BISC220/S10: Lecture Syllabus

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Wellesley College     BISC 220     Cellular Physiology

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BISC220 Cell Physiology

Lecturer: Jennifer Hood-DeGrenier
Lab Instructor: Melissa Beers
Lab Prep : Padma Kannabiran
Study Group Leader/ Course Peer Mentor:

Contact Info:
Jennifer Hood-DeGrenier: Office SC376A ; office phone x3313; email:
Office Hours: Tues. 1:00-2:30 pm or by appointment (SC376A)

Melissa Beers: Office SC175; office phone X3521; email:
Office Hours: by arrangement (SC175)

Lectures: Tuesdays & Fridays 11:10-12:20 SC396
Labs: : Tues. 12:30-4; Wed. 2:15-5:45; Thurs. 1-4:30 SC304

Text: Alberts, B. et al. (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th ed., Garland Science

Reserve texts and Problem Books:
Lodish, H. et al. (2008) Molecular Cell Biology, 6th ed.
Alberts, B. et al. (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th ed.
Wilson, J. and Hunt T. (2002) Molecular Biology of the Cell: A Problems Approach, 4th ed.

Reference material for labs: The lab manual is published electronically at:
In the interest of conservation, please do not print out the entire lab manual. Copies will be available for your use in the lab. Notes about the procedures prior to or during the labs should be made in your lab notebook.
Additional lab resource material is posted to the First Class lab conferences for BISC220

By the end of this course, you should be familiar with many of the essential physiological processes of the cell and have a strong understanding of how proteins collaborate to carry out those processes. You will also have acquired a “methods tool-kit” and an understanding of how to apply various experimental techniques to answer cell biological questions. Finally, you should have gained confidence in reading and interpreting primary-source scientific articles enhanced your scientific writing abilities.


Assessment Points
Hour Exams 200 points
Final Exam 140 points
Homework/Quizzes 60 points
Laboratory 200 points
Total 600 points

Make-up exams and quizzes will only be given in the case of a serious personal illness or family emergency that has been documented by your class dean. Similarly, excused extensions for lab reports or homework will not be granted except in the cases described. In such situations, if at all possible, the instructor should be notified prior to the class period in which the exam or quiz is to be administered or when the assignment is due. Unexcused late work will be penalized 5% per day and will not receive credit more than one week after the due date. Students who have a legitimate conflict with a scheduled exam are requested to speak with the instructor as soon as possible about taking the exam early, but no more than 48 hours in advanced of the scheduled exam.

Students entitled to disability-related accommodations are requested to speak with the instructor about their needs well in advance of scheduled quizzes, exams, and assignment due dates.

Working in groups with your classmates is encouraged as a valuable way to enhance your understanding of the course material; however, the actual writing of all assignments, including homework and lab reports, must be completed individually.

The instructor reserves the right to modify the syllabus during the semester as she deems necessary to meet the course goals in a reasonable manner.

Please let your instructors know if you are having trouble during the semester. The sooner you bring a problem to our attention, the sooner we can help you address it.

BISC220 Lecture Schedule

Lec. # Date Topics Reading
1 T 1/26 Intro: The AMAZING World of the Cell

Protein Structure
Review Ch. 1 & Ch. 2 (general background, review from BISC 110)
Ch. 3, p. 125-148

Ch. 8, p. 527-530 (protein structure determination) (Harvard BioVisions)

View Cell Biology Interactive (CBI) videos 3.1-3.6, 3.9 (DVD that came with your textbook—see conference for access notes)

2 F 1/29 Protein Regulation & Social Context

Enzymes I: Mechanism of Catalysis
Ch. 2, p. 72-81
Ch. 3, p. 152-161, 164-167 & 175-190

CBI videos 3.7, 3.8 & 3.11

Ringe D, Petsko G A (2008) How enzymes work. Science 320:1428-1429.*

3 T 2/2 Enzymes II: Kinetics & Regulation

Quiz: Amino Acids (10 pts)
Ch. 3 p. 162-163 & 166-174
CBI video 3.10

Biology Hypertextbook Enzyme Biochemistry sections 3 & 4 (also try practice problems #1-3)

4 F 2/5 Protein Methods I: Protein Separation & Antibody Detection Ch. 8, p. 508-509 & 517-522
Ch. 25, p. 1551-1561 (on the textbook DVD)
CBI video 25.2
5 T 2/9 Protein Methods II: Protein Purification & Functional Analysis Ch. 8, p. 510-516, 522-531 & 564-576

Snyder M and Gallagher JEG (2009) Systems biology from a yeast omics perspective. FEBS Letters 583:3895-3899.*

6 F 2/12