BIOL 321 Developmental Biology
Spring 2004  

Dr. Karen Hicks, 102 Higley, pbx 5379,  Office hours M 9-10 AM, 2-3 PM; T 2-3 PM; W 9-11 AM

Course Description

This advanced* course concerns the mechanisms responsible for building multicellular organisms, including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. The processes of fertilization, embryogenesis, and post-embryonic development will be examined at the molecular and cellular levels. Particular attention will be devoted to the experimental basis for current models of these processes. Students will read original research literature as well as standard texts. Prerequisites: BIOL 113 and 114.

*knowledge of material covered in Biology 114 (Genetics and Development of Organisms) is assumed. Please review the webnotes and/or see me if you require help with this material.


Required textbook: Principles of Development, Wolpert, et al. 2002

Journal articles will be available on the internet and/or the P drive.

Course requirements and grading scheme

Class attendance and participation are a critical part of your responsibility in this course, and will be included in determining your grade in the course (see below). To participate intelligently in class, it is essential that you read and thoughtfully consider the assigned material before each class.

Evaluation of your performance in this class will include both a measurement of understanding of the material and processes that form the content of the course and the clarity of presentation in written or oral form. Your course grade will be determined as follows:

Six 15 minute in-class quizzes, lowest score will be dropped                                                          15%

One take-home midterm examination (due Friday, March 5 by 4 PM)                                           15%

One take-home final examination (due Saturday, May 15 by 11 AM)                                            20%

One grant proposal project                                                                                                              25%

4-6 page critique of recent journal article (due Monday, February 23 at 4 PM)   Outline of grant proposal  (due Monday, March 29 at 4 PM)

Grant proposal (due Monday, April 19 at 4 PM)

Peer-review of two grant proposals (due Monday, April 26 at 4 PM)

Grant proposal resubmission (due Monday, May 3 at 4 PM)

Leadership of class discussions on journal articles                                                                         10%

Class participation - includes attendance, regular participation in class discussions,                        15%
            and occasional homework assignments.

Academic honesty

I strongly encourage you to exchange information, discuss class material, and bounce ideas off of one another (and me). However, all work submitted for evaluation must be your own. Please review the College policy on academic honesty, and ask if you have questions!


If you have a disability and therefore may need some type of accommodation(s) in order to participate fully in this class, please feel free to discuss your concerns in private with me AND be sure to contact Erin Salva, Coordinator of Disability Services at PBX 5453 or via e-mail at SALVAE.


This schedule is tentative and is subject to change