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Department of Biological Sciences

103 Lennon Hall
(585) 395-2193
Fax (585)395-2741

Chairperson and Professor: Stephen Chan; Professor: Thomas Bonner; Associate Professors: David Brannigan, P. Michael Fox; Assistant Professors: Rey Sia, Tracey Householder, Adam Rich ; Visiting Assistant Professors: Paul Roberts, Nancy Mitchell; Adjunct Professor: Timothy Hall.



The Department of Biological Sciences offers two majors and one minor, and a variety of tracks in the major. Both majors and one minor are designed for students with an interest in one or several of the many aspects of the life sciences and provide excellent preparation for postgraduate training and careers in the biomedical, health, teaching, and other fields that require an understanding and practice of scientific reasoning and methods.

Through courses taken during the freshman and sophomore years, students build a scientific foundation for understanding how biological systems function. In the junior and senior years, students may concentrate in several areas of departmental strength: pre-medicine, biotechnology, or an individualized program. Internships and cooperative programs with public and private organizations afford students the opportunity to apply their skills outside the classroom. Because of complex biological and issues that face modern society, we encourage non-majors to take selected courses in biological sciences. Upon declaring a major in biological sciences, it is imperative that the student seek a faculty advisor by contacting the department secretary, Room 103 Lennon Hall.

Students majoring in Biological Sciences and Medical Technology are required to obtain a minimum grade of "C" in BIO 201, BIO 202 (and/or BIO 111) before they are allowed to take further courses in the major.

Students may transfer the above courses from other regionally accredited institutions to satisfy this requirement provided that the courses have been approved as equivalent and that the students have earned a grade of "C" or higher in the courses transferred.

Major in Biological Sciences
Biology requirements

(38 credits; 30 credits at the 300 and 400 level) Credits
BIO 201 Biology I 4
BIO 202 Biology II 4
BIO 301 Cell Biology 3
BIO 302 Genetics 3
BIO 306 Cell and Genetics Techniques 3
BIO 300-level electives (one or two courses by advisement) 4-8
BIO 498 Seminar 1
BIO 400-level courses (by advisement) 13-16
Minimum Total: 38
Elective credits at the 300 level must be selected from the following:
BIO 303 Ecology 4
BIO 321 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
BIO 322 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
BIO 323 Microbiology
Chemistry requirements:
CHM 205-206 College Chemistry I & II 8
CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I 4
Recommended:Those students considering graduate or medical school are strongly advised to take the following:
CHM 306 Organic Chemistry II 4
MTH 201-202 Calculus I & II 6
PHS 201-202 College Physics I & II 8

Those students in other biology tracks are advised to consider courses in computer science, statistics and general physics to support their career goals. Handbooks that list recommended courses for each track are available from the department secretary.

NOTE: In normal progress toward the degree, BIO 201, 202, CHM 205, 206, and the recommended mathematics courses are taken in the freshman year. BIO 301, 302, 306, CHM 305, and the recommended CHM 306 courses are taken in the sophomore year. The recommended PHS 201 and 202 courses are taken in the junior year and 400-level biology courses in the junior and senior years. Only six credits of BIO 499 Independent Study may be included in the 38 credits required for the major.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must complete a minimum of 18 credits of upper-division courses in the Department of Biological Sciences at SUNY Brockport regardless of the numbers of credits transferred.

Advisement: To assure proper advisement in particular tracks, students should declare a major as early as possible, preferably in the freshman year. Majors are declared with the department secretary, Room 103, Lennon Hall.

Concentration Areas

Pre-medicine, Pre-dentistry, Pre-veterinary, Health Careers
Each year, students from SUNY Brockport apply for admission to medical, dental, osteopathic, optometry, podiatry, chiropractic, and physical therapy schools. Although at Brockport most "pre-med" professional students have majored in the biological sciences, there is no special major for pre-professional health care, and the requirements for admission can be met through a variety of majors available at the College. The program in biological sciences is well-established and our graduates successfully compete for positions in professional programs. We do arrange programs with local health care facilities, such as the Oak Orchard Community Health Center, to provide "pre-med" students with the experiential component necessary for successful application to medical school. On your arrival at Brockport, please contact the department for further information on these programs.

Pre-professional Advisory Committee
A Pre-professional Advisory Committee is available to assist students interested in entering the medically related professions through formal meetings, counseling, and a library of materials; provides application materials for the MCAT, DAT, and OAT exams (the admissions tests for medical, podiatric, dental and optometry schools); and prepares a committee evaluation prior to application based on a formal interview with the applicant as well as test scores and GPA. This committee consists of three faculty members from biological sciences, two faculty members from chemistry and one from physics.

Resource materials, admission statistics, suggested courses of study, admission test applications, and procedural information are available for SUNY Brockport students in the Biology Club room of the Department of Biological Sciences, Lennon Hall.

Biotechnology:The department is well-equipped to provide skills in cell and tissue culture, immunology, gene cloning, receptology, endocrinology, confocal and electron microscopy. A substantial percentage of graduates who have obtained these skills have successfully entered jobs in government and industrial laboratories.

Certification in Secondary Education (7-12): Biology and General Science
Students who intend to become secondary school biology teachers qualify for New York state provisional certification by completing the requirement of Bachelor of Science and the requisite courses toward certification in secondary education as arranged with the Department of Education and Human Development.

Because the certification requirements are extensive and changeable, the student should meet with an advisor in each of the Departments of Biological Science and Education and Human Development.

Major in Medical Technology
The major in medical technology enables a student to obtain the BS in Medical Technology from SUNY Brockport at the end of a four-year program, including three academic years here and a fourth calendar year at a school of medical technology approved by the College. During the first three years each student fulfills the General Education requirements and the major requirements. The fourth year at a school of medical technology includes both theoretical and practical work in a medical lab. The BS is awarded upon the satisfactory completion of the requirements of both institutions. Upon completion of the internship, the student is eligible to take the National Registry Examination, which must be passed in order to be qualified as a Registered Medical Technologist. The program is currently offered in affiliation with Rochester General Hospital.

To enter this program, students declare a major in biological sciences in the freshman year to assure proper advisement. Majors are declared with the department secretary, Room 103, Lennon Hall. A formal application to the School of Medical Technology is made by the middle of the fall semester of the junior year. Based on the academic record for the freshman, sophomore years and mid-semester grades of the fall semester of the junior year and an interview, the decision is made as to which applicants will be formally admitted into the clinical year. This decision is competitive and made by the School of Medical Technology. Those students accepted into the clinical year are accepted into the major in medical technology at SUNY Brockport.

Suggested Program for SUNY Brockport courses
Medical Technology

Semester 1 Credits
BIO 201 Biology I 4
CHM 205 College Chem I 4
GEP 100 APS 1
ENL 112 College Composition 3
Breadth Component 3
Semester 2  
BIO 202 Biology II 4
CHM 206 College Chem II 4
MTH 121 or higher 3
Breadth Component 3
Semester 3  
BIO 302 Genetics* 3
CHM 305 Organic Chemistry* 4
BIO 321 Anatomy & Physiology I* 4
Breadth Component 3
Semester 4  
CHM 306 4
BIO 306 Cell and Genetics Techniques 3
BIO 322 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
Breadth Component 3
BUS 365 Principles of Management 4
Semester 5  
BIO 301 Cell Biology
BIO 414 Immunology
PHS 115 General Physics I
HLS 306 Contemporary Issues in Health 3
Breadth Component
Semester 6  
BIO 323 Microbiology 4
PHS 116 General Physics II 4
SOC 200 Social Statistics 3
Breadth Component 3
Elective 3

The following courses (34 credits) are usually required in the clinical year at an approved school of medical technology: microbiology (immunology), clinical chemistry, hematology, blood bank, urinalysis/clinical microscopy, principles of disease, and toxicology.

Minor in Biological Sciences
A minimum of 18 credits, of which at least 10 must be at the 300/400 level, is required for the minor. Students declaring a minor in biological sciences must earn at least nine credits of biology courses at SUNY Brockport. Since no specific courses are designated, a variety of tracks is possible and it is important that students seek advisement through the Undergraduate Coordinator (inquire in Room 103, Lennon Hall). Many students working towards teacher certification and/or majoring in other disciplines elect a minor to strengthen their degrees.

Biological Sciences Courses

BIO 111 Principles of Biology (A,L,E). Cross listed as ENV 111. Through lectures and laboratory activities, examines the structure and function of living systems, from cells to the biosphere as a whole. For non-majors. Serves as prerequisite for advanced courses, including BIO 321322. 4 Cr. Every Semester

BIO 201 Biology I (A). Provides an integrated exploration of the fundamentals of biology as a science, the nature and origin of life, biological chemistry, cell biology, genetics and evolution. Draws upon plants, animals and microbes to illustrate structure and function relationships. For majors. (BIO 201 and 202 are not sequential; either may be taken first). 4 Cr. Every semester.

BIO 202 Biology II (A). Focuses on organismal biology by taking an evolutionary approach to examine how animals and plants adapt to the environment, to study structure and functions by examining both animal and plant physiology and to integrate this knowledge with laboratories that run parallel with the lectures. 4 Cr. Every Semester

BIO 221 Survey of Anatomy and Physiology (A,L,E). Surveys human anatomy and physiology, encompassing structure and function of skeletal, muscular, nervous, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Presents development and integration of these units as a basis for understanding the anatomical and physiological aspects of humans at rest and during activity. Primarily for physical education and dance majors. Includes a lab. 3 Cr. Every Semester

BIO 281 Elements of Human Biology (A,N,E). Provides an introduction for non-majors to the human organismstructure, physiology, metabolism, behavior, genetics, evolution, and ecological relationships. Addresses important issues in health and human disease as well as current societal and ethical issues in readings, lectures, and classroom discussions. 3 Cr. Every Semester

BIO 301 Cell Biology (A). Prerequisites: BIO 201 and 202; CHM 205. Covers cellular functions and structures and the interrelationship between them. Requires a lab including procedures and tools of cell biology. 3 Cr. Fall

BIO 302 Genetics (A). Prerequisites: BIO 201 and 202; and CHM 205 and 206. Recommended: One semester of organic chemistry. Covers the gene as the basis of variation and principles of heredity. Includes Mendelian genetics as well as molecular aspects including replication, transcription, and translation. Covers topics in genetic regulation, conjugation, mutation and repair, as well as population genetics. Provides experiments to illustrate the above principles. Includes computer simulations of linkage. 3 Cr. Spring

BIO 303 Ecology (A). Prerequisite: BIO 111 or 201 or 202. Cross listed as ENV 303. Covers basic ecology concerned with interrelationships among organisms and the environment. Considers energy flow, materials cycling, population dynamics, principles of animal behavior, as well as natural history in both lectures and field studies. 4 Cr. Every Semester

BIO 306 Cell and Genetics Laboratory (A). Corequisites: BIO 301, 302. Course can be taken concurrently with either of the above. Experiments for the Genetic section focus on topics such as DNA and protein analysis, Mendelian and non-Mendelian segregation principles, bacterial genetics, mutagenesis, gene regulation, and population genetics. The Cell Biology laboratory techniques include microscopy, enzyme assays, organelle isolation and electrophoresis. Instructions and theoretical basis for experiments will be given prior to each lab. 3 Cr. Every Fall and Spring

BIO 317 The Biology of Aging (A). Introduces the study of aging in the human and a number of other animals at the molecular, cell, tissue and organ level to understand what is meant by aging and how it is measured. Includes effects of genetic composition, sex differences and other factors. 3 Cr. Spring

BIO 321 Anatomy and Physiology I (A). Prerequisite: BIO 111 or 202 or 221. Studies the structures and functions of cells, tissues and organs with examples drawn from the human body. Introduces students to the anatomy and physiology of the skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine and integumentary systems of the body through lectures and laboratories. Recommended for nursing, health science and pre-medical students. 4 Cr. Fall

BIO 322 Anatomy and Physiology II (A). Prerequisite: BIO 111 or 202 or 221. Introduces students to the anatomy and physiology of circulatory, excretory, respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems of the human body through lectures and laboratories. Recommended for nursing, health science and pre-medical students. 4 Cr. Spring

BIO 323 Microbiology (A). Prerequisites: BIO 111, 201 or 202, and CHM 205. Provides lectures concerned with the structure, function, diversity, and control of microorganisms, including metabolism, growth and regulation, microbial genetics, disease, immunology, and microbial ecology. Provides lab experiences in techniques of pure culture, cultivation, enumeration, isolation and characterization of micro-organisms. 4 Cr. Spring

BIO 333 Contemporary Issues in Life Sciences (A). What is life? When does human life begin? How do genes control life processes? Is it natural/ ethical to alter the genetic makeup of species, including humans? Is genetic engineering a technology for improving the quality of life or for potentially destroying life on Earth as we know it? Vaccines may prevent human diseases, but what are the consequences of over-population and starvation? These and other questions serve as the focal point that explores some of the controversial issues raised by modern biotechnology. Provides background information for identifying, understanding, and analyzing critical issues facing the life sciences. Explores these issues from a variety of perspectives including scientific, economic, political and sociological. 3 Cr. Fall

BIO 411 Evolution (A). Prerequisite: BIO 302. Commences with a review of philosophical and factual basis of evolutionary biology. Examines the physiochemical background for the evolution of life, mechanisms of evolution, population genetics, phylogeny, speciation, and consequences of the evolution of populations of living organisms. 3 Cr. Spring

BIO 414 Introduction to Immunology (A). Prerequisite: BIO 202, 301 or 323. Emphasizes aspects of immunology, including the structure and function of immunoglobulins, the role of cell-mediated immunity, the protective role of the immune system, and disease and injury as related to malfunctions of the immune system. 3 Cr. Fall

BIO 415 Molecular Biology (A). Prerequisites: BIO 301 and 302; and CHM 305. Covers the biosynthesis and function of macromolecules, especially nucleic acids. Includes topics in regulation, molecular virology, transposition and transformation, as well as recombinant DNA methods. 3 Cr. Every Other Spring

BIO 416 Lab Techniques in Exercise Physiology (B). Cross-listed as PES 416. Prerequisite: BIO 111 or equivalent, PES 310, MTH 121, or instructor's permission. Complements the theoretical preparation of students in exercise physiology. Provides experiences in the measurement of acute and chronic adaptations to exercise, the use of technology in the measurement and assessment of physiological functioning during such conditions, and the maintenance and calibration of such equipment. Actively immerses students in the subject to better conceptualize, and internalize, what it means to administer tests, and analyze and interpret data in a meaningful and systematic manner. 3 Cr. Fall

BIO 417 Recombinant DNA Laboratory (A). Prerequisites: BIO 302 or instructor's permission. Covers laboratory methods involved in the isolation and cloning of genetic material. Uses procedures such as bacterial and viral growth and selection techniques, gene isolation and detection, restriction analysis, use of DNA ligase and PCR methods, as well as site-specific mutagenesis. DNA "fingerprinting" methods. Utilizes non-radioactive detection methods in the above techniques. 3 Cr. Spring

BIO 424 Experimental Research (A). Prerequisites: BIO 201, 202, 302 and 303; CHM 205 and 206; and instructor's and chairperson's permission. Under the supervision of a faculty member in biology, allows the student to undertake a lab or field research project in some area of biological science. Establises the topic and methodology by mutual consent of the student and faculty member. Requires all students enrolled to meet together with the involved faculty once a week to discuss the background, methods, and results of their projects. Encourages students to present their results at Scholars Day. May be repeated; a maximum of six credits may be applied toward the major in biological sciences. Enrollment is with the department chairperson. 1-4 Cr. Every Semester

BIO 426 Recombinant DNA (A). Considers theory and techniques in the recombinant DNA field. Includes topics such as cloning vectors, restriction analysis, PCR methods, and expression of cloned genes in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Also considers examples and implications of recombinant DNA methodology in plants and agriculture as well as in medicine, human genetics and disease. 3 Cr. Every Other Spring

BIO 428 Microtechnique (A). Prerequisite: BIO 202. Requires students to demonstrate competency in the preparation of tissue by paraffin sectioning and histochemistry. Discusses the theory underlying these techniques in lecture, and considers their application to a hospital pathology laboratory. 3 Cr. Spring

BIO 429 Electron Microscopy (A). Prerequisite: BIO 301. Provides the theory of electron optics and skills of electron microscopy. Also includes methods of specimen preparation and skills of ultramicrotomy. Places a strong emphasis on lab. 4 Cr. Fall

BIO 433 Instrumental Methods IIIRadioactivity and Enzyme Assay (A). Prerequisites: BIO 301 and 302; and CHM 305. Covers principles and experiments involving the use and measurement of radioactive isotopes, liquid scintillation counting, and measurement of enzyme activity using spectrophotometric and radioisotope techniques. Given third four weeks of semester only with eight, three hour lab sessions. 1 Cr. Fall

BIO 443 Biotechniques III Immunoassays (A) (R,I,A,E). Prerequisites: BIO 201 and 202; and CHM 205, 206, and CHM 305. Covers principles of radioimmunoassays (RIA) and enzyme-ligand-sorbent-immunoassays (ELISA). Provides hands-on learning of either/both methods and applying them to assay biological samples. Discusses accuracy, precision and variability and limitations of the procedures. Given second four weeks of the semester only with 8 3-hour laboratory sessions. 1 Cr. Spring

BIO 445 Histology (A). Prerequisite: BIO 202. Studies the microanatomy of animal tissues and organs with emphasis on functional correlations. Includes lab examinations of prepared slides and fresh materials, as well as normal and pathological tissues. 4 Cr. Fall

BIO 466 General Endocrinology (A). Prerequisite: BIO 202 or equivalent. Covers the morphology of endocrine glands; the relationship between the molecular structure of a hormone and its ability to regulate metabolism; the role of the hormones in growth, metabolic and reproductive processes; and various endocrine diseases. 3 Cr. Spring

BIO 467 Biochemistry I (A). Cross-listed as CHM 467. Prerequisite: CHM 306; a college course in biology is strongly recommended. Covers the chemistry of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids and other biomolecules with an emphasis on buffers, structures, experimental methods, main energy production pathways and biosynthesis. Applies concepts and information to experimental data and deduction of structures, functional roles and mechanisms. Three hours lecture per week. 3 Cr. Fall

BIO 468 Biochemistry II (A). Cross-listed as CHM 468. Prerequisite: BIO 467 or CHM 467. Provides a continuation of BIO 467. Covers additional metabolic pathways, human nutrition, chromosomes and genes, protein biosynthesis, cell walls, immunoglobulins, muscle contraction, cell motility, membrane transport and excitable membranes and sensory systems. Investigates experimental evidence for the structures and functions of biomolecules. 3 Cr. Spring

BIO 470 Biochemistry Lab (A). Cross-listed as CHM 470. Prerequisite: BIO 467 or CHM 467; CHM 303 is helpful. Covers biochemical analyses, including preparation, separations and characterization of products from a variety of biological sources; and experiments with enzymes and experiments designed to measure changes inherent in the dynamics of living systems. 1 Cr. Fall

BIO 491 Biological Sciences Overseas Program (A). Prerequisite: Prior departmental approval. Requires students to attend classes in the biological sciences and/or related areas at the participating overseas university. 1-15 Cr.

BIO 495 Topics in Biology I (A). To be defined by the instructor-sponsor in accordance with the specific topic to be covered that semester. Additional information may be obtained from the department office. 3 Cr. Every Semester

BIO 498 Seminar in Biology (A). Requires students to research, organize, and present a seminar. Techniques of seminar speaking are fundamental. 1 Cr. Every Semester

BIO 499 Independent Study (A). Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. To be defined in consultation with the instructor-sponsor and in accordance with the procedures of the Office of Academic Advisement prior to registration. Variable Credits. Every Semester.

Dr. Brannigan with student in Anatomy & Physiology Laboratory

Dr. Brannigan with student in Anatomy & Physiology Laboratory

Dr. Bonner in General Biology I laboratory class

Dr. Bonner in General Biology I laboratory class

Histology class in session

Histology class in session

Students doing research projects (Independent Study)

Students doing research projects (Independent Study)

Molecular Biology laboratory in session

Molecular Biology laboratory in session

General Biology II students working on plant hormone experiment

General Biology II students working on plant hormone experiment