Course Descriptions



Course is only for Juniors majoring in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Offered:  Fall W2 (10:35-11:30 AM) Nelson Hall A237

Credits:  1

Corequisites:  01:694:407

Course Description:  This course is for registered MBB (694) majors only and should be taken in the fall semester of their third year in college. In the first part of the course, students will be instructed on how to find a laboratory on campus to conduct an independent research. Students will also be instructed on how to perform searches of the scientific literature, data, and funding databases. In the second part of the course there will a series of guest lecturers to introduce students to possible career options in the biological sciences, representing both traditional and alternative career tracks. Below is a list of some of the topics and career options that may be discussed, along with the names of previous guest lecturers.


  • Introduction to the MBB major and requirements (Dr. Gunderson/Vershon)
  • How to find a laboratory to conduct an independent research project (Dr. Gunderson/Vershon)
  • How to perform literature, data, and funding database searches.
  • Graduate School and Admissions (Dr. Gunderson)
  • Applications to Medical School (HPO Office)
  • Physicians in research and the MD-PhD track
  • Physicians Assistant Program (PAP)
  • Academic track - Life as a research professor (Dr. Gunderson)
  • Academic Track - Life as a teaching professor at the college or high school level
  • Big Pharma - Research Track
  • Big Pharma - Shifting from research track to business
  • Small Biotech
  • Patent and Science Law
  • Non-profit Charitable Agencies
  • Non-Governmental Agencies
  • Public Health Policy
  • Science Writing
  • Alternative careers

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.

Assignments and Grading Policy:  Class attendance will be a component of the grade. The course will also have a required writing component. For students who have not found a lab to do research, they will search for five different professors whose research interests them and write a one-page report of the research of each professor. For students already doing research in a lab, they will be required to write a 5-page report on the research that is being conducted in their lab.

Course Materials:  All course materials are posted on the course Canvas site. 

Course Closed?  If this course is closed please contact the course instructor concerning special permission numbers.


Samuel Gunderson
A322 Nelson lab, 445-1016
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
office hours by appointment only

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