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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Course Descriptions

  • BMB 300: Biochemistry
    Introduction to biochemistry at the cellular and chemical levels. Emphasis on protein structure and function, enzymes, bioenergetics, intermediary metabolism, carbohydrates, and other biological molecules. Three class meetings, one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: CHEM 221 and BIOL 120, or permission of the instructor. Students must also register for a lab.
    Cross-listed as: CHEM 300
  • BMB 320: Physical Chemistry I
    Quantum mechanics and the nature of the chemical bond. Emphasis on understanding atomic orbitals, atomic and molecular energy, and the chemical bond. Applications of molecular quantum mechanics; spectroscopy and computational chemistry. Laboratory focuses on experiments that led to the development of quantum mechanics, molecular modeling, and spectroscopy. Three class meetings, one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 221, MATH 111 or MATH 116; prerequisite or corequisite: PHYS 110 or PHYS 120. Students must also register for a lab. (This course meets the Technology GEC requirement.)
    Cross-listed as: CHEM 320
  • BMB 321: Physical Chemistry II
    The energy and dynamic behavior of groups of molecules. Emphasis on non-ideal gases, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and reaction-rate theory. Laboratory focuses on kinetics and thermodynamics with a culminating independent project-based experience. Prerequisite: MATH 111 or MATH 116. Prerequisite or corequisite: PHYS 111 or PHYS 121. (This course meets the Technology and Experiential Learning GEC requirements.)
    Cross-listed as: CHEM 321
  • BMB 322: Molecular Biology
    The structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells: DNA replication, transcription, translation, and regulation. Laboratories will apply current molecular techniques to an open-ended research problem. Three lecture and four laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: Biol 221, and either Biol 220 or Junior status.
    Cross-listed as: BIOL 322
  • BMB 323: Microbiology
    This course will focus on the biology of single-celled organisms, with emphasis on bacteria and infectious disease. Topics include antibiotic mechanisms and resistance, bacterial gene swapping, epidemiology, host-microbe interactions, and the immune response. Several weeks of independent study will allow the student to isolate, research, and identify three bacterial species. Three lecture and four laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: Biol 221, and either Biol 220 or Junior status. Students must also register for a lab.
    Cross-listed as: BIOL 323
  • BMB 324: Advanced Cell Biology
    The structure and function of the cell and its organelles, with emphasis on membrane-related processes including transport, energetics, cell-to-cell signaling, and nerve and muscle cell function. Research reports will include extensive library and Internet exploration and analysis. Three lecture and four laboratory hours per week. Prerequisites: Biol 221, and either Biol 220 or Junior status.
    Cross-listed as: BIOL 324, NEUR 324
  • BMB 326: Immunology
    This course introduces students to the major players of innate and adaptive immunity at the cellular and molecular levels. Topics include immune receptors and signal transduction, cell migration, development of lymphocyte subsets, humoral and cellular immunity, and immunological disorders. Students are expected to develop a semester-long research project that will tackle one of the current challenges that affect the human immune response.
    Three lecture hours per week. Prerequisites: Biol 221, and either Biol 220 or Junior status.

    Cross-listed as: BIOL 326, NEUR 326
  • BMB 415: Sr Sem: Molecular Machines
    (Senior Seminar in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology: Molecular Machines.) We live in a golden age of structural biology. Recent technological advances in X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging mean we can observe both small, transient protein-molecular interactions and large macromolecular structures. In this course, students scour the premier research journals to select and debate the top molecular structures of the year. These proteins are selected on the basis of what these discoveries teach us about protein function. After selecting the top proteins, students work in teams and individually to describe what was previously known about their proteins, describe their known and predicted functions, and describe what unanswered questions and future possibilities remain. Prerequisites: BMB300/CHEM300 and BIOL 221 or permission of the instructor.