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Department of Molecular Biosciences & Bioengineering
University of Hawaii-Manoa
1955 East-West Road, Ag. Science 218
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Telephone: (808) 956-8384
FAX: (808) 956-3542



MBBE Courses | BE Courses

Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering Courses

MBBE 304 Biotechnology: Science and Ethical Issues (Credits: 3) - Introduction to the basic concepts, goals and practical impacts of biotechnology. Real-life case studies are used to explore socio-ethical, economic and environmental issues raised by cloning, DNA testing, gene therapy and genetically engineered food, medicines and vaccines using microbes, plants and animals. Pre: Biol 101 or consent (cross-listed as Biol 304).

MBBE/TPSS 342 / ECON 429 Agribusiness Decision Making Tools (Credits: 3) - Introduction to quantitative decision-making methods for effective agribusiness management in resource allocation, scheduling, logistics, risk analysis, inventory, and forecasting. Emphasis on problem identification, model formulation and solution, and interpretation and presentation of results. Prerequisites: NREM 220 or ECON 130 or consent.

MBBE 375 Multidisciplinary Biochemistry (credits: 4) - (3 Lec, 1 3-hr Lab) Introduction to basic concepts of cellular biochemistry and metabolic pathways as applied to nutritional, medicinal and environmental biochemistry. A-F only. Pre: BIOC 241 or consent. Spring only.

MBBE 401 Molecular Biotechnology (Credits: 3) - Lecture course exploring the general principles, applications, and recent advances of the rapidly growing science of biotechnology on medicine, animal science, environment, agriculture, and forensics. The economic and social-ethical issues raised by this new technology will be discussed. Pre: BIOL 270, or consent. (Cross-listed as BIOL 401).

MBBE 402 Principles of Biochemistry (credits: 4) - Molecular basis of living processes in bacteria, plants and animals, emphasis on metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Pre: Biol 275, Biol 275L, Chem 272, and Chem 273; or consent (cross-listed as Biol 402).

MBBE 402L Principles of Biochemistry Lab (credits: 2) - (1 lecture and one 3-h lab). Pre: MBBE 402 (or concurrent).

MBBE 405 Microbial Biotechnology (credits: 3) - Fundamental principles governing environmental biotechnology applications; emphasis on processes mediated by microorganisms, development of remediation technologies, environmentally friendly biocatalysis, models to describe the behavior of microbial communities, and emerging biotechnology for environmental microbiology. A-F only. Pre: MICR 130 or MICR 351, or consent. Spring only. (Cross-listed as OCN 403)

MBBE 406 Cellular Biology (credits: 3) - Cell structure and function. Structure, chemistry, and functions of organelles and macromolecules. Pre: BIOL 275 and CHEM 273, or consent. (Cross-listed as BIOL 406)

MBBE 412 Environmental Biochemistry (credits: 3) - Biochemical and chemical principles of occurrence, distribution, biotic and abiotic conversion, fate and impact of synthetic and natural molecules in the environment.

MBBE 461 Biotechnology for Teachers (credits: 2) - The course includes lectures, discussions and some laboratory experiments on recombinant DNA technology. The topics include: classical examples in biotechnology, concept of a gene, cDNA, gene regulation, methods in creating recombinant DNA molecules, plasmids, gene library, expression vectors, genetic transformation, conjugation, transfection, PCR, isolation of cloned genes, mutagenesis, production of commercial products in bacteria, plants and animals, transgenic fishes, cloning animals, and recombinant vaccines.

MBBE 480 Integrative Genomics and Biotechnology (credits: 3) - Integration of molecular genetics, virology, plant molecular biology, and bioinformatics. Gene silencing, functional genomics, and the development of expression systems for the production of heterologous proteins. Pre: BIOL 275/275L, MBBE 401.

MBBE 480L Integrative Genomics and Biotechnology Lab (credits: 2) - Laboratory to accompany MBBE 480. Pre: BIOL 275/275L, MBBE 401.

MBBE 483 Introduction to Bioinformatics Topics for Biologists(3) Focuses on the use of computational tools and approaches to analyze the enormous amount of biological data (DNA, RNA, protein) available today. A-F only. Pre: BIOL 171 (or equivalent), or consent. (Once a year) (Cross-listed as BIOL 483)

MBBE 490 Lab Automation: Advanced Techniques in Plant Molecular Biology (credits: 3) - Combined lab lecture course on semi-automated systems used to analyze and manipulate nucleic acids and proteins. A-F only. Pre: 401 and BIOL 270/270L, or consent. (Once a year)

MBBE 491 Special topics in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering (credits: 1- 3) - This course will teach special topics in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, such as ‘Nucleic acid sequence analysis’, ‘Secondary structure of nucleic acids’, ‘Protein-protein interactions’, ‘Gene regulation’, ‘Post translational modification of proteins’, ‘Molecular modeling’, ‘Recombinant vaccines’, ‘Plasmid vectors and DNA library constructions’, ‘Genomic and cDNA libraries’ or any other relevant topics.

MBBE 499 Directed Research (Credits: variable) - Limited to undergraduate students qualified to carry on research problems in plant physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology.

MBBE 601 Molecular Cell Biology(3) Provide fundamental concepts and dynamic characteristics of the molecules of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell, their biosynthesis and regulation, and the mechanisms that regulate cellular activities. A-F only. Pre: basic course in cell and molecular biology, or consent. (Fall Only) (cross-listed as MICR 601)

MBBE 607 Advanced Food Science I (credits: 3) - Advanced topics in chemical and physical characteristics of foods as well as their role in human nutrition. Repeatable one time. A-F only. Pre: graduate student status with undergraduate courses in organic chemistry, microbiology, additional biological science, physics, and biochemistry. Basic knowledge of food science is expected; or consent. Fall only. (Cross-listed as FSHN 607)

MBBE 608 Advanced Food Science II (credits: 3) - Advances in sensory quality and evaluation, deterioration of foods and food safety, as well as food processing technology. Repeatable one time. A-F only. Pre: graduate student status with undergraduate courses in organic chemistry, microbiology, additional biological sciences, physics and biochemistry. Basic knowledge of food science is expected; or consent. Spring only. (Cross-listed as FSHN 608)

MBBE 609 Advanced Food Safety (credits: 3) - Real and perceived food hazards, their ethical issues and implications, advanced emerging topics in food safety, and controls, including laws and regulations of food safety issues and public perception of food safety will be discussed. Repeatable one time. A-F only. Pre: graduate student status with undergraduate courses in biochemistry, microbiology, food processing, physics and organic chemistry. Basic food science knowledge is required; or consent. Spring only. (Cross-listed as FSHN 609)

MBBE 610 Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Seminar (Credit: 1) - Study and discussion of significant topics and problems in plant physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and biotechnology.

MBBE 620 Plant Biochemistry (Credits: 3) - Comprehensive study of chemical constituents and biochemical processes unique to the plant kingdom with emphasis on selected aspects of current interest. Pre: ENBI 402 or consent.

MBBE 621 Metabolic Engineering (credits: 4) - Principles and methodologies of metabolic engineering. Concepts of metabolic networks. Establishment of metabolic flux analysis and metabolic control analysis. Systems biology framework for integration of mathematical modeling and global measurements at metabolite, protein and transcription levels.

MBBE 625 Biosensor Principles and Applications (credits: 3) - Elaboration of common biochemical interactions used to quantify biological molecules, and the electrical technologies used to detect them. Discussion of the desirable properties of biosensors, miniaturization and applications related to medicine, agriculture, bioproduction and environment. Pre: consent (Cross-listed as BE 625)

MBBE 650 DNA and Genetic Analysis (2) Combined lecture-lab for students interested in genetic analysis of humans, animals, and other spcies. Molecular techniques, such as PRC, DNA marker identifications, transgenics, expression analysis and functional genomics, are included. Open to nonmajors. Pres: graduate standing or consent. (Cross-Listed as ANSC 650 and FSHN 650)

MBBE 651 Signal Transduction and Regulation of Gene Transcription (Credits: 3) - This is an a specialized advanced course with the specific aim to provide an in-depth comprehensive understanding of the principles of cell signaling pathways and how malfunctions in these pathways can lead to diseased states. This course work is outlined to provide essential elements of cellular mechanisms that allow signaling from the cell surface to the nucleus. Emphasis will be placed on receptors, second messengers, protein kinase cascades, and the regulation of gene transcription.

MBBE 680 Methods in Plant Molecular Biology (Credits: 3) (1 Lec., 2 3-h Lab) - Advanced methodology and research strategies. Hands-on laboratory training in basic and current molecular procedures for plant research. Pre: one of 673, BIOC 481, BIOC 620, or BIOC 626.

MBBE 683 Advanced Bioinformatics Topics for Biologists (Credits: 4) - This course teaches problem-solving with bioinformatic tools. Real-world problems will be provided and worked out, students encouraged to provide their own research problem where they require assistance. Graduate student must work on genomics research project requiring bioinformatic analysis, working knowledge of UNIX OS, Perl, Java or C. A-F only. Pre: ICS 471 and ICS 491 and ICS 691 (or equivalent), or consent. (Alt. years)

MBBE 687 Advanced Lab Techniques (credits: 1-3) - Advanced laboratory techniques used in food science and human nutrition research. Pre: MBBE 402, 402L, and Bioc 441 and Bioc 441L).

MBBE 691 Advanced topics in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering (credits: 1-3) - This course will teach advanced topics in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, such as ‘Recent advances in DNA sequence analysis methods’, ‘Structure function analysis of mRNA and proteins’, ‘Recent advances in recombinant vaccine development technology’, ‘Recent developments in bioengineering’, ‘Recent progress in bioreactor technology’, ‘Bioterrorism’ etc.

MBBE 699 Directed Research (Credits: variable) - Limited to graduate students qualified to carry on research problems in molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology and bioengineering.

MBBE 700 MS Thesis Research (credits: variable)

MBBE 800 PhD Dissertation Research (credits: variable)

Biological Engineering Courses

BE 150 Introduction to Biological Engineering (credits: 2) - Discussion and experimental investigation of physical and chemical principles underlying representative biological processes and systems. Bioproduction, energy conversion processes, physiological systems, biological treatment, biosensors, biomechanics, and related natural and engineered systems. Pre: MATH 140 or consent.

BE 191 Introduction to Applications in Biological Engineering (credits: variable) - Discussion and investigation of special topics, problems and applications of Bioengineering. Pre: consent.

BE 260 Mass and Energy Balances (credits: 3) - Introduction of the principles of mass and energy conservation; development of systematic approaches to apply these principles in calculations for design and analysis of biochemical, chemical, and physical processes. Pre: EE 160, MATH 243 OR 252A, BE 260, CEE 270; or consent.

BE 350 Dynamic Systems Modeling (credits: 3) - Introduction to analytical and numerical solutions for systems of differential equations. Modeling and computer simulation of representative dynamic systems encountered in biological engineering. Co-requisite: BE 350L. Pre: BIOL 171, CHEM 162 or 181A, EE 160, MATH 243 or 252A, and PHYS 170; or consent.

BE 350L Dynamic Systems Modeling Lab (credits: 1) - Industry field trips and lab experiences to illustrate behavior of representative dynamic systems in biological engineering. Data acquisition and model validation. A-F only. Co-requisite: BE 350 or consent.

BE 373 Transport Phenomena (Credits: 3) - Fundamental principles and applications relating to mass, momentum, and energy transfers in biosystem and other systems for engineers and scientists. Pre: be 260, cee 370, and MATH 24 or MATH 252A; Co-requisite: CEE 320 or ME 322, and ME 311; or consent.

BE 405 Engineering Economics (Credits: 3) - Economic analysis in engineering and management decision-making, interest, depreciation, income tax, cost classification, break-even analysis, economic comparisons of alternatives, benefit-cost analysis. Pre: Econ 120 or 130, and senior standing; or consent.

BE 410 Biomass Conversion to Biofuels and Bioenergy (Credits: 3). Fundamental concepts in understanding biofuel/bioenergy; renewable feedstocks, their production, availability and attributes for biofuel/bioenergy production; types of biomass-derived fuels and energy; thermochemical conversion of biomass to heat, power, and fuel; biochemical conversion of biomass to fuel; biodiesel production; environmental impacts of biofuel production; economics and life-cycle analysis of biofuel; value-added processing of biofuel residues; case studies on biofuel production. Pre: BE 373.

BE 411 Food Engineering (Credits: 3) – Principles and applications of thermodynamics, electricity, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, psychrometry, and material and energy balances of food processing and preservation.  Pre: BIOL 171, CHEM 162 or CHEM 181A, MATH 243, PHYS 151 or PHYS 170; or consent.

BE 420 Sensors and Instrumentation for Biological Systems (credits: 4) - Lecture/lab Principles of common physical and chemical sensors. Interfacing sensors to different electronic circuits and data acquisition systems. Electronic detection and quantification of biomolecules (biosensors). Applied control for biological processes. Pre: BE 350, EE 160 and EE 211; or consent.

BE 421 Bioprocess control (3) Process control in both time and Laplace domains with an introduction to the frequency domain; selection and design of appropriate control systems for bioprocesses with consideration of the impact on the total system; identification of safety concerns in designing control systems and process equipment. Pre: 260, MATH 243; or consent. DP

BE 431 Environmental Biotechnology (credits: 3) - Environmental impact and control; the microorganism and its nutrition and growth conditions; microbial growth and substrate removal kinetics; bioreactors; biological treatment systems; biodegradation of xenobiotic organic chemicals; case studies. Pre: BE 373; or consent

BE 437 Biosystems Unit Operations (credits: 3) - Pumps and fans; size reduction; cleaning and sorting; materials handling; processing of fruits, nuts, vegetables, animals, and other bio-products. Pre: BE 373, CEE 320 or ME 322; or consent.

BE 440 Bioremediation: Principles and Practices (3) (2 Lec, 1 3-hr Lba) Soil environment, fate and transport of contaminants; microbial ecology, metabolism, and energy production; biodegradation of selected compounds. In situ treatment, solid-phase bioremediation, slurry-phase bioremediation, and vapor phase biological treatment. Open to nonmajors. Repeatable one time. Pre:260, CHEM 161, PHYS 170; or consent. DP

BE 460 Bioreactor Design and Analysis (credits: 3) - Application of mass/energy balances and reaction kinetics for the design and analysis of bioreactors for microbial, plant, and animal cell cultures. Pre: BE 373, CEE 320 or ME 322; or consent.

BE 470 Bioprocess Design and Analysis (3) Combined lecture/computer lab on theory and practice of bioprocess design and analysis, involving biological basics and engineering principles of bioprocessing, computer-aided unit operations, process integration, and economic evaluation. A-F only. Pre: 373, or 437 (or concurrent) or 460 (or concurrent); or consent. (Alt. years) DP

BE 481 Senior Engineering Design I (credits: 3) (1 1-hr Lec, 2 3-hr Lab) - First of a two-semester course sequence that provides a major design experience for senior students in biosystems engineering. Design process; project management; design methods; modeling and simulation; design optimization; engineering economics; engineering statistics, initiation of an open-ended design project. Pre: BE 350/350L and 360; or consent.

BE 482 Senior Engineering Design II (credits: 3) (1 1-hr Lec, 2 3-hr Lab) - Continuation of 481. Properties of biological materials; risk and reliability; design ethics; guest lectures on engineering design by practicing engineers; extension and completion of the design project with submission of a final design report. Pre: 481 or consent.

BE 491 Biosystems Engineering Topics (credits: variable) - Study and discussion of significant topics and problems. Offered by visiting faculty and/or for extension programs. Repeatable.

BE 492 Internship (credits: 4) - Integration and application of academic knowledge and critical skills emphasizing professional development. Placement with an approved cooperating supervisor/employer. Pre: consent.

BE 499 Directed Research (credits: variable) - Research in the area of biosystems engineering. Pre: consent.

BE 606 Instrumentation and Measurement (credits: 3) - Measurement concepts and operating principles applied to the selection and use of instruments important to scientists and engineers dealing with biological systems, including automatic data acquisition and processing. Pre: CHEM 151, MATH 241, and ME 311; or consent.

BE 610 Advanced Food Processing Technology (credits: 3) - Principles and applications of new methods of food preservation. Repeatable. Pre: FSHN 401 and FSHN 403, or equivalent; or consent. (Cross-listed as FSHN 610)

BE 622 Experimental Methods in Cause-Effect Modeling (credits: 3) - Factorial designs and fractional factorial designs for screening variable and response optimization. Response surface methodology. Experimental designs appropriate to building and testing multi-variable behavior relationships. Sequential experimental designs.

BE 625 Biosensor Principles and Applications (credits: 3) - Elaboration of common biochemical interactions used to quantify biological molecules, and the electronic technologies used to detect them. Discussion of desirable properties of biosensors, miniaturization, and applications related to medicine, agriculture, bioproduction, and environment. Pre: consent. (Cross-listed as MBBE 625)

BE 634 Biological Treatment (credits: 3) - Fundamentals of applied microbiology and biochemical reactor engineering, quantitative description of microbial growth, operational theory and design basis of aerobic, anoxic and anaerobic treatment processes. Applications for water, wastewater, air, solid wastes, and soil. A-F only. Pre: consent. Fall only. (Cross-listed as CE 634)

BE 638 Biosystems Modeling (credits: 3) - Introduction to system thinking, procedures for developing system models, characteristics of important agricultural system models, computer approach to evaluation and optimization of system models. Pre: one of MATH 215, MATH 241, MATH 251; or consent.  (Cross-listed as AREC 610 and GEOG 636).

BE 648 Biosystems Simulation (credits: 3) - Discrete and continuous simulation models and their application in design and management of engineering and biological systems.

BE 664 Hydrologic Processes of Soils (credits: 3) – Hydrologic properties in soils and the processes involved in water infiltration drainage and solute transport.  Emphasis on key parameters required for modeling.  Pre: CEE 424 or consent. (Cross-listed as NREM 660 and CEE 625).

BE 699 Directed Research (credits: variable)

BE 700 Thesis Research (credits: variable)

BE 750 Bioengineering Seminar (credits: 1) - Use of computer and video technology in technical presentation, review of current biosystems engineering research. Pre: consent.