Core Courses for Biophysics and Neurophysiology (15 credits)
1. Biological Information (1 credit)
Information theory and its application in biology are discussed. The main topics are: physico-chemical principles of information transfer at the molecular level, including DNA, RNA, proteins, peptides, storage and retrieval of information in the brain; molecular modification of information by radiation, chemical, and biological methods.
2. Radiation Biophysics (2 credits)
Studies of radiation effects at molecular level. Radiation-induced excitation, oxidation, reduction, and dissociation, particularly in biomolecules are examined.
3. Mathematical biophysics (2 credits)
This course will present theoretical aspects of biology and biophysics. Various aspects of chemical physics, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics, together with thermodynamics relevant to biophysics solutions, proteins, cell membranes, and transport will be covered in the first semester. Appropriate aspects of mathematics will be reviewed. The second semester will concern to applications of theoretical biology, including mathematical modeling. Both linear and nonlinear problems of biology will be studied.
4. Processes In Biological Systems (1 credit)
This course is concerned with the fundamental physical and physico-chemical treatment of various kinetic processes underlying the normal function of biological systems. The topics of lectures include: no equilibrium processes, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, osmotic and hydrostatic forces, membrane permeation and potentials, and the mechanisms of excitability.
5. Cellular Biophysics I (2 credits)
Fundamental theory and principles of transport processes and membrane phenomena in biological systems are discussed. This serves as a basis for discussion of biological examples, including: transport involving water, non-electrolytes, and electrolytes. There will be lectures on the theories and principles developed to the state of current research knowledge.
6. Cellular Biophysics II (2 credits)
Structure and Function of Neuromuscular System are discussed. Current concepts and experimental approaches to study the cellular bases for nerve and muscle structure and function will be studied. The topics of the lectures include: bioelectric phenomena, membrane excitability, mechanochemistry, bioenergetics, and current theories of muscle contraction. The course is self-contained and independent of Cellular Biophysics I.
7. Membranes (1 credit)
Biophysical aspects of model and biological membranes are discussed. The topics of the lectures include: chemical composition and physical properties of membranes, structure-functional relationships, model systems, lipid-protein interactions and other selected topics of biological interest.
8. Ion Channels (2 credits)
Ion channels are responsible for information transmission in biological cells. They generate nerve and muscle electrical activity, control the secretion of hormones, and account for sensory transaction. This course will examine ion channels from the molecular level up to their role in controlling cellular processes. The course will be a combination of lectures, problem sets, and student seminars on current topics. LEC
9. Computers and their Applications In Biomedicine (2 credits)
An intermediate level approach to the range of applications of computer techniques in biomedical research and in the clinics will be presented. Emphasis is placed upon hand-on experience with existing applications software, development of special purpose programming, and analysis of algorithms and their hardware implementations to accomplish typical computational tasks.
Supporting Courses for Biophysics and Neurophysiology (12 credits)
1. Medical Biophysics (2 credits)
The course involves application of physical and physiochemical principles to diagnosis and treatment. The course describes the design of diagnostic and therapeutic instruments. Scope and limitations of these techniques are discussed in context of appropriate medical situations.
2. Statistical Thermodynamics (2 credits)
Brief review of the elementary principles of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics will be given. Emphasis is placed upon the application of statistical mechanical treatment to the variety of biological and biologically important phenomena. The topics of the lectures include: phase transition, macromolecular configuration, transport phenomena, and theory of polymeric solution. The statistical mechanical aspects of biological evolution as expressed by fluctuation will be considered.
3. Nerve System Theory (1 credit)
Responses and interactions of single cells; nerve nets; receptive fields, visual adaptation, size and space perception; information processing; general principles of nervous system structure and function will be discussed.
4. Instrumental Techniques in Biology and Medicine (1 credit)
The course surveys modern techniques of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, including some laboratory experience in the use and maintenance of GC/MS instrumentation. Other topics include: ionization methods, spectra interpretation, computerized data acquisition systems, and biomedical applications.
5. Evolving of Life (1 credit)
Following brief review of history of theories on origin of life, the course focuses on current theories and on their foundations in stellar evolution, geochemistry, molecular biology, and paleontology. Emphasis will be placed upon thermodynamic and kinetic constraints of chemical evolution to select the most plausible mechanisms. Different fundamental biochemical processes are discussed with an attempt to come up with plausible theories for their evolution. The general characterization of living systems is discussed in considering the possible existence of extraterrestrial life.
6. Engineering and Physical Principles of Clinical Biophysics I (1 credit)
The course isoffered to medical students and graduate students in electrical engineering, physics, and biophysics. It is intended to familiarize them with the advances in medical technology as well as with underlying principles of physics and engineering. The course emphasizes application of existing and forthcoming technology to medical problems. Students are encouraged to develop innovative ideas regarding new or improved technological solutions to pertinent medical problems.
7. Engineering and Physical Principles of Clinical Biophysics II (1 credit)
The topics of the lecture include: use of ultrasound, electric pacing of heart, diagnostic radiology (including computerized topography, magnetic resonance imaging, radiation therapy, and intensive care instrumentation).
8. Experimental Biophysics (1 credit)
The course is an intensive laboratory experience with contemporary biophysical techniques: quasi-elastic laser scattering from cells and polymers, electro physiology of membrane transport, fluorescence probe studies of membranes, dynamics of muscle contraction and psychophysics of vision. Lab reports are presented orally each week. Students are expected to do a brief independent project.
9. Isotopes and Their Applications (2 credits)
The course is intended primarily for biochemists, pharmacologists, physiologists, as well as for medical researchers, interested in the application of isotopes as tracers, isotopic dilatants, probes of molecular structure and dynamics of chemical behavior at the molecular level. The topics are: isotope effects and their utilization in isotope production and in chemical, biochemical, physiological research; methods of radioisotope production, measurement and assay techniques including mass spectrometry, magnetic resonance, infrared and Raman spectroscopy; major routes for the synthesis of single and multilabeled compounds; detection techniques for radioisotopes; atomic and molecular tracers in biological systems; isotope dilution analysis in pharmacology and toxicology; potential uses in clinical laboratory and in routine clinical practices.