Skip Navigation

Course Catalog

120.626.01 Principles of Cell Biology

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
2nd term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • W F,  9:00 - 10:20am
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Fengyi Wan
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 structure and functions of eukaryotic cells. Introduces students to new facts and vocabulary pertinent to cell biology, as well as experimental methods used by scientists to define and understand cell structure and functions. Highlights relationships between defects in basic cell functions and human diseases. Classroom time is divided into formal lecture session as well as one less formal discussion/problem solving session.

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. Describe the proteins and mechanisms regulating ion and small molecule transport across membranes
  3. Define the structure and functions of cytoskeleton
  4. Understand the mechanisms on protein sorting and translocation into sub-cellular organelles
  5. Describe nuclear structure and function, chromosomal organization, and their relationships to gene expression
  6. Understand the basic principles of cellular signal transduction
  7. Define the key events during cell cycle and cell death
  8. Describe the structure and functions of cell junctions and extracellular matrix
  9. Understand the stem cell function and the procedure of tissue renewal
  10. Define the key cell biology events during two pathophysiological conditions, i.e. pathogens and infection, and cancer
Methods of Assessment:

Course assessment consists of class participation and two closed-book in-class exams, one given after the first seven lectures and one given after the second seven lectures. The second exam covers the second half of the course only and is not inclusive of the first exam material. Exam questions will be primarily short answer, problem-solving questions. Each exam will count for 45% of the final grade, class participation will count for 10%. Final grades will be determined based on the class average.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required