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Courses in LSA Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Introductory Biology Credit Limitation

The maximum amount of credit that can be earned in introductory biology courses is 17 credits.

Students interested in concentrating in Biology, General Biology, CMB, EEB, Microbiology, or Plant Biology must complete BIOLOGY 171, 172/174 and 173, or BIOLOGY 195 and 173, or equivalent.

Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)
MCDB 300. Undergraduate Research
Consent of instructor required. Eight credits of BIOLOGY/MCDB courses; 3.0 GPA in science courses. (1 - 3). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. Continuing Course. Y grade can be reported at end of the first-term to indicate work in progress. At the end of the second term (MCDB 300 or 400), the final grade is posted for both term's elections. Three credits of independent research must be completed in one term to satisfy a Biology laboratory requirement. A maximum of three credits of any independent study course may count toward the Biology concentration programs.

MCDB 302. Teaching Experience for Undergraduates
Consent of instructor required. (1 - 3). (EXPERIENTIAL). May not be repeated for credit.

MCDB 306. Introductory Genetics Laboratory
BIOLOGY 171 & 172 (or 174) & 173; or BIOLOGY 195 & 173. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) Prior or concurrent enrollment in BIOLOGY 305. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. F and W. Satisfies a Biology laboratory requirement.

This course provides students with laboratory experience in basic genetic principles. Students will analyze patterns of inheritance, gene interaction, linkage relationship, and genetic mapping of unknown mutants of Drosophila through a series of genetic crosses. By using molecular techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and gel electrophoresis, mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans will be mapped to chromosomal locations. The experiments in microbial genetics include mapping by conjugation in E. coli. Experiments in human population genetics include calculating allelic frequencies of PTC tasting in the class. Students also will be doing DNA fingerprinting of a VNTR locus using their own squamous epithelial cells. A computer exercise on bioinformatics is included.

MCDB 308. Developmental Biology Laboratory
BIOLOGY 171, 172 or 174, and 173; or BIOLOGY 195 and 173. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) BIOLOGY 205. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. W. Satisfies a Biology laboratory requirement.

This course provides students with the opportunity to study firsthand the development of a number of live vertebrate and invertebrate embryos, specifically sea urchin, amphibian, and chick embryos. In addition to observation of normal embryogenesis, students perform several of the experimental analyses that have contributed to a basic understanding of developmental processes.

MCDB 310. Introductory Biochemistry
CHEM 210; and one of: BIOLOGY 162 or 163 or 172 or 174 or [195 and 173]. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) Prior or concurrent enrollment in CHEM 215. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in MCDB 311, BIOLCHEM 415 or 451 or 515, or CHEM 451.

Introductory Biochemistry is designed to be a general introduction to the chemistry of biological systems. The biweekly lectures for this course are designed to help students put biochemical reactions into a cellular context. Students are exposed to the strategies used by cells and multicellular organisms to coordinate the activity of various metabolic pathways.

MCDB 351. Synapses
BIOLOGY 222 or 225. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Synapses are the most important sites of information transfer in the nervous system. This course focuses on synaptic structure, function and development. Considerable emphasis is placed on electrophysiological and molecular mechanisms.

MCDB 352. Neurobiology of Sensory and Motor Systems
BIOLOGY 225. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in BIOLOGY 222.

This course focuses on understanding how the pattern of synaptic connections between neurons and the cellular properties of neurons and glia allow nervous systems to decipher incoming sensory information, and generate appropriate motor responses.

MCDB 397 / EEB 397. Writing in Biology
MCDB 300 or 400, or EEB 300 or 400, or permission of instructor. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in EEB 301 or MCDB 301.

This course is designed to be an introduction to the types of writing engaged in by biologists. We will consider a variety of types of texts, with the goals of understanding how these texts are written and what their roles are in the broader scientific community. The two overarching goals of this course are 1) to help students learn how to read, write, and present science research, and 2) to consider various purposes and processes required for communication in science.

MCDB 400. Advanced Research
MCDB 300. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) 12 credits of biology, 3.0 average in science, and permission of faculty member in biology. (1 - 3). (BS). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. Continuing Course. Y grade can be reported at end of the first-term to indicate work in progress. At the end of the second term of MCDB 400, the final grade is posted for both term's elections. Three credits of independent research must be completed in one term to satisfy a Biology laboratory requirement. A maximum of three credits of any independent study course may count toward the Biology concentration programs.

MCDB 401. Advanced Topics in Biology
CMB senior concentrators or Graduate standing. Prerequisites will be set by the instructor as appropriate for each section. (3). (BS). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

MCDB 402. Molecular Biology of Pain and Sensation
BIOLOGY 222 or BIOLOGY 225 or MCDB 422. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) BIOLOGY 305; MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415 or CHEM 351; and MCDB 423. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

The course examines how pain and sensory stimuli such as odors, touch, and temperature are transformed into a cellular response. It is divided between lectures and group discussions, with most assigned readings chosen from primary research articles.

MCDB 403. Molecular and Cell Biology of the Synapse
One of: MCDB 310, MCDB 311, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) BIOLOGY 305 and MCDB 422. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

The overall aim of this course is to introduce students to the most recent advances in a rapidly growing topic of neuroscience: synaptic plasticity or the change in nerve cell connection efficacy over time. The course is divided into lectures (the first half of the semester and related papers discussions (the second half of the semester).

MCDB 404 / EEB 404. Genetics, Development, and Evolution
BIOLOGY 305. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course introduces students to the field of evolution and development, with an emphasis on genetics as a unifying force. After reviewing fundamental principles in development and evolutionary biology, papers from the primary literature investigating the molecular mechanisms responsible for evolutionary change will be discussed.

MCDB 405. Molecular Basis of Development
BIOLOGY 305; or graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

MCDB 408. Genomic Biology
BIOLOGY 305; and MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course introduces students to the methods and research topics encompassed within the discipline of genomics. Students investigate the methods used to sequence genomes as well as methods currently being developed to analyze gene and protein function on a large scale across a diverse spectrum of eukaryotes.

MCDB 411. Protein Structure and Function
MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351. Or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. F.

This course is a practical hands-on approach to extract information about a protein sequence by using protein sequence analysis tools available on the web. Students also identify 3D protein structural motifs, discuss how they are related to the protein's functions and discuss how proteins fold.

MCDB 412. Teaching Biology
Consent of instructor required. (3). (EXPERIENTIAL). May be elected twice for credit. F.

This course is intended for upper-level undergraduates wishing to gain experience teaching biology in specific courses in Biology or MCDB. Enrollment requires instructor permission. Student teaching assistants will meet weekly with their students and attend one weekly meeting with the instructor.

MCDB 415. Microbial Genetics
BIOLOGY 305; and MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351. Or Graduate Standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is a lecture-based course covering the principal aspects of microbial genetics, with special emphasis on model organisms. We will review the current state of recombinant DNA research and discuss the application of these techniques to solving problems in basic and applied research fields. Each day class time will be devoted to group problem solving. Students will be encouraged and expected to participate in group discussions and problem solving.

MCDB 417. Chromosome Structure and Function
BIOLOGY 305. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course focuses on understanding how the structure of a chromosome affects in mitotic and interphase functions. Topics include assembly of chromatin and chromosomes, euchromatin and heterochromatin, epigenetics, and gene regulation. A combination of lecture, literature review, and in class discussion is used to explore genetic, biochemical, and cytological methods for defining our current knowledge and chromosomes.

MCDB 418. Endocrinology
A course in animal of human physiology (BIOLOGY 225 is preferred), a course in biochemistry (MCDB 310 is preferred) and a course in genetics (BIOLOGY 305 is preferred). (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. F.

This course is a comparative study of animal endocrine functions with emphasis on the cellular origin and chemical nature of hormones, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hormone action, general endocrine control mechanisms, the evolution of hormones and hormonal control and their physiological actions in animals. The course will concentrate on the endocrine systems of vertebrates; there will be limited treatment of human endocrinology.

MCDB 419. Endocrinology Laboratory
Prior or concurrent enrollment in BIOLOGY 225 or 310 or 311, or MCDB 418 or 426. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. F. Satisfies a Biology laboratory requirement.

The laboratory course provides hands-on experience with methods used in endocrinological investigations. The students will learn techniques ranging from the organismal to the molecular level. The course emphasizes hypothesis testing, modern techniques, and data analysis.

MCDB 422. Brain Development, Plasticity, and Circuits
MCDB 310 or 311, or BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351; or graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. F.

The course presents mechanisms underlying the development, plasticity and regeneration of the nervous system and function of neural circuits. There is an emphasis on experiments using molecular and cellular approaches in genetically amenable animals. Topics covered include neurogenesis, axon guidance, synapse formation, regeneration and molecular analysis of circuit function.

MCDB 423. Introduction to Research in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology
BIOLOGY 225 or BIOLOGY 222; or concurrent enrollment in MCDB 422. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. F and W. Satisfies a Biology laboratory requirement.

This course provides an introduction to state-of-the-art research approaches in cellular and molecular neurobiology. The course is divided into three modules: electrophysiological methods, anatomical methods, and molecular biological methods.

MCDB 426. Molecular Endocrinology
BIOLOGY 225; and one of: MCDB 310 or 311, or BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351; or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Introduces students to the latest advances in our understanding of how hormones work at the molecular and cellular level in vertebrate systems, including humans. Topics include gene structure, expression, regulation, and cellular actions of various hormones.

MCDB 427. Molecular Biology
BIOLOGY 305, and one of MCDB 310 or BIOLCHEM 415 or CHEM 351; OR Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. F.

Lectures and discussions are concerned with the following topics: the physical methods used in molecular biology; structure and coding capacity of DNA chromosomes; DNA replication; transcription, protein synthesis; prokaryotic and eukaryotic regulation; molecular aspects of development; transposable elements and genetic engineering.

MCDB 428. Cell Biology
MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351. Or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (4). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Students with credit for MCDB 320 must obtain permission of instructor. W.

The following topics are included: methods for handling relevant organisms; general properties of membranes; secretion, endocytosis, and related processes; functions and biogenesis of cell walls, of mitochondria, or chloroplasts; cellular organization of energy metabolism in prokaryotes; cytoskeleton and cell motility; structural organization and functional consequences of nuclei and nucleoids; cell cycle and its regulation; cellular aspects of differentiation and development; functions of specialized cell types.

MCDB 429. Laboratory in Cell and Molecular Biology
MCDB 427 or 428, or concurrent enrollment in MCDB 428. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in BIOLCHEM 416 or 516. This course can be used to satisfy requirements for the Cell and Molecular Biology Concentration and the Biology Concentration. W. Satisfies a Biology laboratory requirement.

MCDB 430. Molecular Biology of Plants
BIOLOGY 305; and MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351. Or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. W.

Basic aspects of molecular genetic/biochemistry as they pertain to plants: genome and gene structure and expression; processes of protein synthesis and localization; and the interaction of these macromolecules within and between cells.

MCDB 433. Plant Metabolic Biochemistry
BIOLOGY 305 and (MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

The course examines the major biochemical pathways that occur in plants, with emphasis on the chemical reactions and pathways that are unique to plants.

MCDB 435. Intracellular Trafficking
BIOLOGY 305; or Graduate Standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) MCDB 428. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Topics covered include molecular basis of secretion, vesicle transport, protein targeting, molecular motors and organelle biogenesis. Students are presented lectures introducing them to current issues, and then read the latest experimental papers anticipated having a large impact in the field. The course includes critical discussions of the experiments, interpretations, and conclusions of primary research papers.

MCDB 436. Introductory Immunology
MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351. Or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Only one of MICRBIOL 440 or IMMUNO 440 or MCDB 436 weill count toward a Microbiology major.

Detailed study of the organs, cells, and molecules that constitute the human immune system; cellular interactions involved in initiating and mediating an immune response; role of the immune system in organ transplants, cancer therapy, and immunodeficiency diseases; use of Polyclonal and Monoclonal Antibodies as precise probes in all fields of modern biological and biomedical research.

MCDB 437. Microbial Communication and Development
BIOLOGY 305; and one of: MCDB 310 or BIOLCHEM 415 or CHEM 351. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course explores the ongoing research on different aspects of microbial communication and development including certain social phenomena like quorum sensing, biofilm development and swarming motility. Readings are from the primary literature.

MCDB 440. Cell Cycle Control and Cancer
Genetics (Bio 305) and Biochemistry (MCDB 310, CHEM 351, or BiolChem 415). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course is an examination of current genetic and cell biology research on the topic of cell cycle control and cancer biology, designed for graduate and advanced undergraduates. This course involves introductory lectures, reading and analysis of current primary scientific literature and careful analysis of "pop-science" representations of cancer research.

MCDB 441. Cell Biology and Disease
Consent of instructor required. MCDB 428 and [MCDB 310 or MCDB 311 or BIOLCHEM 415 or CHEM 351]. (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course will extend the basic knowledge of molecular cell biology into cellular disorders in human diseases. The course will be comprised of lectures, in-class discussions, paper readings, and presentations. It is appropriate for students interested in cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, pharmacology, and genetics.

MCDB 444. Bacterial Cell Biology
BIOLOGY 305; and MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351. Or Graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course explores a wide range of cell biological topics in bacteria, ranging from the synthesis of external structures such as flagella and pili to the role of cytoskeletal proteins in the spatial localization of proteins. Readings are from the primary literature.

MCDB 450. Genetics and Molecular Biology of Complex Behavior
BIOLOGY 222 or 225; BIOLOGY 305; and, one of: MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course explores recent advances in the genetics and molecular biology of brain function and complex behavior. It emphasizes advances due to the application of genetic strategies that uncovered molecules important for complex behavior and brain function in organisms amenable to genetic analysis such a Drosophila, C. elegans, zebrafish, and mice.

MCDB 454. Cytoskeletal Dynamics
BIOLOGY 305; and one of: MCDB 310 or BIOLCHEM 415 or CHEM 351. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) MCDB 427 and/or MCDB 428. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Cytoskeletal dynamics drives key cellular processes including cell shape change, organelle movement, cell migration, and cell division. This advanced biology course uses primary literature as a tool to discuss key concepts and techniques related to the cytoskeleton and further helps students gain an appreciation of how scientific knowledge is generated.

MCDB 455. Cell Biology of Neurodegeneration
BIOLOGY 222 or 225 or 305; and MCDB 310 or BIOLCHEM 415 or CHEM 351. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) MCDB 422 or 428. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course covers current research into the cellular mechanisms that underlie neurodegenerative disorders, focusing on Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, ALS, and Multiple Sclerosis. Class will consist predominantly of discussion of scientific papers, and evaluation will be based on daily quizzes, participation, and a scientific research proposal.

MCDB 456. Genes, Circuits, and Behavior
BIOLOGY 222 or 225 or MCDB 422; and BIOLOGY 305. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) MCDB 310 or BIOLCHEM 415 or CHEM 351. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course explores model systems neuroscience through guided reading of seminal works of experimental neuroscience and current primary scientific literature. Strong focus is placed on newly emerging systems approaches to the neuronal control of behavior that integrate gene-function, neuroanatomy, live-imaging, and quantitative behavioral analysis.

MCDB 462. Epigenetics
BIOLOGY 305; and one of MCDB 310 or BIOLCHEM 415 or CHEM 351. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is an introduction to epigenetics, the exciting field of research about heritable changes in gene function that cannot be explained by changes in DNA sequence. Topics include chromatin structure, establishment and maintenance of chromatic modifications, non-coding RNA biology, and implications of epigenetic mechanisms for human health.

MCDB 471. Advanced Methods in Biochemistry
MCDB 310, CHEM 351, or BIOLCHEM 415, or grad standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

The course introduces upper-level undergraduates and graduate students to a wide range of quantitative methods used in modern biochemistry.

MCDB 489. Microbial Genes and Genomes
BIOLOGY 305; and one of: MCDB 310 or 311, or BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351; or graduate standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course covers a broad range of pathways used by bacteria to replicate and maintain their genetic material. The course covers genetic, cell biological, biochemical, and modern genomic techniques. The course material is from the primary literature.

MCDB 494 / EEB 494. Teaching College Science
Consent of department required. Science concentrators having completed a range of courses, such as BIOLOGY 171,172 and 173; BIOLOGY 225, 281, 305 or EEB 390; CHEM 130, 210 or 211; PHYSICS 140 or 160; or EARTH 119. (2). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

This course helps students build a foundation of knowledge about effective science teaching. It is both scholarly and practical in nature. Students construct an understanding of fundamental principles and sound pedagogy that they apply to their own teaching.

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