BIOL 321 Developmental Biology

Dr. Karen Hicks, 012 Higley, pbx 5379,  Office hours M1:30-2:30 pm; W  1:30-3:30 pm; Th 2-4 pm

Course Description

This advanced* course concerns the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for building multicellular organisms, including vertebrates, invertebrates and plants. Students will read and discuss original research literature as well as standard texts. Prerequisites: BIOL 113 (6/13) and 114 (7/14).

*knowledge of material covered in Biology 7/14/114 (Intro to Genetics and Development) 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. 1998

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

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 grade will be determined by a 1000 point scale as follows:

Seven 30 point quizzes, lowest two scores will be dropped = 150 points (in class, 15 min. each)

One 150 point take-home midterm examination (due March 2 in class)

One 200 point take-home final examination (due May 11 at 5 pm)

One 270 point grant proposal project

4-6 page critique of recent journal article 70 points (due February 19)

Outline of grant proposal 30 points (due March 22)

First draft of grant proposal 70 points (due April 19)

Final draft of grant proposal 100 points (due May 4)

Leadership of two class discussions on journal articles, 40 points each = 80 points

150 points of class participation - includes attendance, regular participation in class discussions, 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 (pp 27-30 of the Course of Study), 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