Biology: Molecular, Cellular and Developmental: 2007-2008
A revolutionary expansion is occurring in our ability to understand the structure and function of living organisms at the cellular and molecular levels. The traditional lines that used to demarcate the areas of genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, and cell physiology have dissolved, particularly in the research laboratory. This change has necessitated an approach to the teaching of biology that emphasizes the common molecular basis of these disciplines and the involvement of students in the process of discovery so they have the conceptual tools to both follow and contribute to the rapid advances. The following course descriptions reflect Haverford's approach to molecular and cellular biology. The courses are built in a series of stages:
- Perspectives in Biology courses without prerequisites are offered at the 100-level for exploration by students interested in learning about biology but not intending to major in the subject. These are appropriate for students from all backgrounds and disciplines and are separate from the major track.
- The major curriculum begins in the sophomore year with Cell Structure and Function (Biology 200a and 200b), a course in cellular and molecular biology for which a year's general chemistry taken at Haverford (Chemistry 100a and 101b or the equivalent) or at Bryn Mawr is a prerequisite. One semester of organic chemistry is required for the major and it is recommended that students enroll in organic chemistry concurrently with Biology 200a or in their junior year. (On rare instances, students may elect to take this course in their senior year.)
- The junior year curriculum consists of two junior laboratory courses (300a and 300b) and a suite of half-semester 300-level lecture courses, of which majors must complete four, two of which must represent a "core" discipline (designated 301 through 306).
- In the senior year students select one from a series of 350-level advanced seminar courses in which scientific reviews and articles drawn from the primary literature are examined and discussed in detail. These courses are designed to immerse students in contemporary developments in a particular area of cell, molecular, or developmental biology and are intended to develop critical faculties as well as creative talents.
- Seniors also participate in a 400-level senior research tutorial. The tutorial may be taken for single or double credit per semester in the senior year. It involves performing original research and reading and reporting on the current literature under the supervision of a faculty member. Topics of Senior Research Tutorials are chosen to lie within the areas of principal interest and expertise of the instructors.
- Senior Departmental Studies (499) is a half credit course for senior majors, involving participation in the department's external seminar program and presentations of research projects to the department.
Alternative routes within the major are offered to students interested in interdisciplinary studies within the science division. Areas of Concentration are supported biochemistry; biophysics; and neural and behavioral studies (NBS). In these interdisciplinary programs, a student majoring in biology takes an enhanced curriculum to fulfill the requirements of both their major and concentration.
Students may substitute some Bryn Mawr biology courses for some Haverford requirements with prior departmental approval. In general, students who take Bryn Mawr Biology 101 and 102 as freshmen are strongly advised to take Biology 200a and 200b as sophomores. Bryn Mawr Biology 101 and 102 cannot be substituted for the major requirement of Biology 200a and 200b.
Qualified students from other majors may be admitted to Biology 300 and other courses in the curriculum with the consent of the instructor.
Students wishing to combine the biology major with another major may do so in accordance with college guidelines for double majors. Such students must complete independently the full requirements of the biology major. At the present time, the biology department does not offer a minor.
Professor Slavica Smit Matacic, Emeritus
Professor Melvin Santer, Emeritus
Elizabeth Ufford Green Professor of Natural Sciences Judith A. Owen
Professor Karl Johnson
Professor Philip Meneely
Professor Jennifer Punt
Associate Professor Robert Fairman, Chair
Assistant Professor Rachel Hoang
Assistant Professor Andrea Morris
Assistant Professor Iruka Okeke
Lab Instructor Katherine Heston
- Two semesters of general chemistry (100/101 or the equivalent) are prerequisite for Bio200a. One semester of organic chemistry is required for the major and may be taken concurrently with Bio200a or in the junior year. A second semester of organic chemistry is strongly recommended. One semester of physical chemistry may also be useful for those intending to pursue graduate work in biology.
- Both semesters of Biology 200a and 200b, taken in the sophomore year. (100-level courses cannot be counted toward major requirements. ) Note again that to enroll in Bio200a, students must have completed Chem 100/101 (or equivalent).
- Two semesters of the junior laboratory, Biology 300a and 300b; four half-semester advanced topics courses, at least two of which are considered "core" courses (Biology 301-306). Students may also select from multiple "systems" courses that apply core principles to an understanding of complex biological interactions (Biology 307-312 and 354). Occasionally, an upper-level course from Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore is accepted as a substitute for one or two of the half-semester lecture courses, but only with the specific permission of the Haverford biology department.
- One half-semester course in the Haverford Biology Department at the 350 level (Chosen from Biology 350-369; no substitutions permitted).
- A minimum of two 400-level Senior Research Tutorial credits, generally taken over both semesters of the senior year, including active participation in weekly lab meetings and submission of a notebook and a thesis describing the progress and results of the project.
- Biology 499j.
Alternative curricula within the major are offered to students interested in interdisciplinary studies within the science division. These are encompassed within the Areas of Concentration in biochemistry; biophysics; and neural and behavioral sciences (NBS). In these interdisciplinary programs, a student may major in biology and take an enhanced selection of courses to fulfill the requirements of the biology major and their concentration. Further information is given under individual program descriptions for the relevant Areas of Concentration.
Biology majors wishing to follow the biochemistry concentration take the following courses: Biology 200a, 200b; one semester of Biology 300; four Biology 30x/31x courses, two of which must be selected from among 301, 303, 304, and 306; and one 350-level course; two credits of senior research; and Biology 499. In addition, they must take additional chemistry, mathematics and physics courses as outlined in the description of the Area of Concentration.
As preparation for graduate studies in biology, the biology department strongly recommends Physics 105 and 106 and Chemistry 221 and 304.
PERSPECTIVES IN BIOLOGY COURSES FOR STUDENTS NOT INTENDING TO MAJOR IN THE SCIENCES (NO PREREQUISITES: NOT OPEN TO STUDENTS WHO HAVE TAKEN HC BIOL200 OR BMC BIOL101 OR 102)
- 123 Perspectives in Biology: Scientific Literacy NA (Cross-listed in Independent College Programs)
An introduction to the biological literature through reading and discussion of articles from the current primary and popular literatures. Our texts will include the week’s issues of Science, Nature and The Science Times. We will follow new breakthroughs and discoveries as they are reported to the scientific community and consider both evolution and revolution in scientific thought in real time from the viewpoint of the larger scientific community. One half semester. Does not count toward the major.
- 124 Perspectives in Biology: Tropical Infectious Disease NA (Cross-listed in African and Africana Studies)
An examination of factors that contribute to the emergence and endemicity of selected infectious diseases in tropical developing countries, with a focus on diseases where transmission routes are unique to tropical developing countries or unknown. Examples will include waterborne, vaccine-preventable and zoonotic (animal transmitted) infections. Course participants will examine the microbiological, epidemiological and public health factors that control the emergence or persistence of infectious diseases in the tropics. One half semester. Enrollment limited to 25. Does not count toward the major.
- 125 Perspectives in Biology: Genetic Roil and the Royal Families NA
Family pedigrees reveal the inherited nature of a variety of human conditions and provide a powerful way to identify individual genes and to study the molecular consequences of mutation, particularly through the development of specific diseases, such as hemophilia and porphyria. The Royal Families of Europe offer well-documented family histories in which frequent intermarriages provide unparalleled and often tragic glimpses into both the genetic and molecular basis of disease and other aspects of the human condition. One half semester. Does not count toward the major.
- 126 Passion, Proof and Persuasion: The Nature of Scientific Inquiry NA (Cross-listed in Writing Program)
J.Punt or J.Owen
An exploration of the narratives underlying scientific discovery. Using select scientific memoirs and biographies as a guide, we will explore motivations that drive scientists and scientific breakthroughs. We will then analyze the work of a single biologist from multiple perspectives and examine how scientific controversy is portrayed in the media and in fiction. Finally, by evaluating the writings of scientists and journalists, we will work together to determine the most effective models of communication of scientific advances. Prerequisite: Open only to first-year students as assigned by the Director of College Writing. Does not count toward the major.
- 127 Perspectives in Biology: Human Genetic Diversity NA
A major scientific milestone marking the start of the 21st century was the publication of the human genome sequence. With the subsequent reading of many human genomes, comparisons reveal clues to the natural history of the human species. Starting with basic concepts of human genetics and topics such as natural selection, founder effects and genetic drift, the course will examine issues of human origins and migrations, diversity and the relationship between different populations and ethnic groups. One half semester. Does not count toward the major.
- 128 Perspectives in Biology: How Do I Know Who I Am? NA
J.Owen or J.Punt
The capacity of the body to recognize its own cellular and molecular components underlies the functioning of a successful immune system capable of recognizing and appropriately handling invasion and neoplasm. Some emphasis will be placed on how this problem has been differentially solved by phylogentically disparate organisms. One half semester. Does not count toward the major.
- 129 Perspectives in Biology: The Vexations of Vaccines NA
Vaccines exploit the memory of our immune systems specifically, their ability to produce an overwhelming defensive response to the second exposure to a pathogen. First used as a treatment for small pox by the Chinese and Turks in the 15th century, vaccination is now the cornerstone of preventative health programs and has eradicated some diseases worldwide. In this course, we will discuss the history of vaccination, its biological and cellular bases, and the difficulties involved in generating vaccines for current scourges. Finally, we will critically evaluate the controversies surrounding vaccination in some communities. One half semester. Enrollment limited to 25. Does not count toward the major.
- 130 Perspectives in Biology: Origins-Evolution and Animal Diversity NA
This course will explore the history and theory of evolution. Key concepts will be introduced as we consider a range of topics from Darwin, "selfish genes", the origin of man, the way "origins" are viewed in a variety of cultures, arguments for and against evolution, and some of the implications that evolutionary theory has for society. One half-semester. Does not count toward the major.
OTHER NON-MAJORS COURSES WITH NO CHEMISTRY PREREQUISITES
- 187 Computing Across the Sciences NA (Cross-listed in Computer Science)
Prerequisite: One semester of calculus; one semester of any lab science is also highly recommended. Offered occasionally.
- 217 Biological Psychology NA (Cross-listed in Psychology)
Prerequisite: An intro course in Psychology (100 or 103) or Biology or consent of instructor.
- 252 Women, Medicine and Biology SO (Cross-listed in Independent College Programs and Gender and Sexuality Studies)
Prerequisite: Preference given to Gender and Sexuality Studies Concentrators. (Satisfies the social justice requirement.) Offered occasionally.
A CORE PROGRAM OF COURSES IN MOLECULAR, CELL AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY WITH PREREQUISITES IN CHEMISTRY
- 200 Cell Structure and Function NA
R.Fairman, K.Heston, K.Johnson, A.Morris, I.Okeke
Three hours of lecture and one laboratory period per week. A one-year course in cellular and molecular biology. Biology 200a considers the cell as a unit of biological activity. There is an introduction to the major macromolecules of the cell which includes a discussion of their synthesis and breakdown and a section on the gene as a unit of biological information and the flow and transmission of genetic information. The laboratory introduces the student to cell biology/histology, molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics. Prerequisite: Chem 100a, 101b, or equiv. It is strongly recommended that students enroll in Organic Chem at Haverford or Bryn Mawr concurrently with Biology 200a. Those who do not take chemistry in their first year should seek the advice of the Dept. Chairperson before enrolling in Biology 200.
- 300 Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology NA (Cross-listed in Chemistry)
R.Fairman, R.Hoang, K.Johnson, A.Morris, I.Okeke, Staff
One lecture and two laboratory periods per week. An introduction to the application of modern experimental approaches in the study in interesting biological questions. Techniques employed are drawn from (partial lists): cloning and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) manipulation, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and site-directed mutagenesis; protein expression, purification and characterization, with emphasis on circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy; immunofluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy, and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis. Enrollment limited to 40 (20 per section). If more than 40 students request enrollment, preference will be given to biology majors and students enrolled in the Area of Concentration in biochemistry or biophysics. Prerequisite: Biol 200 and Chem 220a or equiv or consent.
- 301 Advanced Genetic Analysis NA
The molecular mechanisms governing the transmission, mutation and expression of genes. Particular emphasis is placed on the use of experimental genetic methods to analyze other areas of biology. Prerequisite: Biology 200 or its equivalent or consent of instructor.
- 302 Cell Architecture NA
An examination of cellular structure and function. Topics include the cytoplasmic matrix and the endomembrane system, with particular emphasis upon the dynamic qualities of living cells. Prerequisite: Biology 200 or its equivalent or consent of instructor.
- 303 Structure and Function of Macromolecules NA
A study of the structure and function of proteins, including enzymes, assembly systems and proteins involved in interactions with nucleic acids and membranes. Prerequisite: Biology 200 and Chemistry 221 or equivalent to be taken previously or concurrently or consent of instructor.
- 304 Biochemistry: Metabolic Basis of Disease and Adaptation NA
This course will introduce students to advanced biosynthetic processes associated with carbohydrate, nucleic acid, protein and lipid metabolism. A coverage of the pathways and the experiments which defined them will be accompanied by discussions of their direct relevance to disease, abnormality and evolutionary adaptation. Prerequisite: Biology 200 and Chemistry 221 or equivalent to be taken previously or concurrently or consent of instructor.
- 306 Inter- and Intra-Cellular Communication NA
A study of the mechanisms by which individual cells in a multicellular organism communicate via the exchange of molecular signals. The course will focus on the release of "molecular messengers," their interactions with specific receptor-bearing target cells of appropriate responses such as increased metabolic activity and/or cell division. Considerable attention is paid to the biochemistry of plasma and internal cell membranes and pathways are discussed from a disease perspective. Prerequisite: Biology 200 or its equivalent or consent of instructor.
- 307 The Cell in Development NA
The development of selected model organisms, both invertebrate and vertebrate, is used to examine the principles of fertilization, cleavage, gastrulation, morphogenesis, and pattern formation. Mechanisms by which genetic information is stored, segregated and activated during cell determination and differentiation are explored. Prerequisite: Biology 200 and 301 or consent of instructor.
- 308 Immunology NA
This course will provide an introduction to the rapidly expanding discipline of immunology. Students will learn about the molecular and cellular basis of the immune response through the study of the genetics and biochemistry of antigen receptors, the biochemistry of immune cell activation, the cell physiology of the immune system, immune memory, immune tolerance induction and immune-mediated cell death. Prerequisite: Biology 200 or consent of instructor.
- 309 Molecular Neurobiology NA
This course will focus on molecular approaches to study nervous system development, function and pathology. Topics including the generation of neurons and glia, electrical signaling, learning and memory and Alzheimer's disease will be discussed using examples from a variety of model systems. Prerequisite: Biology 200 or consent of instructor.
- 310 Molecular Microbiology NA
A study of prokaryotic biology with emphasis on cell structure, gene organization and expressions, which will incorporate selected readings from the primary literature. Topics include the bacterial and viral cell structure, the genetics of bacteria and bacteriophage, gene regulation, horizontal gene transfer and microbial genomics. The course will be taught via lecture, class presentation and discussion, and workshops. Prerequisite: Biology 200 and Chem 221a or consent of the instructor.
- 312 Development & Evolution NA
This course introduces important links between developmental and evolutionary biology. Genetic changes that produce variations between organisms are an important aspect of evolutionary change. Since development can be viewed as the process that links genetic information to the final form of an organism the fields of development and evolution clearly impact one another. We will look at Drosophila and zebrafish, where developmental mechanisms have been elucidated in remarkable detail. We will then look beyond these model systems to comparative studies that examine development in a range of organisms. We will consider how these comparative studies provide insight into evolutionary mechanisms and how underlying differences in development may account for the differences we see between organisms. Prerequisite: Biology 200 or consent of instructor.
- 330 Laboratory in Neural and Behavioral Science: Molecular Development NA
A half-semester lab course introducing molecular and cellular approaches to understanding the development of the nervous system. A variety of model organisms will be used to investigate neural induction, patterning, neural crest cell migration and axon guidance. Prerequisite: Biology 200 or consent of instructor.
ADVANCED HALF-SEMESTER COURSES IN MOLECULAR, CELLULAR, AND DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY OF WHICH THREE OR FOUR ARE OFFERED IN ANY ONE YEAR
- 350 Pattern Formation in the Nervous System NA
A fundamental process in the development of the vertebrate nervous system is the partitioning of the nervous system into distinct domains of cellular differentiation, for example the brain vs. the spinal cord. This seminar course will explore, through a series of student research article presentations, the molecular processes by which pattern is established in the nervous system and the morphological consequences of improper patterning. Human birth defects and pathologies such as spina bifida and brain tumors will be used as case studies to discuss the role of crucial patterning genes and signaling molecules. Prerequisite: Biology 200 and 300b or consent of instructor.
- 351 Molecular Motors and Biological Nano-Machines NA
The world of the cell contains a rich array of molecular machinery that carries out life's dynamic processes. Interdisciplinary studies of these mechanisms employing a variety of biological, chemical and physical approaches are revealing a wealth of detail spanning from visible phenomenon to the scale of atoms and molecules. Extensive reading of the primary literature will be used as a basis for student-led discussions. Topics will be selected from a list including viral assembly, cellular clocks, mechanoenzyme engines, biosynthetic machinery and the assembly and regulation of cytoskeletal arrays. These model systems provide novel insights into how work is accomplished (and regulated) in a nano-scale environment and serve as model systems for the development of microtechnologies for science and medicine. Prerequisite: Biology 302 or consent of instructor.
- 352 Cellular Immunology NA
Topics include description and classification of the cells and tissues of the immune system; cell collaboration in the immune response; transplantation antigens and their role in graft rejection and recognition of virally-infected cells; immune tolerance; lymphokines. There will be student presentations of articles in the original immunological literature, followed by critical discussion. Prerequisite: Biology 200 and 300b or consent of instructor.
- 353 Apoptosis: A Matter of Life and Death NA
Cell death is as important to an organism as cell differentiation and proliferation. In order to shape organs, limbs, and digits, form neural pathways, build a useful repertoire of specificities in the immune system, and start and stop inflammatory reactions, an organism needs to be able to regulate cell death via a highly regulated process we call apoptosis. A lack of regulation between cell death and proliferation underlies many disease states, including cancer and AIDS. In this course we will explore current advances in our understanding of the molecular basis for cell death (apoptosis), its regulation, its relationship to cell differentiation and proliferation, and its role in disease processes. The material will be presented in seminar format where primary literature will be read extensively and students will take the lead in the discussion and debate of current controversies. Prerequisite: Biology 200 and 300b or consent of instructor.
- 354 Computational Genomics NA
Complete or nearly complete DNA sequences are available for the genomes of hundreds of species, including humans. Computer-based comparisons between DNA sequences of two different genes or two different species are now routinely used in biological research. This course will examine the biological and evolutionary basis of sequence comparisons, as well as introducing the students to the statistical foundations for such comparisons. The format will involve both lectures and in-class work done at the computer. Potential topics include: evolution of DNA sequences; pairwise comparison of two sequences or one sequence with a large number of sequences; alignment of sequences; identification of domains or motifs within proteins; gene structure identification from a DNA sequence; and a large scale genome comparisons. Prerequisite: Biology 301 or consent of instructor; Biology 303 recommended; student should be comfortable with statistical reasoning and high school algebra.
- 355 Signal Transduction and Cell Biology NA
J.Punt or J.Wagner
Seminar course that covers major areas of current interest in the field of cell signaling biochemistry and biology. Topics include: 1) cell surface receptor structure and function, 2) heterotrimeric and oncogenesis: covers present-day thinking on dysregulation of signaling pathways and how this leads to the development of various types of cancers. Prerequisite: Biology 200 and 300b or consent of instructor.
- 357 Protein Design NA
This course will take a quantitative approach to the study of protein folding and protein structure using the primary research literature. We will particularly focus on these issues as they relate to function. Topics will include protein: DNA interactions, protein: protein interactions, and chaperones and their role in protein folding. Prerequisite: Biology 200 and 300b or consent of instructor.
- 358 Developmental Genetics NA
This course will examine the structure of sex chromosomes, and how differences in sex chromosome constitution give rise to the familiar morphological differences between males and females. The emphasis will be on the genetic and molecular basis of sex determination, using the primary research literature. Model organisms will include invertebrates such as Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster and vertebrates such as placental and non-placental mammals and reptiles. Prerequisite: Biology 301 or consent of instructor.
- 360 Bacterial Pathogenesis NA
The course will begin with lectures to overview current concepts in bacterial pathogenesis. Initial readings will be taken from texts or reviews on the subject, and the rest of the course will consist of focused discussions on current research in the field and student presentations on the primary literature. Prerequisite: Biology 200 and 300b or consent of instructor.
SENIOR RESEARCH, LIBRARY RESEARCH, INDEPENDENT STUDY AND SENIOR DEPARTMENTAL STUDIES (TEN HOURS PER WEEK PER CREDIT)
- 402 Senior Research Tutorial in Genetics and Meiosis NA
The principles and mechanisms by which the chromosome number is reduced and segregated during the production of gametes are studied in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetic, molecular, and microscopic methods are used to isolate and examine mutant strains which fail to execute meiosis properly. Laboratory work is supplemented by readings from the current literature on meiosis and C. elegans. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
- 403 Senior Research Tutorial in Protein Folding and Design NA
The laboratory focuses on protein folding and design, with a particular emphasis on the use of proteins in nanoscience. Students will have the opportunity to apply chemical and genetic approaches to the synthesis of proteins for folding and design studies. Such proteins are characterized in the laboratory using biophysical methods (such as circular dichroism spectroscopy, analytical ultracentrifugation, and atomic force microscopy). Functional and structural approaches can also be applied as necessary to answer specific questions relating to protein science. Laboratory work is supplemented with readings in the original literature. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.
- 404 Senior Research Tutorial in Molecular Microbiology NA
Studies in bacterial genetics and pathogenesis. Molecular methods will be used to identify and characterize features of diarrhea-causing Escherichia coli that are absent in commensal strains. Laboratory work is supplemented by readings from current literature. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.
- 406 Senior Research Tutorial in Cellular Immunology NA
Faculty- guided student research is supplemented by weekly lab meetings at which students present papers from the original literature. The end phase of an immune response is characterized by cell fate decisions in which actively engaged lymphocytes either undergo apoptosis or differentiate into memory cells. Students in this laboratory study and manipulate the expression of pro-and anti-apoptotic molecules in order to understand the process as it affects both B and T cells. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.
- 407 Senior Research Tutorial in Cell Motility and the Cytoskeleton NA
Studies on the structure and function of microtubules and other cytoskeletal components. Techniques employed include the generation of mutants and their characterization by genetic analysis; the manipulation of DNA, RNA and protein, including studies of transformation and expression; and the production of antibodies and their use in immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy. Laboratory work is supplemented by readings from the current literature. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
- 408 Senior Research Tutorial on Life and Death Decisions of Developing Lymphocytes NA
The fate of developing T cell depends on the interactions it experiences through its T cell receptor as it traffics through the thymus. Interestingly, identical interactions can have markedly different consequences depending on their developmental stage. Immature T cells (thymocytes) respond to string T cells receptor signals by dying, while their direct descendents, mature T cells, respond to the very same stimulation by proliferating. We are working to determine the molecular reasons behind this difference in responsiveness. By identifying and comparing the intracellular signals experienced by immature and mature T cells we are working to solve this developmental mystery. Laboratory work is supplemented by readings from current literature. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.
- 409 Senior Research Tutorial in Molecular Neurobiology NA
The developing nervous system of vertebrate embryos rapidly becomes patterned into distinct domains or neural cell differentiation. In order to identify what genes are responsible for the establishment of this pattern, a variety of molecular screening techniques are employed. The expression pattern of these genes is then determined by in site hybridization and their function analyzed in vivo and in vitro, using Microinjection and biochemical assays. Laboratory work is supplemented by readings from the current literature. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
- 410 Senior Research Tutorial at Off-Campus Research Labs NA
Research in an area of cell, molecular, or development biology is conducted under the supervision of a member of a nearby research laboratory who has volunteered time and space for a Haverford student. All students enrolled in Biology 410 must have a designated on-campus, as well as an off-campus supervisor. Prerequisite: Biology 300 and consent of both the department and the off-campus supervisor.
- 411 Senior Research Tutorial on The Control of Cell Shape: Molecular & Evolutionary Approaches NA
All embryos undergo a series of highly elaborate cell movements to produce their final shape and form. Understanding the molecular basis of these movements provides important insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms, and enables us to ask how changes in these mechanisms give rise to differences between organisms. Students therefore approach this subject from both molecular and evolutionary perspectives. Using the fruit fly as a model system, we are looking in side cells to ask how intricate changes to the cytoarchitecture of individual cells drive movements of entire layers of cells. We hope to further understand how these same developmental processes go awry in situations of human disease (e.g. cancer metastasis). We are also examining cell movements in a variety of insects to ask how the developmental mechanisms themselves evolve and change. Projects draw on a variety of techniques including cell and molecular biology, embryology, genetics, genomics and cell imaging. Laboratory work is supplemented by readings from the current literature. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
- 480 Independent Study NA
- 493 Interdisciplinary Examinations of Biologically Significant Research NA (Cross-listed in Chemistry and Physics and Psychology)
Seminar for HHMI Scholars and any junior or senior science major committed to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of original research.
- 499 Senior Department Studies NA
Participation in the department's Philip's Visitors Program; attendance at seminars by visiting speakers; senior seminar meetings, consisting of presentation and discussion of research plans and research results by students and faculty; and students' presentations of papers on contemporary developments in experimental biology. Prerequisite: Consent of department.
COURSES OFFERED AT BRYN MAWR COLLEGE
Multiple upper level biology courses at Bryn Mawr can satisfy requirements for the Haverford Biology major, with consent of the department.