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Life Sciences

Chiju Chris Huang

Chair & Faculty Member


​​​​​​Mission Statement            

​​​Our department is uniquely equipped to facilitate enriching student learning experiences for the student planning to pursue further study in the biological sciences or related health fields leading to a career in medicine, nursing, mortuary science, research, teaching, or various therapeutic or technical fields (e.g., renal, surgical, respiratory, pharmacy tech).             

MXC Biology Club              

The Biology Department provides in-class and out-of-class experiences through the MXC Biology Club.Interested students network with their peers and participate in the following events:   

  • Guest lectures from health professionals, schools, and agencies.
  • Volunteer work and service learning projects
  • Meetings to discuss recent journal articles and current events in the scientific community
  • Professional Development workshops
Biology Studio Classroom

When you walk into one of our molecular and cell biology courses, you will notice something different: Most of our Biology 121 courses are taught in a studio classroom setting. In this student-centered classroom environment, students taking molecular and cell biology work in groups to --         

  • solve problems requiring critical thinking
  • discuss case studies
  • complete both wet and virtual labs
  • analyze scientific data using the equipment of an academic research laboratory, and
  • present results with multimedia software

The classroom features 15 computers, a Smart Board, virtual labs/statistical software, two drop-down media screens and more than 50 different cellular models to enhance instruction. The student/instructor ratio is maintained at 30:1.             

​​Student Research Opportunities

Here in the studio classroom environment, students not only learn more about biotechnology techniques, but apply them through hands-on experimentation. Additionally, students are exposed to research and the work involved in understanding and conducting research.             

Our student research opportunities run similar to a graduate level laboratory in that we have lab meetings where the students present their work, present articles of interest to the group, and engage in scientific conversations.              


Rush MXC Summer Pre-clinical Internship​​​​​​​​​​​ (updated 2017)

An 8 weeks summer program where students will observe assigned health clinicians/researchers at Rush Medical School, attend presentations or seminars on site and participated in healthcare/research team activities as needed. Click on the link above to learn more about how to apply to this program.

Cadaver Anatomy

We offer students enrolled in our Cadaver Anatomy Course, Biology 130/131, the opportunity to review basic anatomy and view the underlying structures of the body. In addition to dissection, our course includes studies in pathophysiology and an off-site cadaver lab learning experience.​​​             

Technology in the classroom             

Several new technology-based labs using Vernier technology (e.g. electromyogram, electrocardiogram)have been added to Biology 114, 121, 122, 115, 116, 226, and 227. Vernier Technology is a dynamic way to integrate probeware, data loggers, sensors and graphing/analysis software into a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum to develop the next generation of scientists.   

Bio 227 students use a virtual patient in lab

Our Anatomy lab has adopted the state-of-the-art visual cadaver technology including Anatomage, which is a full body sized surface computer that allows instructors and students to virtually dissect (literally) at any chosen location. I addition,our A&P textbook is bundled with Visible Body softwares othat students have access to this interactive three dimensional rendition of human cadverany where any time at a deeply discounted price.   

In addition, the I>Clicker 2 has been added to all sections of B​iology 107, 114, 115, 120, 121, 226, and 227. This classroom response system is used during lectures to increase student involvement and actively improve teaching quality.   

Laboratory Instruction

Enriched laboratory experiences provide students with the knowledge and practical skills required for careers in biotechnology, medicine and health care programs. Whether an organ dissection--such as hearts, eyes, kidneys, brains, liver--DNA analysis or clinical lab (eg urinalysis, blood typing), we apply a hands-on, team-based approach for understanding clinical applications and the fundamentals of scientific method throughout the laboratory curriculum.   

Cultivating Global Citizenship

As part of our departmental assessment plan, students in every course in our department analyze world health statistics to develop an understanding of global demographics and the challenge(s) to maintain health.             

Featured Course-Biology12              

Want to pursue a career in pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine? If so, enroll in Biology 122: Organismal Biology, Ecology, and Evolution.This course is a common requirement for Biology majors, Pharmacy, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary and is highly recommended before transferring to a four-year college. This is a hands-on course with many dissections (e.g.squid, star fish, anolis lizard, English Sparrow, water snake, turtle, skate) and ecology-based labs.​   




Faculty & Staff

Name​ Phone​ Email Office/Workstation
Chiju Huang, PhD Chair (312) 850-7481 chuang16 2401 N
Marcela Bernal MS (312) 850-7419 mbernal-munera
Azmia Javed, MD (312) 850-7418 ajaved6 2401-086
Tracie Hudson (312) 850-7480 thudson 2401-079
Minxiu Wang, PhD (312) 850-7418 mwang17 2401-077
Albert Reba (312) 850-7417 areba 2401-085
AvniThaci MD (312) 850-7416 athaci 2401-084
SheilaWicks MD (312) 850-7482
swicks2 2401-089
Peter Grudzien PhD (312) 850-7416​ pgrudzien 2401-083
Erin McMurray PhD ​(312) 850-4569 ​emcmurray ​2401-087
Imran Khan ​(312) 850-7237  ​ikhan36 ​2401-92
Tomer Kanan MD ​(312) 850-3546 ​tkanan ​2401-088
​Ryan Manow PhD ​(312) 850-7219 ​rmanow ​2401-091
Victoria Walker, Admin.Asst. (312) 850-7337 vwalker7 2401-067
Carlos Chavez, Proj. Coord. (312) 850-7485 cchavez58 3413
Michael Hanrahan, Proj. Coord. (312) 850-7485 mhanrahan1 3413

Related Services

Molecular Biology Teachng Model smokers lung.jpg Biology-studio-class.gif
Molecular Biology Instructional Model Teaching through contrast: normal lung and a smoker's lung Supportive learning environment of the Biology studio classroom

Contact Information

(312) 850-7337
(312) 850-7338
1900 W. Jackson Blvd.
Room 2401N
Chicago, IL 60612
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Monday - Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Check with faculty for their individual office hours.