Program Director: Henry Jakubowski
This interdisciplinary major entails the study of the structure, synthesis, properties and regulation of biomolecules. Cellular, organ, and organismal processes are examined through the study of the complex molecular networks that comprise and regulate them. As such, biochemistry has strong components from the fields of both biology and chemistry. This major is especially appropriate for those who intend to pursue careers in any of the medical fields, graduate education in biochemistry, medical research or employment in the biotechnology industry.
Required Courses: (70 credits)
BIOL 121, 221, 311, 318, plus one additional 300 level BIOL course other than BIOL 398
CHEM 123, 234, 235, 236, 333 or 334, 335
BCHM 317 (enroll in BIOL 317 which gets changed to BCHM 317 by registrar), 322 and 310 (1 credit)
PHYS 191, 200 (or 105, 106)
MATH 119, 120
BCHM 350 (1), 351 (1) or 398 (4)
Senior majors are required to give a seminar presentation on their laboratory or library research (BCHM 350, 351, or 398). Either the Biology (BIOL XXX) or Chemistry (CHEM XXX) Comprehensive Exam is also required.
310 Biochemistry Journal Club. (1)
Student presentations and discussions of modern biochemistry literature related to specific topics or themes. Emphasis will be on literature search strategies, critical analysis of the literature and biochemistry seminars, and presentations. Prerequisite or Corequisite: Either BCHEM 317 or 322. Spring.
317 Biochemistry I. (4)
Lecture and laboratory study of the chemical characteristics of biological molecules with emphasis on bioenergetics, enzymes, metabolic pathways and integration, biological signals and membrane receptors. (Enroll in BIOL 317, which gets changed to BCHM 317 by registrar.) Prerequisites: BIOL 121, 221 and CHEM 235 or instructor's consent. Fall or Spring. (Biochemistry majors are recommended to take BCHM 317 in the Fall and BCHM 322 in the Spring of their junior year. This allows students to complete the entire Biochemistry course sequence (BCHM 317, 322, and 310) in the junior year, giving them optimal background to read the biochemistry literature and conduct research in their senior year. In cases when it is not possible to follow this recommendation, students may take any of the courses in the Biochemistry sequence [BCHM 317, 322, and 310] in any order in their junior and senior years.)
322 Biochemistry II. (4)
A study of biological macromolecules and how they participate in binding, catalytic and regulatory reactions. Emphasis is on the role of kinetics and thermodynamics in determining the structure and function of the macromolecules, and the influence of macromolecular structure on reaction mechanisms. Laboratory emphasis is on purification and characterization of biological molecules, molecular modeling, the study of enzyme catalysis, and independent projects. Prerequisite: CHEM 236 and 335. Spring.
350 Library Research. (1)
Library research done under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Emphasis on reading and comprehension of modern primary biochemistry literature. Students write a final paper and give an oral presentation at the end of their senior year. Fall or Spring, senior year.
351 Laboratory Research. (1-4)
Laboratory research done under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Emphasis on planning, conducting, and evaluating laboratory research. Students review the literature, write a final paper and give an oral presentation at the end of their senior year. Fall or Spring, senior year.
398 Honors Senior Essay, Research or Creative Project. (4)
Required for graduation with "Distinction in Biochemistry." Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the Biology or Chemistry department chair and Director of the Honors Thesis program. For further information see HONR 398.