Courses with Dr. King

Philosophy

What are you looking for in a professor? What your fellow students say about someone will change from day to day as their emotions flux. When you go to “anonymous” websites, are you looking for reasons to study with a professor or for evidence of the most easy/”nice” way through? Often it is the ugly and the hateful that captures attention but should it?

If you are here and you aren’t looking at my lab, let me tell you what I strive to do as a professor. If you are my student, you are MY student and I am thinking about you from the writing of the syllabus, to the launch of Blueline, to every grade that is posted. I know that when you leave Creighton, your GPA will matter, but it will not matter as much as your ability to manage as a young professional in an intergenerational workplace where you are the novice. Do you know anything applicable? Do you have the facts AND understand how to put them into use? Are you an expert with detailed understanding or just a “wikipedia summary”? Does the depth of your transcript actually represent knowledge attained and retained? Are you a “one hit wonder”, able to memorize but not much else because you’ve never been challenged? College, your actual classes, should prepare you for entry exams. College, your actual classes, should make you work for high marks. College, your actual classes, should give you knowledge you need to establish yourself as a talented, growing young professional. You don’t do any of that by taking easy classes on mundane subjects and “earning” your grade by arguing that wrong answers are actually right answers if you twist them just so.

I think you should have to work, not unto death, but work for knowledge. Why? Because Biology is too big, too alive, and too complex to be relegated to the sidelines. There is too much to know for us to stick to the simple, trivial stuff. Biology is not a dead science. Neuroscience is not dead science. There are discoveries made every day that piece by piece change what we know about the human body, its disease, and the world around us. And when you leave Creighton you aren’t competing against the best person here. You are in a globally competitive field. Average isn’t going to cut it! I fail you if I make this so easy and so mundane you don’t see the beauty and complexity of biology. I fail you if your foundation is not solid, reinforced, and ready to take on the daily tsunami of new information you will be required to bring into your job. I fail you if you don’t have soft skills. Everyone has great grades, what else do you have in actual built and reinforced skill?

My classes are going to be interesting! I love this stuff. But easy, may it never be said! I want you to KNOW things, deeply and in detail. And I want you to be competitive. I shoot for innovation, detail, and rigor (and I’m pretty good at it… if you trust the students who succeeded).

Courses with Dr. King

Course scheduling is not part of my job. Each of the following are regularly offered, only some are offered both Fall and Spring. You need major advising to help you manage well! Feel free to contact me with questions or while waiting to be assigned your Major advisor.

BIO 462 – Neurobiology. Designed to give students a broad understanding of fundamental concepts allowing central nervous system function. We cover anatomical, cellular, molecular, biochemical, developmental, and comparative aspects of neurobiology. Fall semester only.

BIO 463 – Neurobiology Laboratory. A practical in neuroanatomy and cell/molecular neurobiological techniques. As the first neurobiology laboratory course most neuroscience majors will take, this lab course hits on two major themes: 1) understanding the complex and unique anatomy of the brain and 2) gaining practical experience to execute and understand methods that are critical to discovering new information about the brain. Fall semester only.

NES 464/ BIO 464 – Neurobiology of disease. An exploration of the cellular and molecular events that underlie disorders of the brain, current areas of active research investigation, and discussion of the ethical issues that arise from these diseases.This course will apply and expand student’s cell and molecular biology knowledge to the nervous system.  To recognize neurological disease requires knowledge of its clinical manifestation.  To understand neurological disease, its progression, and discover novel way treat and eventually cure neurological disease, requires detailed knowledge of the cellular and molecular underpinnings of the disorders.  Students will revisit concepts first encountered in pre-requisite courses and apply them to the function and activity of the brain and to circumstances where normal biology breaks down.  Spring semester only.

BIO 362 – Cell Structure and Function. Everything cool happens because proteins work within your cells to do the work of life and everything in it. While genetics covers what happens in the nucleus, this course covers the rest of the cell. We will first discuss basics important to all cells and then we will focus on unique qualities that make cells of the brain amazing. Offered Spring, Summer, and Fall but Dr. King teaches Fall and Spring semesters.

NES 510 – Neurophysiology lab. This laboratory course is focused on delivering extensive instruction and exploration of neurophysiology and neural basis of behavior with emphasis on the mastering of techniques used within the field of neuroscience to evaluate electrical activity and intracellular communication within the nervous system. The course is designed to build upon and allow for mastering of neurophysiology concepts and techniques learned in BIO 463, Neurobiology Laboratory. While Drs. King and Shibata direct the course, it is team-taught drawing upon diverse expertise of instructors to deliver a comprehensive course using both invertebrate and vertebrate models for the study of neurophysiology. And of course, this course meets the Magis Core writing designation by guiding students through the generation of a hypothesis and grant writing process. Spring semester only.

NES 498 – Neuroscience and the Community. This course is an academic service learning and a semi-independent study course that you should probably consult with Dr. King before registering to take. The course is intended to help build a portfolio of evidence you are an excellent scientific communicator. Materials built in this class will be used to support local high school students working to independently study neuroscience in addition to their normal school work.

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