FSU Biology - Biology In London

Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

Biology In London Program, Summer 2023

NOTICE! Application deadline for the College of Arts & Sciences Study Abroad Scholarship is November 11. See details at the bottom of this page.

If you tried to attend the Information Fair via Zoom and were unable to, we apologize for the technical problem. Zoom technical support was unable to fix the internal error before the Fair started. We have posted the entire 80 minute recording of the Fair, hosted by Program Coordinator Dr. Scott Steppan, instructors Dr. James Fadool and Dr. Debra Ann Fadool, and International Programs Manager Becca Piers, below. In addition, the Powerpoint presentation can also be downloaded here:

Biology in London Program Fair 2022 PowerPoint
Biology in London Program Fair Video Recording

NOTICE! Application deadline for the College of Arts & Sciences Study Abroad Scholarship is November 11. See details at the bottom of this page.

Program Description

The Biology in London Program offers classes that are designed to take advantage of the London environment, from historical locations relevant to the development of the fields covered in the classes to world-renown institutions and museums, several of which can provide behind the scenes access. Each student will take two upper-division classes that contribute to satisfying either required courses or the electives graduation requirement. This summer, two courses required for the major will be offered sequentially – General Genetics and Human Physiology. Studying abroad has many special benefits for students, from increasing cultural awareness, to unique learning opportunities, and personal and professional development.

The Biology in London Program will take advantage of the London environment, from historical locations relevant to the development of the fields covered in the classes to world-renowned institutions and museums, several of which can provide behind the scenes and hands-on access. Each summer students will take two upper-division classes that contribute to satisfying required courses or elective graduation requirement. By utilizing London and its resources directly in the class (via field trips to museums, centers, and historical sites), students engage in a much more immersive and enriching experience. Class sizes are small; this summer we expect 18-30 students. In addition to the excursions for the class, students in the program will participate in the numerous social activities with the Broad Curriculum students. These include a trip to the theater, weekly day trips to locations in and near London, Friday night pizza dinners, and a weekend (3-day) trip to another region of the UK, such as Bath, York, or Liverpool.

Biology in London is focused on biology majors, but other life sciences majors and non-majors are welcome to enroll. The pre-requisites include successfully passing BSC 2010/L & BSC 2011/L and CHM 1045/L & CHM 1046/L by the conclusion of the Spring 2023 semester. The London program classes will be taught in two sequential four-week sessions: 5/9/23 - 6/05/23 and 6/8/23 - 7/5/23.

FSU International Programs has full details on the Program here.

Course Descriptions for Summer 2022:

General Genetics: General Genetics is an introduction to the principles of transmission and molecular genetics of prokaryotes and eukaryotes and significance of these principles to other aspects of biological science. General Genetics is a required course for majors in Biological Science and a prerequisite of many 4000 level Biology courses including Human Physiology, and strongly recommended for others interested in careers in medicine or allied health professions. The formal objectives are to provide undergraduate students with an understanding of the fundamental concepts of genetics and molecular biology, and the ability to solve problems and interpret results. The course will be divided into modules which cover the essential information as well as take advantage of the unique setting of London to explore advances in human health, evolutionary theory, conservation biology, and politics. Each module will be paired with a field trip to immerse students in a range of experiences to provide an historical perspective as well as exposure to modern investigations. Students will be actively engaged in the discussions, they will participate in collaborative projects and for the later part of the course, active learning by selecting course material and peer-to-peer learning.
Students will be exposed to and immersed in the culture of London from many different perspectives. Each module will be accompanied by an excursion that reinforces the major theme of the module, places the students into the historical context of genetic advances, or adds a contemporary application of the information. During the module on Mendelian genetics, a field trip to Charles Darwin’s home (Down House), a contemporary of Mendel, will provide a glimpse of the wonder of scientific endeavors in the mid nineteenth as well as the limitation of science to a select few of the English gentry. Tours of the Francis Crick Institute and meetings with scientists from King’s College and University College London will highlight the technological underpinnings of genetic investigations, the human genome project, gene therapies, and the ever-growing methodologies for manipulating genes that have propelled a field fundamental to all areas of biology but also raise a new round of ethical concerns. Students will be reminded that genetics is not limited to a field of study but rather reminds us of the reciprocal interaction between science, history, policies and culture with day trips to The Science Museum and The Royal Society of Physicians.

Instructor: Dr. James M. Fadool

Dr. James Fadool is a Professor of Biology who works to understand the genetic and molecular mechanisms regulating development of the nervous system and degenerative disease that affect vision. Following graduate training in cancer biology at Michigan State University, James completed fellowships at the University of Florida and Harvard University. Over a 30-year period, James has taught genetics at many levels and in various settings including Human Genetics for non-science majors, General Genetics and Developmental Genetics for Biology majors and advanced training for graduate students and fellows at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA. He lived in London during a sabbatical study at the University of College London and is looking forward to instructing in the London Program and immersing students in the culture of the city.

Human Physiology: This course in Human Physiology will be an organ system approach with the objective to comprehend regulatory balance or homeostasis of the collective and active processes of the body as “the machine”. We will cover the nervous system (brain electrophysiology experiments at the University of College London with Dr. Pedarzani), muscle and skeletal systems (Hunterian Museum Royal College of Surgeons, Bone Regeneration Exhibit), the heart and circulatory system (Royal College of Physicians, Human Veins, Nerves, Arteries Section), the respiratory system (Old Operating Theatre Museum, Discovery of Anesthesia), the urinary (Garden of World Medicine in the Chelsea Physic Garden, Discovery of Pharmaceutics) and digestive systems (British Dental Association), the endocrine system (Welcome Collection Museum - Obesity/Metabolism Exhibit), and reproduction (Florence Nightingale Museum – Nursing Division). In the international setting, the professor and students will engage in daily didactic lectures and small discussion groups with assigned group projects designed for specified excursions, experiments or collections twice a week.

Students will not only be exposed to the culture of London because each organ system is paired with an activity twice a week in the city; but also, the students will be exposed to application of physiology to medicine, world health, and the profession of a physiologist/scientist. In addition to the planned excursions,seminars, and experiments above, as a neuroscientist with a specialty in the function of the brain, I would expose students to fields aligned with this specialty including neuropsychology (Sigmoid Freud House), electricity and magnetism (Faraday Museum – where they will see contrast between early 1800s physics and that of 21st century studies in a nanotechnology laboratory), anatomy (Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy). These types of opportunities will be undertaken on the weekend through special assignments by working in partner groups that will report back to the classroom midweek. On each of the five Friday mornings, students will undertake examinations that evaluate their synthesis of both the classroom- and city-acquired knowledge of physiology & medicine, and then in the afternoon on each of the five Fridays, they will have the free opportunity to engage in English culture, both past and present – namely – Great Inventors (Ben Franklin House), Evolution (Down House/Charles Darwin), Music/Religion (John Wesley House), Literature (John Keats House), and Society (British Museum High Tea).

Instructor: Dr. Debra Ann Fadool

Dr. Debra Ann Fadool is a physiologist who explores how obesity affects the function of the nervous system, particularly with regards to sensory systems and brain communication. She is an expert in electrophysiological approaches of brain recordings and how potassium channels regulate excitability. Debra received her PhD in Zoology from the University of Florida, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Marine Laboratory and completed postdoctoral training at Brandeis University, Massachusetts. She has participated in several off-campus studies – as an undergraduate scholar at the West Indies Laboratory, St. Croix, where she studied marine biology and at the Marine Biological Laboratories, Cape Cod, MA, where she studied Neurobiology. She has lived in London during a sabbatical study at the University of College London and is looking forward to instructing in the London experience and taking advantage of the resources of the city.


  • Fee: $12,505
  • Fees include all registration costs, housing, instruction, excursions and social activities, London transport pass, scheduled group pick-up at airport, full time academic and administrative support, health insurance.
  • Fees do not include round-trip international airfare, passport, entry visa, food (outside social activities as noted), books and supplies, personal travel/activity/ spending money, university-assessed fees (e.g., per credit hour technology fee).

Important Dates and Further Information:

  • new Biology in London Program Information Fair on Friday September 23 (see above
  • IP Study Abroad Fair on Landis Green (TBA, in October)
  • Registration is open NOW!
  • Application fee: $100 (separate from program cost)
  • IP Scholarship Application Deadline: January 9, 2023
  • Commitment Fee Deadline: January 18, 2023 ($1500, included in program cost)
  • Final Payment Deadline: February 15, 2023

The $4,000 Study Abroad Scholarship is available to students in the College of Arts and Sciences who are participating in a FSU Study Abroad Program offered through the International Programs Office. Apply by going to https://fsu.academicworks.com/, search for “College of Arts and Sciences Study Abroad Awards – Summer Semester Abroad.” Information about the scholarship opportunity is available on the college’s website and from the Program Director, Melissa Ray at (850) 644-4949.

Biological Science advising office: advisor@bio.fsu.edu and https://www.bio.fsu.edu/undergrad/advising.php

Program Coordinator: Dr. Scott Steppan (steppan@bio.fsu.edu)

Instructors for 2023: