Skip Navigation

Molecular and Cellular Physiology (11:067:492)

(3 credits)

Typically Offered: Every Spring semester.

Prerequisites and Other Registration Restrictions: This course is designed for seniors and advanced juniors. Prerequisites include 2 semesters of General Biology and 2 semesters of Organic Chemistry; special permission may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Graduate students taking this course must register with a "G" prefix (after receiving permission of their advisor and Graduate Program Director) for it to count for graduate credit, and they will be given an additional assignment.

Format: The course will consist of two 80-minute lectures per week.

Objectives: The goal is to achieve a solid understanding of how eukaryotic cells function in the context of whole organisms. (i) Students are expected to learn the cell organelles and their function, gene/protein nomenclature and the function of specialized cells. (ii) Students are expected to gain an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that guide cell specialization as it pertains to mammalian physiology. (iii) Learn critical reasoning skills, hypothesis development, and the basics of experimental design in molecular and cellular biology.

Description: This course is designed to explore the molecular mechanisms of cell biology as it pertains to mammalian physiology. Specific emphasis is placed on the molecular mechanisms of gene expression and genome function including the role of chromatin and non-coding RNA, translation, cell cycle and division, protein trafficking, cellular metabolism and cell signaling. Other topics include the specific function cellular organelles, DNA repair, mRNA processing and translation, the nuclear pore complex and shuttling between the cytoplasm and nucleus, cytoskeleton, protein trafficking between organelles and through the secretory pathway, lipid synthesis, electron transport, cell homeostasis and apoptosis, extracellular matrix, stem cell development and hematopoiesis, and cellular clocks.

Examinations: Students will be responsible for completing reading assignments and have a comprehensive understanding of cellular processes. Assessments will come from 2 exams (25% each, 50% total), a comprehensive final (30%) and 4 online quizzes (20%).

Other Requirements: Molecular Biology of the Cell (5th ed.) by Alberts et al, Garland Science (2007)

Syllabus (111k PDF) (may be subject to change)


Dr. William J. Belden