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 Biochemistry Courses

Undergraduate Level/Lower-Division Courses

  • AGR 11500 Introduction to Biochemistry Academic Programs. An introduction to the academic programs offered in the Department of Biochemistry. Topics include, but are not limited to undergraduate plans of study, courses, experiential programs, internships, student organizations, career opportunities, academic policies, scholarships, and student services. Course meets during weeks 1-8.
    Fall. Class 1, cr. 0.5. Syllabus


  • BCHM 10000 Introduction to Biochemistry. A survey of modern biochemistry using descriptions of contemporary experiments to illustrate the general theories and unifying concepts. This course is open to all students and does not require any college science courses as background or prerequisite.
    Fall. Class 2, cr. 2. Syllabus


  • BCHM 22100 Analytical Biochemistry. Discussion of qualitative and quantitative analysis of biological compounds including pH measurement and control, spectrophotometry, measurement of radioactivity; theoretical basis of various separation techniques including chromatography and electrophoresis; application of these methods to separation and analysis of biological compounds. Laboratory sessions will provide practical experience in the use of these methods. This course is designed for biochemistry majors.
    Fall, Spring. Class 2, Lab 3, cr. 3. Prerequisite: CHM 116 or equivalent. Syllabus


  • BCHM 27500 Honors Course: Cheese Proteome Project.
    Students in this course will use the cheese proteome as a model to foster scientific curiosity and subsequently design a research project to answer that curiosity. The course will combine discussions and experiments to provide the opportunity for a genuine, independent research project. Technological possibilities of understanding cheese science and differentiation of cheese types and origins will be explored. Students will have first-hand experience how to execute a research project: how to devise hypotheses, design experiments that test their hypotheses, record their data in laboratory notebooks, critically analyze the results of their analyses, and present their findings to others in written form. In this course, we will be able to use and tour several modern technologies, i.e. mass spectrometry, which are not commonly used in an undergraduate lab. The use of literature and online resources is highly encouraged. By the completion of the project at the end of the course, you will be involved in organizing a scientific manuscript based on the results generated by individual class members that can be potentially published in a peer-reviewed journal. This course is designed for honors students.
    Spring. Class 1, Lab 3, cr. 2. Prerequisite: CHM 115 with a B grade or higher. Syllabus


  • BCHM 29000 Experimental Design Seminar. Introduction to fundamentals of scientific principles and practice in biochemistry. Students will learn how to develop hypotheses, design experiments, and critically analyze results to create new knowledge. Intended for sophomores. Restricted to biochemistry majors.
    Spring. Class 1, cr. 1. Syllabus


  • BCHM 29800 Introduction to Biochemistry Research. Supervised individual research. This course is intended to provide an introduction to independent undergraduate research. The primary goal of this experience is to learn the mechanics of laboratory science. Students will learn to work in a real laboratory situation where experiments are not preassembled for them. Students will record their data in laboratory notebooks, and gain experience in trouble-shooting and critically analyzing the results of their experiments.
    Fall, Spring, Summer. cr. 1-2.
    Prerequisites: instructor permission. Syllabus


  • BCHM 29801 (Second half-semester version of the above)
    Fall, Spring. cr. 0.5-1. Syllabus

Undergraduate Level/Upper-Division Courses

  • BCHM 30700 Biochemistry. Introduction to the chemistry, function, and metabolism of compounds found in the living organism.
    Fall, Spring. Class 3, cr. 3 (el. 4 to 8 A, F, SLA, S). Prerequisite: CHM 25700 or equivalent.  Syllabus


  • BCHM 30900 Biochemistry Laboratory. Experiments that introduce methods for analysis and separation of biological molecules and that illustrate the biochemical and metabolic concepts covered in BCHM 30700.
    Fall, Spring. Lab 3, cr. 1. Prerequisite or corequisite: BCHM 30700.  Syllabus

  • BCHM 32200 Analytical Biochemistry. Modern biochemical methods are used to isolate, analyze, and study the properties of a great variety of materials, such as amino acids; proteins, including several enzymes; mono-, oligo-, and polysaccharides; fats; and nucleic acids. Emphasis is on experimentation. The course is designed for biochemistry majors.
    Fall, Spring. Class 1, Lab 3, cr. 2 (el. 5 A). Prerequisite or corequisite: BCHM 22100. Syllabus

  • BCHM 36100 Molecules.A lecture course that relates biochemistry to organic chemistry. Chemical principles relevant to the assembly and function of macromolecules, the logic of biological free energy conversion, and enzyme catalysis are emphasized, all of which provide a foundation for the study of metabolism.
    Fall, Spring. Class 3, cr. 3. Prerequisite: Grade of C- or better in CHM 25500 or CHM 26505 and concurrent enrollment in CHM 25600 or CHEM 26605. Restricted to Biochemistry majors. Syllabus


  • BCHM 39000 Professional Development Seminar. The objective of this course is to help biochemistry students with professional development and career planning. Students will learn about career possibilities, interview skills, job search strategies, graduate and professional school applications, resume construction and industrial practices. Intended for juniors. Restricted to biochemistry majors.
    Fall. Class 1, cr. 1. Syllabus


  • BCHM 46200 Metabolism. A lecture course to provide students with a broad and thorough understanding of core metabolic pathways and how they are regulated.  Anabolic and catabolic processes of metabolic pathways will be studied at the biochemical, structural, genetic and molecular levels. Students will learn to appreciate how the various metabolic pathways are integrated and how the fundamental metabolic pathways relate to medicine, agriculture and human disease.
    Fall. Class 3, cr. 3. Prerequisite: BCHM 36100 or BCHM 56100. Restricted to Biochemistry majors. Syllabus.


  • BCHM 49000 Undergraduate Seminar. Discussion of individual student research projects peformed in BCHM 49800 or BCHM 49900. Preparation of posters and public seminars based upon research results.
    Spring. Class 1, cr. 1. Prerequisite: BCHM 49800 or 49900. Syllabus

  • BCHM 49500 Special Assignments. Special work in biochemistry not included in other courses.

  • BCHM 49800 Undergraduate Thesis. Supervised individual research.
    Fall, Spring, Summer. cr. 0-6. Must be approved by appropriate instructor before registration. May be repeated for credit. Syllabus

  • BCHM 49801 (Second half-semester version of the above)
    Fall, Spring. cr. 0.5-2. Syllabus

  • BCHM 49900Honors Thesis.Supervised indivdual research.
    Fall, Spring, Summer. Individual study 1, Lab 2, cr. 3. Permission of instructor required. May not be repeated for credit.Syllabus

Dual Level/Undergraduate-Graduate

  • BCHM 56100 General Biochemistry I.This course will provide undergraduate and graduate students with basic understanding of biochemical and structural properties of amino acids, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates. This course will allow students to connect the relationship between structure and function of biomolecules. In addition, students will learn to understand enzyme properties, enzyme mechanism of action and enzyme regulation.
    Fall. Class 3, cr. 3. Prerequisite: Grade of C- or better in CHM 25600 or CHM 25700 or CHM 26200 or CHM 26605 or MCMP 20500. Syllabus

  • BCHM 56200 General Biochemistry II. This course will provide undergraduate and graduate students with an understanding of core metabolic pathways.  Anabolic and catabolic processes of metabolic pathways will be studied.  Biochemical and structural knowledge will used to determine how enzymes and coenzymes are needed to regulated and control metabolic pathways. Fall, Spring. Class 3, cr. 3. Prerequisite: CHM 25600 or CHM 25700 or CHM 26200 or CHM 26605 or MCMP 20500. Syllabus

  • BCHM 56500 Biochemistry of Life Processes. Major questions in chemical aspects of biology and contemporary approaches to these problems.
    Spring. Class 2, cr. 2. Prerequisites: BCHM 56100 and 56200.Syllabus

  • BCHM 59300 Chemistry of Metabolism. The course objective is to provide beginning graduate students with an understanding of the organic chemical basis of metabolic transformations.  Pathways are not emphasized, but the chemical principles that govern some of the reactions are emphasized.  Special emphasis is placed on carbon-carbon bond formation, nitrogen insertion, and the formation of structures with aromatic rings.
    Fall. Class 1, cr. 1. Prerequisite: organic chemistry and BCHM 562 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

Graduate Level

  • BCHM 60100 Critical Analysis of Biochemical Research Literature I. The objective of this course is to assist students in acquiring the skills needed to read critically, evaluate, and assimilate the primary scientific literature. This objective will be accomplished by instructor-guided discussions of the hypotheses, experimental data, conclusions, and scientific merit of assigned manuscript(s) taken from the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology. Topics for discussion initially will focus on the structure, organization, review process, and ethical issues related to scientific manuscripts. As the semester progresses, discussions will focus on the hypotheses being tested, quality of the data, and validity of the conclusions.
    Fall. cr. 2. Permission of instructor required. Syllabus 

  • BCHM 60200 Critical Analysis of Biochemical Research Literature II. Builds on the skills developed in BCHM 601. Students will continue to enhance their analytical skills, and class discussions will be conducted at a more sophisticated level and will go into greater depth. Class discussions will focus more on the analysis and evaluation of current methodologies and hypotheses in the biochemical and molecular biological literature. Students will be evaluated primarily on their preparation and participation in each class discussion.
    Spring. cr. 2. Prerequisite: BCHM 60100. Permission of instructor required Syllabus

  • BCHM 63000 Analytical Biochemistry. Theoretical and practical aspects of techniques used in the qualitative and quantitative analysis of biological materials. Techniques to be discussed include gas chromatography, combination gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, high-speed liquid chromatography, affinity chromatography, electrophoresis, centrifugation, radiochemical procedures, absorption spectroscopy, and fluorescence spectroscopy. Emphasis will be placed on the application of these techniques to the solution of current biochemical problems.
    Fall. cr. 2. (Offered in alternate years.) Prerequisite: BCHM 56200 or equivalent.

  • BCHM 64500 Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids. Structure-function relationships in RNA and DNA with emphasis on bacteriophage. Punctuation sequences recognized during transcription and translation; palindromes as substrates for restriction endonucleases and sites of repressor binding. General and site-specific recombination, replication. Molecular cloning in plasmid, cosmid, and phage vectors.
    Spring. cr. 1. (Offered in alternate summers.) Prerequisite: BCHM 56100 and 56200, or equivalent.

  • BCHM 65900 Structure, Function of Proteins. A critical treatment of structure-function relationships of proteins. Protein purification, amino acid sequence analysis, chemical modifications of proteins, protein folding, active sites, and protein-protein interactions will be discussed. The ways in which the chemical properties of the individual amino acid side chains influence the structures, chemical properties, and enzymatic reactivities of proteins will be emphasized throughout the course.
    Fall. cr. 1. Prerequisite: BCHM 56100 and 56200, or consent of instructor. Syllabus

  • BCHM 66000 Structure, Function of Nucleic Acids. A critical treatment of structure-function relationships of nucleic acids.
    Fall. cr. 1. Prerequisite: BCHM 56100 and 56200, or consent of instructor.Syllabus


  • BCHM 66300 Membranes--Structure, Function, Control. A critical introduction to structure and function of biological membranes. Topics include mobilities of membrane constituents, properties of membrane proteins, mechanisms of membrane transport, membrane synthesis and flow, secretion, receptors, and signal transduction.
    Fall. cr. 1. Prerequisite: BCHM 56100 and 56200, or consent of instructor. Syllabus


  • BCHM 66400 Bioenergetics. Energy transduction in biological membranes: physical chemical foundations; electron transfer, proton transduction; active transport. Atomic structures of integral membrane protein complexes responsible for respiratory, photosynthetic generation of electrochemical potential; ATPase motor, structure-based mechanisms.
    Fall. cr. 2. Prerequisite: CHM 37300 and BCHM 56100 and 56200, or consent of instructor.

  • BCHM 66500 Enzyme Mechanisms. This course will build upon the foundations of BCHM 659.  Topics include mechanisms of binding, catalysis, and inhibition. Examples used are from the literature to discuss biochemical and molecular biological approaches to studying protein function.
    Fall. cr. 1. Prerequisite: BCHM 65900, or consent of instructor. Syllabus


  • BCHM 66700 Prokaryotic Metabolic Regulation. Critical treatment of prokaryotic regulatory mechanisms. Environmental signals for gene activation to control carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus metabolism.
    Spring. cr. 1. Prerequisite: BCHM 56100 and 56200 or consent of instructor.

  • BCHM 66800 Regulation of Gene Expression in Eukaryotes. A review of transcriptional and post-translational events in eukaryotic gene expression in general and of methods to determine the level(s) at which regulation occurs.
    Spring. cr. 1. Prerequisite: BCHM 56100 and 56200, or consent of instructor.

  • BCHM 69000 Seminar in Biochemistry. Students discuss papers from the recent literature. The purpose is both the dissemination of knowledge and learning to organize and present talks.
    Fall, Spring. cr. 1. May be repeated for credit. Syllabus


  • BCHM 69100 Biochemistry of the Cell Cycle. A critical introduction to the molecular basis of regulation of cell cycle progression using budding yeast as the model system of choice. Key aspects of the life cycle of yeast will be examined in the context of cell cycle with particular attention paid to the G1 phase. Topics covered will include regulation of the HO locus, mating factor arrest, and feedback control. Highlights of cell cycle regulation in other model systems will be addressed in light of observations from yeast.
    Spring. cr.2. Prerequisite: BCHM 64500 and BCHM 65900 and AGRY 32000 or equivalent.


  • BCHM 69200 Current Topics in RNA Processing. Topics drawn from the literature concerning eukaryotic mRNA processing will be discussed. The mechanism and regulation of pre-mRNA splicing will be a featured topic, but aspects of polyadenylation, mRNA stability, and translational control may be discussed at the discretion of the instructor.  Students will be evaluated on the quality of an oral or written presentation and on participation in class discussions.
    Spring. cr.1. Prerequisite consent of instructor.


  • BCHM 69300 Molecular Mechanisms of Signal Transduction. The molecular basis for the major intracellular signaling pathways of eukaryotes will be covered. Lectures will emphasize the structure, function, and regulation of key proteins involved in reversible protein phosphorylation, calcium mobilization, phospholipid turnover, cyclic nucleotide metabolism, and transmembrane signaling in response to hormone and growth factors.
    Spring. cr. 2. Prerequisite BCHM 66300 and 65900, or consent of instructor. Syllabus


  • BCHM 69400 Structure-function Relationships of Macromolecules in Living Systems. Students and faculty will review current literature and discuss articles that use the tools of molecular biology to investigate various structural and functional aspects of macromolecules.  Each participant will lead a fifty minute discussion by reviewing papers from the current biochemical literature.
    Fall, Spring. cr. 1. Prerequisite 60000-level Biochemistry courses or consent of instructor. (May be repeated with major professor's approval.)


  • BCHM 69500 Special Topics in Biochemistry. Critical examination of developments in specialized fields of biochemistry. Open to candidates for the Ph.D. degree in biochemistry; others by special permission of the professor in charge.
    Fall, Spring. cr. 1-4.


  • BCHM 69500-001 Regulation of Gene Expression in Eukaryotes II. An exploration of current models and recent discoveries in chromatin biology and the relationship between chromatin and gene expression as well as other aspects of chromosome structure and function.
    Spring. cr. 1. Syllabus

  • BCHM 695-002 Protein Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics. The purpose of this course is to give graduate students an overview of proteomics research with an emphasis on mass spectrometric technologies and biological applications. Topics will include mass spectrometric instrumentation, protein and peptide separation methods, methods for selective enrichment of modified proteins and peptides, identification of proteins and post-translational modifications, and quantification of proteins and modifications. We will also discuss examples of proteome-scale studies and the impact they are having on biological and biomedical research. A major focus will be training students to analyze and interpret data. This course is intended for graduate students interested in using mass spec approaches in their own research or simply learning about this technology.
    Spring. cr. 2.
     Syllabus
  • BCHM 695-003 Regulation of Gene Expression. Provides students with a basic understanding of gene expression mechanisms with a specific focus on newly emerging topics.
    Spring. cr. 2. Prerequisite: BCHM 56100 and 56200, or consent of instructor. Syllabus


  • BCHM 69600 Advanced Seminars in Biochemistry. The frontiers of biochemistry and molecular biology. Critical examination of the state-of-the-art in various specialities as represented by members of the department. Currently advanced work in the following fields can be offered: RNA catalysis, mechanisms in transcription, cell cycle control, DNA rearrangements, enzyme catalysis, membrane transport, protein folding, molecular biology of protozoans, plant intermediary metabolism, molecular biology of viruses, cell signaling in the immune system, and signaling through protein phosphorylation. The field in which work is offered will be indicated in the student's record.
    Fall, Spring. cr.1. (May be repeated for credit). Prerequisite: BCHM 65900, 66000 and 66300 or consent of instructor.


  • BCHM 69800 Research M.S. Thesis.


  • BCHM 69900 Research Ph.D. Thesis.