Courses in the major will often use conceptual examples to connect levels in the organisation of life. For instance, sickle-cell anaemia is caused by a single nucleotide substitution that results in the change from one amino acid to another. And though it has dramatically deleterious effects on an individual, it confers immunity to malaria.
The major will also highlight the key role played by technology in enabling both elucidation and discovery, from optics for the study of the cell to artificial intelligence for customized gene therapy. The ethical underpinnings of research in the biological sciences will also be foregrounded, such as the implications of editing the human genome using CRISPR technology and the constant spectre of eugenics since its inception over a century ago.
Students majoring in biological sciences will work across levels of scale in the classroom and beyond, gaining experience in the laboratory and on the field. For genetic and cytological considerations, the lab will provide the site for exploration. For much of ecology, field studies will be critical.
Required classes will expose students to an entire landscape of possibilities both within the discipline and through cross-links to other disciplines ranging from literature to computation. Elective courses will cater to specific interests, be they a desire to integrate across scales of organisation of life, or focus on targeted understanding at a chosen level. Finally, the capstone thesis will allow students to rigorously tackle their chosen domain and topic in the life sciences, and build the skills required to explore questions of how life works.
The Krea biological sciences graduate will be prepared by the program to engage with a suite of approaches and careers, ranging from academic research to public policy.