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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
3rd term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2012 - 2013
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • W F,  1:30 - 2:50pm

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Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Michael Matunis
Course Instructor:

Introductory courses in Genetics and/or Molecular and Cell Biology (such as 120.602). Students should also have a basic understanding of molecular genetics (i.e. the roles of DNA and RNA in protein synthesis) and a basic understanding of protein structure and function.


Provides students with a basic understanding of the architecture and function of eukaryotic cells. In addition to introducing students to new facts and vocabulary pertinent to cell biology, also introduces students to experimental methods used by scientists to define and understand cell structure and function. Highlights relationships between defects in basic cell function and human diseases.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the intracellular organelles of eukaryotic cells and describe their functions
  2. Design experiments to study individual proteins by light or electron microscopy
  3. Design experiments to fractionate and characterize different membrane-bound organelles
  4. Describe the proteins and mechanisms regulating ion and small molecule transport across membranes
  5. Define the functions of the ER and the mechanisms regulating ER translocation and protein modification within the ER
  6. Design and interpret experiments aimed at studying protein sorting and translocation into sub-cellular organelles
  7. Describe the molecules and mechanisms regulating vesicular transport and protein secretion
  8. Design experiments to study protein transport and targeting in the endocytic pathway
  9. Describe the molecules and pathways involved in relaying signals from the cell surface to the nucleus
  10. Describe the structures and properties of the major proteins that make up the cytoskeleton and their individual functions
  11. Describe the dynamics of actin assembly and the mechanisms of actin-myosin based movement
  12. Describe the dynamics of microtubule assembly and the mechanisms of actin- myosin based movement
  13. Define the structure and function of intermediate filaments
  14. describe the structures and functions of the major molecules mediating cell-cell interactions and tissue formation
Methods of Assessment:

There will be a total of 15 short in-class exams. Final course grades will be determined based on the average score of the 14 highest exam scores (the lowest score from the 15 exams will be excluded from the final evaluation).

Instructor Consent:

No consent required