Molecular Population Genetics

Genetic mechanisms of evolutionary change at the DNA sequence level. Models of nucleotide and amino acid substitution; linkage disequilibrium and joint evolution of multiple loci; analysis of evolutionary processes, including neutrality, adaptive selection, and hitchhiking; hypothesis testing in molecular evolution; estimation of evolutionary parameters; case histories of molecular evolution. For graduate students and undergraduates with interests in genetics, evolution, or mathematics. One course. 3 graduate units.


Experimental and phylogenetic approaches to the origin of plant and animal species. Emphasis on current literature and modern approaches to evolutionary patterns and processes. Prerequisites: basic courses in systematics and genetics. Instructors: Noor and Willis. One course. 3 graduate units.

Genes & Development

Literature-based seminar covering transcriptional regulation of development. Regulatory mechanisms and genome-wide approaches will be covered. Topics: embryogenesis, stem cells, transcription factors, regulatory networks, chromatin, nuclear organization, small RNAs, imprinting and Pol II pausing. Prerequisites: Biology 201L. One course.

Human Embryology

The development of the mammalian embryo. Emphasis on human embry- ology, the origin of major human teratologies, birth defects, ethical and social issues of reproductive biology, aspects of comparative vertebrate development. The evolution of developmental patterns, and the molecular mechanisms of development. Prerequisites: Biology 330L or 414LS or Evolutionary Anthropology 333L or equivalent. Permission of instructor required. One course.

Current Topics in Sensory Biology

Exploration of recent and classic studies in sensory biology. Actual topics are chosen by students at the start of the semester. Usually includes vision, hearing, smell, taste, pheromones, electroreception, magnetoreception, bioluminescence, touch, time, and music. Prerequisites: Biology 201L, or Biology 201L and 202L, or the equivalent, and one course in Neuroscience, or consent of instructor. One course.

Cancer Genetics

Overview of the genetic changes associated with cancer and the molecular events that transform normal cellular processes into tumor-promoting conditions. Topics include: tumor viruses, oncogenes, growth factors, signal transduction pathways, tumor suppressors, cell cycle control, apoptosis, genome instability, stem cells, metastasis, and current therapeutic approaches. Prerequisites: Biology 201L and either Biology 219 or Biology 202L. One course.