MCB Teaching Policies and Course Information

The MCB Department general policies on undergraduate teaching for BMB, CBI and GGN are listed here for your review: 

  • PTA (permission to add):
  • No course will be enrolled above the enrollment cap as determined by the department and registrar. All large enrollment courses with a waiting list will be enrolled as the seats open within the 10-day drop window and before the last day to add on the 12th day of instruction. Do not contact your instructor for a PTA. It is department policy NOT to give out PTAs for courses with a wait list or to add after the 12th day of instruction.
  • Drop deadlines: 
  • Upper division, core BIS courses administered by MCB will (effective fall 2023) have a 10-day drop deadline. We encourage students to evaluate course sections based on their schedule, graduation plans (please consult with your BASC advisor) and based on the course information provided here. Once enrolled, develop a plan for success in the course that does NOT involve dropping the course after a poor test score. 

MCB Course Information: Some instructors have voluntarily provided a brief description of their teaching approach. Please use this information to assess how a course’s structure connects to your learning style. If you’re unsure about your learning style, please consult with your BASC advisor, the course instructor or read up on different learning styles. 

  • BIS101 Genes and Gene Expression
  • Professor Ellefson: 

    Professor Ross-Iberra:

    Professor Comai:

    Prof Comai BIS101 teaches a flipped version of BIS 101. His Canvas site provides modules with short learning videos and online quizzes. The lecture consists of short topic reviews and clicker questions to stimulate discussion. Students’ success depends on their engagement with material before and during each lecture. Therefore, students should prepare before lecture and attend regularly. 25% of the grade is from online quizzes and in lecture interaction. With these items, a 20% drop policy acts as a relief valve. The rest of the grade is determined by three in-person midterm exams and one final exam, all of which are in a multiple choice format.

    Professor Lott:

    Professor Kliebenstein: 

    This section is taught in a lecture format with a strong effort to facilitate questions and interactions to enhance uptake. There are topic focused mini-lectures available online to study prior to each lecture. Each lecture is videotapped and these recordings are uploaded after the class period and provide additional material along with a variety of internet resources and online textbook to facilitate understanding. Multiple years of class notes and exams are provided to assist in studying. Online participatory questions are available after each lecture to allow self-assessment of understanding along with available problem sets. Participation in these accounts for 10% of the grade. Exams are given online in a multiple choice format that accounts for the remainder of the course assessment.

    Professor Nord:

  • BIS102 Structure and Function of Biomolecules 
  • Professor Monfared:

    Professor McKenney:

    Professor Shabek:

    Professor Hilt:

    Professor Cheng:

    Professor Leal:

  • BIS103 Bioenergenics and Metabolism
  • Professor Monfared:

    Professor Powers:

    Professor Zerbe:

    Professor Fiehn:
  • BIS104 Cell Biology
  • Professor Starr:

    Professor Liu:

    Professor Lin:

    Professor Dinesh:

    Professor Carrasco:

    Professor Kaplan: 
    I use a flipped classroom approach. I provide short video lectures and complementary textbook reading to allow students to choose the format of information that best suits their learning style. Class lecture time (I personally run all lectures) is spent reviewing key concepts, answering questions, extending material to real world issues, and practicing exam style questions. Both in-person and remote office hours are offered multiple times/week. You are rewarded (not punished) for attending in person. Student learning is assessed in short weekly online quizzes. Questions from in-class practice and weekly quizzes will be re-assessed in a midterm exam and the final exam (both online using question banks, i.e. no two exams will look the same). Improvement on quizzes and exams are measured and used to back-grade early assessment scores – the emphasis here is on practice and improvement.
  • BIS105 Biomolecules and Metabolism
  • Profesor Hilt:

    Professor Theg: