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The Faculty: Advisors in the Molecular Biology Collateral Major

Dr. Tom Tauer, Administrative Coordinator

Dr. Maria Dean

The collateral concentration in Molecular Biology offers hands-on experience and advanced course work in this cutting edge field. The collateral concentration gives students interested in careers in molecular biology, molecular genetics, biomedical research, medicine and biochemistry the chance to gain considerable practical knowledge and experience. Students may start with either a major in Biology or Chemistry and then take the set of courses, outlined below. These recommended courses would provide additional depth in the concentration, in addition to the core degree. Coe College recognizes this career area as one of almost unlimited potential. Most of the cutting edge research today, and for the foreseeable future, is being done in the broad category of Molecular Biology/Biochemistry. We have committed ourselves to providing our students with professional quality equipment and "real world" laboratory experiences to make them competitive as future twenty first century scientists.

Students will take a course called Techniques in Molecular Biology routinely, during their junior year. This course provides students an applied and theoretical knowledge of the most common concepts and bench techniques in molecular biology. Typically, the summer after their junior year, collateral students are strongly encouraged to participate in summer research. Students who have completed the core courses, have worked with faculty on a variety of research projects on campus. A number of the strongest students have proven to be unusually successful in winning nationally competitive NSF and Howard Hughes Medical Institute grants, with stipends, to do summer research on campuses at major research institutions across the United States. These students have generally gone on to write excellent honors theses and have gained admission into outstanding graduate programs, professional schools or have gone onto successful careers in industrial or academic research.

Requirements for a Collateral Major in Molecular Biology

The completion of a major in Biology and

Organic Chemistry 1 CHM-185
Organic Chemistry 2 CHM-225
Organic Chemistry Laboratory CHM-235
Techniques in Molecular Biology BIO-345*
Techniques in Molecular Biology Laboratory BIO-340
Biochemistry CHM-405
Current Topics in Molecular Biology BIO-405

And completion of one of the following courses--

Bacteriology BIO-525
Bacteriology Laboratory BIO-520
[This option is for those interested in prokaryotic biology.]
Cell Physiology BIO-515
Cell Physiology Laboratory BIO-510
[This option is for those interested in eukaryotic biology.]

Strongly recommended:

Basic Physics I PHY-115
Basic Physics II PHY-135
General Physics I PHY-216
General Physics II PHY-226

Also, strongly recommended:

Research Participation BIO-805
Independent Study/Honors BIO-8_5

*The key course is Techniques in Molecular Biology

Techniques in Molecular Biology is an intensive introduction to biological molecular techniques. Students learn how to manipulate recombinant DNA and express and detect protein products in prokaryotic systems. Course methods include cloning, restriction mapping, ligation, labeling purification, elution, blotting, hybridization, agarose and polyacrylamide gels, protein expression and detection and immunological techniques. On completing the course students should have a working knowledge of most methods used in molecular biology research.

Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology (BIO-145),
Principles of Structural Chemistry (CHM-155),
Principles of Chemical Reactivity(CHM-165).

About Coe's Program:

The Collateral Major has been supported by generous National Science Foundation grants for equipment and a major Carver Foundation Grant of nearly $100,000.00 also dedicated to equipment purchase for molecular biology/biochemistry. Thus, this program has all the basic, and much of the more specialized, pieces of equipment required for sophisticated experimentation in cellular and molecular biology and biochemistry. We are so committed to exposing our students to new technology that they are introduced to the use of appropriate pieces of this equipment in their very first laboratory experiences. The college has hired faculty with expertise in various fields allied to molecular biology and biochemistry. The college has also provided summer grant money available to students and faculty to pursue research interests as well as the operating budget necessary to support courses at a high level.

We are also dedicated to assisting qualified students in finding research opportunities. While we can provide fine research opportunities on campus, we cannot provide the same type of research environment that is found at major research institutions for which our students will attend at the next stage of their careers. Students with good grade points, who have taken the technical courses, are getting summer placements in excellent research laboratories across the nation.

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Coe College 2003

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