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Molecular Biology/Biotechnology Curriculum


This concentration is a part of the Department of Biology and prepares students to attend graduate school and/or work in the increasingly competitive biotechnology fields.

BIOL 308 Introduction to Molecular Forensic Science (BIOL 308)

This course will reacquaint students to DNA, RNA and protein structure and formation and how these compounds are useful for identification of mammalian, animal, plant and microbial cells and organisms. Students will also be exposed to ethical considerations including the use of national databases.

Topics include:

  • Cell cycle
  • DNA replication
  • RE; PCR
  • Forensic DNA typing
  • DNA transcription and translation
  • Forensic Botany
  • Population Statistics
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Ethics

Animal Biotechnology (BIOL 405)

This course places emphasis on the technologies that specifically use animal models. It covers topics including medicines and vaccines, transgenic animals and cloning.

Topics include:

  • Animal cells, tissues and organs
  • Animal growth and development
  • Gene cloning
  • DNA construct and reporter/selectable marker genes
  • Electroporation and injecting DNA into cells
  • Value-added genes
  • New technologies e.g. RNAi
  • Production of pharmaceuticals
  • Ethics

Plant Biotechnology (BIOL 406)

This course acquaints students with the concepts and procedures involved in plant tissue culture, transgenic plant production, genomics, patents and copyrights associated with plant sciences; and the ethical questions surrounding the use of this technology.

Topics include:

  • Plant cells, tissues and organs
  • Plant growth and development
  • Organogenesis and embryogenesis
  • DNA construct and reporter/selectable marker genes
  • Agrobacterium and biolistic transformation
  • Value-added genes
  • New technologies e.g. RNAi
  • Genomics
  • Patents and copyrights
  • Ethics

Bioinformatics Modules

Bioinformatics modules are currently being developed and introduced into General Biology for Majors I and II (BIOL 101/102). These modules include comparing DNA, RNA and protein sequences; and looking at protein structures. In the first module, students search the database of National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) for the original green fluorescent protein (gfp) gene.

Lab Handout


BEST currently provides funding for the GRE exam for ECSU students interested in graduate programs in biotechnology. For further information, please contact the program manager:

Dr. Margaret Young:

Faculty Enhancement

Four faculty (a plant molecular biologist, a cancer biologist, a cell biologist, an insect/protozoan biologist) and a Research Associate have been involved with this project. They have visited:

They have attended workshops and presented educational papers at: