Biology 123 The Biology of Cancer
Course Description: This course is designed to introduce non-science majors to science in a specific context: cancer. We will examine what is currently known about the nature, origins, and treatment of cancer as well as how a scientific approach reveals this information. We will also look at the impact of cancer on the individual and society.
· Gain a greater understanding and appreciation of science and its impact on our lives
· Become more knowledgeable about cancer, its many forms, and its causes and treatment
· Learn how to find, critique, and utilize cancer resources
Office hours: My office is room 209 in Lewis Hall; phone 333-6180; e-mail HixonWilliamG at sau.edu. Office hours will be announced in class and posted on my door.
Course Format: The class will meet every Tuesday and Thursday as listed on the attached schedule. Unless announced otherwise, half of each Thursday class period will be devoted to discussion of the assigned chapters from the text. Typewritten answers to assigned questions are due at the start of the class period. There will be guest speakers as well during the semester; individuals who have been or are currently involved in some way with cancer.
I strongly encourage each of you to obtain assistance from me at any time during the semester that you are having difficulty with the material. Do not wait until you are way over your head to decide to do something about it.
Class Text: The text for this course is Racing to the Beginning of the Road by Robert A. Weinberg (W.H. Freeman & Co., 1998). It is available as an e-resource. The password for access will be supplied in class. We have been generously granted permission to use this text by the author; please do not provide access to unauthorized people. If you have difficulty accessing the text, please let me know as soon as possible. Questions will be assigned prior to each class discussion period. Typewritten answers from each student are due at the start of the class period. It is your responsibility to read the assigned chapters and ask questions about the material prior to the discussion period.
Exams: There will be four exams during the semester (see attached class schedule). The exams will be based on material presented in lecture and discussion as well as material from the text. They will be a combination of multiple choice, true/false, and short essay questions.
Projects: Students will work individually or in groups with no greater than three members to develop a 12 minute Powerpoint presentation on a specific type of cancer. The type of cancer will be chosen by mid-semester and the presentations made to the entire class at the end of the semester. Some guidelines for the content of these presentations are attached at the end of this syllabus.
Project Goals: The student will
demonstrate the ability to:
· find reliable information about cancer from a variety of sources
· critically evaluate sources of information on cancer
· organize and interpret information about cancer
· present/communicate information about cancer in a manner understandable to the layperson
Attendance and Participation: You are expected to attend class and participate in classroom discussions. This is particularly important for scheduled speakers and final presentations. Additionally, most of the material on the exams will be covered in lecture and is not readily available elsewhere. Exams cannot be made up unless the instructor is contacted prior to the exam and approves the absence.
Grades: Your final grade will be derived in the following manner:
Exams (4 X 40 pts each) 160 pts
Assigned questions based on the text* 150 pts
Project 150 pts
Attendance and participation 40 pts
Total possible 500 pts
*If you are unable to attend a class when assigned questions are due, you can email answers in advance to the instructor for partial credit. However this will not meet your attendance requirements.
Some Online Resources (most of these sites contain links for specific types of cancer.)
American Cancer Society [http://www.cancer.org/ ]
American Society of Clinical Oncology [http://www.asco.org/ ]
CancerGuide [http://www.cancerguide.org/ ]
Cancer Research Institute [http://www.cancerresearch.org/ ]
CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) [http://www.cdc.gov/ ]
Genesis Medical Center Cancer Program [http://www.genesishealth.com/ ]
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center [http://www.massgeneral.org/cancer ]
MedlinePlus (at National Institute of Health) [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus ]
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center [http://www.mskcc.org ]
National Cancer Institute (includes CancerNet) [http://www.cancer.gov/ ]
Oncolink (Univ. of Pennsylvania) [http://www.oncolink.com/ ]
Material on Reserve (SAU Library)
Biology: Concepts & Applications by Cecie Starr
Human Biology by Sylvia S. Mader
Racing to the Beginning of the Road by Robert A. Weinberg