Biology of Cells

Alvaro Sagasti

Biology of Cells

Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology department

Alvaro Sagasti

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from 16 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.8
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 2.6
Easy
Heavy
Workload 2.0
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 3.7
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 4.2
Helpful
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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Is Podcasted
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again

Textbooks

Cell and Molecular Biology, Binder Ready Version: Concepts and Experiments
Gerald Karp, Janet Iwasa, Wallace Marshall
ISBN: 9781118886144
View on Amazon
Bruinwalk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Grades

Winter 2017
23.8%
19.8%
15.9%
11.9%
7.9%
4.0%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2015
20.6%
17.1%
13.7%
10.3%
6.9%
3.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2014
20.5%
17.1%
13.7%
10.3%
6.8%
3.4%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2013
22.1%
18.4%
14.7%
11.0%
7.4%
3.7%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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1 of 2

Reviews

Quarter Taken: Winter 2019 Submitted April 26, 2019 Grade Received: B+

Dr. Sagasti is definitely very knowledgeable and he doesn't just give you the answer when you ask a question. He can go pretty fast during lectures, but office hours were definitely super helpful. However, this class definitely covered a ton of material so the final was very long. He likes to ask "make your own experiment" type questions so you need to know all the experimental techniques and how to analyze results. I was lacking in that area -- though I knew the techniques and results I would want, it was hard to put into the concise words that he wanted. Overall, learned a ton in this class.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2017 Submitted May 7, 2018 Grade Received: A

Great class for any MCDB major. He really gives you all the tools you need for later classes. The class is set up so that you start outside the cell, learn all the techniques of microscopy, then the plasma membrane, and the cytoplasm. (although we never talked about the nucleus in depth, which is probably for another class). The papers you read in this class really challenged a lot of knowledge I had acquired in previous classes. What I mean is that this class really goes in depth on things that you thought were simple, but were actually not how they seem. Anyways, the teacher is amazing. It is Bruincasted, which helped a lot. And the class was straight scaled. Study the lecture slides for the multiple choice, know the papers well for the free response questions.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2018 Submitted March 31, 2018 Grade Received: A

I really loved taking Cell Bio with Sagasti. Though he can speak really fast sometimes, his lectures are very passionate and detailed in a way that always made me excited about the material we were learning. He assigns a few scientific papers to read throughout the quarter, which is really daunting at first, but the TAs help you through it in discussion and it helped me become a lot more comfortable with primary literature. Questions from these papers make up the bulk of the short answer part of exams, so really know how to interpret the figures in each paper. The main helpful tip I can give about the exams is don't overcomplicate it - if the question seems too simple, it really is that simple. He's not trying to trick you, and you don't want to get points taken off because you rambled, especially if you knew the simple answer to the simple question he was asking.

Don't bother buying the textbook, I never touched it once. The lectures are bruincasted which is super helpful, especially because he can talk really fast. The exams are mostly based off the papers like I said, but there is also a multiple choice part of the tests that comes from lecture material. Make sure you understand the lecture concepts because these are easy points on the exam.

I never went to Sagasti's office hours, but my TA Raquel Aragon was super amazingly helpful during her office hours and in discussion. 10/10 take her as your TA if you have the option. This class was my first upper div in the major and it definitely convinced me that I made the right choice by majoring in MCDB!

Quarter Taken: Winter 2018 Submitted March 18, 2018 Grade Received: NR

Dr. Sagasti is a really, really nice guy! Just from taking this one class with him, it's clear how smart he is, too. While cell biology can be dense and boring, he does a great job making it as engaging as possible because he's so passionate about it. One difficult component is that you have to read 6 papers. Dr. Sagasti does a good job of explaining what the paper is about before we read it so we have background, and the TAs go over the figures in depth in section. This class is really straightforward, fair and interesting. Definitely recommend!

Quarter Taken: Winter 2017 Submitted March 31, 2017 Grade Received: N/A

Professor Sagasti is one of the best professors i've had at UCLA. You really get what you put into this class. He's straight forward and his exams reflect his lectures and teaching style. He's not one for tricks or surprises. Master the material, read the papers and you're set. He's a fair grader and genuinely cares about his students. He can talk a bit too fast but I recommend him to anyone taking an MCDB upper div, especially if this is your first one.

Quarter Taken: Winter 2017 Submitted March 24, 2017 Grade Received: N/A

I really liked Professor Sagasti and this class! The material was interesting and he provided lots of animations to make things more clear. He is a pretty good lecturer and he explains things in much more detail in office hours! He is kinda sassy (in a good way) and it made the class more enjoyable!
You have to read 6 papers and I struggled a little in the beginning but you have lots of resources to help you. By the end, I felt so comfortable reading scientific papers and I know that this skill will help me in other classes/my own lab!
His tests are very fair, the grading is not hard, but the understanding of concepts in lectures and in the papers is key! One reason why some people did poorly on his first midterm was because they explained their answers in too much detail that they didnt have time to finish the exam. He only wants simple, concise answers so don't overwrite or else you wont have enough time! Another highlight of this class is that he doesn't test you on wording like some other classes do. You won't get point off just because you didnt use a specific word!
I would definitely recommend taking 165A with Sagasti, especially if its your first MCDB upper div cause I think he did a good job of guiding us into MCDB classes.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Dec. 18, 2014 Grade Received: N/A

Selling MCDB 165A brand new cheaper than bookstore prices. Also have all slides w/ complete lecture notes for 10 dollars additional. Hurry before it's gone 310-562-4353

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Nov. 9, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

As a MCDB major, I think this guy is the most caring professor in the department. His exams are fair and short. If you attend the class and study his slides, you'll do fine in the class. Make sure to go to his office hours since he explains things clearer and in depths. He'll surely remember you if you are one of the students who go to his office hours often. He won't get annoyed by some questions that normally annoy professors.

I would definitely recommend Dr. Sagasti for MCDB 165A. If you're taking this class for the first upper div course, don't complain about how difficult this class is because all the classes coming up from now on are MUCH harder than this class.

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 29, 2013 Grade Received: N/A

I think professor Sagasti is a nice guy, but he has a problem on teaching. His lecture slides are very disorganized with tons of experiment data and results. It makes me confused all the time during lectures. His tests ask you several experiments that we have never covered during lecture. It is super hard to answer the questions without performing experiments and to apply these lab techniques that we learned during lectures on each question. Moreover, the TAs are not helpful at all. I just need to study by myself to understand the materials.

I took this class for my first upper division class and really disappointed about this class. I put all my effort to study this class and get horrible results. Don't recommend to take this class as your first upper division class. You will ruin your grade!

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted March 29, 2012 Grade Received: N/A

He's such a nice professor. You can really tell he's genuinely interested in cell biology by his expressions during lecture, and all the little interesting side notes he adds while going through the slides. This was the first time he taught 165A and I guess he was testing out how much material he could cover in a quarter/how fast/etc because he changed the syllabus quite a few times... he went really slow/in depth in the beginning but kind of sped up towards the end.
His exams are fair (and short!), and the curving for the overall grade was really nice (maybe not really curving since the class overall just did really well). I think about 1/3 of the class got A's and 1/2 got B's.
I took this class with Chem 153A, MCDB 138 and an econ course, and this class was the easiest, and the least time consuming. The papers you have to read for discussion can be a bit long, but the "quizzes" are relatively easy and the TA's grade generously, so these can be helpful for your grade. However, make sure you really understand the key figures for each paper since he tests you on specific figures on the midterms/final, asking about what the figure represents and what it means for the paper.
Overall, I strongly recommend taking this course with Sagasti. The topic was really enjoyable, and he was an extremely nice professor who really wanted his students to do well.

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Tags

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Is Podcasted
  • Engaging Lectures
  • Snazzy Dresser
  • Often Funny
  • Would Take Again

Textbooks

Cell and Molecular Biology, Binder Ready Version: Concepts and Experiments
Gerald Karp, Janet Iwasa, Wallace Marshall
ISBN: 9781118886144
View on Amazon
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Bruinwalk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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