Clinical Laboratory Sciences Syllabi


Syllabus for CLLS 3307
Molecular Biology
Instructor:Jianzhi Zhang, M.D., M.S., M(ASCP)
Contact Information:Office: SHP 4.432
Phone: (409) 772-9473
Course Description:The Clinical Laboratory Sciences course, Molecular Biology, is designed to provide the student with an understanding of cellular physiology as a background to facilitate an understanding of the processes which have been collectively referred to as molecular biology. With the advent of biotechnology many aspects of molecular biology have been exploited to provide molecular tools which can be used in the clinical laboratory, research laboratory and industrial setting. The goal of this course is to provide the student with a practical theoretical background in molecular biology which will promote critical thinking and problem solving as it relates to molecular diagnostics.
Course Objectives:Some specific objectives of the course include:
  1. Familiarize the student with many of the fundamental processes of cellular physiology/ molecular biology, including such topics as DNA replication, transcription, translation, DNA damage and repair, and genetic regulation.
  2. Perform experiments which will foster scientific inquiry into basic principles of molecular methods including DNA isolation, DNA sub-cloning, bacterial transformation, restriction digestion of DNA, protein expression, isolation and western blotting.
  3. Perform a number of clinically relevant procedures including DNA fingerprinting which involves isolation and analysis of human chromosomal DNA utilizing techniques such as DNA transfer and hybridization. Additionally, polymerase chain reaction based analysis of infectious disease will be investigated.
Teaching Procedures:Lectures covering principles of molecular biology as well as associated diagnostic procedures are followed by related laboratory sessions.

The grades are determined as follows:

Lecture: Three exams will be given including the final exam. Each exam will be weighted equally and all exams are comprehensive.

Laboratory: Three exams will be given including the final. Each exam will be weighted equally and all exams are comprehensive.

The EXAMS will be predominately multiple choice in format. The emphasis of these questions will be the requirement for the student to to analyze and evaluate information, trouble shoot situations, and determine information concerning the patient utilizing results obtained using various molecular diagnostic techniques. The student should anticipate that there will be questions in the laboratory portion which require that the students perform tests and interpret data.

Make-Up Policy:Absences should be limited. Make-ups will be arranged for excused absences only. In some cases, it may not be possible to arrange a make-up secondary to reagents and specimens. The instructor will determine what is a reasonable excuse and verification of cause for an absence may be required.
Required Course Materials:The Cell by Geoffrey M. Cooper.
Teaching Materials:Handouts include lecture outlines and laboratory procedures. The lecture objectives indicate those aspects of the lecture that are particularly important. The laboratory handouts provide appropriate protocols for performing the laboratory procedures as well as background information. The laboratory procedures will in general give the principle of the test, the procedure itself, and some information on variables affecting the technique. Students will be responsible for lab handouts. Students should give particular attention to the questions included with the handouts in preparing for quizzes and exams.
Laboratory Policies:


  1. Requires wearing of lab coats and gloves.
  2. All data will be recorded on lab forms unless these are not available, in which case results will be recorded on the procedure handout. There will be NO transfer of lab results from scrap paper to worksheets or to a new form.
  3. All data will be recorded in non-erasable ink.
  4. If an error is made in recording any of the information on a worksheet, one line will be drawn through the incorrect material, this will be initialed, and the correction will be written to the side.
  5. For negative reactions an "0" will be used. "-" will not be accepted.
  6. All data, labeling and explanations will be written clearly. 'Clearly' will be defined as legible to the instructor.
Class Preparation:The students are responsible for all handouts and should read those related to the labs in advance. In addition, the students are responsible for the reading assignments.


General Policies of the School of Health Professions

Academic Progress:Information regarding the Student's academic progress in this course will be shared with their Academic Advisor and/or Department Chair. Student's making unsatisfactory progress will be referred to the Office of Student Affairs for assistance.
Academic Integrity:Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, taking an examination for another person, and any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such an act. Procedures to be followed in the event of alleged academic dishonesty are described in the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, and the SAHS Student Handbook. Alleged academic dishonesty issues should be reported to the Student Affairs Officer.
Professional Behavior:As a part of a professional program, you are expected to conduct yourselves in a manner consistent with the level of trust and responsibility that will be placed on you when you are part of a health care team. You are expected to be honest in your dealings with your instructor and your peers. You are also expected to be able to follow instructions, to act with the utmost integrity, to follow safety protocols while in laboratory, to perform laboratory work with care, and to act in accordance with those standards characteristic of those we call "professionals."
Behavior during examinations, written and practical, will be monitored. Inappropriate behavior may result in pursuance of disciplinary action.
University Statement on Equality, Tolerance, and Affirmative Action:Please indicate by the end of the second week of the semester if you will need accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (Public Law 101-336). If the need for ADA accommodations should arise during the semester you will need to make your request within one week of returning to classes. You may contact your Instructor or the Office of Student Affairs.
Course Evaluation:Students will be given the opportunity to evaluate the instructor and course near the end of the course/semester. When submitting course evaluations students must follow the guidelines provided by the course instructor or the department.
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