Course Descriptions

Special Topics in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry: The Biology of Aging (01:694:421)

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

This course may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of the Biological Sciences major.

Offered:  Spring 2022 M/W 3:50-5:00 PM Nelson Hall Rm A-237

Credits:  3

Prerequisites:  Genetics (01:447:380 or 01:447:384/385) and Biochemistry (01:694:301 or 01:694:407).  

Course Description:  This course will discuss state-of-the-art understanding of the biology of aging and longevity, considering what we know, what are particular challenges to tackling the problem, what are the controversies, what are the myths.  Topics we will consider are genetics, diet, environment, chance, signaling pathways, epigenetics, late onset diseases.  Format will be lecture plus reading discussions, emphasis on molecular genetics of longevity and health span.


What is aging?
Model systems in aging research
Genetics of Longevity
Longevity signaling pathways
DNA damage and maintenance
Telomere theories
Stress responses and healthy aging
Caloric restriction
Free radical theory of aging
Metabolism and Diabetes
The aging brain
Late-onset Neurodegenerative disease
Stem Cells and regenerative biology
Reproductive aging

Course URL:  All course materials will be posted on the course Sakai site

Course Satisfies Learning Goals

1. Students should demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge that is needed to begin biomedical research and that is required for post-graduate exams and studies.

2. Students should demonstrate the ability to find and evaluate information about specific biological systems or problems.

3. Students should demonstrate the ability to design experiments and critically analyze data.

 Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy:

20% Quizzes 3-4, will announce dates, one week in advance 

25% Exam 1 midterm   

25% Exam 2 final           

20% Paper presentations 

10% Class participation (hw questions, discussion—you will need to attend class!) 

Course Materials: Assigned papers, weekly readings will be posted at the course Canvas site.

Course Closed?  This course is by special permission only, with priority given to MBB majors. The majority of the class will be juniors and seniors. To obtain a special permission number, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Non-MBB majors, please add your name to the wait list using the following link:Wait List Sign Up for Spring 2020 Courses If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Life Sciences - Office of Undergraduate Instruction at 848-445-2075 or visit our office at Nelson Biological Laboratories B112, Busch Campus.

Faculty: Prof. Monica Driscoll

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