the Life Sciences . 3 Credits .

This course is designed to introduce students to geographic information systems through examples and applications in the life sciences.

BIOL𧑅 . Advanced One Health . 3 Credits .

One Health is a concept that stresses the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental/ecosystem health and seeks an integrative approach to human and animal health issues. The concept provides a framework for examining complex health issues such as vector-borne and emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and food safety and security. In our globalized world, new approaches to preventing, treating, and controlling diseases are urgently needed as emerging diseases are increasing in frequency due to interconnected ecosystems and the close connections between humans and animals. Prerequisites: An introductory One Health course (BIOL𧊵W or BIOL𧌙 or equivalent).

BIOL𧑈 . Advanced Vaccinology . 3 Credits .

This course will explore a broad range of concepts important to the field of vaccinology. Primary literature will be used to discuss vaccine development topics such as vaccine design and production, delivery methods, adjuvants, One Health, and zoonotic vaccines. HIV, TB, malaria, influenza, and parasite vaccines will be included. Prerequisite: passing grade (at least 2.0) in a class that covers microbiology or immunology (BIOL𧈼 or equivalent), at the discretion of the instructor.

BIOL𧑍 . Advanced Immunology . 3 Credits .

Current concepts in cellular and molecular immunology and host defense based on critical review of the primary literature.

BIOL𧑏 . Responsible Conduct of Research . 2 Credits .

Required of all graduate students admitted to Biology programs. The course will introduce students to the responsible conduct of science and scientific research.

BIOL𧑐 . Functional Genomics and Proteomics in Animal Models . 3 Credits .

The purpose of this course is to show how animal models of human diseases can be created and analyzed using genomic and proteomic technologies. The course will overview high throughput methods of generating disease models in mice and describe ongoing efforts in this field. Attempts to identify molecular mechanisms of the disease will be presented with particular emphasis on drug target discovery. Pre- or corequisite: An immunology course.

BIOL𧑑 . Biogeography . 3 Credits .

Emphasis on historical biogeography, utilizing both dispersal and vicariance models for explanations of the geographic distribution of organisms. Ecological explanations are also considered. Useful techniques for biogeographic analyses, such as comparison of area cladograms are discussed at length.

BIOL𧑒 . Marine Benthic Ecology . 4 Credits .

Application of ecological principles at the community level to marine benthic environments. Discussion of community structure, animal-sediment relationships, roles of benthic communities in marine ecosystems. Prerequisites: BIOL𧌃 or equivalent.

BIOL𧑓 . Advanced Practices in Ethnobotany . 3 Credits .

The major objective of this course is modern methods used to study plants influencing human culture. Objectives include plant systematics and applications of DNA bar coding and fingerprinting phytochemical techniques in drug discovery and food supplements intellectual property rights ecological methods for sustainable harvesting of natural products the ethnobotanical interview and questionnaire development methods for studying crop origins, history, and development archeobotany mining historical data and importance of identification, vouching, efficacy, and conservation. This course provides a survey of interdisciplinary methodologies used in modern ethnobotanical research. A multi-day field trip is a required component.

BIOL𧑖 . Phylogeny and Molecular Lecture and Laboratory . 5 Credits .

This course is intended to be an introduction to the processes and procedures used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of living organisms. Topics include project planning, sampling strategies, molecular techniques, and analytical and tree-building programs used to infer phylogeny. Lab provides computer experience in multiple phylogenetic software packages. Prerequisite: Instructor approval required.

BIOL𧑗 . Molecular Genetics . 3 Credits .

Current molecular understanding of genetic processes will be reviewed. Applications to areas such as development and evolution will also be covered.

BIOL𧑘 . Phylogeny and Molecular Systematics . 5 Credits .

This course is intended to be an introduction to the processes and procedures used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of living organisms. Topics include project planning, sampling strategies, molecular techniques, and analytical and tree-building programs used to infer phylogeny. Lab provides computer experience in multiple phylogenetic software packages.

BIOL𧑙 . Biometry . 4 Credits .

A first course, or a refresher course, in statistical methods and experimental design for graduate students in biology and the natural sciences. The focus is on application and hypothesis testing with examples drawn from the field of biology. The course requires a significant amount of work outside of class on homework exercises and an independent project. Prerequisite: course background in statistics.

BIOL𧑚 . Molecular Ecology . 4 Credits .

Scientist are increasingly using molecular methods to help them address fundamental questions in the population ecology and evolution of biological species. This class will introduce graduate students to the basic concepts and methods in molecular evolution, phylogenetics and methods into their research. Theory and concepts from lecture will be illustrated through reading and discussion of current scientific literature. Students will also directly apply the course material to a class project investigating population structure of marine species from the tropical Indo-Pacific, for which they will be trained in methods of DNA extraction, PCR and sequencing. They will present their results orally in a mini-symposium at the end of the course. Prerequisites: BIOL𧎟.

BIOL𧑛 . Foundations and Principles in Ecology . 3 Credits .

A survey of the seminal ideas and perspectives in historical and contemporary ecology. The course is designed to provide a broad overview of the important theoretical and conceptual paradigms in ecology.

BIOL𧑝 . Ecological Sciences Internship . 3-6 Credits .

Internship experience. Prerequisites: approval of advisory committee.

BIOL𧑧 . Vector-Borne Diseases . 3 Credits .

Study of the role of insects, ticks and other invertebrates in the transmission of disease. Different areas of disease transmission will be examined, including physiological and biochemical aspects of microbial survival in the vector and transmission to vertebrate hosts, as well as ecological aspects.

BIOL𧑨 . Modeling and Simulation in Life Sciences . 4 Credits .

Course is designed to introduce students to modeling and simulation techniques using examples and applications in the life sciences.

BIOL𧑫 . Grant Writing for the Life Sciences . 3 Credits .

Provides students with the skills to write competetive grant proposals to both private and federal funding sources (emphasis on NIH and NSF). Students will learn how to find the most appropriate funding mechanisms and how to position themselves to be competetive. Different grant writing formats will be illustrated through proposal development projects.

BIOL𧑰 . Advanced Study in Biology . 3 Credits .

Under the guidance of members of the graduate faculty and with the approval of the program track coordinator, the student will carry out in-depth studies of selected topics relevant to the area of specialization. Extensive surveys and analyses of the literature. Written reviews, comprehensive and synoptic, and oral presentations are required of each student.

BIOL𧑱 . Autoimmunity and Transplantation . 3 Credits .

Major research advances in immunology have resulted in substantially increasing the understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of autoimmune diseases and transplantation. The course will focus on these new advances to improve the understanding of these diseases. Topics will include a brief review of the immune system multiple sclerosis, arthritis and other immune diseases and the molecular and cellular basis of transplantation and chronic rejection of organ grafts. Prerequisites: course background in cell biology and immunology recommended.

BIOL𧑹 . Gross Anatomy . 6 Credits .

An intense study of all systems from a regional approach. Extensive dissections required in lab. Clinical applications utilized. Prerequisites: Anatomy and Physiology course.

BIOL𧑺 . Biomedical Doctoral Seminar . 2 Credits .

Doctoral students in the Biomedical Sciences program will attend seminars, learn how to properly give a seminar, and present a seminar on their own research.

BIOL𧑿 . Special Topics in Biology . 1-4 Credits .

Study of special topics. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

BIOL𧒂 . Research in Biology . 1-6 Credits .

BIOL𧒃 . Dissertation . 1-6 Credits .

BIOL𧓦 . Master's Graduate Credit . 1 Credit .

This course is a pass/fail course for master's students in their final semester. It may be taken to fulfill the registration requirement necessary for graduation. All master's students are required to be registered for at least one graduate credit hour in the semester of their graduation.

BIOL𧓧 . Doctoral Graduate Credit . 1 Credit .

This course is a pass/fail course doctoral students may take to maintain active status after successfully passing the candidacy examination. All doctoral students are required to be registered for at least one graduate credit hour every semester until their graduation.


Using Genetics to Study the History of Rome

While archaeologists and historians have been studying Ancient Rome for many years, there are still things we don&rsquot know. A team of researchers set out to learn more about one of those mysteries, the ancestry of Rome&rsquos citizens. Reporting in Science, an international team has shown that the populace had diverse origins. A genetic assessment demonstrated that during the expansion of the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean Sea, immigrants arrived from Europe, North Africa, and the Near East. That had a big effect on the composition of one of the greatest cities of the ancient world, noted a senior author of the report, Jonathan Pritchard, a professor of genetics and biology.

This study used ancient genetic material from Romans and individuals from nearby Italian regions, and showed that there were at least two significant migrations into Rome, as well as smaller shifts in the population that all had impacts over the past few thousand years, said Pritchard.

"This study shows how dynamic the past really is," said co-lead study author Hannah Moots, a graduate student in anthropology. "In Rome we're seeing people come from all over, in ways that correspond with historical political events."

Genetic studies have expanded our understanding of human history in recent years, and have filled in gaps in our knowledge. "The historical and archaeological records tell us a great deal about political history and contacts of different kinds with different places - trade and slavery, for example - but those records provide limited information about the genetic makeup of the population," added Pritchard.

In this study, an international team of investigators used 127 samples of human DNA were obtained from 29 places around Rome and included periods from the Stone Age to medieval times. The earliest samples confirmed what we know farmers that were mostly from areas around Iran and Turkey entered the region about 8,000 years ago. Then, people began to immigrate there from the Ukrainian steppe region about 3,000 to 5,000 years ago. Rome is generally considered to have been founded around 753 BCE. By that time, however, the population was diverse and was similar to what&rsquos seen in modern Europe and Mediterranean populations.

Rome was a simple city-state at first, but within 800 years it had created a massive empire that extended from North Africa to Britain to Iraq. During this expansion, historical evidence has indicated that Rome built connections using trade, roads, military campaigns, and slavery the genetic data confirmed this. The ancestry of Romans shifted, as more people arrived from the Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean. The empire then entered a period of turmoil in which it split in two, diseases afflicted the populace, and foreigners began to invade another shift in ancestry occurred, and western Europeans began to enter the area. Next, the rise of the Holy Roman Empire brought people in from northern and Central Europe.

Pritchard noted that the study indicated that the culture and ancestry of the ancient world were changing. "It was surprising to us how rapidly the population ancestry shifted, over timescales of just a few centuries, reflecting Rome's shifting political alliances over time," Pritchard said. "Another striking aspect was how cosmopolitan the population of Rome was, starting more than 2,000 years ago and continuing through the rise and dissolution of the empire. Even in antiquity, Rome was a melting pot of different cultures."


Watch the video: Νευρικό Σύστημα - ΝΕΥΡΙΚΗ ΩΣΗ (August 2022).