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School of Arts and Sciences

Biology

The combination of a Lasallian liberal arts education coupled with an innovative, research-based biology curriculum, challenges students to explore a deeper meaning of the world around them, and prepares them for medical school, graduate work and careers in the life sciences.

Blaze Your Own Path

Program Features

Sample Courses

Students enjoy a wide range of interesting and unique courses, some including:

The Biology department partners with the Small World Initiative (SWI), a research consortium developed at Yale University to provide freshmen Biology majors with an authentic research opportunity that addresses a pressing, global health challenge – the rise of antibiotic resistant pathogens. Through a series of student-driven experiments, students collect soil samples, isolate diverse bacteria, test for antibiotic production against critically relevant micro-organisms, and characterize those that exhibit antibiotic activity. SWI’s approach provides a laboratory platform to crowdsource antibiotic discovery and advances promising candidates into the drug development pipeline.

Biology partners with SEA-PHAGES, to provide an undergraduate research experience funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Phages are viruses that infect and kill bacteria and have been a powerful tool for learning about microbiology. They have also been used as a therapy against antibiotic resistant bacteria. Over the course of two semesters, students isolate, characterize, and identify phages found in soil. Students then use bioinformatics tools to find genes hidden within the DNA of these viruses. Viruses that students discover are housed in a national repository, and genomes that are annotated are published on a national database, with students listed as authors. The SEA-PHAGES program gives students the opportunity to do real research that might one day provide an additional tool in managing infectious disease.

Created in partnership with the Wistar Institute, Life Science Innovation provides students with hands-on science/technology commercialization projects. Cross-listed by the Biology, ISBT and Management & Leaderships programs, interdisciplinary teams of students select technologies from a curated patent portfolio of Wistar inventions. Teams interact with inventor scientists at Wistar to familiarize themselves with the underlying science/technology, as well as with external partners such as venture capitalists, intellectual property lawyers, and biotechnology entrepreneurs—to identify unmet needs the science/technology addresses, and define key commercialization issues such as IP, market opportunity, competition, regulatory pathways, and potential customers. At the end of the semester, teams compete in a “shark-tank” competition and pitch a panel of life science investors.

This course allows ALL students to conduct faculty-mentored research across many disciplines. A sample of current student projects:

  • Neuroprotection against Seizure-Related Brain Damage
  • Ecological Stoichiometric and Microbial Community Responses to Urbanized Landscapes and Nutrient and Resource Use
  • Molecular Mechanisms Influencing the Relationship Between Bacteria and Bacteriophages
  • DNA Fingerprinting of herbal samples and trees of the Arboretum on the La Salle University Campus
  • Regulation of Cytoskeletal Dynamics in Tumor Progression and Host-Pathogen Interactions
Facilities

The biology department is located in Holroyd Hall, home of the Hugh and Nancy Devlin Center for Science and Technology. The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art labs, research spaces and resources such as:

The Peter M. DiBattiste, M.D., ’78 Collaborative Research (CORE) laboratory concentrates student-faculty research activity in a central location, fostering interaction and collaboration among students and faculty researchers. The CORE lab provides students with access to cutting-edge technologies, such as Illumina Next-Generation DNA Sequencing, and supports our hands-on, Lasallian student scientist training model. Each semester, faculty and 40+ students work in the CORE lab across a range of disciplines including:

  • Cancer Biology
  • Cell Biology
  • Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Immunology
  • Marine Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Virology

Resources available:

  • PCR & Real Time PCR
  • Illumina iSeq DNA Sequencer
  • Fluorescent Microscope
  • Scanning Electronic Microscope
  • High Performance Liquid Chromatograph
  • Tissue Culture Suite
  • Histopathology Suite
  • Roof-top Green House
Student Orgs

La Salle students have access to more than 120 clubs and organizations including:

  • Biology club – La Salle University’s student-driven Biology Club organizes a range of activities including the Life Science Seminar Series, peer-mentoring, foosball tournaments, volunteer opportunities, pet adoptions, and much more.
  • Student Association for STEM and Health Sciences – Students of La Salle from different backgrounds, diverse majors come together to attend conferences, engage in stimulating conversations at panel discussions, serve the community and primarily, mentor and support one another.
  • Enactus – Enactus is a global nonprofit and community of student, academic, and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives. Members are dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators.
  • Alpha Epsilon Delta chapter -is the National Health Preprofessional Honor Society dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in preprofessional health scholarship
Related Programs

Minors (six courses)

  • Integrated Science, Business & Technology – The Integrated Science, Business, and Technology (ISBT) program is a unique, interdisciplinary major that explores science and technology through the lens of systems, design, innovation, and entrepreneurial practices. Students learn to collaborate and solve difficult problems by connecting expertise across multiple disciplines.
  • Translational Science – Translational Science is an emergent, interdisciplinary field focused on translating basic science discoveries into diagnostics, therapeutics, and medical devices to address unmet healthcare needs. This bench-to-bedside approach requires critical thinking skills to see opportunities for innovation and to navigate complex biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry landscapes.

Concentrations (four courses)

  • BioDesign – an emerging, integrated discipline drawing on design thinking, biology, engineering, and entrepreneurship to develop products and technologies that address unmet healthcare needs.
  • Bioinformatics – an interdisciplinary field that uses software tools to acquire and analyze large complex biological data sets including whole genome DNA data.
  • Bioethics – an examination of ethical issues that emerge from advances in biology that apply to research and medical practice
  • Microbiology – the study of microorganisms – bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi and protozoa – that covers biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, ecology, evolution and clinical pathology.

Related Majors

More Information About This Program

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Honors and Awards

TOP 5%

“BEST FOR THE MONEY” IN THE U.S.

La Salle University’s Biology program is ranked #30 out of 803 programs at U.S. colleges and universities in the “Best for the Money” category, placing it in the Top 5%.

—College Factual

I am an Explorer

Julia Sproch

Julia Sproch, ’18

The best thing La Salle has done to prepare me for the future is introduce me to many incredible people . . . I can’t begin to explain how much the people here have enabled me to grow as a person.

Read More about Julia Sproch, ’18Read More