Courses

Coursemaster

Bio3041 Plant Biology and Genetic Engineering (new format). SP19
Can plant technology save the world? In this problem-based course, students and instructors will work together to understand how plant genetic engineering might help us solve some of the world’s biggest problems. As a class, we will select three global challenges with potential plant-based solutions (such as climate change, feeding a growing population, or finding renewable sources of energy). Over the course of the semester, small teams of students will learn and teach each other key aspects of plant biology, the cutting-edge technology currently in use, and progress made to date by academic, non-profit, and industry initiatives. Friday discussion sections will focus on critical reading of the primary literature related to the material covered in class. Assessments will include regular oral presentations, participation in class and discussion sections, and three written reports. Students can expect to leave the course appreciating what plants do for our world, understanding what genetic engineering really is, and knowing how to identify valid sources of scientific information. Prerequisites: Bio 2960 and Bio 2970.
Syllabus SP2019

Bio3041 Plant Biology and Genetic Engineering. SP12, SP13, SP14, SP15, SP17, SP18
The goal of this course is to convey a working knowledge of how plants grow, develop and reproduce, and how knowledge of plant genetics, development, cell biology, biochemistry, physiology and recombinant DNA techniques can be combined to produce plants with novel traits. Recent examples of genetically engineered crops and the current efforts of the biotechnology industry will be discussed. We will also spend some time discussing the environmental, social, economic and ethical issues related to genetic engineering of plants. Students should note that recombinant DNA techniques are useful tools to analyze genetic, physiological and cellular phenomena in most intensively studied organisms, not just in plants. Consequently, the experimental approaches and concepts presented will be applicable in other fields of biological research and parallels will be pointed out throughout the course.
Syllabus SP2018

Bio4025 Current Approaches in Plant and Microbial Research. SP14, SP19
This course is designed to introduce graduate students and upper-division undergraduates to contemporary approaches and paradigms in plant and microbial biology. The course will include lectures, in-class discussions of primary literature and hands-on exploration of computational genomic and phylogenetic tools. Evaluations will include short papers, quizzes, and oral presentations. Over the semester, each student will work on conceptualizing and writing a short NIH-format research proposal. Particular emphasis will be given to the articulation of specific aims and the design of experiments to test these aims, using the approaches taught in class. Students will provide feedback to their classmates on their oral presentations and on their specific aims in a review panel.
Syllabus SP2014

Bio4028 Seed to Senescence: The Genetics, Cell Biology and Development of Plants. FL08, FL 09, FL10, FL12
This course is designed to introduce you to contemporary approaches and paradigms in the field of plant biology. The focus will be on areas of current tool-development, investigation and excitement in the research community. The course will include lectures, in-class discussions of primary literature and hands-on exploration of computational genomic and phylogenetic tools. Evaluations will include short papers, quizzes, and oral presentations. Each of you will work on an individual project that will be developed over the semester, and summarized at end of the course in a NIH-format research proposal. Particular emphasis will be given to the articulation of specific aims and the design of experiments to test these aims, using the approaches taught in class. Students will provide feedback to their classmates on their oral presentations and on their specific aims in NSF-style review panels.
Syllabus FL2012

Bio493 Seminar in Advanced Biology: Original Biological Research and Methods FL11
This one credit course is designed to involve upper-level undergraduates in the Biology Department seminar series.  The department, and therefore the seminar series, covers a wide range of biological topics, from ecology to neuroscience. Students will be exposed to results and ideas too recent to be included in textbooks. In addition, they will see how previously published work forms the foundation for today’s experiments, and experience the excitement and interest of a scientific community.
Syllabus FL2011

Bio572 Plant Biology Journal Club. SP09, SP11
A biweekly discussion of modern and classic research in plant biology, including topics in molecular genetics, development, biochemistry, physiology, population dynamics and plant-pathogen interactions. Credit will be contingent on regular attendance and active and informed participation in group discussions and in an online format. See the references below for a description of our format.
Syllabus SP2011
Format Spring 2011

Guest Lecturer

Bio1810 Freshman Seminar in Imaging Sciences
Physical and Synthetic Biology Bootcamp (at Caltech)
Bio5491 Advanced Genetics
Bio572 Plant Biology Journal Club

My mission as an educator is to help students develop the habits of mind and of heart that will equip them for their future lives and for the future of our world.

"Hi NASA! We're on Earth Right Now @ Washington University!" Bio3041 Class 2014 #globalselfie