Somehow, I’m about to register for my sixth of eight semesters at Hopkins (aka. the 75% mark). One of the great things about being an upperclassman is being able to take the cool upper level classes the BME department offers. Here’s a quick snapshot into my schedule for next semester!

1. Prob/Stat for Engineers

If I’m being honest, I’d have much rather taken this sophomore or freshman year, and I advise that any prospective students follow the same advice. It’s been two semesters since I’ve had to take a pure math class, and I’m not looking forward to diving right back into that. Prob/Stat is absolutely essential for pretty much anyone though, so at least I’ll be learning practical information

2. Cell and Tissue Engineering Lab

I’m excited for this class; it’s going to be my only BME upper level elective next semester, as I’ve got a lot of other core requirements I have to take. This is a hands-on lab course where we get to learn about gene transfection, metabolic engineering, cell encapsulation, and so much more. It’s taking the concepts from the theoretical classes and applying them in practice. Only 16 people get in per semester though, so pray for me!

3. Systems Bioengineering 2 (SBE 2)

Ah yes, the second (and final, now that the curriculum has changed) of the SBE courses. SBE 2 focuses primarily on modeling/analyzing the nervous system and brain; I’ve heard it’s easier than SBE 1 and also super interesting, so I’m excited for it.

4. SBE Lab 2

The lab course associated with SBE 2. I’m not entirely sure what kind of experiments we’ll be doing, but if it’s anywhere near as cool as SBE 1 (last week we dissected and stimulated a frog heart!), I’m stoked.

5. Systems Biology of the Cell

So for those who don’t know, the BME curriculum underwent a little shake up this past week. Statistical Thermodynamics (i.e. Thermo), one of the most feared classes in the BME curriculum, and SBE 3 were chopped from the requirements and replaced with two 2-credit classes: Statistical Physics and Systems Biology of the Cell. As juniors, we’re only required to take Sys Bio of the Cell, but all classes after us will be taking both (each 7 weeks long) over the course of one semester.
This class is supposed to be about developing “first-principles models for the central dogma of molecular biology: information flow through protein signal transduction pathways, gene regulation by protein-DNA physical interactions, transcription of DNA to RNA, translation of RNA to protein, and feedback regulation that closes the cycle.”

It’s brand new next semester, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

Overall, my schedule shouldn’t be too heavy, and all my classes are gonna be really interesting so I have that to look forward to!