BIOLOGY

The Department of Biology offers courses, which are designed for the student who wishes to pursue a career in biology and biology-related fields as well as for the student who desires some general knowledge of biology. The Department also offers courses to meet the degree requirements of programs in other departments of the College. 

Two degree programs are offered within the Department of Biology:

Many undergraduate research opportunities are available through the Biology Department.  Students are invited to participate in the research activities of the faculty as a means of enhancing their training in the sciences and to give them a firsthand experience of how new knowledge in science is obtained.  Department of Biology faculty has received research project support from various agencies, including: NIHNIGMSNSFNYS Dept. of EducationDepartment of Defense and PSC/CUNY.  The department also collaborates with many other prestigious universities which provide research internships.  Students have interned at various institutions including Harvard University, UMASS at Amherst, University of Virginia and SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn.  Biology majors have also participated in fully funded international summer research programs including the University of Helsinki in Finland, the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and the National University of Singapore. 

The Department offers special Transfer Opportunities into Allied Health Programs at SUNY/Downstate. Students who complete a prescribed course of study at MEC are granted preferred acceptance into four SUNY/Downstate degree programs: Physician Assistant Program, Physical Therapy Program, Diagnostic Medical Imaging Program, and Occupational Therapy Program. 

Students wishing to attend medical, dental, veterinary, osteopathic, chiropractic or graduate school benefit from an expert that is available to Biology majors for personalized academic advisement, research internship placement and organization of MEC-MCAT study groups.  Biology majors are also invited to join and become officers of the Medgar Evers Science Association (MESA), sponsored by the Pre-professional committee.

An introductory course intended to acquaint students with the nature and purpose of science, modern biological concepts of life, and the knowledge and importance of the interactions among themselves, other living organisms on the planet, and the environment. A laboratory experience will be an integral component. The laboratory is intended to augment the lecture by means of demonstrations and hands - on experiments.  Visits to scientific museums and centers are required.

  • Pre-Requisites: Completion of developmental skills courses

The course is mandatory for students who will be using the services of the Pre-professional Advising Committee of the Science, Health and Technology. It is designed to help students think critically about their academic studies and career development. The course content includes a series of seminars and presentations on careers in these fields and on entry requirement procedures including MCATs, DATs and VCATs to the various professional schools. In addition to presentations by speakers from the various fields, each student will be required to write a paper and make a presentation on a topic related to his/her field of professional interest. Attendance is required at all class sessions and will be strictly monitored. This course will serve as a substitute for Freshman Seminar II (FS 102) for students planning careers in Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine and Biology.

  • Pre-Requisites: FS 101

This course covers all areas of biology with particular focus on hands on activities. The topics include an introduction to the fundamental principles of life processes of organisms and viruses including chemical foundation of their cells: cellular structures, functions, metabolism and divisions. This course also includes an introduction to genetics and DNA science and technology, ecology and evolution as well as biodiversity. The laboratory component of the course will reinforce the biological principles with hands on experiments at a level appropriate for elementary teaching.

  • Pre-Requisites: Completion of developmental skills courses

This course is an introduction to the body systems and a general description of the normal cellular makeup of the human organs and abnormal (pathological) diseases. It is specifically designed for those who are already working in the health profession or intend to in the future or those who want to gain an overall knowledge of the human body and some of its diseases.

  • Pre-Requisites: Completion of all basic skills in Math and English
    Co-Requisites: BIOL 104

Introduction to the nature of scientific knowledge, the fields of study, vocabulary, and methodology of the natural sciences. Special consideration is given to the major concepts of biology including the unique structure and function of living things and the physical environment. For students who must satisfy the liberal arts requirements in natural science, see BIO 101.

  • Pre-Requisites: Completion of all Math and Language Basic Skills

BIO 150 is the first of a three semester Anatomy & Physiology Course (BIO 150, 151, and 152). It is geared towards pre-nursing students and other students wishing to complete their Anatomy & Physiology requirement over three semesters. This course serves as an introduction to Human Anatomy & Physiology on the cellular and tissue level. Topics include an introduction to the Sciences of Anatomy and Physiology and its Levels of Organization

BIO 151 is the second of a three part course (BIO 150, 151, and 152). Students must first pass the lecture and lab section of BIO 150 before registering for BIO 151. This three sequence Anatomy & Physiology course is geared for nursing students and other students wishing to complete their Anatomy & Physiology requirements in three semesters. This course identifies the 11 Organ Systems in the body and then goes on to present, in detail, the Anatomy and Physiology of the Integumentary, Skeletal, Muscular, Nervous and Endocrine Systems as well as their functional interactions with each other and the other systems.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 150
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 151

This Principles of biology course is the first part of the two-semester general biology course for science majors. It will cover introduction to the fundamental principles of life processes of organisms including chemical basis of life, cell structure, function, cellular energetics, cell division, genetic and molecular basis of life and evolution. The laboratory component of this course will reinforce the biological principles by hands-on experiments.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 111 or BIO 101
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 201

This organismal biology and ecology course is the second part of the two-semester general biology course for science majors. It will cover introduction to virus; diversities in bacteria, protists, plants and animals; selected forms and functions in flowering plants and in humans; animal behavior; organisms and their environments. The laboratory component of this course will familiarize students with diversities in organisms, their forms and functions by demonstrations and hands-on experiments.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 201, CHM 112, MTH 136 and MTH 138
    Co-Requisites: BIOL 202

Biotechnology and Society is a course designed to introduce students to the field of biotechnology and to the applications and the impact of modern biotechnology on society. The history of biotechnology and the biotech discoveries in DNA science that influence the field today will be presented. Basic concepts of DNA, the Central Dogma, and molecular genetics will be introduced as a foundation to understand the techniques of modern biotechnology. The use of biotechnology in areas, such as medicine, agriculture, bioremediation, food processing, forensics, and energy production will be presented. Students will examine the ethical, legal, and social implications of selected topics in biotechnology.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 101or PHS 101 or equivalent

Principles of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Introduction to Cell and Fundamentals of Cellular Physiology, Structure and Function of the Major Organ Systems (e.g. Integumentary, Muscular, Skeletal and Nervous).

  • Pre-Requisites: Completion of developmental skills courses, BIO 111 or BIO 101
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 251

Principles of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Structure and Function of the Major Organ Systems: (e.g., Sensory, Respiratory, Digestive, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic and Urogenital).

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 251
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 252

An introduction to the Principles of Microbiology and microbiological laboratory techniques with emphasis on bacterial, fungal, viral, protozoan and helminth pathogens. Introduction to the Principles of Immunology in the control of infectious disease.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 152 and BIO 202 or BIO 252
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 261

Introduction to the basic principles of classical, modern, and population genetics. The laboratory includes exercises in Cytology, Drosophila Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Population Genetics, and Environmental Genetics.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202 and CHM 201, MTH 138 or MTH 136
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 302

A lecture and lab study of the microscopic structure of animal cells, tissues and organ systems, including introduction to and practice of cytological and histo-chemical techniques.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202 or BIO 252 and CHM 202

Introduction to the nature of scientific investigation and the skill needed to develop a research problem. Emphasis is placed on reading primary sources of scientific literature, experimental design, data presentation and analysis, and preparation of a literary review in area of interest in science. This course is required for those students in the Honors Program.

  • Pre-Requisites: 16 of Biology or Permission of chairperson

A practical laboratory course in which the theory and design of modern laboratory research instruments are discussed and the operation is practiced. Instruments and techniques will include the infrared, fluorescence, ultraviolet and atomic absorption spectrophotometers, high pressure liquid chromatography, thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography, fluorescence microscopy, phase contrast microscopy, ultracentrifugation and electrophysiology instruments (e.g. physiographs, oscilloscopes, bioamplifiers, etc.).

  • Pre-Requisites: 16 of Biology or Permission of chairperson

Principles of the biological and physical sciences that contribute to an understanding of normal body processes and of abnormal states and conditions. Emphasis is on basic principles of anatomy, physiology and pathology. Consideration is given to homeostatic disturbances involving the various organ systems, disease and disease-producing organisms, and hereditary diseases.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202 or BIO 261 and CHM 202 or CHM 105

The course will focus on the basic concepts of the immune system. There will be both lecture and laboratory components. The lecture component will emphasize the theoretical aspects of the organization, structure and function of the various immune system components. The laboratory component will allow each student to have extensive hands-on experience with various techniques such as: immunodiffusions, immuno-electrophoresis, agglutination of cell bound antigens, immuno-labeling methods (enzyme-linked assays, immuno-blotting, immuno-histochemistry, etc).

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202 and CHM 202
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 331

This course will study the nature of plants as living organisms with emphasis on an experimental approach of structure and function of representatives of the major plant groups. The place of plants in nature and their relationship to humans will be examined.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202 and CHM 202
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 340

Homeostatic regulation involves coordinating activities of organs and systems throughout the body. The function of the endocrine system involves complex interrelationships and interactions that maintain dynamic steady states. The course will study the endocrine system and its hormonal impact on metabolic activities of various tissues. The interrelationships between the endocrine system and the nervous system will be studied. The laboratory component will allow each student to have hands-on experience with techniques that include, Solution Preparations, Solution chemistry, Hormonal Assay Methods, Histology of Endocrine Glands, Experiments on Hormonal Actions.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202 and CHM 202 or Permission of chairperson
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 351

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic science of genomics and the Human Genome Project (HGP) and to discuss the impact and applications of genomic science and technologies on health and on society. The basic principles of genetics will be presented to introduce the Human Genome Project. An overview of the application of genomic science to many areas of human endeavor will be presented. The relationship of human genome research to understanding human variation, disease, disease treatment and diagnosis, and health promotion and wellness will be covered. The impact of genomics and genomic technology on understanding complex diseases and health disparities among minority communities will be discussed. The emerging ethical, legal and social issues related to genetics, genetic technologies, and health will be explored.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 101 or BIO 111

    Note: Students must have completed all upper division Core requirements in English and in Mathematics and at least 20 in science, to include Biology and Chemistry. Other upper division majors (e.g., social work, psychology, education) and may enroll with permission of instructor. Some familiarity with Blackboard is desired. An orientation to Blackboard will be provided in the first class meeting.

A study of ecological principles including community dynamics and surveys of local biotic communities with emphasis on the ecological aspects of urbanization.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202 or BIO 252, CHM 106 and CHM 202

Survey of invertebrate phyla. Anatomy, physiology, ecology, and phylogeny of the major invertebrate organisms.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 373

A study of the diversity and uniformity of structure found among living vertebrates. The evolution of chordates is illustrated by such a comparative investigation as well, as an examination of anatomical features of fossil records. The lab includes detailed anatomical studies of several representative chordates.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202 and CHM 202
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 375

A study of the embryological development of chordates. Topics include studies of biochemical, morphological and physiological events in differentiation and growth of cells, tissues and organ systems. Chordate evolution is illustrated by a comparative investigation. The lab will include detailed, histological and morphological studies, the development of various chordate eggs, as well as exercises in experimental embryology of living eggs.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202 and CHM 202
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 376

Survey of the major groups of microorganisms: bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, and viruses. Introduction to the structure, function, and growth requirements of these groups. There will be discussion on the importance and interactions of microorganisms with man and the environment. Laboratory will include techniques for handling and identification of microorganisms.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202, CHM 202 and a 300 Level Biology Course with a Lab
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 403

Minimum of nine hours of conference and independent research per week. Library and/or laboratory investigation of a problem in biology selected and pursued under the guidance of a faculty advisor within the department. Regular meetings with advisors, presentations of findings at department seminars, and submission of a written report of research carried out are required.

  • Pre-Requisites: Completion of science courses appropriate to the research project as determined by the faculty advisor and the chairperson of the department.

    Note: Only three of these selected from BIO 311, 312, 410, 411, and 412 may be applied to the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology

Minimum of 9 hours of conference and independent research per week. Library and laboratory investigation of a problem in biology selected and pursued under the guidance of a faculty advisor within the department. Students will be required to submit a written report in the form of a dissertation and an oral presentation to the biology faculty. This course is required of all biology students in the honors curriculum.

  • Pre-Requisites: Permission of chairperson

A study of basic molecular processes and genetic phenomena in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Topics include molecular aspects of structure and function, replication, transcription and translation, as well as synthesis and repair of nucleic acids, protein synthesis, control of gene expression and recombinant DNA studies.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 302 and CHM 303 and MTH 201
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 461

Multicellular animals monitor and maintain a constant internal environment as well as respond to an external environment. In higher animals, these functions are integrated and coordinated by an organ system known as nervous system. This course is designed to give students a chance to understand cellular and molecular mechanism of how the nervous system works. It includes description of structure and function neuronal cells (neurons and glial cells) as well as neuronal stem cells. This also includes studies on the molecular components (membrane proteins, channels, and receptors) in neurons and glia. The molecular basis for integration and transmission of messages between nervous and other body tissues will be covered. The laboratory components include isolation and characterization of neurons and glial cells. Immunostaining of neurons and glial cells with specific markers. Isolation and identification of neurotransmitters from brain tissues. Isolation of chromosomal DNA and RNA from neurons and glial cells. Synthesis of DNA synthesis from mRNAs isolated from neuronal cells. Studying the expression neuronal cell specific genes by RT-PCR.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 202
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 463

This course covers all aspects of biotechnology including theoretical bases of gene manipulation, products and processes involved in this fast-growing discipline. The usefulness and implications of biotech products will be discussed. The biotech concepts learned in the lectures are reinforced by hands-on laboratory projects. The lab component of the course includes several techniques such as genomic and plasmid DNA isolation and purifications from a variety of samples, cloning genes of interest, separation technology, blotting technology, gene library construction and screening, RT-PCR technology, DNA fingerprinting technology (RAPD and Microsatellite, RFLP) and DNA sequencing that are routinely used in most molecular biotechnology laboratories. On successful completion of this course students should be able to directly apply these techniques if they decide on a career in biotechnology.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 302
  • Co-Requisites: BIOL 472

Analysis of the human body's internal environment is the focus of this course. Topics include the nature of biological control systems, and the properties of the major specialized cell types which comprise these systems; the functioning of the organs of the body and their coordination. The laboratory will explore by experimental techniques with living specimens, the functioning of various cell-tissue organ systems of particular physiological interest.

A lecture and laboratory study of the cell and its ultrastructure, cell physiology, and structure and function of macromolecules and organelles.

  • Pre-Requisites: A 300 Level Biology Course with Lab
    Co-Requisites: BIOL 491

This course is required for all students majoring in the BS in Biology degree and should be taken during their final year at the college. The course will require students to conduct an in-depth research project on a biological topic, to produce a written report and deliver an oral presentation to the faculty on it. Students will be exposed to a series of seminars dealing with acquisition and re-enforcement of library research skills, computer skills including spread sheets, data acquisition and management, graphing and statistical analysis, and the internet and world wide web. Students will be expected to incorporate all of these activities into their research projects.

  • Pre-Requisites: BIO 302 and completion of 12 of upper level