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Prof. Mariam B. Sticklen, PhD.






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Contact Information

(517)-255-0271 ext.1177 (Office).

(517)-230-2929 (Cell).

ext. 1104 (Secretary).

(517)-353-5174 (Fax).


Editorial & Advisory Board Membership of Refereed Journals

Editorial Board Member International Agronomy Journal

Advisory Board Member. The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI)'s Sustainable Fuels, Chemicals and Energy. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining (Biofpr)

Editorial Board member, International Journal of Agronomy: of Plant Genetics & Transgenics (PGT) and/or AgroCrops Sciences (ACS). Also,

New Editorial Board member, J. Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology. OMICS Publishing Group

Present Council & Liaison Roles at Michigan State University

Faculty Council

Athletic Council

Executive Committee for Academic Council

Faculty Liaison to the Board of Trustees



Download CSS 491 syllabus.

Download CSS 222/ENT syllabus.

Download CSS 222/ENT General Info.

CSS 491

Biotechnology: Demystifying the Concepts/CSS 491 (3 credits)


  1. An Introduction to Living Organisms (Week One; Ch. 1)

    1. Cells and cellular organization

    2. Biomolecules and chemical forces important to biomolecules

  1. Molecular Biology: The Flow of Information Within Cells (Week One; Ch. 2)

    1. DNA structure

    2. DNA function

    3. Gene and its major regulatory sequences

    4. Transcription and translation

    5. DNA replication

    6. Issues and discussions: Who owns our genes?

III. Chromosomes, Cell Division and Sexual Reproduction (Week One; Ch. 3, Ch. 4)

  1. Cell division

  2. Eukaryotic cell cycle

  3. Mitosis

  4. Cytokinesis

  5. Mitosis in context

  6. Sexual reproduction

  7. Genetic differences between sexes

  8. Issues and discussions: Genes, behavior and Prejudice

Mid-Term #1

IV. Mutations and Genetic Diseases (Week Two; Ch. 5, Ch. 6)

a. Gene-level mutations

b. Environmental mutagens

c. Mutations and the flow of information

d. Chromosome-level mutations

e. deletions

f. translocations

g. Issues and discussions: Can knowledge of genetic makeup create stigmas?

V. Biological Control (Week Two; Ch. 7)

a. Regulation of metabolism

b. Control of gene expression

c. Cellular communication

d. specificity of molecular interactions

e. Signal transduction

f. Disease: the loss of biological control

g. Issues and discussions: Ethics in biotechnology

VI. Antibodies (Week Two; Ch. 12)

  1. Polyclonal antibodies

  2. Monoclonal antibodies

  3. Issues and discussions: Animal right groups and biotechnology

VII. Cloning of Genes, Genetic Engineering, Genetic Therapy, Genome-To-Life (GTL) project and synthetic biology (Week Three; Ch. 8, Ch. 9, Ch. 10)

  1. Cloning: How and why?

  2. Genetic engineering: Microbes, plants and animals

  3. Cell therapy and gene therapy

  4. Human genome project, GTL and synthertic biology

  5. Issues and Discussions: Concerns, ethics and risks

VIII. Visit Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory (Week Three)

IX. Immunology (Week Four; Ch. 11)

    1. Defense

    2. Cells that kill invading microbes

    3. Antimicrobial proteins

    4. Inflammatory, fever and immune responses

    5. Immune system

    6. Examples of infectious diseases (Cancers, HIV) and vaccines

    7. Issues and discussions: Evolution of cures versus development of new diseases

X. Aids, HIV and Cancer (Week Four; Ch. 13, Ch. 14)

X). Bioremediation, Biofuel and Biopharma (Week Four; Movie and Slide Show)

    1. Bioremediation

    2. Biotechnology of alcohol fuels and biodisel

    3. Biotech drugs

    4. Biopharma

    5. Issues and discussions: Gene flow, ecological concerns and more

Final Exam


CSS 222


New Horizons in Biotechnology/CSS/ENT 222 (2 credits)

Introduction,Terminology, Isolate DNA from Students Saliva & a Short Movie: Biotechnology for the 21st Century 

II. Biotechnology in Plant Sciences 

a) New breeders and the green revolution 

b) In vitro culture, somaclonal variation and somatic hybridization

c) Plant disease diagnosis

d) Gene identification, isolation and characterization

e) Methods in genetic engineering of plants

f) Gene deletion, gene addition and gene improvement

g) Genetic engineering of plants to increase resistance to pests and environmental extremes, improve food quality and taste, increase yield and productivity, increase post harvest life time, crop substitutions, increase starch, and biofuel production

h) Jumping genes in plants

i) Genetic marker analysis to supplement plant breeding

III. Concerns in Biotechnology 

IV. Genes and How They Work 

V. Visit Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory 

VI. Biotechnology in Food Sciences 

a) Genetically modified food

b) Biotechnological innovations in food processing

c) Biotechnology and food ingredients

d) Biotechnology and nutrition

e) Biotechnology, low fat and cholesterol, low calorie, healthy food alternatives

f) Biotechnology, flavor, fragrance and color

g) A garden of unearthly delights: Foods of the future

VII. Biotechnology in Environmental Sciences 

a) Bioremediation.

b) Bioconversion of hazardous waste to industrial products

c) Role of microorganisms in reducing farm runoff and water pollution

d) Role of microorganisms in reducing application of synthetic pesticides

e) Role of microorganisms in production of biodegradable plastics

VIII. Biotechnology in Veterinary and Animal Sciences

a) Biotechnology for animal health

b) Veterinary drug therapy

c) U.S. Dairy industry at a crossroad

d) Transgenic animals/super pigs of the future

e) Livestock cloning

IX. Biotechnology in Medical Sciences 

a) Biotechnology of antibiotics

b) Monoclonal antibodies (pregnancy test kits, disease diagnosis kits, etc)

c) Antibody engineering 

d) Novel microbial products for medicine

e) Growth factors of nervous systems

f) Artificial conception and human reproduction

g) Biotechnology and blood substitute

h) Biotechnology, vaccines and world health

i) Biotechnology and diagnostic medicine

j) Biotechnology, sex identification of infants, and sex therapy

k) Biotechnology and growth therapy

l) Synthesizing human genes

m) Mapping the human genome

X. Biotechnology in Pharmaceutical Sciences

a) Role of the magic bacterium in biopharmacy

b) The billion-dollar molecule

c) Bioactive compounds from microorganisms

Mid-Term Exam on Ch. I to X 

XI. Visit to MBI International 

XII. Biotechnology and Energy 

a) Alternative Fuels

b) Enzymes in biomass conversion

c) Genetically engineered oil crops

d) Biotechnology and bioactive polymers

XIII. Marine Biotechnology

a) Biotechnology and oceanic organisms

b) Marine aquaculture

XIV. Biotechnology in Engineering Sciences 

Biotechnology and bioprocessing, bioprocess engineering and chemical engineering

Biotechnology for aerospace applications

c) Revolution in nanotechnology

d) Biotechnology and mining

e) Bioelectronics/biocomputers

f) Biotechnology and engineering ceramics

g) Molecular bioinformatics/artificial intelligence

h) Biosensors

i) Bioprocess engineering/biochemical engineering

XV. Biotechnology and Economics 

a) Careers in biotechnology

b) Biotechnology and capital formation

c) Biotechnology and the global economy

XVI. Biotechnology and Law 

a) Biotechnology in criminal justice

b) Biotechnology and patents

c) Biotechnology and licensing agreements

d) Biotechnology, state and federal regulation

XVII. Biotechnology in Developed versus Developing Countries 

Biotechnology USA, Japan, Europe and Canada

Biotechnology in Africa

c) Biotechnology in India

d) Biotechnology in Middle East and in Far East

e) Biotechnology in other less developed countries

f) Socioeconomic implications of biotechnology for less developed nations

Term Papers Due Lst Day of Classes

Exam on Ch. XI to XVII 


CSS 222/ENT (2 credits)

New Horizons in Biotechnology

Friday 10:20 AM to 12 PM

Room A101 PSSB


This course is designed for undergraduate students with little or no background in plant sciences. It is intended to impart a broad understanding of the present and future applications of biotechnology for safer food production, modern engineering, environment quality, and improved human health. Also discussed will be the impacts of biotechnology on the national economy, developing countries, and the political and ethical ramifications of applied biotechnology.


1. Review of the historical roots of biotechnology from traditional methods through modern evolution in plant and human genome mapping and genetic engineering.

2. Examination of new advances in genetic engineering of plants to: reduce pesticide application, increase yield and productivity, and use plants as biofactories to produce pharmaceutical products, fuels, biodegradable plastics, etc.

3. Familiarization with the roles of biotechnology in livestock improvement and modern medicine, as well as in microbial biotechnology.

4. Discussion of the applications of biotechnology for improving food safety and enhancing environmental quality.

5. Discussion of controversies and concerns about the application of biotechnology.

6. Tour certain biotechnology laboratories and witness actual processes.

Reading Materials:

Instructor will provide handouts from several books and/or journal articles. Students are encouraged to review references listed at the end of each hand out (book chapters mainly). 

Exams and Grading System

Four Quizzes 20%

Term Paper (5 pg. minimum with valid references.) 20%

Mid-Term Exam#1 30%

Final Exam (will not include those subjects covered in ExamI) 30%

Notes: Quizzes and exams include comprehensive, multiple choice and/or true or false questions.

There will be no make-up quizzes or exams. Emergency/ exceptional cases may be accepted for make-up exams.

Office Hours: Please E-mail at for office appointment.