This course aims at developing the basic concepts that form the crux of life from both structural and functional perspectives. It includes cellular functioning and organization and the transformation of energy. It also introduces the student to the continuity of life from genetic and molecular perspectives.
This laboratory course aims at introducing the students to the general biology laboratory I knowledge, skills and measurements in common use in life sciences; applying these knowledge and skills in writing of laboratory reports, using the light microscope and making measurements, using of pipettes and preparing of solutions. The major theme will be devoted to describe and analyze the molecules of life, light microscopy, fine cell structure and function, cell membranes structure and function, cell division and staining procedures. Also, students study some of the physiological concepts in animals and plants e.g. photosynthesis, respiration, and osmosis.
Biology II covers diverse topics including evolution, systematic, diversity of life, plant form and function, animal form and function, and conservation biology. The course is intended to complement Basic Biology I (which covers cellular and biochemical basis of life) by covering the basic concepts relating to whole-organism topics.
This laboratory course aims at introducing the students to the general biology laboratory II knowledge, skills and safety; applying these knowledge and skills in writing of laboratory reports, and using of light microscope. The major theme will be devoted to describe and analyze the plant ecological adaptations, plant growth and anatomy, Animal dissection, structure and function of tissues, plants and animals diversity.
This course aims at covering diverse topics including evolution, speciation, systematic, diversity of plants and animals, plant form and function, animal form and function, and conservation biology. The course is intended to complement Basic Biology (which covers cellular and biochemical basis of life) by covering the basic concepts relating to whole-organism topics.
This laboratory course aims at introducing the students to the basic laboratory knowledge, skills and measurements in common use in life sciences; applying these knowledge and skills in writing of laboratory reports, using of light microscope, pipetting, diluting and preparing of molar solutions. The major theme will be devoted to describe and analyze the molecules of life, cell structure and function, and plants/animals diversity, structure and function. The latter includes important physiological concepts e.g. photosynthesis in plants and homeostasis in animals.
This course focuses on the science of ecology with historical background and its relationships with the other relative sciences. It examines ecosystem structure and functions, energy flow and matter transfer within the food chain among different trophic levels. The course covers the biogeochemical cycles and their components, examples of the different ecosystems in the world biomes. The course contents also cover population attributes such as density, age structure, mortality, natality and population growth rate within an evolutionary context. Community attributes such as succession, food web, community assembly and diversity are examined. A laboratory session (3 hours per week) is included in this course.
This course aims at developing a clear understanding of genetics. It includes Mendelian genetics, modern genetics and molecular basis of genetics, the applications of genetics in the field of medicine in terms of detection of genetic diseases, prevention, treatment and other applications as well.
This course is designed to examine the gene as a unit of transmission, a unit of function, and a unit of mutation. The course emphasizes the relationship between classical Mendelian genetics and the modern molecular understanding of gene structure and function. Illustrates the principles of genetics through student experiments; utilizes classical genetic techniques as well as molecular techniques to study the nature of genetic material. Genetics lab meets for three hours per week.
This course aims at providing an overview of the molecular basis to cell structure and function. This course will approach this discipline by exploring a series of basic questions, which will provide a conceptual framework for dealing with our evolving understanding of cells. This course will describe classical and modern experiments provide a basis for our present understanding of how cells function at the molecular level. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to demonstrate the competencies in the following subjects: cell organization and cell communication, cycle control and programmed cell death, DNA replication, transcription, and protein synthesis.
This course aims to cultivate investigative skills, giving students the opportunity to conduct an original scientific research project under the guidance of an experienced member of faculty. This is not a course about existing knowledge: it is a course in which students pioneer the unknown; formulating an original question, thinking through and implementing innovative ways to answer it, interpreting results, and communicating the whole investigation by means of a written report and an oral presentation.
The course consists of laboratory work. This practical part of this course aims at providing students with important practical skills that benefit them in their future work as well as for future postgraduate studies. The course will consist of three modules that cover advanced techniques of the three tracks of the department: Cell and Molecular Biology, General Biology and Environmental Sciences.
This course aims at articulating students to special topics and current literature in the biological sciences, including proper use of library resources for literature review and computer search. This course, which is designed for senior-level undergraduates, will eventually follow a journal club format. Students will learn how to critically evaluate primary research papers and present their evaluations in a group setting. These skills will be valuable for students planning to enter a graduate program in the biological sciences.
This course takes an integrative approach towards understanding animals. We will explore fundamental questions about animals from the perspective of different organizational levels and experimental approaches. We will also examine a wide diversity of animals, including their ecology, phylogeny, extending our interest beyond the well-known model organisms. A three-hour laboratory component is included in this course that will include a survey of all major invertebrate groups, with special emphasis on functional morphology in relation to phylogenetic relationships.
This course focuses on the origin and diversity of vertebrates, with emphasis on functional morphology and locomotor apparatus; solutions to problems of heat and cold, osmotic stress, and oxygen availability; sensory systems and communication; growth and development; life history and modes of reproduction. Students are introduced to the relationships between all chordates through a close examination of form and function from an evolutionary perspective. Emphasis is placed on the link with evolutionary adaptation and constraints that permitted certain groups to thrive in certain environments. A three-hour laboratory will examine specimens of all major vertebrate groups, with special emphasis on functional morphology, phylogeny and adaptive radiation within and between major vertebrate groups.
This course aims at studying the history and scope of microbiology, and microscopy. It includes studying the structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, microbial nutrition and types of microbial growth, metabolism and energy generation, microbial control by physical and chemical agents, the bases of bacterial taxonomy and genetics and an introduction to the general characteristics and diversity of the various groups of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and micro-algae.
This course attempts to provide an overview of environmental science: the interactions between humans and the environment, with an emphasis on the natural science elements of environmental issues. More specifically, this course is an introduction to the various ways that humans depend on the earth's natural resources, and how human activities directly and indirectly affect the earth and its human and non-human inhabitants. In addition, the course will explore how policy, individual behavior, and technology can prevent, control, and reverse environmental harm.
This course aims at covering the diversity at the species, genetic, and ecosystem levels. Evolutionary processes controlling biodiversity and extinction are also explained. Topics covered include hereditary mechanisms leading to genetic diversity, description of biodiversity in different kingdoms, mechanisms leading to divergence of species and diversification, evolution of different life history patterns, and the conditions that lead to extinction of species.
This course introduces students to the biology of insects. It discusses classification, ecology, structure, and function of insects. In addition, students will learn about insect diversity, their role in natural ecosystems, the basics of their physiology, development, and behavior, and the many important ways they affect human life. A three-hour laboratory component is included in this course that will emphasize functional morphology and adaptations of different insect taxa.
Community ecology allows us to understand the natural world in terms of different species interacting with each other and with their physical environments. In this course, we will explore the principles of how communities are assembled, how species influence each other through competition, predation, or mutualism, how energy and matter flow through communities, and how this all relates to the structure of communities. We will consider the stability and complexity of ecological communities, and explore the dynamics which can arise through the interactions between the component parts of an ecological community. Students will have the opportunity to apply what they learn to real environmental issues; working actively in the lab to investigate real ecological communities and propose reasoned solutions based on their own original hands-on analysis. A three laboratory component is included in this course highlighting laboratory and field based exercises examining interactions within ecological communities.
This course aims at introducing a complete idea about fungi. It includes the definition of fungi, their structure, nutrition, growth, reproduction, economic and medical importance, and a taxonomic study of the major fungal groups through studying the life cycle and properties of one or more important fungi from each group family.
The course starts by introducing the biology of parasites including the history of the discipline, its relationship, and contributions to other sciences as well as its underlying concepts and terms. A concise overview of immunology, pathology, and epidemiology are then followed to comprehend the various facets of a host-parasite relationship. The core of the course will be given to detailed discussions of some micro- and macro-parasites that cover the major parasitic groups. The aspects to be covered include taxonomy, biology, ecology, pathology, immunology, social and economic impact, life cycle and mode of transmission, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment. The problem of drug resistance, control, and prevention, efforts for vaccine development; will be discussed wherever appropriate. The course ends with a discussion of the interplay between parasites and their hosts. A three-hour laboratory component examining major parasite groups is included in this course.
This course provides a survey of mammals’ major taxa, where it explores the diversity, taxonomy, distribution, and status of living mammals. There will be special emphasis on the mammals of Arabia. A three-hour laboratory component is included in this course that will examine systematics, functional morphology, and adaptive radiation in mammals.
Students will study the processes involved in plant growth and development from cells and tissues to plant communities, the functional anatomy and adaptations of plants and the ecophysiology of natural and managed ecosystems. Students will gain an understanding of the vital link between the function of a plant and its anatomy and morphology and the transfer processes of the soil-plant atmosphere system.
This course aims at covering the interplay and communication that coordinates cells into organ systems and organisms as whole, with especial emphasis on form and function in animal groups. Different organ systems including nervous system, hormonal system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, immune system and urinary system will be discussed emphasizing how these systems are integrated and how homeostatic is maintained during health or challenged under conditions of disease and stress.
The course is a multidisciplinary one that focuses on the main Oceanographic topics, including the principals of the different oceanic studies such as, Physical Oceanography, Geological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Biological Oceanography, and Marine pollution as well as the law of the sea.
A study of the basic principles of plant life. Topics of study include: Plant Essential to Human Life, structures and functions of flowering plants and their cells, tissues, flowers, fruits, and seeds, growth and development of plants from seed to maturity, pollination and fertilization. Related investigations take place during three hours of lab each week. Laboratory topics include: a microscopic study of tissues, and study the diversity of plant parts (flowers, fruits and seeds). A greenhouse is available for class use.
This course aims at covering the general history and evolution of desert ecosystems. Topics covered include the biological and physical factors that shaped unique adaptations of desert organisms, the interactions dominating and influencing food webs, biodiversity, human impact, and future of deserts.
This course aims at studying applications of ecology especially relevant to wildlife and rangelands. It reviews the principles that underlie ecological processes and the extent to which these are used in environmental management. The course starts with an analysis of the characteristics of wildlife populations and their management and then integrates habitat and landscape characteristics in rangeland management. The course evaluates overgrazing by domestic animals as an important cause of rangeland degradation using examples from around the world. The course then examines wildlife and rangeland management options that can be used to maintain healthy wildlife populations.
This course introduces students to survey methods in ecology using a hands-on approach. Through lectures, problem-solving exercises, and a major field/laboratory component, students will develop the ability to study organisms and communities in the field and utilize them in assessing environmental health.
This course aims at providing the fundamentals of ecological modeling with applications primarily to the major ecological problems and natural resources. The course provides a comprehensive and extremely clear treatment on the development, implementation, use and testing of ecological models. It embraces and covers the diverse approaches used by ecologists in expressing ecosystems interactions through model simulation and prediction approaches.
This course aims at studying the bacterial cell, and the criteria used in the differentiation and identification of bacteria. It includes the classification of bacteria into different groups with examples of the most common genera and species in each group, and the economic and medical importance of bacteria to man and the environment.
This course provides an overview of molecular tools used in the study of ecological and evolutionary processes in natural populations and their impact on biodiversity. A hierarchical approach is used to examine ecological processes from studies involving individuals, parentage, kinship, population structure, species identity, community genomics using molecular markers. Students will become familiar with methods, their strengths and limitations as well as data analytical techniques. Discussions will include conservation genetics, applications to plant breeding and surveillance of genetically modified organisms.
This course is an advanced undergraduate survey of the biology and diversity of birds. The course focuses on evolutionary biology, functional morphology, physiology, systematics, ecology and behavior. The course will explain concepts leading to understanding of evolutionary hypotheses, ecological processes, physiological and neurobiological mechanisms, and behavioral characteristics using birds as examples. It will emphasize on methods of conducting scientific research, from collecting data on birds to reading, writing, and interpreting the scientific literature, using birds as model organisms. A three-hour laboratory is included in this course that will examine diversity, functional morphology and adaptations in birds.
The course aims at introducing a profound knowledge of the fundamental concepts of toxicity and its ecological implications. It includes a detailed study of the classification of toxicants and pollutants, the principal physiological mechanisms governing the action of these pollutants and some general aspects of pollution stress on individuals, populations and ecosystems.
This course aims at developing a clear understanding of the basic concepts in marine biology as an integrated part of the student's overall curriculum. It includes physico-chemical properties of the water, marine biodiversity, plankton, nekton, benthos, seaweeds, kelp forest, coral reefs, marine reptiles, birds, marine mammals and mariculture.
This course aims to examine the distribution patterns of pathogens in natural conditions, quantitative aspects of sampling them, their role in host population dynamics and regulation. By examining these patterns, the course will illustrate the linkages between patterns of abundance in natural ecosystems in relation to transmission and persistence of pathogens. The role of disease in altering host distributions will be linked to conservation and human well-being.
This course is an advanced level survey of modern approaches to the study of animal behavior, emphasizing the integration of ecological, evolutionary, ethological, and physiological approaches.
The course explores the diversity of life, how that diversity has changed over Earth history, and how human disturbance now threatens that diversity. We begin the course with the study of biodiversity globally. We then explore a number of conservation topics, including species conservation, global biodiversity, conservation genetics, community- and ecosystem-level conservation, habitat fragmentation, conservation reserves, and ecological restoration.
The course is taken only in case the courses offered within the MSc program do not satisfy the student’s academic needs. This course aims at filling-in knowledge gaps in topics closely related to the students’ research work and expected expertise. This course has to be based mainly on direct contacts (Faculty/Student) in which the faculty member will specifically address curricular issues and topics raised by the student’s supervisor at the start of the semester. Term papers and article reviews could be incorporated within the assessment plan of the course. The research topic (ie. Thesis title) of the student is to be communicated to the instructor of this course, in order for him/her to efficiently plan for the selected topics to be covered. The students’ supervisor is responsible to identify and contact the faculty member who will teach this course.
The course is taken only in case the courses offered within the MSc program do not satisfy the student’s academic needs. This course aims at filling-in knowledge gaps in topics closely related to the students’ research work and expected expertise. This course has to be based on the student’s independent learning. Learning may be based on term papers, literature review and presentations on topics closely related to the specific field of study. Depth of the topics covered is a key aspect of this course. The research topic (ie. Thesis title) of the student is to be communicated to the instructor of this course, in order for him/her to efficiently plan for the independent studies to be addressed. The students’ supervisor is responsible to identify and contact the faculty member who will teach this course.
Introduction to the relationship of man and the environment. Selected aspects of current thinking and research concerning integrated and interacting relations among components of the environment and the central role of man. The impact of industrialization and urbanization on environmental quality. Effects of pollution and depletion of natural resources.
A survey of natural renewable and nonrenewable resources and natural hazards, including risk assessment and management, as well as policies designed to solve environmental problems.
Elements of the environment favorable for plants. Stress and its nature (climatic, edaphic & biotic). Strategies of plants under stress: adaptive structural (morphological, anatomical &reproductive), and physiological (adjustments, regulation, resistance). Allelopathy and biological stress.
Functional aspects of microorganisms in nature. Diversity of microbial habitats. Inter-and extra microbial relationships. Transformation in geochemical cycles. Microbial toxins in the environment.
Characteristics of the marine environment and primary productivity. Marine resources and organisms of economic importance. Management of resources and hazards of pollution. Conservation laws and legal aspects.
Ecological concepts and dynamics of desert ecosystems. Plant and animal sociological relations and methods of assessing. Relationships and dynamics affecting management of desert ecosystems (historical, economic, sociological). Human impact on abundance, distribution and ethology of wildlife in desert ecosystems.
Systems approach applied to multivariate analysis and management of natural resource ecosystems. Simulation models and their use. Energy transformation. Dissipation of ecosystem biomass. Pathogens. Biological efficiency of consumers.
Population and food production. Pesticides and human welfare. Classification of pesticides. Methods of eliminating pesticide residues. Alternative methods to pesticides. Pesticides in UAE.
Background on soil and water pollution. Identifying effects of specific human activities on soil and water, systematically evaluating them, and developing practical solutions. Pollution control and agricultural production. Capacity of the soil to assimilate wastes.
Public health. Prevention of occupational diseases. Epidemiology. Environmental diseases, health housing.
Theory and application of industrial hygiene principles to management of occupational environment. Work place environmental and hazard evaluation.
Application of physiology to understand primary routes of entry of environmental insults and systems that eliminate offending agents. Homeostasis and integrated physiological regulation, respiratory system, skin, gastrointestinal system, liver, urinary system.
Health and ecological aspects of chemicals in the environment. Principles, concepts, and methods for study of effects of toxins and toxicants on biological systems.
Ph.D. students are required to take a lab rotation-based course during their first year of graduate study. Typically, students will be required to rotate through 3 to 4 laboratories (minimum of 2 in exceptionally trained students), covering the whole semester. During each laboratory rotation, the student will be exposed to methods, equipment, and experimental procedures currently in use in a particular departmental research laboratory selected by the student and through arrangement with the professor in charge of that laboratory. At the end of each rotation, students will receive a written evaluation from the rotation supervisor. These evaluations are then submitted to the program chair to become part of the student’s permanent file. It is important to note that these evaluation letters will be considered during the comprehensive examination evaluation.
In this applied biostatistics course we will explore the use of statistical methodology in designing, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting biological experiments and observations. This course covers the basic applied statistics tools for the collection, analysis, and presentation of data. Central to these skills is assessing the impact of chance and variability on the interpretation of research findings and subsequent recommendations for experimental studies in biology. Topics covered include: general principles of study design; hypothesis testing; elements of experimental design; review of methods for comparison of discrete and continuous data including ANOVA, t-test, correlation, and regression as they relate to biological data.
The course surveys the quantitative field methods in ecology. Lectures and field applications focus on research design and hypothesis testing, with an emphasis on sampling design, measurement, and statistical comparison of environmental variables, plant and animal abundance, diversity, spatial pattern, and species composition. Students will build skills in statistical analysis, scientific rigor, and critical thinking, and in the practical application of quantitative field methods in ecology. Prerequisites: At least minor in biology including ecology course(s), concurrent with Biostatistics or consent of Ph.D. committee.
This course will introduce students to the advanced concepts and principles of natural resource management with an emphasis on sustainable ecosystems. Students will learn selected important ecosystem management issues, including genetic diversity in ecosystem management, landscape-level conservation, single-species land management, and the skill and art of keeping fragile ecosystems in balance. Highly complex ecosystem management approaches will be assessed by the students. Additionally, different case studies will be presented to demonstrate how ecological concepts and principles can be applied to the sustainable management of ecosystems. Students will also have a chance to critique and suggest innovative solutions to challenges faced by various ecosystems.
This course focuses on exposing students to current topics relating to ecology and environmental sciences. Up-to-date weekly readings will be the core of this course. Students will be required to present and critique publications and their importance to the field. Such course is primarily intended to develop in the students’ ability to use the published literature as the primary source of information. Integration of such information into a cohesive body of knowledge will be assessed. The ability of the student to report, present and review published work will be also tested. The ultimate aim for this course is for the student to develop a research problem(s) and ways to address it through proper scientific methodologies.
This course will cover the fundamentals of aquatic science bringing together the physical, chemical, and biotic aspects of lake, river, and estuary systems including how humans are changing aquatic ecosystems and management techniques for the use and conservation of these resources. Topics covered during the class will include the structures and function of aquatic systems; the dynamics of the pelagic and littoral zones, human impacts and environmental change, and monitoring and management of aquatic ecosystems.
This course will provide an introduction to the field of wildlife disease ecology. Emphasis will be placed on the diversity of parasites and pathogens of wildlife, with an examination of ecological interactions between hosts and parasites from an individual and population-level perspective. This course will also examine strategies used by parasites to exploit hosts, strategies used by hosts to evade parasites, host-parasite coevolution, community ecology of disease, drivers of emerging infectious diseases and the role of disease in wildlife conservation. Prerequisites: Topics in Ecology and Environmental Sciences or consent of Ph.D. committee.
It examines patterns of species diversity on earth, comparing past and present extinction of species and assemblages, and identifies the major threats to flora and fauna in the Anthropocene. The course then takes a closer look at selected major threats such as overexploitation, habitat fragmentation and destruction, impact of invasive species etc. The course also examines areas in conservation biology like restoration ecology, conservation genetics, demographic analyses to guide wildlife management and conservation policy. Students will be required to read, understand and discuss research articles covering all aspects of conservation biology.
The course covers both the physiochemical and biological nature of change and the effects and consequences of natural and human-induced change on ecosystems, humans, and human infrastructures. The unifying theme of this course is consideration of both natural and human-induced environmental change, with emphasis on the latter.
The course material will cover book chapters. This course focuses on studying the ecology of deserts, their environments, formation and diagnostic features. It covers the desert ecology, population and community ecology, physiology and behavior. It concentrates on the principles that underlie environmental adaptations and their underlying /morphological/physiological mechanisms.
This course aims at studying the fundamental concepts of major plant physiological processes. It includes applications of plant enzymology and metabolism with a detailed approach to plant respiration and photosynthesis. It also aims at discussing the organization, control and integration of the different animal body systems. Starting with the unifying theme of homeostasis, the course lays the foundation for integrating organ systems. The two systems (endocrine and nervous) that play a major role in regulating homeostasis are thoroughly discussed. At the end of this part, the skeletal muscular system is discussed.
This course aims at studying the histological structure of organs. It includes histological, histophysiological, biochemical and molecular principles, theoretical and practical applications of different types of microscopic preparations, as well as modes of detection, recording and quantification of cellular and molecular components of tissues.
This course aims at introducing students to the world of insects with reference to their position in the animal kingdom and their phylogeny. It includes insect classification, factors affecting their distribution, external and internal anatomy as well as their physiology, metamorphosis and life cycles of some selected insect species.
This course aims at studying the bacterial cell, and the criteria used in the differentiation and identification of bacteria. It includes the classification of bacteria into different groups with examples of the most common genera and species in each group, and the economic and medical importance of bacteria to man and the environment.
This course aims at studying the advances and applications of plant biochemistry and metabolism. It includes applications of plant enzymology and metabolism with a detailed approach to plant respiration and photosynthesis, plant-water relations and stomatal behavior, and physiological responses of plants to stressful environments including oxygen stress, salinity stress and aridity stress which are common in local habitats.
This course aims at studying the biology and taxonomy of invertebrates and vertebrates of the animal kingdom. It includes the phyla: Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Mollusca, Annelida, Arthropoda, Echinodermata and Chordata which includes lower chordates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals with specific examples from each group selected for a detailed study.
This course aims at introducing plant classification and the morphological and anatomical characteristics of different plant parts. It includes kingdoms Monera, viruses, Protista, Fungi, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes, Conifers and flowering plants; cell structure and tissue types; morphology and anatomy of root, stem, and leaf and secondary growth of root and stem.
The course is an introduction to cognitive neuroscience. It introduces students to the anatomy and biology of the brain and nervous system, particularly those that are generally considered to be heavily involved in human language. Core topics covered include brain anatomy, mechanisms of neurotransmission and synaptic communication, structure and function of sensory and motor systems, and brain development and plasticity. The course also explores the neural basis of some complex brain processes closely related to Linguistic science, in particular the biological aspects of language development, learning and memory. In addition, language-related disorders resulting from brain dysfunction and injury will be covered
This practical course aims at developing a clear understanding of plant kingdom components such as prokaryotes, fungi, algae, bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and flowering plants. It includes cell structure, function and diversity, morphological and anatomical structure of roots, stems and leaves.
This course aims at studying the characteristics of main microorganisms and their relation to environmental pollution. The studied microorganisms include bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa, and algae. It includes studying the structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, microbial nutrition, types and mathematics of microbial growth, metabolism, energy generation, and the bases of bacterial taxonomy and genetics. It also includes pathogens, waterborne communicable diseases, and common biological indicators. Laboratory tests include bacterial analysis like membrane filter, multiple tube fermentation, and microscopic examination. Engineering applications include microbial control by physical and chemical agents and common microbial processes used in treatment systems.
This course aims at developing a clear understanding of genetics. It includes Mendlian genetics, modern genetics and molecular basis of genetics, the applications of genetics in the field of medicine in terms of detection of genetic diseases, prevention, treatment and other applications as well.
The student spends 8 weeks of training in an approved training site. (This course is conducted over half a semester (8 weeks) during the third year of study. Offered condensed courses should be taken during the other half of the semester).
This course aims at studying the cell compartments, starting from the nucleus to the cell membrane. It includes description of the structure and function of organelles and the cytoskeleton as well as the genetic diseases affecting the cell functions.
The course is an introduction to neuroscience. It introduces students to the anatomy and biology of the brain and nervous system. Core topics covered include brain anatomy, mechanisms of neurotransmission and synaptic communication, structure and function of sensory and motor systems, and brain development and plasticity. The course also explores the neural basis of some complex brain processes like language development and learning and memory.
This course aims at developing a deeper understanding of gene regulation in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. This course will describe how the genetic information is decoded by transcription and translation to form proteins and how organisms control these processes to ensure that the correct proteins are produced in the correct cells at the correct times and in the correct amounts. This course will examine the mechanisms of transcription initiation, RNA splicing and processing, protein synthesis, activators and attenuators. This course will also examine the effects of catalytic and regulatory RNA in gene regulation. Finally, lectures will also cover the following topics: eukaryotic chromosome structure and its modifications, mechanisms of chromatin-mediated regulation of gene expression, and epigenetics. Research methods that have been applied to achieve our current understanding of these processes will be discussed.
This course aims at understanding the basics of virus definition, structure, nomenclature and classification. It includes mode of infection, replication, lysogenic, virus-host interaction, common viral diseases and viral vaccines.
This course aims at integrating the knowledge of different fields in order to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the processes of the embryonic development in vertebrates and invertebrates. This course will focus on the description of a certain number of modes of development and, on the analysis of the expression and regulation of genes controlling the morphogenesis of the embryo. The students will discuss and interpret the key classical experiments on which the principles of developmental biology are founded. The models of animal developmental biology will be introduced with all the fundamental notions of this discipline. The principle stages of embryogenesis will be illustrated and the classical experiments proving the existence of organizer centers of morphogenesis will be analyzed. The mechanisms by which the layers of embryonic tissues move will be discussed. A certain number of molecules responsible of development will be described and examples of their roles in the cascades of genetic interactions during organogenesis and cellular differentiation will be detailed.
Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary topic that encompasses biology, computer science, mathematics and statistics. With the advent of high throughput technologies, large amount of biological data is being generated that provides us rich information about life around us. This course will introduce students to the basic concepts and methods in this field. Topics covered will include sequence databases, sequence searching, sequence alignment, phylogenetics and genome assembly. Each topic will be accompanied by a hand-on computer laboratory session. Furthermore, students will be briefly introduced to how bioinformatics can be used to study human disease.
This course aims at understanding the principles of genomic and relevant areas. The course will describe how genome is sequenced, analysed and stored. The course will demonstrate the genome of different form of life, comparative genomics, genomes of different kingdoms, evolution of genomes, and system biology. The will will empohasize on genomic information is used to understand biology. The course also aims at appreciating the ethical, legal and social implications of genomic scoiences.
Chromosomes are always subject to changes in structure and organization which can affect gene expression. These epigenetic modifications can be results of DNA methylation, histone modifications (acetylation, methylation…), chromatin remodeling complexes, and the binding of non-coding RNA (Xist). Epigenetic modifications are either inherited or accumulated throughout a life of an organism. This course is intended to introduce students to the molecular mechanisms underlying epigenetic inheritance. The role of epigenetics in biological processes such as imprinting, X-inactivation, cellular identity and cellular memory will be discussed. The relationship between epigenetic alteration and disease will be reviewed.
This course aims at providing the student to the in depth principles of molecular biology that serve as an underlying cornerstone for all biological activities. It includes introduction of DNA's structure, its organization into higher structure, the characteristics that allow DNA to serve as an information molecule, and replication processes. Furthermore, it provides detail insight on the expression and control of bacterial genes with regard to protein-DNA interaction, RNA splicing, post translation modification, gene regulation and the biology of cancer in terms of gene regulation.
The aim of this course is to bring to students the knowledge of fundamental aspects of the Extracellular Matrix (ECM) and its importance for tissue function, wound healing and tissue repair. The students will also acquire basic knowledge on tissue-tissue interactions, and overlapping cellular and molecular pathways that exist in multiple tissues. Understand the concept of a cell cycle, and how it plays an important role in different types of organisms. Evaluate the relative contribution of mutations in tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes in the development of cancer.
This course is designed to provide students with essential and fundamental aspects of the composition and function of bioorganic macromolecules in living systems. The course is divided into five sections: (i) chemical building blocks of cells (carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids, and nucleic acids) and their functional integration into macromolecules with particular emphasis on (ii) protein structure and function will be focused in this course. We will also focus on (iii) how cells obtain energy from nutrients (e.g. carbohydrates and lipids) and how these processes are regulated. On the fourth (vi) part of the course biomembrane structure will be studied in details and (v) an overview of membrane transport will be covered at the end of this course. Throughout the course, cellular and biochemical techniques that enable the study of cellular macromolecules in biomedical research will be discussed.
This course aims at providing the student with the wealth of knowledge developed in the field of genetic engineering. This course introduces the student to a series of logical ordered recombinant genetic principles. Furthermore, the course is specifically formatted to allow the student the flexibility to follow any one of numerous and interlinking paths through molecular biology concepts, principles and key recombinant genetic methods or approaches toward numerous defined destinations and horizons. The topics include enzymes for molecular cloning, visualization of nucleic acids, and construction of vectors (plasmid, bacteriophage, YAC, etc.). These topics are followed by DNA sequencing, probe construction for gene identification or labeling specific regions of the genomes, construction of genomic and cDNA libraries. Expression of foreign genes in various systems is described. PCR amplification is introduced with its potential applications in research, molecular diagnostic and forensic sciences.
This course aims at introducing the students to the human genomic sciences quantitative simplicity and qualitative complexity. This has placed a greater burden in understanding the nature of gene function, molecular etiology of diseases, and therapy. However, the challenge is creating an excitement for the scientific community. This era, unlike its predecessor, provide numerous new possibilities for studying the molecular genetics of human. This course deals with these issues in problem-solving oriented fashion. The topic includes genes in pedigrees and population, cell communication, and the basic science of studying the molecular basis of human genetics. Human molecular pathology is addressed to exploit different genetic disease models. Genetics in forensic sciences, genetic testing and counseling are also covered.
This course will introduce the students to bioinformatics database and bioinformatics tools that can be used to study macromolecular sequence, structure and function. Additionally, students will also be introduced to the concepts of microarrays and microarray data analysis. Furthermore, students will be briefly introduced to how bioinformatics can be used to study human disease.
This course aims at understanding the fundamentals of plant and animal tissue culture. It includes sterilization techniques, media preparation and culture of plant tissues, protoplasts, anthers, preparation of animal primary culture, cell line, DNA transfection and cell fusion.
This course mainly covers the fundamental principle of immunology including hematopoiesis; tissues and cells of the immune system; complement, cytokines; innate immunity; humoral and cell-mediated immune responses; immunoglobulin structure, function and biosynthesis; genetics and generation of diversity in antibody and T cell receptors, lymphocyte activation, major histocompatibility complex and antigen presentation. The course deals briefly with the role of the immune system in controlling diseases, including how the immune system deals with infection; inflammation; allergy and hypersensitivity; tissue graft rejection, clinical tissue matching; the immune system vs. cancer; autoimmune diseases; AIDS. Also, this course briefly covers topics on some common immunological experimental approaches that are used in research and diagnostic laboratories.
This topical course deals with the physiological processes at molecular level that are peculiar to higher plants and animals. The course consists of two parts: First part will include the molecular basis of the (i) structure of plants and plant cells, (ii) energy dynamics in plant cells, (iii) water and nutrient transport, (iv) growth and development (v) responses to environmental stresses and (vi) metabolic engineering of natural products. The second part will cover molecular and cellular mechanisms of cell communication within the major integrated systems and their physiological processes in human and animal. This will focus on the endocrine, the nerve, the vascular, and the muscular systems by covering two structural and functional aspects. The first aspect is related to the properties of biomembranes with a particular emphasis on signal transduction and transport across membranes. For this, tangible examples of different types of cell membranes (intestinal mucosa, renal tubules, muscle cells, nerve cells, and retinal cells) will be studied. The second aspect will be on the molecular mechanisms of the endocrine system and hormone action addressing the major endocrine components and glands such as pituitary, thyroid, pancreas, adrenal glands and gonads with examples of endocrine dysfunction and diseases including diabetes, thyroid disorders, obesity, and fertility.
The change in the sequence of macromolecules like DNA, RNA and proteins over several generations is termed as molecular evolution. This course will introduce students to principles of such molecular evolutionary processes and how it can be evaluated. It will also provide knowledge and skills in phylogenetic analysis and how this can be used to study molecular evolution.
This course aims at developing the basics of gene cloning as well as introducing the recent development in molecular biology and bio-computing. It includes introduction to general molecular biology techniques, gene cloning, and bio-computing.
This course aims at providing the flexibility in the choice of biological themes to be given each time the course is offered. The precise topic has to be specified when the course is offered in a particular semester. In this manner the course could be tailored to the needs and interests of a particular group of students which enables the faculty members to cover a wide range of topics in keeping up with recent advances in the field of Biology.
The objective of this course is to tackle the basic principles and advanced aspects of prokaryotic and eukaryotic molecular biology with topics such as DNA structure, transcriptional and translational mechanisms, and mechanisms of gene expression, activation and inactivation of whole chromosome.
Course content covers nucleic acids and protein detection methodologies, multifunctional vectors and gateway cloning system, protein production in eukaryotes and prokaryotes, Construction and screening of genomic and cDNA expression library, differential and substractifs screening, applications of the PCR: RACE-PCR, Q-PCR, reverse PCR, differential display, in vitro and in vivo footprinting, site directed mutagenesis. In vivo transgenesis strategies (gene over-expression and gene Knock out), conditional knock out, inducible expression system, applications in gene therapy and in biotechnology.
This is mainly a laboratory exercise course designed to help students become more familiar with common molecular techniques. Lectures will cover basic principles and applied aspects of molecular studies, and recent advances in genomics and proteomic techniques. Practical classes will include DNA/RNA isolation, hybridization, sequence analysis, various PCR reactions, library construction and screening, protein isolation, and plant transformation.
Techniques commonly used to depict biological implications from molecular sequence data. This course will start with introduction to sequence retrieval and identification using databases (e.g., Genbank and EMBO), pairwise sequence comparisons and multiple sequence alignments and conserved sequence pattern, recognition (e.g., gene identification in genomic data, RNA secondary structure prediction). Phylogenetic analysis will be presented in detail (e.g., distance, parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods). tools, phylogenetic analysis.
This course focuses on fundamentals of molecular biology and biotechnology for environmental applications. The major topics include activated sludge processes, stoichiometry, bioenergetics, anaerobic digestion, biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal, molecular microbiology tools, biofouling, antibiotic resistance, and biofuels.
Epigenetic control genome expression in eukaryotes (plants, yeast and mammals). Histone code, histone variants, chromatin remodeling complexes, microRNA , DNA methylation, spatial and functional compartmentation of the genome in the nucleus
This course discusses the aspects of the nature of disease resistance and response mechanisms in plants. Special emphasis is placed on emerging concepts and paradigms that underlie a wide variety of plant-pathogen interactions, and how the knowledge gained from these studies is being used to devise effective and environmentally safe strategies of plant protection. Topics include history, breeding, and genetics of disease resistance, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular genetics of disease resistance and response mechanisms and emerging concepts in this rapidly advancing area and its contribution to plant biotechnology.
This course is designed to give a student a thorough knowledge and understanding of modern biology, together with an insight into forensic science. The course provides a firm foundation in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and human biology, together with an introduction to the role of the forensic scientist and the analytical investigations carried out in forensic laboratories.
This course will be delivered through discussion of current research and development findings emphasizing the myriad of applications of the fields of Biotechnology and Molecular Biology. Seminars will be delivered by faculty members, guest speakers, visiting scientists and industry professionals.
This course includes discussion of current topics of interest within the broad domain of molecular biology and biotechnolgy; seminar and/or lecture format. Seminars will be delivered by the students.
This course will present a variety of molecular biology techniques that are frequently used in the field of biotechnology. It focuses on how to apply these technologies to a specific research question. In addition to hand on experience in techniques such as real-time PCR, Westerns, cell analysis, sequencing, reporter gene analysis, cDNA synthesis and proteomic gel analysis; the students should be able to record and analyze scientific data, write scientific report and appreciate and design solution to scientific problems.
Ph.D. students are required to take a lab rotation-based course during their first year of graduate study. Typically, students will be required to rotate through three to 4 laboratories (minimum of 2 in exceptionally trained students), each of which lasts about three months. During each laboratory rotation, the student will be exposed to methods, equipment, and experimental procedures currently in use in a particular departmental research laboratory selected by the student and through arrangement with the professor in charge of that laboratory. At the end of each rotation, students will receive a written evaluation from by the rotation supervisor. These evaluations are then submitted to the program chair to become a part of the student's permanent file. It is important to note that these evaluation letters will be considered during the comprehensive examination evaluation.
This course tackles advanced principles and recent findings in genetics including: cell, molecular and direct approaches to genetic analysis and genetic interactions; chromosomal organization and aberrations; transposable elements; mutations, paramutation and epigenetics; extranuclear inheritance; genetic manipulations; gene discovery; ESTs and global gene expression analysis, proteomics, metabolic profiling, comparative genomics and genome evolution.
The course provides the students with a fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanisms and pathways underlying various pathological conditions in humans and plants. Attention will be given to the molecular mechanisms and processes at the level of the cell and tissue characterizing and/or leading to the most important human diseases (cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases) and plant diseases. This includes the signaling pathways, cellular/subcellular changes, gene expression pattern, identification of mutations, and chromosome abnormalities and other genetic alterations as well as cytogenetics, preimplantation genetic diagnostics, prenatal molecular diagnosis. For plants, various other aspects of disease resistance and response mechanisms in plants may also be covered. Finally, recent advances in the therapeutic approaches and strategies will also be covered.
Students will be exposed to applied aspects of immunology. Students will be given concept of fundamental principles of immunology including hematopoiesis; tissues and cells of the immune system; complement, cytokines. Major Topics covered include: Innate and adaptive immunity, how immune system is coordinated to combat infections, actors, Important aspects of cell receptors, VDJ recombination and DNA repair structure of the antigenic receptors, superantigen, as well as variability of the antigenic receptors. Dysfunction and pathologies: Immune subversion by malignant tumors, immune subversion by viruses, inherited immune deficiency, control of autoimmunity.
This course will tackle signal transduction mechanisms used by membrane ion channels and receptors that detect the microenvironmental cues and transmit the signals to downstream effectors. Integrated molecular approach will be used so that the students gain a better and more fundamental understanding of the molecular signaling cascades employed under physiological conditions. Attention may be given to signaling in pathophysiology as well. Modern molecular/structural techniques (patch clamp, protein crystallization, molecular genetics, and expression cloning and protein purification) will be introduced along with each topic.
Through student’s presentations, group discussion and assignments, selected biotechnological biological topics, such as immunotherapy, applications of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in human disease and plant/crop genome editing and microbial biotechnology will be explored. For each topics, the material will be presented in form of assignment, presentation and group discussion. In addition, ethical issues in animal and plant biotechnology will be discussed. The major goal for this course is for the PhD student to develop a research issues and ways to address them through adequate scientific methodologies.
A survey of molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in growth and development of organisms is explored. Topics to be covered include fertilization and early cell lineage, body axis formation, gastrulation, neural induction and patterning, segmentation, and other aspects of pattern formation including organogenesis of branching organs, limb development and regeneration.
Topics will be chosen by the instructors’ along with the registered students. The main aim of this course is to give a chance to students to analyze, present and discuss the most recent and significant findings, through research manuscripts, in the field of cellular and molecular biology. Topics might be subject to a yearly change. Such course is primarily intended to develop in the students their ability to use the literature review as the primary source of information, evaluating it critically, and integrating it in to a cohesive body of knowledge. The ability of the student to present and review work will be tested.
This course primarily covers prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. Experimental strategies and analytical challenges of modern genomics research, theory and mechanics of data analysis are thoroughly discussed. Structural, functional, and comparative genomics are also explored.
This course provides a general educational knowledge of biology and its applications. The course covers the scope of biology and the meaning of life from a biological perspective. Moreover, it gives a holistic idea of the living cell as the basic unit of life and highlighting the advances in the area of gene manipulation. It discusses the classification, characteristics, adaptations and the value to humans of the major groups of living organisms; namely microorganisms, plants and animals. The course apex is the medical, agricultural and industrial applications of biology that affect everyone's daily life.
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