Montana State University

Department of Cell Biology & Neuroscience

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173148
Bozeman, MT 59717-3148

Tel: (406) 994-5120
Fax: (406) 994-7077
Location: 510 Leon Johnson Hall

Department Chair

Frances Lefcort, Ph.D.



BIOH 455 Molecular Medicine

Instructor:  Steve Stowers 

Office/lab 517 and 525 Leon Johnson Hall.

Phone: 994-5672. 


Course Description

This course is intended to prepare advanced undergraduates for the transition to graduate and/or professional schools.  In contrast to memorization-intensive courses, students will develop the ability to critically analyze primary research papers on human molecular genetics and disease.  Both written and oral communication skills will be emphasized through weekly written critiques and classroom discussions.   

Grades and Expectations

Grades will be based as follows:

60% written weekly critical analysis of assigned research papers
20% classroom participation
20% grant proposal/final exam

Each week you will choose one of several assigned primary research papers on which you will write a two-page (double spaced) critical analysis.  In this critique you are not to write a summary of the paper, but instead you should write about experiments you didn’t liked and why, disagreements you have with the authors interpretation of their experiments and why, but mostly on the next set of experiments you would do if you were directing the research.  Your 10 best critiques in total will each count for 60% of your grade.  Critiques can be rewritten once for re-grading within two weeks of the original due date.  Critiques will be graded and returned within one week.

Classroom participation counts for 20% of your grade.  You should have read the paper assigned for each class meeting and be ready to discuss it in detail.

Your final exam will be a grant proposal that will count for 20% of your final grade.  It is due at the scheduled time of the final exam and will be based on a recent research paper of your choosing that I have pre-approved.

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