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 Life Sciences

Imran Khan (, Erin McMurray (

Mission Statement

The department of Life Sciences (at MXC) provides students with a high-quality education focusing on biological principles and apprising students about current issues in life sciences and healthcare.                                

Our teaching philosophy
We value and respect contribution from all learners.
We provide rigorous curricula that are rooted in assessment-driven best practices.
We foster critical thinking skills through scientific inquires and solving authentic cases.
We strive to engage students with meaningful activities, stimulating discussions and impactful research.
We cultivate the awareness of global concerns and actions in our local communities.               

Courses we offer

Courses offered at MXC Life Sciences include Biology courses for majors, i.e. Biology 121 (or Biology I) and Biology 122 (or Biology II), and for non-majors, i.e. Biology 114 and Biology 115.                          

Additionally, we offer Anatomy and Physiology I & II (Biology 226 & 227), in one-year sequence, with a total of 8 credit hours and an Introductory Anatomy and Physiology (Biology 116, 4 credit hours total) for health sciences-bound students.                       

General Microbiology 233 is also a part of our course offerings, as well as other elective courses such as Human Cadaver Anatomy (Bio 130 & 131), Biochemistry (Bio 209) and Vertebrate Embryology (Bio 240).                       

Laboratory work accompanies each of above mentioned courses. 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.                

Finally, in addition to lab courses listed above, we also offer courses without a lab component such as Biology 120 (Medical Terminology) and Biology 107 (Nutrition).                       

Technology in classroom/lab

Our classes are held in the new MXC campus with a student to instructor ratio of ~ 30:1.  Each classroom/lab is equipped with the cutting edge Smart Podium presentation technology.                      

Computer-assisted data collection/analysis technology, e.g.  Vernier technology, is adopted in Biology 114,115, 121, 116, 226, and 227. Vernier Technology integrates probeware, data loggers, sensors and graphing/analysis software into a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum to develop the next generation of scientists.                   

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. More recently, we have adopted Visible Body digital atlas, a cross-platform mobile-device friendly Anatomy and Physiology 3D rendering software, which puts this powerful interactive learning tool at students' fingertip.                  

We also benefit from various partnerships. With the support from MXC health science programs, our students have experienced virtual patient technology in classroom. Rush Medical School has generously sponsored our student visits to their human cadaver labBio 227 students use a virtual patient in lab                    

Various real time assessment technologies, such as REEF/iClicker or Plickers, are widely adopted in all Biology courses.  These classroom response systems are used during lectures to increase student involvement and give instant feedback to instructors.                   

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
Student Research Opportunities (coming soon in 2018)

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 in Spring 2019)​              

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.





Faculty & Staff

Name​ Phone Email Office/Workstation
​Marcela Bernal MS ​(312) 850-7419 ​mbernal-munera ​2401-082
Chiju Chen, PhD (Assessment Liaison) (312) 850-7481 chuang16 2401-083
Peter Grudzien, PhD ​(312) 850-4570 ​pgrudzien ​2401N
Tracie Hudson ​ ​(312) 850-7480 ​thudson ​2401-079
Azmia Javed, MD (312) 850-7418 ajaved6 2401-086
Imran Khan MD (Co-Chair) (312) 850-7237 ikhan36 2401-080
Ryan Manow PhD (Adjunct Coord) ​(312) 850-7219 ​rmanow ​2401-091
Erin McMurray PhD (TAP) (Co-chair) ​(312) 850-4569 ​emcmurray ​2401K
Albert Reba ​(312)-850-7417 ​areba ​2401-085
​Ghulam Saadat, MD (ASC Liaison) ​(312) 850- 3546 ​gsaadat ​2401-088
Avni Thaci MD ​(312) 850-7416 ​athaci ​2401-084
Minxiu Wang, PhD (312) 850-7418 mwang17 2401-077
Sheila Michelle Wicks (312) 850-7482
swicks2 2401-089
Victoria Walker, CCAII (312) 850-7337 vwalker7 2401-067
Carlos Chavez, Proj. Coord. (312) 850-7485 cchavez58 3413
Michael Hanrahan, Proj. Coord.    (312) 850-7485 mhanrahan1 3413

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Contact Information

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

Check with faculty for their individual office hours.