Course Coordinator: 
Keiko Kono
Molecular Biology of the Cell

Survey the molecular biology of the cell, the universal biochemical mechanisms at the heart of all living organisms, through lectures based on the classic text by Alberts et al.  Working through research-based problem sets, explore the cell and its components and constituents from the level of individual molecules to their interaction, dynamics and control at the cellular and intercellular level.  Classroom discussions explore new findings that may challenge previous conclusions.


This course aims to revisit the basic knowledge of molecular and cell biology at the undergraduate level.
Course Content: 
  1. Cells and Genomes    
  2. Cell Chemistry and Bioenergetics    
  3. Proteins    
  4. DNA, Chromosomes, and Genomes    
  5. DNA Replication, Repair, and Recombination    
  6. How Cells Read the Genome: From DNA to Protein    
  7. Control of Gene Expression    
  8. Examination 1    
  9. Analyzing Cells, Molecules, and Systems    
  10. Visualizing Cells    
  11. Membrane Structure    
  12. Membrane Transport of Small Molecules and the Electrical Properties of Membranes    
  13. Intracellular Compartments and Protein Sorting    
  14. Intracellular Membrane Traffic    
  15. Energy Conversion: Mitochondria and Chloroplasts    
  16. Cell Signaling    
  17. The Cytoskeleton    
  18. The Cell Cycle    
  19. Cell Death    
  20. Examination 2    
  21. Cell Junctions and the Extracellular Matrix    
  22. Cancer    
  23. Development of Multicellular Organisms    
  24. Stem Cells and Tissue Renewal    
  25. Pathogens and Infection    
  26. The Innate and Adaptive Immune Systems    
  27. Examination 3    

Prof Kono is available Fridays for questions and consultation.

Three small examinations will be required during the term, weighted 25%, 25%, and 50% 

The first two exams cover material up to that time.   The final exam covers all material of the term. 

Grade expectations are  
A corresponds to scores of 85-100% 

B corresponds to scores of 70-84% 

C corresponds to scores of 60-69% 

Scores less than 60% receive a fail grade. 

Course Type: 
Three small examinations during the term, weighted 25%, 25%, and 50%.
Text Book: 
  • Molecular Biology of the Cell, 6th Edition, by Bruce Alberts et al.
Reference Book: 
  • The Problems Book: for Molecular Biology of the Cell 6th Edition, by Tim Hunt and John Wilson
Prior Knowledge: 
No assumed knowledge. The course is very basic. Non-biology students are welcome.