Harvard:Biophysics 101/2018

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Biophysics 242 (101): Transformative Biotechnologies (R-W-A)

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Spring 2018 Course overview

Focuses on modern technologies with exponential growth and their impact on global quality of life through weekly updated Wiki class project (in-depth case studies on synthetic biology and personal genomics). Integrating knowledge, tools for research, and commercial decision-making concerning new aspects of bioengineering, personalized medicine, genetically modified organisms, and stem cells. Interplays of biophysical, ecological, economic, and social/ethical modeling will be explored through multi-disciplinary teams of students, and individual brief reports.

This course can be cross-registered through MIT under HST.510. Also listed as Harvard Biophysics 242r.

Potential course projects

  • Genome-wide codon recoding : Industrial microbes, agricultural plants & animals, human therapies
  • Global warming reversal
  • H. sapiens 2.0  : Space Genetics & Colonies
  • Aging Reversal Roadmap : GenAge Database


  • Meeting time: Tue & Thu 10-11:30 AM
  • No exams ; no prerequisites; please bring a laptop (or phone or share) for google doc demo.
  • Grading: Based on problem sets and project milestones. The problem sets are imbedded in the slides in the table below and will be discussed and clarified in section 2 days after Tuesday class and due the following Thursday via email.


Day / Date Lead Slides Topic Day Date Room Lead Title
Tue Jan 23 MEC-106 George #1 (1) Exponential, Logistic, Prioritizing global challenges Thu Jan 25 C-115 Max, Eswar (1) Problem set discussion
Tue Jan 30 MEC-L008 George #2 (2) Sequencing & understanding biosphere omes, 3D molecular design Thu Feb 1 C-115 Dennis, Eswar (2) Problem set discussion
Tue Feb 6 C-115 George #3 (3) Genome Editing, Codon Recoding, Gene drives Thu Feb 8 C-115 David, Nancy (3) Problem set discussion
Tue Feb 13 Mudd-302 George #4 (4) In situ Sequencing : Mammalian Cell Atlas & BRAIN Initiative Thu Feb 15 C-115 Paul, Yu (4) Problem set discussion
Tue Feb 20 C-115 George #5 (5) Epigenetic programming, signaling pathways, SynEvoDevo Thu Feb 22 C-115 Songlei, Jeremy (5) Problem set discussion
Tue Feb 27 C-115 Jonathan #6 (6) Microbiomes : therapeutics, diagnostics, nanopores Thu Mar 1 C-115 Max, Jonathan (6) Problem set discussion
Tue Mar 6 C-115 George #7 (7) Synthetic Organs for VUS & Transplantation Thu Mar 8 No class Biophysics recruitment
Tue Mar 13 No class Spring break Thu Mar 15 No class Spring break
Tue Mar 20 C-115 George #8 (8) Aging Reversal & mutation/cancer resistance Thu Mar 22 C-115 Jeremy, Dima, David (7,8) Problem set discussion
Tue Mar 27 C-115 George #9 (9) Global Warming & closed ecosystems Thu Mar 29 Rm-TBD Paul (9) Problem set discussion
Tue Apr 3 C-115 George #10 (10) Germline editing & H. sapiens 2.0 Thu Apr 5 C-115 Dennis, David (10) Problem set discussion
Tue Apr 10 Mudd-302 Paul Pre-presentation 1 Thu Apr 12 C-115 Paul, Yu Pre-presentation 2
Tue Apr 17 C-115 Students Final Presentations Thu Apr 19 C-115 Students Final Presentations
Tue Apr 24 C-115 Students Final Presentations Thu Apr 26 C-115 All TFs Follow up

Additional Documentation

Please visit the Documentation page for information on publications, computational resources & team projects.

Discusssion Lead, Teaching Fellows

Church, George <arep.med.harvard.edu/gmc/email.html>;
Fang, Nancy <Nancy_Fang [at]hms.harvard.edu>;
Filsinger, Gabriel <filsinger [at] g.harvard.edu>;
Grishin, Dennis <dgrishin [at] g.harvard.edu>;
Huang, Jeremy <Jeremy_Huang [at] hms.harvard.edu>;
Iyer, Eswar <Eswar.Iyer [at] wyss.harvard.edu>;
Liu, Songlei <songleiliu [at] g.harvard.edu>;
Nageshwaran, Sathiji <sathiji [at] hms.harvard.edu>;
Ogden, Pierce <pierceogden [at] g.harvard.edu>;
Palla, Mirko <mirko.palla [at] wyss.harvard.edu>;
Reginato, Paul <Paul_Reginato [at] hms.harvard.edu>;
Scheiman, Jonathan <jscheiman [at] genetics.med.harvard.edu>;
Schubert, Max <mschubert [at] g.harvard.edu>;
Ter-Ovanesyan, Dima <dterovanesyan [at] fas.harvard.edu>;
Thompson, David Brandon <David_Thompson [at] hms.harvard.edu>;
Volf, Verena <verenavolf [at] g.harvard.edu>;
Wang, Yu <yuwang01 [at] fas.harvard.edu>

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