professor
Songtao Jia

Apr 2012

j This is for the Molecular Biology Class Review. Songtao taught 1/2 of Molecular Biology while Ron Prywes taught the second half. To be honest, Songtao was an okay teacher, nothing great, but not bad either. He has a VERY SLIGHT accent and tends to speak very softly (kind of similar to Tong for Biochemistry), but he's better at enunciating than Tong but maybe because the Molecular Biology classroom size is much smaller than the Pupin huge lecture hall. Anyway, to be honest, 95% of Songtao says is from the book, which does a better job of condensing everything than his lectures, which can go off in some unnecessary information directions. His exams, along with Prywes, are DESIGN AN EXPERIMENT BASED heavy. Generally 60% of the points are memorization based while the other 40% are design an experiment. Of course people usually get the same grade on the memorization part so it's the design an experiment questions that determine your grade in the end. Here's an example question: something like: You have discovered a polymerase that binds specifically to the college gene. This polymerase is similar to polymerase II but not quite, as there are several different factors required for binding to the DNA/gene. How would you find out what these factors are? How would you check to see whether the polymerase dissociates immediately after transcription ends? Songtao does go through methods of doing experiments so it might be useful to attend lecture, but then again, if you work in a lab, you could probably read about these methods online. for Songtao's half, HEAVILY recommend you read/memorize the 4-5 scientific articles per exam, because sometimes the design an experiment will be 90% similar to one of the experiments, with just a slight twist/variation.