BME 218 Directed Evolution (2014-2015)

BME 218 Directed Evolution

(Not required for any major.)
Catalog Data:

BME 218 Directed Evolution (Credit Units: 4) Directed evolution harnesses the process of Darwinian evolution for biomolecular engineering goals. This class will begins with fundamental principles in evolutionary biology and move on to the experimental evolution techniques and their applications. Graduate students only. (Design units: 0)

Required Textbook:
Recommended Textbook:
Relationship to Student Outcomes
No student outcomes specified.
Course Learning Outcomes. Students will:

1. This course will provide the graduate student in Biomedical Engineering with the knowledge and understanding of how evolutionary principles and ideas can be applied to bimolecular engineering.

2. Define bimolecular engineering problems. (

3. Understand engineering principles behind directed evolution systems and applications.

4. Understand methods and techniques of directed evolution.

5. Critically analyze current literature in the field. (

5. Critically analyze current literature in the field.

6. Develop and design new experiments in bimolecular engineering using evolutionary techniques.

Prerequisites by Topic

Basic Math and Statistics, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Organic Chemistry

Lecture Topics:
  • Overview of directed evolution – concepts, goals, utility
  • The stuff of evolution – Biopolymers
  • Principles of molecular evolution – amplification, mutation, selection
  • How to generate mutation
  • Selection systems
  • RNA evolution
  • Protein and antibody engineering by directed evolution
  • Enzyme engineering by directed evolution
  • Cellular engineering by directed evolution
  • Studying evolutionary principles through direct evolution
Class Schedule:

Meets for 3 hours of lecture each week for 10 weeks.

Computer Usage:


Laboratory Projects:


Professional Component
Design Content Description
Laboratory Portion:
Grading Criteria:
  • Class participation: 50%
  • Final Exam: 50%
  • Total: 100%
Estimated ABET Category Content:

Mathematics and Basic Science: 0.0 credit units

Computing: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Topics: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Science: 0.0 credit units

Engineering Design: 0.0 credit units

May 28, 2014
Senate Approved:
April 25, 2014
Approved Effective:
2014 Fall Qtr