Richard Bruce Patterson

Undergraduate Discipline


BSc Ohio University. PhD, University of California San Francisco. Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University. Currently focused on teaching and development of undergraduate learning materials, interactive online and laboratory exercises. Previously taught at University of Arizona, Princeton University, Stockton University. SLC, 2019-

Undergraduate Courses 2019-2020


Introduction to Genetics

Open , Seminar—Fall

Everybody “knows” that DNA is the “genetic code”… but what renders a specific arrangement of C, H, O, and N atoms “copyable” and enables them to act as a recipe for every living thing? In this course, you’ll discover the mechanisms behind specific partnering, wrestle with the constraints behind DNA copying at both micro (individual basepair) and macro (complete instructions for an organism) levels. You will experimentally engage with the rules of passing instructions to offspring, walk in the footsteps of Gregor Mendel, and discover and characterize many of the “exceptions to Mendel” and think about how they arise. You’ll dissect how genetic change occurs at the nucleotide level, its consequences for some specific machines of the body (sickle cell anemia and other genetic diseases), and progress to exploring how genetic change drives the evolution of traits and the movement of traits in populations. Finally, we’ll examine how we have co-opted bacterial immune systems, first to invent genetic engineering and more recently to develop precision gene engineering. You’ll explore not only what we can do…but whether or not we should. Classes will be supplemented with laboratory work.

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