Florida International University PLTL Program

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  • Mitochondria in hepatitis C-infected cells (bottom row) are self-destructing. The self-annihilation process explains the persistance and virulence of the virus in human liver cells.
    Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a mechanism that explains why people with the hepatitis C virus get liver disease and why the virus is able to persist in the body for so long.

  • This shows Hadza women roasting tubers.
    The gut microbiota is responsible for many aspects of human health and nutrition, but most studies have focused on "western" populations. An international collaboration of researchers, including researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has for the first time analysed the gut microbiota of a modern hunter-gatherer community, the Hadza of Tanzania. The results of this work show that Hadza harbour a unique microbial profile with features yet unseen in any other human group, supporting the notion that Hadza gut bacteria play an essential role in adaptation to a foraging subsistence pattern. The study further shows how the intestinal flora may have helped our ancestors adapt and survive during the Paleolithic

  • Researchers have found a major piece of genetic evidence that confirms the role of a group of virus-fighting genes in cancer development.

Peer Led Team Learning


PLTL is an optional program incorporated into several courses within the department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University. Each week you will be meeting with a PLTL leader and a small group of students. A PLTL Leader is a peer who has taken the course before and will guide you through the worksheets each week. You are responsible for bringing your textbook/notes from class to the session or else you will NOT receive full credit for being there.

Florida International University PLTL Administrative Staff

Department E-Mail Telephone
PLTL Program Director Jose Alberte
Biological Sciences


PLTL Assistant Director Alberto Cruz
Biological Sciences


PLTL Assistant Director Nataly Rodriguez
Biological Sciences



Chair: PLTL
Coordinator: Biology Education, T.A. & Adjunct Services
Thomas Pitzer
Biological Sciences

Course Liaison & Administrative Assistant to Chair Kristy Calero
Biological Sciences

Director's Office Hours:
Office Room: OE 296
Office Hours: by appointment only
Office Phone: 305-348-3511
E-mail: pltl@fiu.edu


PLTL will begin on the following dates for each subject:


General Biology I: Wednesday, January 15th; Sessions run Wed-Sat.

General Biology II: Wednesday, January 15th; Sessions run Wed-Sat.

Genetics: Thursday, January 16th; Sessions run Thurs-Mon.

Evolution: Friday, January 17th; Sessions run Fri-Tues.

Intermediate Human Physiology: Wednesday, January 15th ; Sessions run Wed-Thurs.

General Microbiology: Wednesday, January 15th; Sessions run Wed-Sat.

Human Biology: Saturday, January 18th; Sessions run Sat-Tues.

Histology Lab: Monday, January 20th; Sessions run Mon-Tues.

Introduction to Microbiology: Friday, January 17th; Sessions run Fri-Tues.

*For registration dates and information, please see the "How to Register" link.

Site news

Picture of Alberto Cruz
Start Dates
by Alberto Cruz - Tuesday, 3 September 2013, 02:44 PM

The PLTL start dates and subject weeks have been updated on the front page of the PLTL website since the semester began. Please familiarize yourself with the start dates and the way that the PLTL week runs for your subject.

Picture of Alberto Cruz
Room Descriptions
by Alberto Cruz - Friday, 30 August 2013, 03:55 PM

FIUS & Other Room Names


If your room says "FIUS" it stands for the FIU Football Stadium. Not the basketball arena, but the football stadium.

If you enter through the south side of the stadium(the side that faces Tamiami Park) then you can enter through Gate 4. From there, you will see an area with glass doors. Right next to those doors you will see an elevator. YOU HAVE TO GO UP THE ELEVATORS NEXT TO THE GLASS DOORS!! Go up to the second floor, and all of the PLTL rooms (214-221) are down the hall to the right. Remember to plan accordingly with time and do not be late!

Below you will see the names of some of the less common rooms on campus.

FIUS- FIU Football Stadium
LC- The Labor Center
RB- Ryder Business Building
USCBA- US Century Bank Arena (Basketball Arena)
ZEB- Ziff Education Building
CBC- College of Business Complex

When in doubt, you can always access the campus map on the main page of the FIU website. Here is the lik for you: http://campusmaps.fiu.edu/
Picture of Giselle Barreto
Manual enrollment for courses
by Giselle Barreto - Wednesday, 15 May 2013, 07:39 PM
Hello Students,

If you are attempting to enroll for a second PLTL class and require MANUAL enrollment by the PLTL staff, Please email us at MIDNIGHT the night of the enrollment date in order to be enrolled.

When you email us at MIDNIGHT, make sure to include your FULL NAME, PANTHER ID, and FIU EMAIL, along with ALL OF THE INFORMATION for the Time and Subject you are requiring manual enrollment.

Also, students are advised to stay up until they receive a response from the PLTL staff confirming their enrollment into their choice session.

THIS DOES NOT GUARANTEE ENROLLMENT! It only guarantees that we will ATTEMPT to enroll you. If the session fills up before we are able to enroll you, as we enroll individual on a first come first serve basis after the enrollment appoint for the subject opens up, if by the time your request is processed that class is filled, YOU WILL NOT BE OVERRIDDEN INTO THE CLASS.

You will be notified as soon as we notice that the class is already full to choose another time. Therefore it is imperative that you are mindful of the emails at midnight.

Thank you and let us know if you have any further questions.

BBC Bio II- Dr. Lacey
by Jose Alberte - Monday, 13 May 2013, 11:46 PM

BBC Bio II students,

You must register for a Bio II session in Summer A. All sessions that are available for you to take are indicated on the website. There are sessions available on both campuses.

In the Netherlands
by Aida Margarita Ramon - Monday, 13 May 2013, 09:41 AM
For important information enrollment please refer to the "Main Menu" box at the upper left-hand sand on when enrollment begins for

The "How To Register" explains the process and has the dates for when enrollment open for each subject.

Please read the information carefully before emailing us.


Picture of Giselle Barreto
Course Enrollment is now CLOSED!
by Giselle Barreto - Sunday, 3 February 2013, 03:23 PM
Course enrollment for all courses is now closed EXCEPT for EVOLUTION!

Students can no longer be switched or changed from their PLTL sessions and we will not enroll any students for subjects that have reached the THIRD WEEK as of this Monday.

For those seeking Evolution sections, please email us your FULL NAME, PANTHER ID, and THE SECTION DAY AND TIME YOU WOULD LIKE!

Emails with "I would like to enroll for Evolution" and with no other information will be ignored.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!
Logo Contest for PLTLIS
by Jose Alberte - Wednesday, 23 January 2013, 07:55 PM

Contest Announcement for the Design of the Peer-Led Team Learning International Society’s Logo

The final deadline for submissions by all students participating in PLTL for the PLTLIS logo competition has been extended to January 31 2013.

The winning entry will be announced at the end of February 2013. The winner will receive a cash prize of $500.00.

All entries will be considered and will become the property of PLTLIS. Entries will be judged based on the criterion of the logo that best embodies the international network aspect of PLTLIS.

Please use the vision, mission, and goals of the Peer-Led Team Learning International Society to guide you in developing your concept for the logo. Feel free to play with color schemes.

Our vision is that Peer-Led Team Learning is integral to excellent educational practice.

Our mission is to foster student learning through peer-led teams by supporting practitioners and institutions.

To achieve our mission and vision we will transform formal education by training practitioners; establishing and maintaining an international organization; disseminating content and research; and supporting PLTL programs across disciplines, departments, and campuses

Submissions: please send your logo designs attached to an e-mail with your name, full address, phone number, college, major, and the name and department of the faculty member overseeing your PLTL program, to Tony West (), Chair, PLTLIS Logo Contest Committee.

Room Number Notice
by Jose Alberte - Tuesday, 22 January 2013, 05:13 PM

Room Number Notice:

We know that not all room numbers have not been posted for any of the sessions. This is something we have no control over. Room numbers may not be posted up until an hour before your scheduled session. We apologize for this but JUST AS SOON WE KNOW THE ROOM NUMBERS WE WILL POST THEM.

Please do not e-mail us asking about your room numbers. They will be posted on the website in place of where it says Room: TBA. For example,

Spring 2013 MMC BSC1010 1 W Time:11:00am-12:15pm Room: TBA

As always, please continue to check the website.

Log-in Information
by Jose Alberte - Wednesday, 16 January 2013, 06:49 PM

Remember your user name and password information is as follows:


PLTL Start Dates for all courses
by Jose Alberte - Wednesday, 16 January 2013, 05:50 PM

PLTL will begin on the following dates for each subject:


General Biology I: Wednesday, Jan. 23rd; Sessions run Wed-Sat.

General Biology II: Wednesday, Jan. 23rd; Sessions run Wed-Sat.

Genetics: Thursday, Jan. 24th; Sessions run Thurs-Mon.

Ecology: Friday, Jan. 18th; Sessions run F-Mon.

Evolution: Monday, Jan. 21st; Sessions run Mon-Wed.

Introduction to Microbiology: Friday, Jan. 18th ; Sessions run Fri-Tues.

Human Biology: Saturday, Jan. 19th; Sessions run Sat-Tues.

Foundations of Human Physiology: Friday, Jan. 18th; Sessions run Fri-Tues.

General Microbiology: Wednesday, Jan. 23rd; Sessions run Wed-Sat.

If you have any questions, please send us an e-mail at pltl@fiu.edu

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Latest News

  • 3 Sep, 14:44
    Alberto Cruz
    Start Dates more...
  • 30 Aug, 15:55
    Alberto Cruz
    Room Descriptions more...
  • 15 May, 19:39
    Giselle Barreto
    Manual enrollment for courses more...
  • 13 May, 23:46
    Jose Alberte
    BBC Bio II- Dr. Lacey more...
  • 13 May, 09:41
    Aida Margarita Ramon
  • 3 Feb, 15:23
    Giselle Barreto
    Course Enrollment is now CLOSED! more...
  • 23 Jan, 19:55
    Jose Alberte
    Logo Contest for PLTLIS more...
  • 22 Jan, 17:13
    Jose Alberte
    Room Number Notice more...
  • 16 Jan, 18:49
    Jose Alberte
    Log-in Information more...
  • 16 Jan, 17:50
    Jose Alberte
    PLTL Start Dates for all courses more...