Bioinformatics Minor (BIM) Course Descriptions

3 Required Core Courses - 12 credits

Biol130: Cell and Molecular Biology (3/2/4)
This course introduces basic principles of cellular and molecular biology. Topics include: properties of life, organic molecules, general features of cells, membrane structure, synthesis and transport, introduction to energy, enzymes and metabolism, cell respiration, photosynthesis, cell communication, extra cellular matrices, cell junctions, tissues, nucleic acid structure, DNA replication and chromosome structure, gene expression and regulation, mutation, the eukaryotic cell cycle, mitosis and meiosis, viruses and bacteria.

COMP601: Intro to Bioinformatics (3/2/4)
This course introduces software tools used in biology for gene sequencing, pattern matching, etc.  Tools may include database, data mining, statistical analysis, algorithms, and visualization.

COMP611: Intro to Biostatistics (3/2/4)
This course covers practical applications of descriptive and inferential statistics with emphasis on principles and methods of summarizing biological data using a statistical software package.

2 Elective Courses - 8 credits

COMP602: Bioinformatics Algorithms (3/2/4)
Proven computer science approaches such as divide and conquer and dynamic programming are applied to algorithmic problems faced by biologists particularly in the area of genetics.

COMP612: Biological Data Mining (3/2/4)
An introductory survey of the main topics (including but not limited to classification, regression, clustering, association rules, statistics) in data mining as well as a wide spectrum of data mining applications in life sciences.

CHEM410: Basics of Organic and Biochemistry (3/2/4)
This course is intended to introduce students to key concepts in organic chemistry and biochemistry, and to describe the significant connections between these topics and health, disease and the molecular treatment of disease. Specific topics include saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons, alcohols, phenols, esters, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, amines, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids, molecular genetics and metabolism. Requirements: Chem380 and Biol130.

CHEM420: Proteins, Medicine, and Disease (3/2/4)
Introduction to biochemistry with an emphasis on disease and medicine, covering biomolecules, protein structure, thermochemistry as related to enzymes, kinetics and inhibition, mechanisms of disease, and methods of drug discovery. This course introduces students to the basic concepts and mechanisms of disease and the development of medicines to treat these diseases. These ideas will be explored on the molecular level. To understand these processes students will be introduced to different aspects of biochemistry including protein structure and enzyme catalysis. Throughout the course, case studies of current hot topics in medical research will be used to highlight different biochemical principles and strategies in medicine. Laboratory methods and computational work used in the field will also be introduced. Prerequisite: Chem380, Engineering Chemistry.

BIOL250: Introduction to Medical Biotechnology (3/2/4)
This course introduces students to insights on how medical biotechnology applications can provide some of the tools to solve important scientific and social problems for the benefit of humankind and the environment. The students will learn essential molecular biological techniques commonly used in modern research labs, including the use of expression vectors, transformation of bacteria, DNA synthesis, DNA restriction digestion, electrophoresis, and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to generate thousands to millions copies of a particular DNA sequence. Acquiring those skills will enable students to get a feel for the practice of molecular biology by conducting cutting edge techniques and applications of medical biotechnology. Prerequisite: Biol130, Cellular and Molecular Biology.

BIOL406: Directed Study in Biological Research (Credits 1-4)
Students will be introduced to biological techniques and applications commonly used by scientists and biological engineers in medical biotechnology research and development. Some of the topics include: biological experimentation with live cells and invertebrate animals, PCR, gene cloning in silico or in vitro, bacterial transformation and electrophoresis. Topics will be introduced by using a combination of laboratory projects and mini-lectures that are aimed at enhancing the technical skills and confidence of the students to work with complex interdisciplinary laboratory projects and that may lead to original results and publications. Students will be given the opportunity to practice individually or in groups with other valuable research skills including experimental design, critical review of the scientific literature, data analysis, interpretation and dissemination of scientific data and troubleshooting. This directed research course has been offered during Fall 2012 and Spring2013 as a 2/4/4.

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