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Phone: (603) 646-xxxx
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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2021-22

MICR 107 Spring MCB Core Course Modules

The final term of a year-long graduate-level course in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, a continuation of BIOC 101 and BIOL 103. These special-topics mini-courses provide more in-depth information about specific areas in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology.  Each first-year MCB student must enroll in three sequential modules.  Module topics offered each year will vary.  Students should contact Janet Cheney for current list of spring-term modules and descriptions.

This course provides an introduction to key concepts in systems biology, with an emphasis on the modeling of genetic networks and evolutionary processes. We will describe our current understanding on how the vast network of biochemical interactions in a cell works together to perform cellular functions. The aim of the mathematical models studied in this class is not to precisely reproduce experimental data, but rather to allow intuitive understanding of general principles.

We will start by studying the regulation of gene expression, and how transcription networks in the cell are organized using recurring motifs. We will analyze the function and stability of these network motifs, and show how they can be used to build different synthetic circuits. We will then study the evolution of optimized network designs. We will see how cells tune their gene expression levels in response to new selective pressures; we will analyze how beneficial mutations are fixed in a cell population; and we will determine the possible paths of adaptation of an organism towards a new optimum.


Daniel Schultz


We aim to introduce the students to the mathematical formulation necessary to understand the biological problems we will discuss. Some background in calculus and programming is helpful, but not required. Part of our goal is to expose those with little quantitative background to some of the interesting theories that have shaped the field of systems biology. Given the wide range of backgrounds among students in this class we will try to avoid unnecessary jargon.

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.