Course Descriptions



This course is intended for Life Science majors or those with a strong background in biology.

This course is required for the CBN major and may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of the Biological Sciences major.






General Biology 119:115-116 or by special permission.

Course Description

An introductory analysis to the dynamics of cell organization, communication, structure, function, and metabolism. Topics to be discussed in depth include gene expression, membrane structure and function, cell compartmentalization, intracellular transport, cell signaling, the cytoskeleton, cell division, the cell cycle, recombinant DNA technology and its applications to biology.

Course URL

A Canvas online module will be provided.

Course Syllabus

Sp 21 Course Syllabus

Course Satisfies Learning Goals

1. Master factual and conceptual knowledge in cell biology that will provide a solid foundation for success in advanced training and professional careers.

2. Develop an ability to summarize, integrate, and organize information.

3. Use scientific reasoning to evaluate the potential for current research and new discoveries to improve our understanding of cell biology and its relevance to human health and to our society.


This course will be conducted synchronously online on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (Period 5). The lectures will be delivered live during that time (3:20 pm - 4:40 pm) using the live conference function in Canvas, and students will be expected to attend in order to ask questions and interface with faculty and peers. In case students must miss class due to illness or other excused reasons, the lectures will be recorded and posted online. Office hours will be available for each module at a scheduled time, and these will be held online through the Canvas conference portal. The course is divided into three modules that will be taught by Drs. Alice Liu, Peng Jiang, and Qian Cai. Each module consists of eight 80-minute lectures and will have a review session.

Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy

Three 80-minute period exams. The lecture material will most consist of assigned readings from the required course textbook, with additional supplementary material provided as needed by the instructors.

Final grades for each student are based upon the average of three exams.

Course Materials

Required Text: Essential Cell Biology, 4th Edition (2013), by Alberts, et al. Garland Science Publishing ISBN 978-0-8153-4454-4.

Course Closed?

If this course is closed, please use the following link to add your name to the wait list: Wait List Sign Up for Spring 2021 Courses .  If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Instruction at 848-445-2075 or visit our office at Nelson Labs B112, Busch Campus.


Prof. Alice Liu

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Prof. Peng Jiang

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Prof. Qian Cai (course coordinator)

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** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.