Michael Harrington, BSc, PhD

Science Faculty Lecturer, Faculty of Science - Biological Sciences


Science Faculty Lecturer, Faculty of Science - Biological Sciences
(780) 438-3324
B-318 Bio Science - Botany Wing
11355 - Saskatchewan Drive
Edmonton AB
T6G 2E9



I have a BSc and a PhD from the University of British Columbia. My thesis supervisor was Dr. Thomas Grigilatti in the Department of Zoology.


Although I don't do research anymore, as an undergraduate and a graduate student I did classical and molecular genetics with fruit flies. I worked on position-effect variegation and chromatin structure. 


I teach cell biology courses (BIOL 107 and BIOL 201) and genetics courses (BIOL 207, GENET 302, GENET 305, and GENET 500). I also coordinate the BIOL 207 Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) program. I am a co-author of two textbooks: "Biological Sciences, third Canadian edition" (Pearson Canada) and "Open Genetics Lectures, Fall 2017 edition" (Open Source).


BIOL 107 - Introduction to Cell Biology

An introduction to cell structure and function. Major topics include the molecules and structures that comprise prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, the mechanisms by which energy is harvested and used by cells, how cells reproduce, and how information is stored and used within a cell via the processes of DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Prerequisites: Biology 30 and Chemistry 30. Note: BIOL 107 is not a prerequisite for BIOL 108. BIOL 107 and 108 can be taken in either term.

BIOL 201 - Eukaryotic Cellular Biology

A structural and functional dissection of a eukaryotic cell. Detection of specific molecules at the ultrastructural level; plasma membrane structure and function; cytoskeleton involvement in intracellular transport, mitosis, and cytokinesis; the endomembrane system, protein targeting, exocytosis and endocytosis; nuclear structure and function; cell cycle control and cancer. Prerequisite: BIOL 107 and a 100-level Chemistry course, or SCI 100. Note: Not to be taken by students with credit in CELL 201, in addition, not available to students currently enrolled in CELL 201.

BIOL 207 - Molecular Genetics and Heredity

The chromosomal and molecular basis for the transmission and function of genes. The construction of genetic and physical maps of genes and genomes. Strategies for the isolation of specific genes. Examples of regulatory mechanisms for the expression of the genetic material in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Prerequisite: BIOL 107 or SCI 100.

GENET 302 - Genetics of Eukaryotic Chromosomes

Analysis of how the nuclear chromosomes in multicellular eukaryotes are organized, inherited, studied, and manipulated. Topics typically include classical and current techniques, mouse genetics, epigenetics, sex chromosomes, dosage compensation, genomic imprinting, transposable elements, centromeres, telomeres, and stem cells. Prerequisite GENET 270.

GENET 304 - Gene Expression and its Regulation

The molecular biology of the processes by which the base sequence of genes is expressed as cellular phenotype will be examined. Emphasis will be placed upon the similarities and differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes and upon the mechanisms that regulate the operation of particular genes. Prerequisite: GENET 270.

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