Molecular Biology Techniques

Molecular Biology Techniques

Molecular Biology Techniques

AS.020.126 (72); 1 credit hour

Summer Mini-Term II, July 6-17, 2015

Times: 4:00 – 6:00 pm Monday - Friday

Location: UG Teaching Lab (UTL) Room 274


James Gordy


Lab location: Bloomberg School of Public Health,

615 N. Wolfe St, Room E2402

Office Hours:By appointment

Email Policy: Emails will be responded to as promptly as is possible

Pre-requisites: A strong background in biology

Course Description and Objectives:

Practical knowledge of molecular biology techniques is an essential part of any biological science program. This course is designed to supplement the scientific classroom experience of students in biological science programs by providing hands on laboratory experience with essential core molecular biology techniques. The course will involvetwo weeks of hands-on laboratory instruction along with the science behind the applications. Students will be able to understand and explain how these methodologies work scientifically and in what context they should be employed to answer scientific questions. Students will develop basic laboratory skills necessary for the successful completion of the assays and will be able to compare and contrast different methodologies in order to solve biological problems. The methodologies focused on in this course are the following: polymerase chain reaction (PCR) DNA amplification, DNA and protein gel electrophoresis, Western blotting, ELISA, transformation of bacteria, and expression of heterologous proteins by bacteria.

Required Materials:

Students are required to provide a standard laboratory notebook

There is no textbook for this class.

Course Policies:

  • As this is a laboratory class, attendance is mandatory for all lectures. Please let the instructor know of any conflicts.
  • Punctuality is essential. The course will begin promptly at 4pm.
  • Electronics usage is discouraged, as it is easy to spill reagents and damage them.
  • Food and drink is not allowed in the laboratory space.
  • Closed-toe shoes required. Pants preferred. Remove all loose jewelry prior to start
  • Students are required to respect the instructor, fellow students, the course material, and themselves.
  • Inform instructor of any necessary accommodations
  • Safety is of utmost priority; all safety measures must be followed at all times.

Exams and Grades:

  • 25% (100 points): Attendance and punctuality: Each period is worth 10 points. Tardiness deducts 1 point every 5 minutes. Absences/tardiness forgiven with valid and documented (if possible) excuse
  • 25% (100 points): Participation (This includes being a good lab partner, following instructions, and most importantly following all safety protocols)
  • 25% (100 points): Take home exam given at end of class July 17th; due July 19th at 11:59pm. Letter grade subtracted every 12 hours it is late.
  • 25% (100 points): Graded laboratory notebook turned in at the end of class July 17th.
  • Missed assignments only retaken for valid excuses.
  • No grade curving and no re-grading except under extenuating circumstances.
  • No extra credit will be available.
  • Grade scale by percentage: 97-100 = A+; 93-96 = A; 90-92 = A- ; 86-89 = B+; 83-85 = B; 80-82 = B-; 76-79 = C+; 73-75 = C; 70-72 = C-; 65-69 = D+; 60-64 = D; <60 = F

Course Schedule:

Date / Techniques and Topics
Monday, July6 / Syllabus/course overview; Laboratory basics and safety
Tuesday, July7 / DNA lecture; aseptic technique; bacteria culturing
Wednesday, July8 / Bacterial cloning lecture; Transformation lab
Thursday, July9 / DNA extraction, Restriction enzymes, PCR
Friday July10 / DNA gel electrophoresis; Analysis and review
Monday July 13 / Protein lecture; Induce protein expression; sample protein extraction
Tuesday July 14 / Protein column chromatography; Protein PAGE gel
Wednesday July 15 / Western Blot day 1: Transfer and blocking
Thursday July 16 / Western Blot day 2: Antibodies and visualization
Friday July 17 / ELISA; Review

Statement of Academic Ethics: All students should be familiar with the University’s policy on academic ethics, which can be found at the Student Life Policies page (

Disclaimer: This syllabus is a directed course guideline and not a legally binding contract. Students may vary in their competency levels of these outcomes, and they can expect to achieve these outcomes only if they have completed prerequisites outlined in above description, honor all course policies, attend classes regularly, complete all assigned work in good faith and on time, and meet all other course expectations of them as students. The above schedule, policies, procedures, and assignments in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances, by mutual agreement, and/or to ensure better student learning.