Biology and Physiology of Aging (GERON 301)

This course will be a broad examination of the biological principles that cause aging and age-related disease.

Orientation Video

Concepts covered in this course include: how the rate of biological aging is measured, what mechanisms underlie cellular aging, genetic pathways that affect longevity in various organisms, and consideration of the implications of modulating the rate of aging and longevity. This course is intended for undergraduate students in a variety of majors.

Getting Started in Geron 301 Online

Welcome Enrolled Geron 301 Online Students!

I’m so glad you got in to this class!  Here is what you need to know to get started on the road to success in my class (read all 4 steps listed below).

Step 1: Orientation Video and Syllabus/Calendar

Mandatory ORIENTATION VIDEO for the Online Geron 301 Course
This mandatory, 10 minute, orientation video must be completed (watch the video and do what it asks you to do) by the first week of classes, even if you have successfully taken an online class before.  The orientation video will ask you to do several things in Canvas.  Keep in mind, you will not have access to Canvas until the week before class begins so you won’t be able to do all of the items asked of you in the video until that date!

  • To FIND the Mandatory Orientation Video, scroll down to the Orientation section on this page.
    Alternate methods: copy and paste this web address if the link to the orientation video didn’t work:
  • SYLLABUS & CALENDAR for the Geron 301 Online Classes
    Please print a hard copy of the Geron 301 Online Class Syllabus and Calendar
    You will refer to this syllabus and calendar while you watch the Orientation Video.
  • DUE DATE:  First Friday of Week 1.
    If you do not complete the tasks in the orientation video by the first Friday of the semester you may be dropped from the course.


Step 2: Login to Canvas:

Step 3:  Purchase or Rent the Required TEXTBOOK

As mentioned in the orientation video above, you will ABSOLUTELY need the Textbook for this class.  I don’t have a preference for where you get it or how you get it (legally of course) but get it!
Textbook Title:  Biology of Aging
Author:  Roger McDonald
ISBN 10: 0815342136

  • I went to and entered Biology of Aging Roger McDonald and I found that you can rent the book for only $12 or you can buy it used for $45.   In the past students have used Chegg and other textbook rental places successfully as well.  I will provide Chapter 1 to you for free (as a pdf) so you can have a bit more time while your book ships.
  • Our SCC bookstore has it for $82 used and $110 new.

Step 4:  Make sure you know what you’re getting into!

Online Classes are not any “harder” than traditional face to face classes but they require you to be on time and on track for the whole semester!  I’ll be reminding about what is coming but if you don’t login to Canvas, you won’t even see my reminders!  Make sure you know what you are getting into and that you’re ready to stay on top of things so you can earn the grade you want!
Are online classes right for me??? If you are wondering that, please click here: Distance Education Page.  Also consider going through these “readiness modules” that get you ready to take an online course!  Readiness

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • describe the basic concepts in the biology of aging.
  • evaluate the tools and techniques available for measuring biological aging.
  • describe cellular aging and how that differs from organismal aging.
  • demonstrate an understanding of what factors influence human longevity and which interventions impact lifespan.
  • analyze the diseases of aging and their most common causes.
  • discuss possibilities for the future of bio gerontology and aging.