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Teaching at HSCRB

Courses taught by Doug Melton

Offered in 2018

Frontiers in Therapeutics

SCRB 197

With Prof Mark Fishman


How realistic are promises to “eliminate” diseases and to “personalize” medicine? This course looks at biological principles underlying therapeutics, ranging from those described first in Egyptian papyri to those under development today (using chemicals, proteins, cells, and genetic manipulations) and based on traditional philosophies and on science. As part of the class, students will have the opportunity to design novel approaches to diseases today without cure.


Not offered this year

Ethics, Biotechnology and the Future of Human Nature

SCRB60 and Gov10xx

With Prof Michael Sandel


Explores the moral, political, and scientific implications of new developments in biotechnology. Does science give us the power to alter human nature? If so, how should we exercise this power? The course examines the science and ethics of stem cell research, human cloning, sex selection, genetic engineering, eugenics, genetic discrimination, and human-animal hybrids. Readings will be drawn from literature in the areas of biology, philosophy, and public policy.



Classic Experiments in Developmental Biology

SCRB 110


This course introduces students to classic experiments in developmental biology. We explore the historical background, experimental design, and results of a handful of experiments that have defined the field of developmental biology and changed our understanding of the discipline. Students read primary literature and, in turn, present the conclusions in written and oral formats.



Freshman Seminar: Big Ideas


This course introduces freshman to some of the world’s most important ideas and disciplines. It is the conceit of this course that there are precious few important ideas that have relevance beyond their specific disciplines, but it is these very ideas that form a foundation for a modern college education. A wide range of subjects will be covered, including Psychology, Economics, Biomedical Research, Linguistics, History, Cosmology, Sociology, Politics, Globalization, Statistics and more. Within each topic, we will discuss current, innovative ideas in the field, dissect them, and look at how they affect not only the world-at-large, but us as individuals as well. What do findings in demography have to say about our planet’s future? How is linguistics a window to understanding the brain? What is the science behind happiness? The course is designed to give students an introduction to a variety of concentrations in a way that allows them to explore unfamiliar territory and ask leading questions, and look at a variety of subjects in a new light, before choosing any pre-determined field to study in college.

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