Molecular Biology

General Course Information

Course Director’s name:

Dr. Felicia Ikolo

Course Lecturer Name(s): 

Dr.  Felicia Ikolo

Dr.  Mary Maj

Mrs Kafi James-Lewis

Mr. Teddy Ikolo 

Course Director’s Contact Information: X3425 

Course Lecturer(s) Contact Information:

  •  X3169
  •  X3867
  • X3281                                     

Course Director’s Office Hours: 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.. on Fridays or by appointment at other times.

Course Lecturer(s) Office Hours: By appointment 

Course Management tool: Learn to use Sakai, the Course management tool, access the link

Course Curriculum Information

Course Description: BIOL 321    Molecular Biology 

This upper-division course is designed to help students develop an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that are used to store and preserve genetic information by biological organisms, the means by which they use that information to create functional biological structures, and the techniques that are commonly used to manipulate and study these processes in the laboratory. A basic understanding of chemistry, biology, genetics and biochemistry will be assumed.

Course Goal:  This course is aimed at equipping students to be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge of the basic structures and fundamental processes of life at the molecular, cellular and organismal levels.
  2. Apply knowledge of the structure and function of the human body to health issues.
  3. Apply knowledge of the interaction of subatomic particles and biochemical processes that define organic and inorganic matter.

Course Learning Outcomes: At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the transmission of hereditary information for DNA, RNA and protein as a result of the processes of DNA replication, transcription and translation.
  2. Discuss how proteins and enzymes regulate the biological processes of DNA replication, transcription and translation.
  3. Describe how DNA, RNA and Proteins can be manipulated to facilitate the understanding of gene function, analyze gene sequence and to genetically modify organisms.
  4. Describe how DNA, RNA and Proteins are analyzed to determine genotype as it relates to humans, in health and diseases

Program Outcomes Met By This Course:

MCAT Topic Areas Assessed: Content Categories

  1. Biomolecules have unique properties that determine how they contribute to the structure and function of cells, and how they participate in the processes necessary to maintain life.
    1. Structure and function of proteins and their constituent amino acids
      1.  Separation techniques: Isoelectric point Electrophoresis
    2. Transmission of genetic information from the gene to the protein
      1. Nucleic Acid Structure and Function
        1. Nucleotides and nucleosides, DNA structure, base pairing specificity
      2. DNA Replication
        1. Mechanism of replication, separation of strands, specific coupling of  free nucleic acid
      3. Transcription
        1. Mechanism of transcription
      4. Translation
        1. Roles of mRNA, tRNA, rRNA, Post-translational modification of proteins, Role and structure of ribosomes
      5. Genetic Code
        1. The triplet code
    3. Transmission of heritable information from generation to generation and the processes that increase genetic  diversity
      1. Meiosis and Other Factors Affecting Genetic Variability 
        1. ​​​​​​​Important differences between meiosis and mitosis
      2. Mendelian Concepts
        1. Recessiveness, Homozygocity and Heterozygocity    
  2. Highly-organized assemblies of molecules, cells, and organs interact to carry out the functions of living organisms.
    1.  The structure, growth, physiology, and genetics of prokaryotes and viruses
      1. Existence of plasmids, extragenomic DNA
      2. Lack of nuclear membrane and mitotic apparatus 

Grading Scale -  Grades will be assigned as follows:

A  = 89.5% or better

B+ = 84.5 - 89.4%

B  = 79.5 - 84.4%

C+ = 74.5 - 79.4%

C = 69.5 - 74.4%

D = 64.5 - 69.4%

F = 64.4% or less 

Course Materials:


Textbooks for this course are not mandatory.

You May find the following textbooks in the library.

  1. T.A. Brown 2017. Genomes 4.  Garland ScienceThis textbook is currently available in the library for one week loan and 3 are held on reserve. Page numbers are included on the lecture schedule.
  2. Klug, Cummings, Spencer and Palladino 2015, Concepts of Genetics, 12th Edition, Pearson Education Inc. This textbook is currently available in the library for one week loan and 3 are held on reserve. Page numbers are included on the lecture schedule.
  3. Alberts, Johnson et al. 2014, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 6th Edition, Garland Science. Three copies are under reserve. Page numbers are included on the lecture schedule.

Important pages and chapters to accompany the lectures can be found in the lecture schedule.  

Supplementary Readings/Resources: as posted on Sakai. Optional SL sessions are available through DES

Course Requirements and Percent of Grade:

Quizzes and exams will be computer based using the ExamSoft software. Please, read the document “Computer Requirements for ExamSoft Document.pdf” found in Mycourses in the Resource folder. There will be four online quizzes (online quiz 1, online quiz 2, online quiz 3 and online quiz 4) each worth 1% of your final grade. There will be four exams (Exam 1, 2, 3 and 4) and each will be valued at 24% of your final grade.  Knowledge of materials covered in the first part of the course will be an asset for the final exam.  The breakdown for quizzes and exams is as follows:

Online Quiz 1: 

     covers sessions 1 – 7 (L1-3, plus DLA1-4)

Exam #1            

     covers sessions 1 – 7 (L1-3, plus DLA1-4)

Online Quiz 2: 

     covers 10% sessions 1 - 7, plus 90% sessions 8 – 13 (L4-6, plus DLA5-7)

Midterm Exam/Exam 2: covers 10% sessions 1 - 7, plus 90% sessions 8 – 13 (L4-6, plus DLA5-7)

Online Quiz 3: 

     covers 10% sessions 8 - 13, plus 90% sessions 14 – 19 (L7-9, plus DLA8-10)

Exam #3:           

     covers 10% sessions 8 - 13, plus 90% sessions 14 – 19 (L7-9, plus DLA8-10)

Online Quiz 4: 

     covers 10% sessions 14 - 19, plus 90% sessions 20 – 24 (L10-12, plus DLA11-12)

Final Exam/Exam 4:

     covers 10% sessions 14 - 19, plus 90% sessions 20 – 24 ( L10-12, plus DLA11-12)

Towards the end of each week, a timed practice quiz will be posted on Sakai for ONLY 48 hours, for your use to gauge your understanding of course materials for that week and to sharpen your test taking skills for this course. See schedule for dates and availability. These will be for practice only and will not count towards your final grade, However, your submission of your answers for these weekly practice quizzes will serve as a means of recording your active participation in this course. 

Percentage of grade

  • 4% Online Quizzes (four online quizzes, 1% each)
  • 24% Exam 1
  • 24% Midterm Exam/Exam 2
  • 24% Exam 3
  • 24% Final Exam/Exam 4

***Marks are earned through your performance on quizzes and examinations and will not be negotiated.

Course Schedule


School of Veterinary Medicine Master Syllabus — Info for All Sections

ExamSoft Policy

All students are responsible for knowing and complying with the University’s  Code of Conduct and the guidelines. Students must read and then sign the Honor Code statement at the start of examinations to indicate that they will comply with the University Code of Conduct. 


Prior to Exam Day

  1. Each student is required to have a laptop for the purpose of taking computer-based examinations (e-Exams) at SGU. Students must ensure that their laptops meet the current minimum system requirements prior to exam day:
  2. Examinees must use their MY SGU Member Center username and password to access the Custom Home Page ( created by ExamSoft for the University.
  3. Examinees are responsible for downloading and registering the latest version of Examplify on their laptop prior to exam day. Once Examplify has been successfully downloaded, examinees are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the software by downloading and taking practice exams.
  4. Examinees are responsible for setting their laptop up for ExamMonitor prior to the exam (see links below).
  5. Examinees will be notified via MyCourses, of all exam related information. Email notifications will also be sent from ExamSoft Support to examinees, notifying them of examinations available for downloading.
  6. Examinees experiencing difficulties with their laptop are encouraged to visit the IT department for assistance prior to exam day. Examinees needing a laptop must visit the Office of Institutional Advancement (OIA) to request an exam loaner.
  7. Examinees should visit the following information to familiarize themselves with the online proctored exam format and set up their baseline photo.

Copyright Policy

The materials (such as slides, handouts and audio/video recordings) provided to students who are taking courses at St. George’s University (SGU) are the intellectual property of the Faculty and/or Administration of SGU. Students are free to use these materials solely for the purpose of group or individual study. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited.