• This course addresses fundamental concepts of cell biology, focusing on cell organization, macromolecular structure and function, cell signaling, cytoskeleton, cell division and development, cell membrane organization, energy production/consumption, and protein sorting.  Suggested Year: 2nd/3rd.
  • Semester Offered: Spring
  • Credits: 3
  • Course URL: A Canvas online module will be provided.


General Biology I and II (01:119:115-116). REQUIRED for the CBN major.

Teaching Faculty

     Prof. Alice Liu (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) - Module 1, Course coordinator

     Prof. Peng Jiang (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) - Module 2

     Prof. Qian Cai (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) - Module 3

Teaching Assistant:  Mr. Derek Cavallo (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Office Hours

By arrangement as necessary with individual instructor.  The course teaching assistant Mr. Derek Cavallo will be sending announcements on Canvas for weekly discussions as well as review sessions prior to the three module exams.  

Course Learning Goals:

1. Obtain factual and conceptual knowledge in fundamental concepts of cell biology and development as a foundation for success in advanced courses, post-graduate training and professional careers. 

2. Develop an ability to summarize, integrate and organize information in the field of cell and development biology. 

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

These goals are consistent with those set by the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, as well as the Division of Life Sciences at Rutgers University.

Exams and Grading Policy

  • Three 80-minute module exams (Prof. Liu, Peng, Cai) will count for 90% of the student grade. Each module exam will be administered using Canvas during normal class hours - so, bring your laptop computer to class for the module exam.   Arrangements may also be made with the Office of Disability Services to proctor and implement the exam in specific cases. 
  • In addition to the scheduled module exams in class, each module will have 2 Canvas-based online quizzes that count for 10% of the final grade.  These will be completed outside of normal class hours. Details of the quizzes will be announced and posted ahead of time.  
  • The final grade is the numeric average of the three modules (exams and quizzes). Letter grades distribution will be in accordance with Rutgers University SAS guidelines.

Academic Integrity Policy - http://nbacademicintegrity.rutgers.edu/home/academic-integrity-policy/Links to an external site. Violations include: cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, denying others access to information or material, and facilitating violations of academic integrity.  Students are to abide by the University Honor Pledge: "On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid on this (exam, test, paper)."

Course Materials

  • Recommended Text: ESSENTIAL CELL BIOLOGY, 6th Edition (2023) Bruce Alberts, Rebecca Heald, Karen Hopkins, Alexander Johnson, David Morgan, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter. WW Norton & Company. Ebook: $84.95, ISBN for bookstore:  978-1-324-03348-6.    
  • The 5th Edition (ISBN 9780393680379; 2019) of the above text is fine (Note: free pdf available online for download).  
  • Other resource materials may be supplemented by individual instructors as necessary.
  • Lecture slides, audio recordings (as necessary & available), and primary research literature assigned by the instructors will be posted on Canvas course site.
  • All course materials are copyrighted by the university and the individual instructors. Unauthorized distribution of these materials could violate the University Academic Integrity Policy and may subject you to disciplinary action.

Self-Reporting Absence Application

The mode of instruction of this course is "in-person" and students are expected to attend classes in person.   If you expect to miss one or more classes, please use the University absence reporting website (https://sims.rutgers.edu/ssra/)  Links to an external site.to indicate the date and reason for absence.  An email will then be automatically sent to the course instructor.  

Course Structure and Requirements

  • The course consists of lectures by CBN faculty members organized into 3 modules.
  • Each student is expected to review assigned textbook reading or videos prior to each class.
  • Additional reading assignments, as necessary,  will be posted on Canvas.
  • Questions during class are welcomed.  Class participation will not be graded.
  • There will be two module exams scheduled during regular class periods and one during the final exam period. Each module will have 1-2 online quizzes.
  • Students must complete all three module exams and the online quizzes for full credit.
  • Students with disabilities requesting accommodations must follow the procedures outlined at https://ods.rutgers.edu/students/registering-for-services.Links to an external site.  Please email each professor ahead of time to make sure they are aware of your approved accommodations. 
  • Full disability policies and procedures are at https://ods.rutgers.edu/ Links to an external site. 

Final Exam:  The third module exam will be held during the final exam period. The date and time will be announced and posted. 

Student Support and Mental Wellness

Course Closed?

If this course is closed, please use the following link to add your name to the wait list: Wait List Sign Up . If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Instruction at 848-445-2075 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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