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ZOOL 351: Cell and Molecular Biology: Home

Course Professor


Dr. David Markwardt


Professor Markwardt did both his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned a BS in Zoology and a PhD in Pharmacology, with a research emphasis on Cell and Molecular Biology. Dr. Markwardt did a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in Genetics, funded by the National Institutes of Health, also in Madison. He likes to spend his free time reading or hiking with his wife (Rachel) and kids (Henry and Anna). He is an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Wisconsin Badgers. Professor Markwardt is interested in the molecular mechanisms that cells use to adapt their gene expression “program” to changes in the local environment. Specifically, his lab focuses on mechanisms used to regulate mRNA degradation in order to modulate gene expression. He uses the model organs Schizosaccharomyces pombe (fission yeast) and Caenorhabditis elegans (soil nematode) to understand fundamental principles of eukaryotic gene regulation.

Course Description

Topics in this course center on the following fundamental questions: How is the genome structured and organized? How is the information contained within the genome expressed in time and space? What factors control the cell division cycle and how do they work? How are proteins and lipids made, organized, modified, and moved within the cytoplasm? What kinds of systems control the growth of cells in their appropriate social context and what kind of pathologies result when these regulatory systems fail? A series of recent papers will be used to learn about model building and prediction testing. The lab will introduce a variety of modern molecular techniques and model organisms. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: CHEM 110, 111 and BOMI/ZOOL 120. CHEM 260 is recommended.

Independent Research Proposal Assignment

The vast majority of all biomedical research in this country is funded through government organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In order to receive funding from organizations like these, academic scientists first have to write a detailed research proposal that they then submit for evaluation and review by a panel of experts. Although there are many different kinds of proposals, most of those submitted to the NSF and NIH follow the general format requirement of the NIH Research Project Grant (R-01). Your assignment is to develop and write a research project grant using the formatting requirements of the R01 as a general guide.