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Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

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  • Course description
     The departments of Biology and Chemistry offer an interdisciplinary concentration in biochemistry/molecular biology (BMB). Prospective concentrators should elect both chemistry and biology in their first year. The concentration consists of 11 courses (and Math 113 and 114, or equivalent, as prerequisites for certain courses), including four courses in BMB, three courses in Biology, three courses in chemistry and one course from a list of selected courses provided below. BMB courses must include 270, 346, 550 and one from 320, 321 or 322. Biology courses must include 101, 102 (or 115), and 248. Chemistry courses must include 120 (or 125), 190 and 255. Math 113 and 114, or equivalent, are prerequisites for BMB 320, 321 and 322. The elective course must be chosen from BMB 551, Biology 331, 357, 443 or 448, and Chemistry 320, 321, 322 or 380. BMB 550 satisfies the Senior Thesis requirement. A complete description of the Senior Program is available from the departments. Honors in BMB will be based on excellence in coursework and on the Senior Thesis.

    Courses and Descriptions

    270S Biological Chemistry.
    A survey of the chemical and physical nature of biological macromolecules, including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates; biochemistry of enzyme catalysis; bioenergetics and regulatory mechanisms. Principles and techniques of experimental biochemistry, focusing on isolation methods and techniques for analyzing structure and function. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. Prerequisite, 190. (Same as Chemistry 270 and Biology 270.) Elgren.

    320S Biophysical Chemistry.
    A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of physical chemistry applied to biological systems. Topics include the spectroscopy, thermodynamics and kinetics of proteins and other biomolecules, and the use of this knowledge to explain the physical basis of biochemical properties. Prerequisite, Chemistry 270 and Mathematics 114. Physics 105, 195 or 205 is recommended. (Same as Chemistry 320.) Cotten.

    321F Physical Chemistry I.
    A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of quantum chemistry. Topics include quantum mechanics and the nature of the chemical bond; applications of molecular quantum mechanics; spectroscopy. Laboratory focuses on experiments that lead to the development of quantum mechanics, on molecular modeling and on spectroscopy. Laboratory includes applications to biochemistry. Three hours of class plus laboratory. Prerequisite, 125 or 190, Mathematics 114, Physics 105, 195 or 205. (Same as Chemistry 321.) Van Wynsberghe.

    322S Physical Chemistry II.
    A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of thermodynamics and kinetics. Topics include the laws of thermodynamics, prediction of the direction and extent of chemical reactions, equilibrium, chemical kinetics, catalysis, reaction rate theory and photochemistry. Three hours of class plus laboratory. Prerequisite, 125 or 190, Mathematics 114, Physics 105, 195 or 205. The department recommends that students take 321 prior to 322. (Same as Chemistry 322.) C Jones.

    346F Biochemistry.
    The advanced study of the origin of life, the origin of organelles, and biochemical pathways in living organisms, with emphasis given to metabolisms of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Includes in-depth discussion of contemporaneous developments in molecular biology and comprehensive training on molecular cloning in laboratory. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. Prerequisite, 101 and 102, 115, or consent of instructor. (Same as Biology 346.) Chang.

    [436S] Biophysical Chemistry.
    A study of physical chemical forces and interactions that determine structures, functions and behavior of proteins and other macromolecules. Discussion of spectroscopic and other physical techniques employed in studying macromolecular structures and properties. Prerequisite, 321. (Same as Chemistry 436 .)

    550F,S Senior Thesis I.
    A research project carried out in association with a faculty member. One course credit. Must be approved by May of the junior year. The Program.

    551S Senior Thesis II.
    A research project carried out in association with a faculty member. Includes written and oral presentations. Candidates for honors should elect both 550 and 551. Prerequisite, 550. One course credit. The Program.

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