My favorite class at USC, both this semester and thus far in the time I’ve been here, is Molecular Biology, or BISC 320. This class is an upper division class, one of the science classes that are required for BME majors, biology-related majors, and those on the Pre-Med track. It covers everything about synthesis and structure of nucleic acids and proteins.
Why do I like this class so much? Because the subject matter is literally the reason why I chose to study something related to biology within engineering. After I took AP Biology during my junior year in high school, I attended the COSMOS program at UC Davis, where I studied biotechnology techniques. This program helped me to realize my fascination with genetics and genomics through hands-on experience doing PCR, transformations, and other such lab experiments.
This past summer, I was back at UC Davis, where I interned in a Nephrology lab. The object was to study proteins related to Renal Cell Carcinoma, or kidney cancer. I learned how to run Western Blots, do protein assays, and culture cells (check out my other blog from the summer!). My background in Molecular Biology, however, was limited.
So, when I ended up taking this class this semester, I’ve found myself making sense of many concepts I didn’t quite understand this summer. It is really cool to make connections between the information learned in a class and its actual implication in the world. In the laboratory section of the course, we get to do many of the experiments that I have seen being done first hand in real labs. This is why MoBio is officially my favorite class!