Skip to main content

Biology Courses

Biotechnology and Genomics Graduate Diploma Courses

Description: This course provides students with instruction in the basic techniques of bioinformatics, computational biology and biological data science. There are three major goals. The first goal is to introduce common bioinformatic software, databases and tools for analyzing molecular data. The second, is to provide students with methods from computational biology to test hypotheses using programming techniques. The third, is to provide an introduction to methods from data science for exploring large biological data sets using visualization, statistics and machine learning. This course is conducted through lectures and computer laboratories.

Component(s): Lecture; Laboratory

Description: This course provides an overview of genome analysis including: cloning systems; sequencing strategies; methods of detecting genes and approaches to mapping genomes. It covers the theory and design of the different approaches, and the analysis of genomic data generated from them.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course focuses on the functional analysis of expressed genes and their products. Course content includes transcription profiling using microarrays and RNA-Seq, systematic identification of proteins using mass spectrometry, functional analysis by gene knock-outs, localization of gene products by gene knock-ins, recombinant protein synthesis and protein-protein interactions using affinity co-purification and protein complementation assays.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This is a hands-on course on techniques used in biotechnology and genomics. Experiments conducted in this course include separation and mapping of high molecular weight DNA fragments, shotgun sequencing, ESTs sequencing, protein production in bacteria and fungi, functional analysis of protein products, protein arrays, and in vivo detection of protein interactions.

Component(s): Tutorial; Laboratory

Notes:
  • This course incurs an additional fee to cover laboratory supplies and equipment.

Description: Each student conducts a project under the supervision of a faculty member at Concordia or other research institutions affiliated with the program. The project topic requires approval by the course coordinator. The project is taken over an 8-month (10 hours per week) period at Concordia or other approved institutions or companies. The project is chosen from one or more of the following fields: biotechnology, genomics, bioinformatics, cell/molecular biology, synthetic biology and high-throughput experimentation. The nature of the project can be research, development, or application. A student who is working full- time or part-time can pursue the project in his/her place of employment subject to approval. (Approval is only given to projects which are clearly demonstrated to be independent of the regular work requirement). At the end of the project, the student is required to submit a report on the results of the project and present the results publicly in the form of a scientific poster or a short talk at a scheduled Genomics/Biotechnology Research Day.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • A student who is working full-time or part-time can pursue the project in his/her place of employment subject to approval. (Approval will only be given to projects which are clearly demonstrated to be independent of the regular work requirement).

Prerequisite/Corequisite: The following courses must be completed previously: BIOL 511; BIOL 512.

Description: This course provides an in-depth evaluation of current biotechnology tools used in pharmaceutical and forestry industries, and in environmental remediation. New technologies and genomic approaches that can be applied to these processes are also discussed.

Component(s): Lecture

Prerequisite/Corequisite: The following courses must be completed previously: BIOL 511; BIOL 512.

Description: This course provides an overview on the use of biotechnology in agriculture and in the agri-food industry. Plant genomics and genetic manipulation of plants are emphasized. Also discussed are biotechnology methods used in reducing agricultural pollutants and converting agricultural surplus to energy.

Component(s): Lecture

Prerequisite/Corequisite: The following courses must be completed previously: BIOL 511; BIOL 512.

Description: This is a hands-on introduction to high-throughput instruments used in biotechnology and genomics. Students are exposed to capillary electrophoresis-based DNA sequencing, microplate-based PCR reactions and purification of PCR products, construction of DNA chips, microarray scanning, and liquid handling robotics.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Enrolment in this course is restricted to ten students.

Description: This is an interdisciplinary course offered to students who are either in Biology or Electrical and Computer Engineering programs. Students are introduced to the emerging field of synthetic biology and learn to design computational machines that can be implemented in biological media. The term is divided into two phases. In Phase I, Biology students learn basic computer hardware and software concepts, while Engineering students are introduced to gene structure and recombinant DNA technology. In Phase II, all students learn the principles and various applications of cell-based computational machines. Students work in teams to create a project proposal to describe the design of a computational machine using gene regulatory networks. A project is required.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Students who have received credit for COEN 6211 or for this topic under a BIOL 631 or COEN 691 number may not take this course for credit.

Description: This interdisciplinary course examines some of the ethical, legal, and social implications of recent developments in biotechnology, genomics, and bioinformatics. Students explore current debates about biotechnologies in the fields of agricultural biotechnology, global development, and environmental risk. Issues such as commercialization and intellectual property, the role of media and public perceptions of biotechnologies, and social responsibility and policy formation are also addressed.

Component(s): Lecture

Biology MSc and PhD Advanced Topics and Reading Courses

The content of the reading courses will vary from year to year and will reflect the interests of the department and the instructor in the course. Not all courses will be offered in any given academic year. Details of the courses to be given together with their respective course contents will be available at the beginning of the academic year. The reading courses are designed to meet special needs of students in their areas of research, and involve the presentation, discussion and critical analysis of information from current journal articles.

Description: This course is given in alternate years and reviews selected areas of current research in ecology, evolution and behaviour through critical analysis of recent publications. Topics vary from year to year, and are determined in part by the interests of the students. Material covered may include papers published in refereed journals, monographs or books on specialized topics, or new textbooks covering advanced topics in a relevant area. Students are responsible for giving class presentations of selected material, leading class discussions, and submitting critiques and answers to assigned essay questions. Grading is based upon class participation, oral presentations and written work.

Component(s): Lecture; Reading

Description: This course introduces students to a variety of techniques of experimental design, data collection, and quantitative analysis. Students participate in a series of modules, each of which presents experimental and analytical techniques appropriate for one area of modern research in ecology, behaviour, or evolution. Some modules require students to collect and subsequently analyze original data from field or laboratory settings. Modules and their contents may vary from year to year.

Component(s): Tutorial; Laboratory

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with undergraduate course BIOL 450 . It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit.

Description: This course applies principles of ecology at the individual, population, community and ecosystem level to identify and solve practical environmental problems. Topics include pollution, climate change, and farming, harvesting renewable resources, designing nature reserves and conserving bio-diversity.

Component(s): Lecture; Tutorial

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Description: This course examines the role of the microbial community in the fundamental processes of decomposition and nutrient cycling. We discuss the role of microbes in the breakdown of organic molecules and the release and transformation of mineral elements. Emphasis is placed on the interactions between decomposition and on the interactions between bacteria, fungi, and the microbes in the maintenance of nutrient cycles.

Component(s): Lecture; Laboratory

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Description: The role of the immune system in maintenance of body homeostasis will be presented with particular reference to cells and tissues of the immune system, their organization as well as their structural and functional relationships. Topics include: maturation and differentiation of B and T lymphocytes; structure and properties of antibodies; immune responses to antigens; genetic aspects of antibody synthesis; immunological considerations in AIDS, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

Component(s): Lecture; Seminar

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Description: Lectures dealing with selected topics in mammalian cell biology. These include introduction to the elements of cell biology. Introduction to the elements of cell culture with reference to the growth and function of non-differentiated and differentiated cells. Control of cell cycling under normal and abnormal states, mechanisms of peptide and steroid hormone action with emphasis on intracellular signaling pathways. The control of gene transcription and detailed analysis of the effect of host cell factors on virus replication.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Description: Biochemical study of the natural constituents and secondary metabolites unique to plants. Their biosynthesis, biotransformations, and functions in plants, as well as their economic and pharmacologic importance are stressed.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Description: This course looks at plant-growth regulators, nutritional requirements, and other factors necessary for in-vitro culturing of plant cells and tissues. The course also discusses methods available for nuclear transfers and the propagation of transformed plants.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Description: This course is offered every other year and is open to all graduate students in Biology or by special permission from the instructor. It is designed to present the requirements for publishable scientific writing, successful research proposals and the presentation of oral papers at scientific meetings. The course emphasizes good writing habits, focuses on the importance of thought, the conciseness of statements and clarity of exposition. The course combines lectures, group discussions, workshops and oral presentations. Marks are based on a number of written assignments, oral presentations as well as participation in class.

Component(s): Lecture

Description: This course is given alternate years in the Summer session and explains both the theory and practice of instrumentation and methodology. Students learn to operate the Scanning Electron Microscope (Séminaire.) and ancillary equipment such as sputter-coater and the critical point drier. Hands-on learning experience is stressed to acquire familiarity with special techniques. Instructions cover three aspects: instrumentation, specimen preparation (fixation and drying), and specimen mounting and coating.

Component(s): Tutorial; Laboratory

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Component(s): Lecture; Laboratory

Description: This course concentrates on basic microbial and molecular genetics, introducing isolation and characterization of mutants, methods of mapping mutants, transposons, episomes, and recombinant DNA techniques.

Component(s): Lecture; Conference

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Description: This course examines the molecular basis of the control of metabolic pathways with an emphasis on procaryote systems. The course concentrates on the analysis of the rationale of experimentation used to elucidate these regulatory mechanisms.

Component(s): Lecture; Conference

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Description: Theory and practice of modern experimental procedures of molecular biology, including use of restriction enzymes, gene cloning, and hybridizations, DNA sequencing, site-directed mutagenesis, and the use of bacteria and phage in biotechnology.

Component(s): Lecture; Laboratory

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Description: This course deals with gene regulation in eukaryotes. Topics covered include transcription, transcript processing, translation, and post-translational processes.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • This course corresponds with an undergraduate course description. It is understood that an instructor who grants written permission to register in the course as a graduate student will require extra work from the students for graduate credit. This course is open to doctoral students only under exceptional circumstances.

Biology Thesis, Research, Qualifying Exam and Pedagogical Training Courses

Description: Candidates are required to give four lectures (normally 75 minutes each) to undergraduate classes. Two lectures are in introductory level courses and two in advanced undergraduate courses. Tutorials are provided to introduce students to teaching methods.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • The course is marked on a pass/fail basis.

Description: Students are required to give one seminar to the Department based upon their research project. Normally the seminar is given in the second or third years of residency. The grade is based upon the presentation, content, and the student’s ability to answer questions. The grade is assigned by the Graduate Program Director in consultation with the candidate’s supervisory committee and other faculty members present at the seminar.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • Seminars are graded on a standard scale (A+ to F).

Description: The student prepares a written research proposal based upon the research topic chosen for thesis research. The proposal is prepared in consultation with the supervisory committee and contains a literature review, a progress report and a detailed description of future experiments. The proposal should demonstrate a good understanding of the background of the project, the questions to be answered, and the experimental approaches needed to answer these questions. Both the written proposal and an oral summary of the proposal are presented to the examining committee within one year of entry into the PhD program. The examining committee consists of the student's supervisory committee plus two additional members of the Department of Biology and is chaired by the Graduate Program Director. The student is evaluated on the basis of the quality of the oral and written presentations of the proposal and on responses to questions from the examining committee. These questions extend into general areas as well as focusing directly on the thesis topic.

Component(s): Lecture

Notes:
  • The examining committee assigns one of the following three grades: 1) PASS: The student is admitted to candidacy for a PhD in Biology; 2) CONDITIONAL PASS: The student is admitted to candidacy but is required to complete at least one additional course. This grade is assigned only if the background preparation of the student is judged to be insufficient; 3) FAIL: The student must withdraw from the program. If the examining committee judges that the proposal has weaknesses that can be corrected with minor revisions, it may suspend assigning a mark for a period not exceeding three months. The revised proposal then is assigned one of the three above grades.

Description: A major portion of the PhD program involves the planning and execution of innovative and original research under the direction of a supervisor. It is expected that this research should result in publication in reputable journals, on which the candidate is the first author and the major contributor of ideas and experimental data. The thesis will be examined by a Thesis Examining Committee and will be defended orally.

Component(s): Lecture; Thesis Research

© Concordia University