Casimir Course - Biology for Physicists







Instructors: Martina Huber and Gijsje Koenderink

Teaching Assistants: t.b.a.

Guest Lecturers: t.b.a.

Description: Our goal is to introduce scientists with little biological background to several basic topics in molecular biology, as described from a biologist’s perspective. We will also discuss related papers from the recent literature. This will provide a taste of not only how biology works, but also how biological experiments are performed, and the sorts of complications biology experiments often encounter. 

Please read the Background Reading before you come to class, as you will learn a great deal more from the lecture. Attending the lectures alone will not teach you biology!

Each class (after the first class) will start with a 45 minute lecture given by the instructor, which will be followed by a student presentation of a scientific paper drawn from the literature. The paper will be relevant to the previous lecture’s topic (see Syllabus for paper list and order). All participants will read the paper and prepare two questions for the discussion. 

Topics include: Evolution and Horizontal Gene Transfer; Developmental Cell Biology; Gene Expression; Proteins and Enzymes; Metabolism; Genetic Engineering and synthetic biology; TBA.

Assessment: Pass/Fail grades will be given based on the student presentation and discussion (50%), discussion preparation (25%); and passing quizzes covering the background reading assignments (25%). Attendance at all sessions is required to pass, though absences due to exceptional circumstances are allowed.

Biology for Physicists 2021 Syllabus: t.b.a.

Course dates: 10 sessions in Spring 2021, exact dates t.b.a.

Location: t.b.a.

Credits: 5 GSC

Registration: t.b.a.