CURE Courses

To find out which courses are being offered for the Fall 2021/Spring 2022 terms, please visit CAB.

BIOL 0190R: Phage Hunters

A research-based lab class for freshmen; both semesters are required in the sequence. Students will isolate and characterize bacteriophage viruses found in the soil. Lab work includes isolation and purification of your own phage, DNA isolation and restriction mapping, and EM characterization of your phage. Several phages will be selected for genome sequencing over winter break, and are annotated in the spring.


BIOL 0285: Inquiry in Biochemistry: From Gene to Protein Function

In this inquiry-based research course, students work in teams to formulate and test a hypothesis about how a change in genetic sequence affects enzyme function. Students will cultivate skills in scientific visualization, experimental design, data analysis, and laboratory techniques in molecular biology and biochemistry. In discussion, students will learn scientific writing through peer editing and iterative revisions to write a full scientific paper. This course is WRIT designated and will prepare students for writing an honors thesis.


BIOL 0440: Inquiry in Plant Biology: Analysis of Plant Growth, Reproduction and Adaptive Responses

This course focuses on what plants do and how they do it. Introduces the biology of plants, their growth and development, structural features, and their cellular and organismal responses to key stimuli. Examines physiological, reproductive and developmental strategies throughout the plant life cycle and in relation to environmental challenges. During laboratory section meetings, students pursue inquiry-based group research projects addressing novel questions about mechanisms that control plant growth and development. Laboratory section is required. Prerequisites: One Brown course with a laboratory section in either Biology or Chemistry.


BIOL 0600: Genetic Screening in Model Organisms

Using gene silencing (RNAi) in the nemotode C. elegans, students will identify genetic modifiers of proteins with roles in aging by reverse genetics. Analyzing the effect of knocking down genes on the level of aging-related proteins tagged with fluorophores (GFP, RFP, etc.). Students will use function-specific RNAi libraries (transcription factors, kinases, etc.) established in our lab. Students will evaluate the effect of genetic modifiers on proteostasis and lifespan, also familiarize C. elegans work and appreciating the use of model organisms, the students will master microscopy, genetic crosses, gene silencing, and molecular and biochemical readout assays such as qPCR and immunoblotting.


BIOL 0940G: Antibiotic Drug Discovery: Identifying Novel Soil Microbes to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

This is a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) class that will provide students with the chance to propose, design and conduct their own research projects. Antibiotic resistance is a major global health threat. Pharmaceutical companies are less likely to fund research and development of new antibiotics due to their relative low profitability. As bacteria become more resistant to antibiotics, it is critical that we have a robust pipeline ready to combat these pathogens. The main focus of the course will be for students to discover new antibiotics in soil bacteria that can be used to treat infectious disease.


BIOL 1515: Conservation in the Genomics Age

The course will introduce students to the rapidly developing field of molecular ecology, emphasizing its importance for conservation biology. Students will explore key principles in evolutionary ecology based on readings, lectures, and discussions. Participants will also gain practical experience with ecological, genomic, and computational methods in the lab. This course is intended for advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Suggested prerequisites include Principles of Ecology (0420); Evolutionary Biology (0480) or Genetics (0470); the Lab Techniques Workshop for Biology Students provided by MDL; or similar courses with permission. Students will obtain permission from the professor to enroll.


BIOL 1555: Methods in Informatics and Data Science for Health

The goal of this course is for students to develop a solution that uses data science and informatics approaches to address a biomedical or health challenge. This course will teach informatics and data science skills needed for public health and biomedicine research. Emphasis will be given to algorithms used within the context of biomedical research and health care, including those used in biomolecular sequence analysis, electronic health records, clinical decision support, and public health surveillance. This course has been developed as a Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE), where students will gain experience with the scientific method, its application, and presentation.


CHEM 0500: Inorganic Chemistry

Examines the chemistry of the main group and transition metal elements with treatment of covalent bonding and molecular structure along with the methods of studying inorganic compounds and reactions.


CLPS 1195: Life Under Water in the Anthropocene

Aquatic ecosystems are under intense pressure from a variety of anthropogenic stressors. Through lectures, discussion and authentic research projects, this course explores the impact of some of those stressors on the development and behavior of the most vulnerable, the developing young. Topics for Fall 2020 include the impact of anthropogenic stressors on local and global ecosystems; the behavioral biology, embryonic development, and behavior of zebrafish; basic research techniques for studying the development and behavior of zebrafish; and skills needed to conduct authentic scientific research. Students will design, conduct and present an authentic research project using zebrafish. No prior research experience required.


CLPS 1591: Experimental analysis of vision for action and vision for perception: Are there separate mechanisms? 

A dominant theory of how humans perceive the world and perform actions in it postulates the existence of two visual systems for perception and action. In this lab class, students will learn standard experimental paradigms to test this theory. They will conduct research projects aimed at challenging its basic assumptions. Specifically, (1) they will formulate scientific hypotheses; (2) design appropriate empirical tests; (3) build the experimental apparatus in a lab equipped with a complex system that can track motor movements within a virtual reality environment; (4) collect behavioral data and analyze it in order to produce a complete scientific report.


ENGN 1860: Advanced Fluid Mechanics

Aims to give students a deeper and more thorough grounding in principles and applications of fluid mechanics. Topics include review of dimensional analysis and conservation principles; viscous flows with application to microfluidics; lubrication analysis for bearing design; laminar boundary layers; wave motion; and interfacial phenomena (e.g., drops and bubbles). 


NEUR 1630: Open-Source Big Data Neuroscience Lab

Recent technological developments have transformed neuroscience research, enabling us to generate comprehensive ‘big data’ sets that are often shared freely amongst the neuroscience community. This lab course will explore strategies to effectively use such open-sourced neuroscience data sets. Students will identify fundamental open questions in brain science and develop strategies to mine open-source sequencing, imaging and connectivity data to address their research questions.