2021-2022 College Catalog 
    Feb 05, 2023  
2021-2022 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Biology

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Chairperson: Carolle N. Bolnet 718 270-6202 office 718 270-6498 fax Bolnet @mec.cuny.edu
Office: A-306 E
Faculty: Mamdouh Abdel-Sayed, Carolle N. Bolnet, Ann Brown, William Carr, Margaret A. Carroll, Edward Catapane Charles des Bordes, Mozaffar Hassan, Seymour Ien, Emmanuel Igwegbe, Shiraz Mujtaba, Ebere Nduka, Alam Nur-E-Kamal, Mohsin Patwary, Victor Santos, Chiyedza Small, Anthony Udeogalanya, Joy Johnson, Marc Larosiliere

General Information

The mission of the Department of Biology is to produce high quality, professional, career-oriented graduates who wish to pursue careers in biology, applied biology, research, medical and paramedical fields as well as biologically related fields.

The Department’s curricula focuses on the following goals:

  1. To increase the participation of students with diverse educational, socio political, and cultural backgrounds in the biological sciences, in the professions of medicine, dentistry, research, teaching and other biologically related fields.
  2. To provide students with the essential knowledge and skills needed for career advancement and professional mobility.
  3. To provide knowledge of the role that modern biological science and technology play in society and to provide students with a sense of responsibility for their humanistic applications.
  4. To prepare students for leadership roles in their communities and to foster their personal growth and development.
  5. To enrich knowledge and experiences of residents of the community in the biological sciences.
  6. To increase community awareness and interaction in order to provide the community with the necessary knowledge and commitment to advocate for increased support for students and programs in the biological sciences.

The faculty and staff of the Biology Department endeavor to enrich the academic experience of our students by continuing to develop new programs and courses, and by establishing educational and research collaborations with other prominent universities, advancing professional development through research, seeking grant funding to support faculty research and student internships, participating in scientific conferences and producing scholarly publications. Both students and faculty have available to them modern and well-equipped computerized laboratories with state of-the-art instrumentation in the areas of microscopy, VIS, UV, IR and fluorescence spectrophotometry, gel electrophoresis, HPLC micro-spectrofluorometry, PCR, electro-physiology, ultracentrifugation, and image analysis.

The Biology faculty continue to implement strategies to further strengthen the Department by increasing the academic and professional success of its student population and also by promoting awareness of MEC’s role in the local Brooklyn community. Many of the faculty have participated in local community events by volunteering as judges in science fairs and giving guest lectures at regional schools and civic associations. The Department is responsible for the creation of two initiatives that promote educational improvement in the Crown Heights area:

  1. The “PS 161 Science Program” provides quality laboratory- oriented instruction in Earth Science, Physical Science and Biology to its elementary students by utilizing the Biology Department’s labs and faculty to teach these courses to the students in a college environment.
  2. The “School District 17 Biology Teacher Preparation Program” is a joint initiative with the school district, which provides high school teachers the opportunity to upgrade and enhance their science education and teaching capabilities.
  3. In addition, the Editorial Board of the Journal In Vivo, the publication of the Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists (MACUB), is composed of Biology faculty and produced and distributed by the Biology Department at MEC. Collectively, all these activities have enabled the Department of Biology to become a “Center of Excellence” at Medgar Evers College.

Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE)

RISE is a developmental program of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that seeks to increase the capacity of students underrepresented (UR) in the biomedical and behavioral sciences to complete a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degrees in these fields. The program provides grants to institutions that showed commitment and history of developing minority students underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences. The program aims to increase the overall number of UR students that complete a Ph.D. and continue biomedical research careers, thereby reducing the existing gap in completion of Ph.D. degrees between underrepresented and non-underrepresented students.

RISE program at Medgar Evers College provides participants 940 hours of research training per year in a research laboratory at Medgar Evers College, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, School of Graduate Studies and other host labs under the overall supervision of a research active faculty. They participate in a number of enrichment activities, such as seminars, workshops, preparation for graduate school application, preparing personal statements and courses to ensure their academic success. Each RISE student receives one-to-one mentoring and academic advisement from their faculty, research mentors and program staff. The students attend 2-4 national and regional conference and present results of their research either orally or as scientific posters.

The program supports expenses for such conference attendance. The participating students receive compensation for up to 15 (fifteen) hours per week during the semester (Spring and fall) and up to 35 hours per week for two weeks during the intersession and 35 hours per week for ten weeks during summer @$15.00/hour. To be eligible to participate in the program the students must be US citizen or non-citizen nationals or permanent Residents from a minority under-represented group in biomedical & behavioral research (including, but not limited to African-Americans, Hispanic- Americans, Native Americans including Alaska natives and or U.S. Pacific Islanders). They are to be full time B.S. degree seeking student in Biological Sciences at MEC and must continue in the full time status during their tenure in the program. They must have a career goal to pursue a Ph.D. or in selected cases M.D.- Ph.D. degree in biomedical field, have a minimum science GPA 2.8, and expected to have at least 30 science credits and not more than 50 college credits (sophomore preferred).

MEC students interested in this program are advised to review program information at MEC RISE WEB site and contact should contact the RISE PIs/Program Directors: Dr. Mohsin Patwary (mohsin@mec.cuny.edu and Dr. Alam Nur-e-Kamal (alam@mec.cuny.edu or the Program Administrator Dr. Amulya Mohan, amohan@ mec.cuny.edu.

MEC CUNY Research Scholar Program

The CUNY Research Scholars Program is a NYC -funded program at the CUNY central that provides 400 hours of laboratory experiences for associate degree students over a one-year period.The goal of the program is to encourage undergraduate participation in authentic research and to increase persistence in STEM disciplines.The program provides participants with opportunity to study and do research with a MEC Science faculty mentor on academic research projects in a STEM field. In addition to research, the program offers lectures on lab safety, responsible conduct in research, career advising and supports local conference attendance. Each participant receives a $5,000.00 fellowship. Associate degree students in STEM discipline at any stage of their academic career who are committed to be in the program for one full academic year plus summer may apply to be in the program. MEC students interested in this program are advised to review program information at MEC CUNY-RSP WEB page and contact CUNY-RSP Program Administrator, Dr. Amulya Mohan, amohan@mec.cuny.edu. Interested students may also contact with the Program Director, Dr. Mohsin Patwary mohsin@mec.cuny.edu) for additional information.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

The Biology Department offers students the opportunity to participate in the research activities of the faculty as a means of enhancing their training in the sciences and giving them first hand experience as to how new knowledge in science is obtained. The faculty in the department have had research projects supported by various agencies including NIH, NIGMS, NSF, NYS Department of Education, Department of Defense and PSC/CUNY. In addition, the Department has arranged summer internships for its students at various institutions including Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Virginia Medical School, Meharry Medical School/Vanderbilt University, Boston University, University of Missouri and SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn.

Pre Professional Advisement

All students wishing to attend medical, dental, veterinary, osteopathic, chiropractic or graduate school should begin their preprofessional advisement process no later than the first month of their sophomore year. An expert Pre-professional Advisement Committee is available to Biology majors for personalized academic advisement, research internship placement and organization of MEC-MCAT study groups. In addition, the Pre-professional Committee sponsors the weekly meetings of the Medgar Evers Science Association (MESA). MESA activities include presentations by invited speakers on careers in research, medicine and other health related fields. The Department also maintains an articulation agreement with SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn (HSCB), Early Medical Education (EME) Program. This Program is part of a Health Resources Administration grant whose focus is to increase the opportunity for under-represented students to enter Medical School. Qualified MEC Biology majors who successfully complete three consecutive summer enrichment science programs taught and designed by HSCB Medical School faculty, and achieve a minimum MCAT Score, are given a guaranteed acceptance into SUNY-HSCB’s College of Medicine. These students are also offered a special opportunity to shadow a clinical faculty member one afternoon a week in order to give them a first-hand view of clinical medicine. Students seeking advisement in those area should contact Dr. Charles DesBordes (Pre-Med advisor) at Cdesbordes@mec.cuny.edu and Dr. Alam Nur -e-Kamal (Pre-Graduate advisor)at Alam@mec.cuny.edu or Dr. Ebere Nduka (PRE-Allied Health Advisor) at Ebere@mec.cuny.edu in the Biology Department

Articulation Agreement with SUNY Downstate

An Articulation agreement exists between MEC and SUNY Downstate Health Science Center at Brooklyn College of Health Related Professions. Students who apply to Downstate after successfully completing a prescribed course of study at MEC are highly considered for acceptance into one of the four SUNY programs offered:

  1. Physicians Assistant, BS degree
  2. Physical Therapy, BS/MS degree
  3. Occupational Therapy, MS degree
  4. Diagnostic Medical Imaging, BS degree

The Department offers qualified students extensive support and counseling towards meeting the requirements for this preferred admission. Students who are interested in any of these programs should contact the MEC liaison to Downstate’s College of Health Related Professionals, in the Biology Department.

Academic Standards

Students in the Department are expected to pass Department of Biology required Core courses with a grade of “C” or better. For graduation, a student must have an index of 2.0 in his/her major. Students will be required to repeat a course in their major in which a grade of “D” or below is received, whenever the GPA in the respective major drops below 2.0.

Academic Awards

Each year the Biology Department presents the Faculty of Biology Award to the graduating senior with the highest GPA receiving a BS in Biology.To the student graduating AS degree in Science (Biology Concentration) with the highest GPA.

Degree Programs Offered by the Biology Department

The Department of Biology offers two degree programs, an Associate of Science in Science with a Biology concentration and a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

Additional Departmental Academic Criteria

All students pursuing either the AS or BS degree must have a grade of C or better in all Science and Mathematics courses. Students with advanced abilities in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics should consult the chair of Biology for possible exceptions. If an exemption is approved then the students must take an appropriate higher level course.

Students wishing to substitute transfer courses or other courses for required courses should also consult with the Chairperson. For additional major requirement details for the A.S. and/or B.S. in Biology. See Chair or Academic Advisor.

Biology Web Page

For more up to date degree requirements please visit the MEC website: www.mec.cuny.edu/Academic/Sci-sch/biology/biology.html


    Associate of ScienceBachelor of Science

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