Course Description

The mission of the Department of Life Sciences is disseminate knowledge in the area of molecular biosciences to nurture the next generation of research scientists, biotechnological entrepreneurs, educators, and biomedical professionals; who will promote development of knowledge-based economy in KSA and will engage and impact local communities. This mission will be achieved by building world-class educational and research programs that will provide high quality student-centered undergraduate education to all qualified students. Life Sciences research program will promote understanding of the fundamental biological processes with emphasis on genetic mechanisms, particularly in relation to the human health as well as cross-disciplinary programs that integrate bioinformatics, mathematical modelling, medicinal chemistry and nanotechnology.

Department of Life Sciences Degree Programs

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Life Sciences

BIO 101 General Biology I Credit Hours: 4

This is the first module of the general biology introductory course designed for the Life Science Major curriculum. It covers major fields and fundamental principles of the modern biology and provides a foundation to more in-depth and specialized studies during the following years. The course concentrates on physicochemical aspects of life and cellular and molecular mechanisms of fundamental biological process. It also presents the core concepts of modern biology and provides knowledge about the role of various biological macromolecules in the cell physiology; how different types of cells are integrated into multicellular systems; molecular and chromosomal mechanism of heredity.
Prerequisite: None.

BIO 103 Introduction to Human Biology Credit Hours: 3

The course concentrates on the basic aspects of human biology and provides knowledge about the role of various biological macromolecules in the human body, how different types of cells are integrated into multicellular systems, and how organs and organisms develop and function. The course satisfies the General Education Requirements in Science.
Prerequisite: None.

BIO 112 General Biology II Credit Hours:

This is the second module of the general biology introductory course designed for the Life Science Major curriculum. It concentrates on the fundamental aspects of animal physiology with an emphasis on the human body. The course is focused on the evolution, development, structure, function, health and disease of major physiological systems and regulatory mechanisms coordinating their function in the human organism.
Prerequisite: BIO 101.

BIO 223 Microbiology Credit Hours: 4

The course provides a basic understanding of modern medical microbiology with emphasis on the contribution microorganisms make to human health and welfare and intensive study of the processes by which microorganisms cause human disease, how the pathogens can be recognized (identified) and what steps can be taken for the prevention and treatment of infections. There is a particular emphasis on the development of observational, practical and analytical skills through supervised laboratory work and demonstrations.
Prerequisite: BIO 101; CHM 112

BIO 224 Human Physiology and Anatomy Credit Hours: 4

The course covers human anatomy and physiology from a systems-based perspective, stressing the ways in which different physiological systems interact. Emphasis is on understanding the integration of human anatomy through biological function, development, evolutionary history and genetics. Several clinical examples are given to illustrate how human variation, including congenital defects, emerges from the interaction of development, form, and function.
Prerequisite: BIO 112; CHM 112.

BIO 345 Molecular Biology I Credit Hours: 4

As the first module of the Molecular Biology course, BIO 345 concentrates on molecular mechanisms of genetic processes. This module explains how the flow of biological information from DNA to RNA to protein gives rise to the recognizable, inherited attributes of living organisms. It uses seminal experiments to introduce the students to basic classical and molecular genetics, and then expands on these themes to include genetic engineering and genomic approaches to these phenomena.
Prerequisite: BIO 112; CHM 112; BIO 223; CHM 211.

BIO 346 Biochemistry I Credit Hours: 4

The two-module Biochemistry course complements the Molecular Biology course by focusing on the chemical and physicochemical basis of biological processes. BIO 346 concentrates on the chemical properties of biological macromolecules with particular attention to the relationship between physical structure and biological function. The module specifically covers amino acids, the fundamentals of protein structure, simple and complex sugars, lipids, and membrane structures, the basics of enzyme catalysis and kinetics with specific case studies, Ion transport, and other transport proteins, the utilization of proteins and soluble cofactors to generate and store metabolic energy, the physicochemical basis of signal transduction, vitamins and their functional role in the body.
Prerequisite: BIO 112; CHM 112; BIO 223; CHM 211.

BIO 357 Molecular Biology II Credit Hours: 4

As the second module of the Molecular Biology course, BIO 357 concentrates on molecular mechanisms of cellular physiology and interactions. This module provides a detailed knowledge of the structural organization and differentiation of eukaryotic cells as well as key processes in development that are based on cell-cell communication and cell movement. It introduces fundamental properties of the cytoplasm and the roles of the cytoskeleton in fundamental biological processes including chromosome separation, cell motility and intracellular transport processes as well as the evolution, function and biogenesis of cell organelles.
Prerequisite: BIO 345.

BIO 358 Biochemistry II Credit Hours: 4

The second module of the Biochemistry course concentrates on the complexity of metabolic pathways and their regulation. It reviews the inter-linked metabolic processes involved in nutrient handling and homeostasis.
Prerequisite: BIO 346.

SCI 321 Immunology Credit Hours: 3

SCI 321 aims to provide students with an understanding of immunology and the immunological basis of some common and well-known diseases. The course will balance basic knowledge of the underlying complexity of the immune system, such as T and B cell receptor genes, the MHC and antigen presentation, with the application of immunological aspects to infectious diseases, cancer, inflammation and autoimmunity.
Prerequisite: BIO 223; BIO 224.

SCI 322 Cancer Biology, Credit Hours: 3

This course will introduce the core aspects of cancer biology. Emphasis will be placed on molecular mechanisms of cancer pathophysiology - such as signal transduction, DNA damage and repair and regulation of cell division, death and senescence as well as on system biology, microevolution of tumors, interaction between tumor and organism. Course will include cancer epidemiology and analysis of causes of cancer; examine normal and disregulated signaling mechanisms and their manifestations as cancer phenotype. Traditional and novel strategies of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment will be discussed.
Prerequisite: BIO 224,

SCI 323 Signal Transduction, Credit Hours: 3

Signal transduction course provides a comprehensive overview of major eukaryotic signaling pathways.

The concept of "signal transduction pathway" is one of the major advancement in our understanding of how living cell – a unit of life – is functioning: how it adapt to changing environment and communicates with neighbors in multicellular organisms. Perspective of "signal trasduction" is essential to understand complex biological processes and diseases ranging from memory formation to diabetes and cancer. Signal transduction course presents the principles that underlie all known signaling processes. It provides undergraduate students with the tools needed to make sense of the dizzying array of pathways used by the cell to communicate.
Prerequisite: BIO 224

SCI 324 Human Genetics, Credit Hours: 3

This course gives a comprehensive overview of fundamental principles of genetics with an emphasis on humans. It covers the history, major discoveries, methods and techniques, and the latest advances in this area of science, and their applications in biotechnology and medicine.
Prerequisite: BIO 224

Life Science Special Topics

LST 421 - Epigenetic Mechanisms in Development and Diseases Credit Hours: 3 During the last decade it became obvious that epigenetic modifications of DNA and chromatin play no less critical role in human development than DNA-encoded genetic information inherited from the parents. Furthermore, the epigenetic state of DNA and chromatin can be passed through generations. Genetic analysis of common human disorders has revealed that development of various pathological conditions, such as metabolic diseases, cancer, neurological and psychological disorders may more depend on epigenetic status of relevant genomic loci, rather than on their DNA sequences. These recent discoveries lead to a wide range of potential applications of epigenetics for analysis of etiology of some common human diseases and in development of new therapeutic strategies for their treatment. The course reviews recent progress in our understanding of fundamental epigenetic mechanisms controlling normal human development and physiology, such as growth, metabolism and ageing processes together with environmental factors affecting human epigenome, followed by review of recent discoveries on epigenetic etiology of some most significant human disorders.
Prerequisite: Bio 357

LST 422 Nanomaterials and its Application in Life Sciences. Credit Hours: 4

This course focuses on the fundamentals of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology such as the basic properties of nanoparticles, structural control of nanoparticles and Environmental and safety issues with nanoparticles. In addition, this will introduce the students to the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterial for possible applications in Life Sciences. Moreover, this course will also focuses on the current and future nanotechnology applications in chemistry and biology.
Prerequisite: BIO 358.

LST 423 Biotechnology, Credit Hours: 4

This course surveys major aspects of biotechnology, including the history, methods, and applications in agriculture, ecology, industry, and medicine.
Prerequisite: BIO 358, BIO 358

LSR 421~422 Life Science Research Project I&II Credit Hours: 8

The courses represent a two-semester-term individually guided investigation project involving laboratory work and/or computational investigation in some aspect of Biomedical Science. The background, results and conclusions of the study to be reported in the form of an oral presentation in reading week of the second semester of the year and a thesis, submitted at the end of the course.
Prerequisite: BIO 357; BIO 358

LSR 423 Integrative Life Science Research Seminar Credit Hours: 4

This is a companion the Life Science Research Project courses that involve literature analysis of the recent progress on the subject of research project and oral presentations on results of individual student research.
Prerequisite: BIO 357; BIO 358.
Co-requisite: LSR 421 or LSR 422.

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