Personal Web Pages Macalester College

Lin Aanonsen



Health Professions Advising Committee


Courses taught:


An introduction to the fundamental concepts in cell biology and genetics through an exploration of the structure and function of the brain. Readings and discussion will focus on a number of topics that may include how chemicals produced in the brain affect emotions, mood and memory; and the effect of drugs on brain function including the use of neuroactive drugs in the treatment of ``mental illness.'' Prerequisites: none. Three lecture hours per week. Offered occasionally. (4 credits)


An introduction to the fundamental concepts in cell biology and genetics through an exploration of how drugs work and are used to treat various human diseases & disorders. The course will focus on cellular communication; potential gene therapies; drug effects on physiological systems and basic pharmacological principles. The weekly discussion section will explore research methods and approaches taken in the quest to treat human disease and disorders. Prerequisites: none. Three lecture hours per week. Offered occasionally. (4 credits)


An introduction to the molecular and cellular processes of living organisms. Special attention is paid to problems faced by living cells in the acquisition of energy, growth and repair, reproduction and communication with other cells. Recent advances in biotechnology are also discussed. Prerequisites, Chemistry 112 or 115 or concurrent enrollment in Chemistry 112 or 115. Three lecture hours.  Every semester. (4 credits)


A study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the biological basis of behavior. While particular emphasis is placed on the molecular and cellular components of the nervous system, these components are the foundation for the analysis of various systems. Discussion topics may include the role of neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and receptors in learning and memory, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and drug addiction. The laboratory will be used to introduce major research techniques in neurobiology. These techniques will be used in independently designed research projects. Prerequisites: Biology 255 (Cell Biology & Genetics Lab), Biology 260 (Genetics) and Biology 265 (Cell Biology), Chemistry 211 (Organic Chemistry I), Biology 367 (Human Physiology) or Psychology 248 (Behavioral Neuroscience) or permission of instructor. Three lecture hours and one four-hour laboratory per week. Spring semester. (4 credits)


The anatomical structure and function of the human nervous system will be explored through analysis of human brain specimens, and artistic photographic and computer graphic representations of nervous system structures at both the microscopic and systems levels. This course is designed to provide an understanding of the neuroanatomical landmarks and features required for further study in neuroscience. It is designed for students with a strong interest in neuroscience. Prerequisites: Biology 163 (Enchanted Cortex) or Psychology 180 (Brain, Mind and Behavior) or permission of the instructor. Offered occasionally. (2 credits)


An introduction to human physiology. The course focuses on the major physiological systems of the human body (e.g., circulatory, respiratory, gastrointestinal, urogenital and the nervous system). A special emphasis is placed on homeostatic mechanisms and the role of the endocrine and nervous system in this process. Lecture/discussion will span the basic structure and function of these systems as well as the underlying cellular mechanisms. Prerequisite: Biology 255 (Cell Biology & Genetics Lab), and Biology 265 (Cell Biology). Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab each week. Fall semester. (4 credits)


This course offers an opportunity to work with a faculty member on current research in neuroscience. Extensive laboratory research, readings and discussion of the scientific literature related to the research area are undertaken. A research project is selected in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, Biology 367 (Human Physiology) and Biology 356 (Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience), and Chemistry 211 and permission of the instructor. Offered occasionally. (4 credits)

486 SEMINAR IN NEUROPHARMACOLOGY (Same as Psychology 486)

This is an advanced course that will focus on the study of drugs used to alter the central nervous system. The course will begin with basic pharmacological principles and then concentrate on the various uses of drugs to alter brain neurochemistry. Topics for discussion will include the pharmacological treatment of schizophrenia, depression, pain, anxiety and generally, the neurochemical basis of behavior. In addition to discussion of the use of drugs for clinical purposes, a significant amount of time will be spent on the use of ``drugs of abuse'' (e.g. cocaine, marijuana, LSD). While the focus of the course will be on the biochemical mechanisms of these drugs, an effort will be made to investigate and discuss the sociological ramifications of drug use. Three discussion/lecture hours per week. Prerequisites: Biology 356 (Cellular Molecular Neuroscience), Psychology 248, junior or senior standing or permission of the instructor. Alternate years. (4 credits)

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