Biochemistry: DNA, RNA, and Protein Synthesis
He presented RNA metabolism, translation and post-tln modification, which was fairly straightforward (LS2). His test wasn't too hard, a few strangely worded questions but you could get the gist of what he was asking you. His presentations are very thorough and he asks if there are questions after each slide. Sometimes he also forces people to ask questions to prove they understand, which is annoying because he'll wait till someone finally comes up with something redundant but I guess it sort of helps some people. He was very enthusiastic and friendly, though I never went to office hours. not too bad...
Fall 2022 - I found the material in this class really interesting because it tied a lot into my research, but otherwise I think it could be overwhelming, there is a lot of content. Class grading is based off of 2 midterms and 1 final, they are all a mix of matching/multiple choice, short answer, and interpreting experimental results. I thought the first midterm would be super easy because it covered the least content, but it was actually pretty tough -- I think sometimes the prof will try to make questions harder by providing poor/unclear images that you need to identify. My biggest tip for the exams would be to make a good "cheat sheet", be familiar with experimental techniques, and BE SPECIFIC when answering questions to avoid losing easy points. Also READ the questions, as sometimes he will almost make them trick questions -- be sure you know exactly what the question is asking for, and sometimes even one single word can mean a different question is being asked. The exams are not cumulative, which was nice, but there is a lot of content. Some of the experimental questions can be difficult as well, so make sure you know the mechanisms/pathways well. I also found that this class did not really have a big focus on mechanisms/molecular structure in the sense that 153A did, rather it emphasizes certain chemical elements in structures that are important, and large-scale pathways for DNA/RNA. So I didn't find it helpful to learn traditional ochem mechanisms, even though they were presented in class. I would recommend this class if you are interested in things like DNA/RNA repair, transcription, translation, etc. The prof. does a good job of responding to emails, and tries to make class engaging, although some of his jokes are a little cheesy. The last part of the class came from participation (discussion sections and class attendance).
I am currently taking him right now. He is yet another fantastic professor. He knows his shit WELL. He has a great sense of humor and the midterms are fair. There are no trick questions or anything. His office hours are VERY helpful too. 3 midterms 1 final (3rd midterm is given at the same time as the final) 2 homework assignments 2 articles
Winter 2022 - Biochemistry is a foul but necessary evil. Feigon absolutely loves what she does and she's very accomplished in her field, so she expects a lot from her students in turn. Grading was based on exams, quizzes on 2 papers, and problem sets. There were 3 exams (2 midterm + final) that were 99% short answer questions. Exams were a mixture of straight memorization-based and application questions. As for the paper quizzes, just understand what she emphasizes in her lectures on them and you'll be fine. In order to do well in this class, you need to make sure you're following the concepts as they're introduced. Don't just attend lecture and forget to review, otherwise you will be 3 days before the midterm with 15 lectures' worth memorization ahead of you. The content isn't that easy either, so take time to go back on what was covered and REALLY UNDERSTAND it. There is a logical flow to the lectures as a topic is covered, so it's not like you're randomly reviewing stuff. The main topics were DNA and RNA structure, DNA replication (prokaryotic and eukaryotic), transcription (prok + euk), and translation (prok+ euk). Feigon is kind of strict and intimidating, but don't let it stop you from going to office hours and asking clarifying questions. Good luck!
Summer 2020 - Pretty straightforward class. She advises students to read the textbooks, but overall the lecture slides are really straightforward and so are her tests (so you don't need to read any books, she won't be testing anything not in her slides). I got through the class just watching all her lectures on 2x and paying attention. She had iClickers during class for participation, but you can honestly just hop on the iClicker reef website and hit the answers while working on something else. She offered extra credit points if you answered/asked questions on the forum so that's a plus. Going into her first midterm, I was definitely a bit anxious since there were no previous tests for practice (I think she's new?). However, her tests are very straight to the point and very doable if you paid attention and took decent notes on everything she mentions (no curveballs!). The sections with Chris Caro were great too, he just provided us the answers to the problem sets and helped out if anyone had questions (really chill guy). If you want to do well, I'd say watch her lectures 2x, answer all the problem sets and compare your answers to Chris's key, and follow along her test guidelines through your notes. Yeah sometimes she may be a little strict in some regard, but it's to keep us on schedule. Highly recommend!
arguably, one of the best prof at UCLA. He is a great lecturer but midterms were SO HARD (avg 45 and 50).. you need to go to lecture in order to get an A because a lot of the stuff that he talks about is not in the book. Final was surprisingly a lot easier than midterm. I just wished the class wasn't at 8am so i would be more awake to listen to him because his lectures are interesting and he is absolutely good at teaching. would i recommend him? yes, if you really want to learn the material. If you just want to get thru 153B and get good grade, take someone else