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Histology (Biology 437)
Spring 2014


Instructor: Dr. James A. Strauss T, R  9:05-9:55AM

114 Mueller Lab                 104 Thomas Bldg


OFFICE HOURS: M, W 9:30-10:30 or by appointment

Date                       Lecture No.                                 Topic                                                   Reading

Jan.          14                   1              Introduction, Microscopy, Sections, Staining                         Ch. 1, 2            16         2                Tissue Outline                     Ch. 3, 4

                                                      Wed Labs only (Lab 1)


                21                   3              Tissue Outline / Integument                                              Ch.  5, 6, 7

                23                   4              Integument                                                                          Ch. 9

                                                      Lab 1: Tissue Classification

                                                      Lab 2: Epithelial tissue and Integument


                28                   5              Bone and Cartilage                                                             Ch. 10  

                30                   6              Bone and Cartilage                                                             Ch. 10

                                                      Lab 2: Epithelial Tissue and Integument

                                                      Lab 3: Connective Tissue


Feb           4                   7              Blood                                                                                  Ch. 3

                 6                   8              Lymphatic and Immune System                                           Ch. 11

                                                      Lab 3: Connective Tissue

                                                      Lab 4: Lymphatic and Muscle Tissue


                11                   9              Muscle                                                                                Ch. 6   

                13                  10             Nervous System                                                               Ch. 7, 20

                                                      Lab 5: Nervous System Tissue

                                                      Review Lab


                18                  11             Nervous System                                                               Ch. 7, 20

                20                  12             Circulatory System                                                              Ch. 8

                                                      Review Lab /  FIRST LAB EXAM Tues. Evening (Feb 18)

                                                      Lab 6: Circulatory System


                25                  13             Circulatory System                                                               Ch. 8

                27                  14             Digestive System                                                               Ch. 15

                                                      Lab 7: Oral GI  System

                                                      Lab 8: Upper GI/Esophagus


Mar.          4                   15             FIRST LECTURE EXAM                                                         

                6                   16             Digestive System                                                             Ch. 13, 14

                                                      Lab 9: Stomach and Small Intestine

                                                      Lab 10: Small and Large Intestine


                10-14                              SPRING BREAK!


                18                  17             Digestive System                                                             Ch. 14, 15            20         18                Digestive System                                       Ch. 14, 15

                                                      Lab 11: Accessory Digestive Glands

                                                      Review Lab


                25                  19             Respiratory System                                                            Ch. 12   27         20                Respiratory System         Ch. 12

                                                      Review Lab SECOND LAB EXAM Tues. Evening (Mar 25)

                                                      Lab 12: Respiratory System


April            1                 21             Urinary System                                                                   Ch. 16

                  3                 22             Urinary System                                                                   Ch. 16

                                                      Lab 13: Urinary System

                                                      Lab 14: Female Reproductive System



April            8                 23             Reproductive System                                                          Ch. 18 

                10                  24             Reproductive System                                                          Ch. 19

                                                      Lab 15: Male Reproductive System

                                                      Lab 16: Endocrine System


                15                  25             Endocrine System                                                                           Ch. 17

                17                  26             Endocrine System                                                                           Ch. 17

                                                      Lab 17: Special Sense

                                                      Review Lab


                22                  27             Endocrine System                                                                           Ch. 17

                24                  28             Special Senses                                                                   Ch. 21

                                                      Review Lab

                                                      Review Lab THIRD LAB EXAM Thurs. Evening (Apr 24)


                29                  29             Special Senses                                                                   Ch. 21

May          1                  30             Special Senses                                                                   Ch. 21



May          5-9                                 FINAL LECTURE EXAM (SCHEDULED DURING FINALS WEEK )



Course Text:

 Lecture and Lab Text: Wheater’s Functional Histology, Young, Heath, 5th edition, 2006, 

Churchill Livingstone Publishing.  

Bio 437 Lecture Note and Laboratory Packet: Strauss, 2014, available through the Student Bookstore


Course Description: 

The purpose of this course is to give students a visual and conceptual understanding of histology, the microanatomy of body cells, tissues, and organs.  The laboratory portion of the course will use microscopes to investigate actual histology slides of body tissue, along with digital images and computer programs for review purposes. 


Learning Objectives: 

The goal is for students to learn to visually identify the major cells, tissues, and organs of the body, using microscope slides, photographs, and digital images, by the end of the course.  The second goal is for students to acquire a functional understanding on how cell, tissue, and organ structure relates to body function. To that end, portions of lectures will emphasize cell, organ, and system physiology along with pathology effects on the microanatomy caused by disease processes.  Please note that although some courses teach histology using digital images and computer programs exclusively, in real life, patients and pathology labs rarely deliver digital images of tissues to be evaluated and analyzed. For that reason, the course instructor believes that the use of a microscope to evaluate slide preparations continues to be an important skill.   


Course Preparation:  

The text, Wheater’s Functional Histology, was chosen because it has excellent text, micrographs, and diagrams.  It is also a text used by many medical school programs.  For economy and to encourage lecture attendance, there is not a separate lecture textbook.  Outlines for lectures are available in the note packet and you will be held responsible for reading all assigned chapters in the atlas and understanding this information for both lecture and lab exams.  Some lecture information may not be covered by the text.  I will supply students with additional readings and handouts for these topics and it is expected that you pay particular attention to the details presented in these lectures.


Course Grading: 

Please note, our college enforces an Academic Integrity Policy.  You are responsible for reviewing this policy and following the conduct criteria.  ( 

Additionally, our college has adopted a “Code of Mutual Respect and Cooperation Policy” that outlines positive student behaviors and personal conduct expectations. It is available for your review at

Additionally, all slides and histology course materials are to remain in laboratory.  Students caught removing or destroying these materials will receive an F grade for the course and be turned over to the university disciplinary board for appropriate action.  Your final course grade is based on 275 possible points as seen in the breakdown listed below. Lecture exams will use a multiple choice format and lab exams practical (identification and naming).  Please note, due to the building block effect of histology, a cumulative understanding of laboratory material will be necessary.  The final lab exam will be cumulative and contain material from all slides seen in the course.  If necessary, the final course grade will be adjusted to a class mean of 75% and as in all Penn State courses, the plus/minus grading system will be used for final course grades.  Dr. Strauss reserves the right to change examination dates.  If this becomes necessary, students will be given a 1 week notice of any schedule change. Because laboratory exams are time consuming to set up, students must arrange for any excused absences for examinations (especially lab exams) and make arrangements with Dr. Strauss or their teaching assistant  for a make-up exam .


Lecture Exam 1: 50 points

Lecture Exam 2: 50 points

Laboratory Exam 1: 50 points

Laboratory Exam 2: 50 points 

Laboratory Exam 3: 75 points

275 points



Dr. Strauss reads his e-mail daily ( and students can use this communication tool to obtain brief answers to limited questions on course content (laundry lists will not be addressed) as well as alert Dr. Strauss to attendance issues, exam scoring errors, or other personal issues dealing with the course.  Students are encouraged to visit Dr. Strauss in person to discuss with more extensive study, concept, grading, advising, or personal issues.  Dr. Strauss also answers his phone!  If you send Dr. Strauss an e-mail, please put “Bio 437” in the subject, so your e-mail is not discarded as spam.  Turn around time is usually within a day; be aware that if your e-mail was not answered, it could be that it was inadvertently discarded by a filter, so please try again.  Please consider that e-mail questions asked the evening before an exam might not be answered before taking the exam; so plan to ask questions in a timely manner!  


Disability Statement: 

“Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic adjustments in this course, contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) at 814-863-1807 (V/TTY). For further information regarding ODS, please visit the Office for Disability Services Web site (


In order to receive consideration for course accommodations, you must contact ODS and provide documentation.  See the documentation guidelines. ( If the documentation supports the need for academic adjustments, ODS will provide a letter identifying appropriate academic adjustments. Please share this letter and discuss the adjustments with your instructor as early in the course as possible. You must contact ODS and request academic adjustment letters at the beginning of each semester.”