Biological sciences at Krea

From microscopes to binoculars, gene sequences to organisms, molecules to ecosystems – welcome to the study of the biological sciences across scales of life at Krea University. Through the major, students will examine the genesis of the various constituents that compose the biological sciences as we understand them today. While there is no historical vector to the study of the small to the large, or vice versa, we will see how contemporaneous discoveries on the one hand, and theoretical and socio-historical considerations on the other, have had considerable reciprocal influence, for example, genetics and the theory of evolution.

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 customised gene therapy. An important aspect of the Biological Sciences major at Krea is an emphasis on ways of knowing, using model organisms and instrumentation, which will generate an appreciation for the evolving discipline. 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.

The Approach

The curriculum has been crafted keeping in mind the need for an integrative approach to produce well-rounded graduates prepared for an ever-changing discipline. Through a higher number of required courses compared to curricula at leading international institutions, we ensure sufficient exposure to and appreciation of all areas of the discipline that are inherently interconnected. Importantly, our curriculum is singular in the manner in which it approaches concepts both within and across courses – not linearly or in silos, but from the point of view of framing questions to develop a holistic understanding of a biological process or event. This approach is different from traditional curricula in biology in the sequencing of how critical concepts are introduced to students. Students majoring in the Biological Sciences will work across levels of scale in the classroom and beyond, gaining experience in the laboratory and in the field. For genetic and cytological considerations, the laboratory 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 with other disciplines ranging from history to computation. Elective courses will cater to specific interests, be they a desire to integrate concepts across scales of the organisation of life, or focus on targeted understanding at a chosen level. Finally, the capstone thesis will allow students to tackle their chosen domain rigorously within the biological sciences, and build skills required to explore questions pertaining to how life works.

Programme Details

Major: 

To earn a major in the Biological Sciences (BIOS), a student must complete a minimum of 60 credits and not more than 76 credits from courses related to the major, out of which: 

  1. Nine are required courses
  2. A minimum of five BIOS or cross-listed electives
  3. Capstone thesis through two 4 credit courses

 Minor:

To earn a minor in the Biological Sciences a student must complete seven courses, earning a total of 28 credits, out of which:

  1. Six are required BIOS courses- 

Life at Different Scales; Chemistry and Physics for Biologists**; Contemporary Biology; Genetics; Evolution; Form and Function .

2. At least one other is BIOS or cross-listed elective. 

Concentration:

To earn a concentration in the Biological Sciences, a student must complete four courses, earning a total of 16 credits, out of which:

  1. Two are required BIOS courses: Life at Different Scales; Contemporary Biology 
  2. At least two other are BIOS or cross-listed elective courses 

Note: Students desiring to take a course without one or more prerequisites may be allowed to enrol following a diagnostic assessment, at the discretion of the instructor.

Required Courses Sample Electives
  1. Life at Different Scales
  2. Chemistry and Physics for Biologists**
  3. Contemporary Biology
  4. Biochemistry, and Cell and Molecular
    Biology
  5. Genetics
  6. Evolution
  7. Ways of Knowing: Methods and
    Communication
  8. Ways of Knowing: Instrumentation in
    Biology
  9. Form and Function
  1. History and Philosophy of
    Biology
  2. Conservation Studies
  3. Ecology and Biodiversity
  4. Plant and Animal Physiology
  5. Biostatistics
  6. Biophysics
  7. Animal Behaviour and Social
    Biology
  8. Biology of Disease
  9. Mathematical Biology
  10. Neuroscience
  11. Developmental Biology
  12. Toxicology
  13. Microbiology and Immunology
  14. Biotechnology
  15. Bioinformatics
**Note: The requirement for Chemistry and Physics for Biologists may be replaced by taking all three of the following CHEM courses – Carbon-based molecules, Mathematical Methods I, and Quantum theory.

John Mathew

Associate Professor of History of Science

John Mathew

Associate Professor of History of Science

PhD, Harvard University
PhD, Old Dominion University

Kalyan S Chakrabarti

Assistant Professor of Biological Science and Chemistry

Kalyan S Chakrabarti

Assistant Professor of Biological Science and Chemistry

PhD, Indian Institute of Science

Shivani Jadeja

Assistant Professor of Biological Science

Shivani Jadeja

Assistant Professor of Biological Science

PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Prof Vaishali

Vaishali Sharma

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Vaishali Sharma

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

PhD, University of Florence

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.

Job RolesOrganizations
  • Biochemist
  • Researcher
  • Pharma Manager
  • Biophysicist
  • Pharmacologist
  • Toxicologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Medical technologist
  • Wildlife biologist
  • Healthcare company (hospitals and pharmaceutical)
  • Diagnostic laboratories
  • Environmental agency / media
  •  Forensic sciences
  •  Business manager of scientific products
  •  Bioinformatics
  • Computational Biology
  • Agriculture / Foods divisions