Topics in Interdisciplinary Biology and Biological Sciences (TiBBs)

Fall 2011 Syllabus, Biology 520

Wednesdays, 3 to 5:30 P.M., 1424 Castetter Hall

UNIT 1: Grant writing and review

Dr. Jeff Long

In this section, Jeff will introduce students to writing and reviewing grant proposals. In order to make this topic manageable, he will review both the NSF and NIH application formats. However, the most serious consideration will be given to the NIH F-32 mechanism. These are grants for post-doctoral fellowships. Thoroughly understanding this mechanism will provide a good foundation for approaching any other grant proposal.

UNIT 2: Genetic Epidemiology

Dr. Chris Stidley 

Analysis of throughput genotyping data, relative to the genetic basis of common human disease. In this section, students will learn to use Plinck, a powerful R-based package for gene data analysis.

UNIT 3: Human Life History Evolution

Dr. Hillard Kaplan and Paul Hooper

The aim of this unit is to introduce a class of models for understanding the action of natural selection mammalian life history traits (e.g. growth rates, fertility patterns, mortality), with a particular focus on human life histories. We will introduce a set of empirical methods for investigating life history patterns in traditional human societies, and the results that come out of these, drawing on Hillard and Paul's fieldwork. This section will expose the students to a set of general tools (approaches to theoretical and statistical modeling) that are interesting and/or helpful in life history studies and other contexts.

UNIT 4: Immune System Evolution

Dr. Eric Loker 

How immune responses are drivers of diversity, and related to parasitism.