[sample exams and other course materials are copyrighted material and posting them elsewhere violates the Honor code]

Undergraduate Courses

Biology 62: First year seminar in Infectious disease and global public health

We use the book Mountains Beyond Mountains, and through discussions, lectures and presentations explore the biology, politics and economics of infectious disease in the developing world and examine how non-profit entrepreneurs are facing the challenge of providing more effective treatment. Fall in alternating years.

Course website: Fall 2014 


Biology 205: Cellular and Developmental Biology (4).

Prerequisite, Biology 202. Fundamentals of cell structure and activity in relation to special functions, metabolism, reproduction, embryogenesis, and with an introduction to the experimental analysis of cell physiology and development. Three lectures and one recitation-demonstration-conference hour a week. Fall. Co-taught with Blaire Steinwand.

Course website: Fall 2017
Syllabus: Fall Semester, 2017
Sample Exams:


Biology 402: Infectious Disease (3).

Prerequisites, Biology 202 and Biology 205. Infectious diseases that have been largely eradicated in the US still kill millions in the developing world. We explore the biological basis of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria through lectures, discussions, the primary scientific literature and class presentations . We also explore the poltical and economic reasons these curable diseases still kill millions. Spring in alternating years. Co-taught with Bob Duronio.

Course website and syllabus: Spring 2014 
Sample Exams:

Biology 445: Cancer Biology (3).

Prerequisites, Biology 202 and Biology 205. We use selected examples to illustrate how basic research allows us to understand the mechanistic basis of cancer, and how these insights offer hope for new treatments. Class discussions of the scientific literature and presentations on oncogenes and tumor suppressors allow active learning. Spring in alternating years. Co-taught with Bob Duronio or Gidi Shemer.

Class website:   Spring 2015
Syllabus: Spring 2015
Sample Exam: Spring 2003 Exam 1


Biology 395: Undergraduate Research (3).

Prerequisite, Biology 202. More than fifty undergraduates have participated in research in our lab.

You can learn more about undergraduate research in Biology at: http://bio.unc.edu/undergraduate/research/

To learn more about undergraduate research in the Peifer lab: http://peiferlab.web.unc.edu/undergraduate-research/


Selected graduate classes

Bio 625. Seminar in Developmental Biology.

A course for first, second and more advanced graduate students that introduces you to work at the interface between cell and developmental biology, and provides practice in reading and evaluating the scientific literature. Each week we read one paper from the current literature, and all of the participants critique the work and discuss its implications. Sessions are moderated by senior graduate students who participated in the class in previous years. Topics covered include: 1) the normal developmental roles of human disease genes, 2) how does morphogenesis shape organs tissues, and the overall body plan, and 3) The formation and roles of stem cells in vivo in tissue maintenance and repair. Co-taught with Vicki Bautch.

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