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Undergraduate Chemical and Physical Biology (CPB) Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Gateway Course: MCB 60 “Cellular Biology & Molecular Medicine”

An introduction to the principles of Molecular and Cellular Biology using medical syndromes to highlight the biological mechanisms that underpin human disease and physiology. Topics include DNA repair, protein folding, and cancer, with an emphasis on the experimental evidence for key concepts. Includes weekly lab-based research and discussions of the primary literature.

Instructors: Vlad Denic, Alex Schier
Semester: Fall

MCB Courses by Subject Area

  • Structure and Function of Molecules: these courses cover the structure of macromolecules and a biochemical approach to cellular function.
    • CPB 63 “Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine”
    • CPB 65 “Physical Biochemistry: Understanding Macromolecular Machines”
    • CPB 176 “Biochemistry of Membranes”
    • CPB 178 “Biochemistry of Protein Complexes”
    • CPB 188 “Chromosomes”


  • Cell Organization and Behavior: these courses cover the organization of single-celled and multicellular organisms and the behavior of the cells therein, from microbes or neurons.
    • CPB 64 “The Cell Biology of Human Life”
    • CPB 68 “Cell Biology Through the Microscope”
    • CPB 80 “Neurobiology of Behavior”
    • CPB 105 “Systems Neuroscience”
    • CPB 115 “Cellular Basis of Neuronal Function”
    • CPB 121 “The Microbes”
    • CPB 129 “The Brain: Development Plasticity and Decline”
    • CPB 141 “Chemical and Physical Biology of the Senses and their Disorders”
    • CPB 186 ”Circadian Biology: from Cellular Oscillators to Sleep Regulation”

  • Disease: these courses focus on human health and how the disruption of normal biological processes leads to disease.
    • CPB 63 “Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine”
    • CPB 64 “The Cell Biology of Human Life”
    • LS 120 “Global Health Threats”
    • CPB 169 “Molecular and Cellular Immunology”
    • CPB XXX “Cell Cycle and Cancer”
    • CPB 165 “Viruses and their Interactions with Hosts”


  • Logic and the Scientific Approach: these courses provide a conceptual and methodological framework for scientific inquiry.
    • CPB 68 “Cell Biology Through the Microscope”
    • CPB 111 “Mathematics in Biology”
    • CPB 142 “Major Advances in Classical and Molecular Genetics”
    • CPB 144 “The Power and Pitfalls of Genetical Thinking”
    • CPB 151 ”From the Gene to the Phenotype: A Genomics Perspective”
    • CPB 162 “Major Advances in Understanding Heredity and Evolution”
    • CPB 195 “Foundations of Systems Biology and Biological Engineering”
    • CPB 198 “Advanced Mathematical Techniques for Modern Biology”
    • CPB 199 “Statistical Thermodynamics and Quantitative Biology”

Learn More:

List of Upper-Level Courses [create page]
Tutorial Program [create page]