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PHOL 401B. Physiology and Biophysics of Molecules and Cells. 2 Units.

Physiology and Biophysics of Molecules and Cells is a graduate-level introductory course designed to provide the fundamental principles of modern physiology, protein science and structural biology, and to prepare students for advanced courses in the biomedical sciences. The course is divided into 2 blocks that can be taken independently as PHOL 401A or PHOL 401B (2 credit hrs each) during the Spring semester of each year. The first block will cover the structure and function of proteins and lipids, and the organization of cellular membranes. Topics will include primary, secondary, tertiary and quarternary protein structure and analysis, enzyme kinetics, allostery and cooperativity, lipid membrane organization and domain structure, and protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions. The second block will cover molecular pathways and processes critical for cellular homeostasis, function, and signaling. Topics will include molecular mechanisms of transport across biological membranes and cellular compartments, ionic basis of the resting membrane potential, action potential generation and propagation, osmosis and Gibbs-Donnan equilibria, regulation of voltage-gated channels and electrogenic transporters, cellular pH regulation, and the biophysics of epithelial transport. Format will be a combination of lecture, discussion-based problem sets, journal paper presentations, and computer lab exercises and demonstrations. Grading will be based on performance on two essay-type exams administered in the middle and at the end of each block (80%), and on class participation (20%).