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Department Chair
Daniel Shain

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Janet Caruso
(856) 225-6497

Undergraduate Biology
Kwangwon Lee
(on sabbatical leave)

Graduate Biology
William M. Saidel

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Department of Biology » Undergraduate Program » Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

50:120:101 General Biology I (R) (3)
Principles of biology, including the cellular basis of life, genetics, and evolution. Lecture 3 hrs. Biology majors must take Laboratory 107, but nursing students may take 101 without laboratory.

50:120:102 General Biology II (R) (4)
Principles of biology, including the morphology, physiology, and development of plants and animals, including man. Required laboratory includes techniques such as microscopy, dissection, physiological experimentation, and use of the scientific method. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101 and 107.

50:120:103 Biology of Cancer (R) (3)
Discussion of the basic mechanisms underlying carcinogenesis and its prevention and treatment. Topics include the cellular basis of cancer, regulation of cellular reproduction, cancer as a hereditary disease, induction of cancer, occupational cancer, consumer products and cancer, and prevention and treatment of cancer. Satisfies the college’s natural sciences requirement for nonscience majors. Although open to biology and biomedical technology majors, does not satisfy the biology major elective requirement.

50:120:105 The Facts of Life (R) (3)
Introduction (without laboratory) to biological principles. Covers basic concepts involved in understanding the structure, function, and evolution of organisms with an emphasis placed on the application of biological knowledge to problems of man and society. Topics include human nutrition, disease, reproduction and development, genetic engineering, pollution, and conservation. Not normally open to biology or biomedical technology majors. Satisfies the college’s natural sciences requirement for nonscience majors. Credit will not be given for both this course and for the course sequence 50:120:101,102.

50:120:106 Human Reproduction and Development (R) (3)
Topics include the formation of germ cells, chromosomes and sex, anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system, hormonal control of reproduction, infertility, growth and development, genetic counseling, birth defects, and sexually transmitted diseases. Not normally open to biology or biomedical technology majors. Satisfies the college’s natural sciences requirement for nonscience majors.

50:120:107 General Biology I Laboratory (R) (1)
Laboratory includes techniques such as microscopy, dissection, physiological experimentation, and use of the scientific method. Lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisite for 50:120:102. Corequisite: 50:120:101.

50:120:110 Biology of Disease (R) (3)
Scientific overview of the major human diseases of current interest. Not normally open to biology or biomedical technology majors. Satisfies the college’s natural sciences requirement for nonscience majors.

50:120:201 Basic Botany (3)
An introduction to the members of the plant kingdom with emphasis on their structure and function, growth and development, worldwide distribution, ecology, and economic importance. Additional topics include plant biotechnology, herbs and spices, and the origins of agriculture. Formerly 50:130:201. Prerequisite: Biology 105 or another college biology course. Not open to biology majors.

50:120:202 Understanding Environmental Problems (R) (3)
Discussion and analysis of environmental problems facing the human species. Emphasis on physical and biological principles affecting population growth; resource and energy consumption; and the pollution of the air, water, and land. Alternative solutions to environmental problems discussed in terms of conflicting economic and political values. Satisfies the college’s natural sciences requirement for nonscience majors. Although open to biology majors, does not satisfy the biology major elective requirement.

50:120:211 Microbiology and Its Application (4)
Structure and characteristics of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, with special emphasis on forms pathogenic for humans. Metabolism and genetics of microorganisms and principles of immunology; host-microbe interactions; pathogenesis of bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases and their medication. Formerly 50:680:211. Lecture 3 hrs, lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:990:253 50:120:253 and 50:160:107 and 108, or permission of instructor. Designed primarily for students in the nursing program, it will not satisfy the biology or biomedical technology requirements (however, 50:120:330 will satisfy these requirements).

50:120:253-254 Anatomy and Physiology (4,4)
A two-semester study of the form and vital functions of the human body in its healthy state. Examines chemical and biological processes that maintain homeostasis at all levels of complexity from molecules to organ systems. Required laboratory includes physiological experimentation, gross anatomy, dissection, microscopy, and computer simulations. Formerly 50:990:253-254. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: (for 253) 50:120:101 and (50:160:107,108 or 115,116). Prerequisites: (for 254) 50:120:253, 101 and (50:160:107,108 or 115,116). Will satisfy biology elective credit requirement only if both 253 and 254 are taken.

50:120:302 Computers in Biology (3)
Use of the computer in biological investigation, experimentation, and the analysis of data to include sequence searching and analysis, structure determination and display, spreadsheet use, data acquisition, and image analysis. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102; 50:160:115-116; 50:640:121 or 130. Recommended: 50:120:305 or 341.

50:120:305 Molecular Biology (3)
Molecular mechanisms involved in the expression of genetic information; the control of macromolecular synthesis; the aggregation of macromolecules into DNA-protein complexes, membranes, chromosomes, and cell organelles; and an introduction to recombinant DNA technology. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 and two semesters of organic chemistry.

50:120:306 Molecular Biology Laboratory (1)
Introduction to protein purification techniques, gene cloning, and recombinant DNA technology. Lab. 3 hrs. Pre- or corequisites: 50:120:305 and two semesters of organic chemistry. This course usually is taken concurrently with 50:120:305.

50:120:307 Genetics (3)
Principles and mechanisms of classical inheritance, organization, expression, regulation of hereditary elements in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Systems-level approach to genetics, with an emphasis on developmental genetics. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 and two semesters of organic chemistry, or permission of instructor.

50:120:308 Genetics Laboratory (1)
Applications of genetics principles reviewed through demonstrations, problem solving, and research. Lab. 3 hrs. Corequisite: 50:120:307.

50:120:310 Evolution (3)
A study of the principles and mechanisms of organic evolution; the history of evolutionary theory, the origin of life, and the role of the genetic systems, variation, and natural selection in species formation; molecular evolution. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102.

50:120:311 Human Genetics (3)
Principles of human heredity. Topics include genetic aspects of health and disease, birth defects, metabolic disorders, modes of inheritance, molecular and biochemical analyses, genomics, and proteomics. Case studies will be discussed. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102.

50:120:330 General Microbiology (3)
Structure and characteristics of prokaryotes, eukaryotic microorganisms, and viruses and their metabolism, genetics, ecology, and use in biotechnological applications. Also includes aspects of immunology and the pathogenesis of bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases. Formerly 50:680:301. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102.

50:120:331 General Microbiology Laboratory (1)
Basic microbiological techniques for isolating, examining, and identifying bacteria, fungi, and viruses; experimental investigation of their characteristics. Formerly 50:680:302. Lab. 3 hrs. Corequisite: 50:120:330.

50:120:333 Advanced Microbiology (3)
Deals with a more in-depth presentation of selected topics surveyed in 50:120:330 General Microbiology. Topics include aspects of virology; bacterial physiology; plasmids and genetic engineering; and pathogenesis of bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases. Formerly 50:680:304. Prerequisite: 50:120:330.

50:120:334 Cell Biology (3)
Structural analysis and functional correlations of cytoplasmic and nuclear components of plant, animal, and microbial cells; analysis of mitosis and meiosis; analysis of developmental mechanisms at the cellular level. Introduction to techniques and tools of biochemistry, cytology, and tissue culture. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 and two semesters of organic chemistry, or permission of instructor.

50:120:335 Cell Biology Laboratory (1)
Introduction to techniques and tools of biochemistry, cytology, and tissue culture. Lab. 3 hrs. Corequisite: 50:120:334.

50:120:338 Immunology and Serology (3)
Nature of antigens and antibodies and their relationship to humoral and cellular immunity. Discussion of laboratory procedures for the study of antigen-antibody reactions and their use for diagnostic and analytical purposes.
Formerly 50:680:311. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102.

50:120:339 Immunology and Serology Laboratory (1)
Practice with the representative basic procedures used in immunization and the laboratory study of antigen-antibody reactions. 
Formerly 50:680:312. Lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102. Pre- or corequisite: 50:120:311 or permission of instructor.

 

50:120:341 General Physiology (3)
A study of the functions of living things with emphasis on the chemical and physical properties of protoplasm, the conversion of energy and matter through cell respiration and synthesis, the transport of materials across membranes, cell excitability and contraction, and regulatory processes. Formerly 50:760:301. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 and one semester of organic chemistry.

50:120:342 General Physiology Laboratory (1)
Experimental investigation of various functions of cells by isolation and characterization of subcellular parts and examination of cellular processes such as membrane transport and cell excitability. Formerly 50:760:302. Lab. 3 hrs. Pre- or corequisite: 50:120:341. This course is usually taken concurrently with 50:120:341.

50:120:344 Neurobiology I (3)
Introduction to the biology of the nervous system. The first section examines the molecular and cell biology involved with neuronal functions; the second section emphasizes neuronal systems and interrelationships with organismic behavior. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 and 334, or permission of instructor.

50:120:345 Neurobiology II (3)
A continuation of 50:120:344 Neurobiology I, including a close examination of the physiology of subsystems defined in the nervous system and behaviors in humans and other vertebrates. Selected invertebrate systems will also be considered. A brief examination of a relationship between brain and mind in humans will conclude this course. Prerequisite: 50:120:344 or permission of instructor.

50:120:346 Animal Physiology (4)
A comparative study of physiological systems; nutrition, circulation, and respiration; osmoregulation and excretion; nervous and endocrine coordination.
Formerly 50:760:304. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisite: 50:120:341 or permission of instructor.

50:120:347 Pathophysiology (3)
An introduction to the physiological basis of disease in humans. Topics covered include inflammation, wound healing, immune responses, neoplasia, and metabolic disorders. Formerly 50:990:357. Prerequisites: 50:120:253-254 or permission of instructor.

50:120:351 General Ecology (3)
A study of the interrelations of organisms and their environments. Principles of growth, regulation, and distribution and structure; energetics of populations and communities explored. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 or permission of instructor. Pre- or corequisite: 50:640:121 or 130.

50:120:353 General Ecology Laboratory (1)
Field and laboratory exercises illustrating concepts of general ecology. Lab. 3 hrs. Pre- or corequisite: 50:120:351. This course is usually taken concurrently with 50:120:351.

50:120:360 Developmental Botany (4)
A study of the hormonal, physiological, and environmental control mechanisms underlying morphological changes in the life cycles of angiosperms. Topics include embryogenesis, seed dormancy and germination, seedling growth, flowering, fruiting, and senescence. Formerly 50:130:310. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102.

50:120:362 Comparative Morphology of Plants (4)
An evolutionary survey of the plant kingdom: development, adaptations for survival, and representative types and life cycles from the simplest to the most advanced groups. Formerly 50:130:307. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 or permission of instructor.

50:120:363 Plant Ecology (4)
A study of plants in relation to their environment with emphasis on field studies of plant communities in New Jersey. Formerly 50:130:331. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102.

50:120:366 Plant Physiology (3)
The course includes various aspects of the plant way of life with special emphasis on plant structure, biochemistry and metabolism, water and solute transport, and plant growth and development. Previous coursework in plant science such as Developmental Botany (50:130:310) is beneficial but not required. Undergraduate students who want to use this course to complete their physiology core requirement have to take the laboratory course 50:120:367 concurrently. Formerly 50:780:301. Lecture 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 and one semester of organic chemistry, or permission of instructor.

50:120:367 Plant Physiology Laboratory (1)
The laboratory in plant physiology is a supplement to 50:120:366 and is required for undergraduate students who want to complete their physiology core requirement with the course in plant physiology. In the laboratory course, basic concepts of plant physiology will be demonstrated, and the students will learn laboratory techniques, data analysis, and the interpretation of data of their plant physiological experiments. 
Formerly 50:780:302. Lab. 3 hrs. Corequisite: 50:120:367.

50:120:371 Evolutionary Morphology (4)
A comparative anatomical and physiological study of representative chordates with emphasis on nonhuman vertebrates. Formerly 50:990:301. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 or permission of instructor.

50:120:374 Vertebrate Embryology (4)
Introductory course that emphasizes cellular and molecular aspects of development. Both vertebrates and invertebrates considered. 
Formerly 50:990:304. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 and one semester of organic chemistry, or permission of instructor.

50:120:376 Animal Histology (4)
Covers the basic structure and function of animal tissues and the organs derived from them. Formerly 50:990:311. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 or permission of instructor.

50:120:378 Invertebrate Zoology (4)
A guided tour of protists and animals without backbones comprising 95 percent of the animal kingdom. Emphasis placed on evolutionary and ecological relationships that make an understanding and appreciation of this diverse group of animals possible. Formerly 50:990:306. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 or permission of instructor.

50:120:379 Animal Behavior (3)
Focuses on the neural, hormonal, and genetic mechanisms and evolution of behaviors involved with species survival, including issues of foraging, defense, mating, and societies. Formerly 50:990:331. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 or permission of instructor.

50:120:380 Vertebrate Zoology (4)
A study of the vertebrates with regard to their systematics, ecology, and behavior. Emphasizes field studies of freshwater and terrestrial vertebrates, and identification of New Jersey’s terrestrial vertebrate species, through laboratory examination of specimens and field labs exploring New Jersey habitats. Formerly 50:990:308. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 or permission of instructor.

50:120:385 Weird Biology (3)
Core courses present foundation material to investigate the basis of a discipline. This elective course focuses on ignored topics of biological study that require substantive and cognitive investigation to understand. Students will read and interpret science from the popular press and from research literature. Sample topics include discussions of the number of Loch Ness monsters living in Loch Ness (ecology), the brain representation (homunculus) of an intact body in a person born without arms and legs (neurology), responses of bamboo-dwelling ants to rainfall (behavior), and the appreciation of music in animals (behavior, psychology, neurology). Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102.

50:120:399 Current Topics in Biology (3)
An interactive, seminar-based forum in which students select a topic of their interest and present a seminar to the biology department on a primary literature article related to their chosen topic. This will be accompanied by a written report of the topic that will be peer reviewed before its final submission. Additionally, each student will select a peer’s topic and serve as a commentator of both an oral presentation and written report. Topics can include any aspect of biology but are subject to the instructor’s approval. Finally, a comprehensive written exam encompassing the major concepts of biology will be administered as a required part of the course. Designed to be taken in final year of biology major.

50:120:401 Microtechnique and its Applications (4)
Covers topics on the theory and methods of fixation, sectioning, and staining, including techniques in histochemistry. Among others, the following procedures are taught: paraffin, plastic, and frozen sectioning; standard staining methods (e.g., hematoxylin and eosin), as well as special methods for identifying carbohydrates, enzymes, lipids, and other cell tissue components. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3 hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102 and 376, or permission of instructor.

50:120:410 Electron Microscopy (2)
Use of the transmission electron microscope and ultramicrotome. Preparation of samples and examination of thin sections of tissues, negative stained materials, and replicas of cells. Immunolabeling and cytochemistry of cells. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102.

50:120:422 Ecology of Soil Organisms (4)
Explores the basic principles of ecology from the viewpoint of soil organisms. The role of soil organisms is essential to the sustainability of ecosystems. Lecture 3 hrs., lab. 3hrs. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102.

50:120:460 Medical, Industrial, and Environmental Mycology (3)
Fungi are integral in many ecological processes. They act as decomposers not only of dead plant and animal matter, but are active pathogens of plants and animals, including humans. Since fungi are evolutionarily close to animals, it it often difficult to target fungi with antibiotics which do not also harm their human host. Antibiotic production is a natural defense mechanism of fungi, which has been exploited by humans. Fungi or the by-products of fungal activity are used in the food industry. They are of huge economic importance in food spoilage and crop reduction. Fungi can be important agents in controlling pollutants in industrial process and pollutant spills. Prerequisites: 50:120:101,102.

50:120:480 Recombinant DNA Technology (3)
Examination of the recombinant DNA technology and its utility in specific medical and industrial applications as well as its use in basic research. Topics include discussion of in vitro mutagenesis, heterologous and gene expression in a variety of hosts, disease diagnosis, and gene therapies using genetic engineering, as well as the ecological/social impacts of recombinant DNA technology. Prerequisite: 50:120:306.

50:120:491,492 Special Problems in Biology (BA,BA)
Designed to meet the needs of outstanding students who have demonstrated an aptitude for original work and may wish to undertake special problems. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. No more than 8 credits can be counted toward the biology major.

50:120:494 Seminar in Biology (1)
Members of the seminar prepare and present reports on recent research findings. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.