A Molecular Toolbox for Research & Medicine

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Course DatesLengthMeeting TimesStatusFormatInstructor(s)CRN
June 28, 2021 - August 11, 20216/28 - 8/116 WeeksOnlineOpenOnlineJody Hall

Course Description

This course is designed for students who like to understand how things work on the molecular level. There are thousands of molecular tools available to scientists, but all are essentially variations on a few basic themes. The goal of this course is to develop mastery of the principles behind essential molecular techniques in genetics and immunology. Within this paradigm, emphasis will be placed on addressing scientific questions, both pure and practical. Examples include the development of tools derived from harnessing the molecular and cellular processes of microbial, fungal, and viral pathogens themselves. While not limited to this topic, the course will take advantage of the real-time learning opportunities emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic to explore relationships between science and popular culture.

With experimental science at its core, this interdisciplinary course addresses topics in genetic engineering, molecular biology, and immunology through a mentored review of scientific and popular literature, discussions, practical problem sets, and lectures. Expected outcomes of this engagement include students’ ability to:

  • Think like a biologist by applying the scientific method
  • Design certain types of experiments
  • Predict experimental outcomes
  • Critically analyze data
  • Communicate scientific results
There is also the opportunity for exceptionally motivated students to identify topics of particular personal interest and to research a chosen topic with faculty guidance.

Supplementary Materials Update:
A basic understanding of the following topics is assumed in this course:

  • DNA Structure
  • DNA Replication
  • Transcription
  • Translation
DNA Explored is a tool that will provide you with information regarding the level of understanding expected with respect to these topics as well as resources for brushing up on any material with which you're not completely comfortable. The cost of the download is $6.00. Instructions for how to access the material will be provided within the online course material.

Prerequisites: Introductory Biology

Course Information

  • Course Code: CEBI1013

Program Information


Brown’s Pre-College Program in the liberal arts and sciences for students completing grades 9-12 by June 2021.

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