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Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology100 |200 |300 |400 |Graduate Courses |500 |600 |
Aragula Gururaj Rao, Chair of Department
The department offers majors in biochemistry or biophysics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a major in agricultural biochemistry in the College of Agriculture.
Biochemists and biophysicists seek to understand life processes in terms of chemical and physical principles. They conduct research in the frontiers of biology such as metabolic networking; structure and function of enzymes, membranes, and hormones; computational approaches; genomic and proteomic technology; protein engineering; plant biotechnology; muscle structure and function; and the design and evaluation of drugs for the treatment of disease. Biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology provide the basis for much of modern biotechnology. Graduates have opportunities in industry, especially the biotechnology sector, in universities, veterinary medical, and medical schools, and government laboratories. Students who meet the necessary high scholastic standards have the opportunity to continue their studies in graduate school, medical school, or veterinary medical school.
Graduates of biochemistry, agricultural biochemistry and biophysics understand the chemical principles of biological systems including molecular biology. They have developed laboratory expertise in modern biochemical techniques, including the ability to analyze data and prepare scientific reports. Most have participated in undergraduate research and have developed the skills necessary for both written and oral presentations at a level that will serve the student both within the university and in postgraduate professional life. Graduates have the experience of interacting with persons of different disciplines and cultures. Students have the training in mathematics and physics to solve problems of broad scope in biological, biomedical and environmental sciences and to provide leadership in diverse scientific and technological arenas.
For the undergraduate curriculum leading to the degree bachelor of science, see College of Agriculture, Curricula. Agricultural biochemistry is recommended to students interested in the areas of agriculture requiring strong preparation in biochemistry, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, or in preparation for the study of veterinary medicine. Employment opportunities exist in agrochemical industries, and animal and plant biotechnology.
For the undergraduate curriculum leading to the degree of bachelor of science, see Liberal Arts and Sciences, Curriculum. Biochemistry and biophysics are recommended to students whose career interests involve advanced study or employment in biochemistry or biophysics, or in related areas of the biological or medical sciences.
Undergraduate majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in biochemistry usually have the following basic courses or their equivalents in their programs: BBMB 101, 102, 201, 404 (or 501), 405 (or 502), 411, 461 (or 551); Chem 201 (or 177, 178), 201L (or 177N or 177L), 211, 211L, 322L, 324, 325, 331, 332, 333L (or 331L), 334L (or 332L); Math 165, 166, 265 (or 266 or 267); Phys 221, 222; Biol 211, 211L (or 212L or 313L or 314), 212, 313, 314, and a minimum of 4 additional credits of biological science courses from biology, genetics, and microbiology. Undergraduate research, BBMB 499, is strongly recommended.
Undergraduate majors in biophysics usually include the following basic courses in their programs: BBMB 101, 102, 404, 411, 461 (or 551); Chem 201 (or 177, 178), 177N (or 177L), 322L, 324, 325, 331, 332; Math 165, 166, 265, 266, 307 (or 317), 471; Phys 221, 222; Com S 207; Stat 305 or 231; Biol 211, 211L (or 212L), 212; Chem 211 and 211L; and 9 additional credits in 300 or higher level courses in biochemistry, biophysics, biological sciences, chemistry, or physics.
These lists of courses should not be regarded as statements of fixed requirements or as complete outlines of the work necessary for the major. They are given solely for the convenience of students or advisers who wish to estimate the amount of basic study that may be needed.
Biochemistry and biophysics majors are advised to meet the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences foreign language requirement with courses in French, German, or Russian.
See also the B.S./M.S. program under Graduate Study.
The department offers minors in biochemistry in both the College of Agriculture and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which may be earned by credit in BBMB 404, 405, 311 (or 411), and 451 (or Chem 325), plus additional supporting 300 level courses in chemistry or biochemistry for a total of 15 credits.
Communication Proficiency requirement: Majors in agricultural biochemistry must complete Engl 150 and 250 and one course in speech fundamentals with a grade of C or better in each of these courses. Majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences must complete Engl 150 and 250 and one of the following with a grade of C- or better: (a) Engl 305, 309, or 314; (b) a written report in BBMB 411, or 499.
The department participates along with other biological science departments including GDCB and EEOB in offering interdepartmental majors in Biology and Genetics. Biology courses that are staffed in part by department faculty members include Biol 101, 313, 314, and 313L (See Biology).
The department offers work for the degrees master of science and doctor of philosophy with majors in biochemistry and biophysics and with interdepartmental majors in genetics, immunobiology, MCDB (molecular, cellular, and developmental biology), plant physiology, and toxicology. Minor work is offered to students taking major work in other departments.
Prerequisite to graduate work is a sound undergraduate background in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.
All graduate students are required by the department to teach as part of their training for an advanced degree.
The department offers a B.S./M.S. program in biochemistry that allows students to obtain both the B.S. and M.S. degrees in five years. The program is open to students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in the College of Agriculture. Students interested in this program should contact the department office for details. Application for admission to the Graduate College should be made near the end of the junior undergraduate (third) year. Students would begin research for the M.S. thesis during the summer semester after their junior year and are eligible for research assistantships.
Courses primarily for undergraduate students
BBMB 101. Introduction to Biochemistry. (1-0) Cr. 1. F.Research activities, career opportunities in biochemistry and biophysics, and an introduction to the structure of biologically important compounds. For students majoring in biochemistry, agricultural biochemistry or biophysics or considering one of these majors.
BBMB 102. Introduction to Biochemistry Laboratory. (0-2) Cr. 1. S.Prereq: Credit or enrollment in Chem 177 and 177L. Topics in the scientific background of biochemistry, such as macromolecules, metabolism, and catalysis. May include laboratory experiments as well as literature readings and discussion. A significant component is practice in scientific communication. For students majoring in biochemistry, agricultural biochemistry or biophysics or considering one of these majors.
BBMB 201. Chemical Principles in Biological Systems. (2-0) Cr. 2. S.Prereq: Credit or enrollment in Chem 331. Survey of chemical principles as they apply in biological systems including: water, organic chemistry of functional groups in biomolecules and biochemical cofactors, weak bonds and their contribution to biomolecular structure, oxidation-reduction reactions and redox potential, thermodynamic laws and bioenergetics, chemical equilibria and kinetics, inorganic chemistry in biological systems, data presentation. The subjects will be taught using molecules from biological systems as examples. Intended for majors in biochemistry, biophysics, or agricultural biochemistry.
BBMB 221. Structure and Reactions in Biochemical Processes. (3-0) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: Chem 163, 167, or 177. Fundamentals necessary for an understanding of biochemical processes. Primarily for students in agriculture. Not acceptable for credit toward a major in biochemistry or biophysics. Credit for both BBMB 221 and Chem 231 may not be applied toward graduation.
BBMB 301. Survey of Biochemistry. (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS.Prereq: Chem 231 or 331. A survey of biochemistry: structure and function of amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids; enzymology; metabolism; biosynthesis; and selected topics. Not acceptable for credit toward a major in biochemistry, biophysics, or agricultural biochemistry.
BBMB 311. Biochemistry Laboratory. (1-3) Cr. 2. S.Prereq: Credit or enrollment in 301 or Biol 314. Emphasis on isolation, characterization, and quantification of biological substances. Only one of BBMB 311 or Biol 314L can be counted toward graduation. Not acceptable for credit toward a major in biochemistry, biophysics, or agricultural biochemistry.
BBMB 403. Microbial Biochemistry and Biotechnology. (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2010.Prereq: Chem 332, BBMB 301. Fundamental principles of microbial biochemistry, physiology, and genetics, and their application to microbial biotechnology. Topics will include biorenewable resources, metabolic pathway engineering, enzyme engineering, bioremediation, microbial diversity genomics, metagenomics. Nonmajor graduate credit.
BBMB 404. Biochemistry I. (3-0) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: Chem 332. A general overview for graduate and advanced undergraduate students in agricultural, biological, chemical and nutritional sciences. Chemistry of amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, vitamins; protein structure; enzymology; carbohydrate metabolism. Credit for both BBMB 420 and the 404, 405 sequence may not be applied toward graduation. Nonmajor graduate credit.
BBMB 405. Biochemistry II. (3-0) Cr. 3. S.Prereq: 404. A general overview for graduate and advanced undergraduate students in agricultural, biological, chemical, and nutritional sciences. Metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, nucleotides and lipids; formation, turnover, and molecular relationships among DNA, RNA, and proteins; genetic code; regulation of gene expression; selected topics in the molecular physiology of plants and animals. Credit for both BBMB 420 and the 404, 405 sequence may not be applied toward graduation. Nonmajor graduate credit.
BBMB 411. Techniques in Biochemical Research. (1-8) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: Credit or enrollment in 404 or 501, Chem 210 or 211. Introduction to laboratory techniques for studying biochemistry, including: chromatographic methods; electrophoresis; spectrophotometry; enzyme purification; enzyme kinetics; and characterization of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Nonmajor graduate credit.
BBMB 420. Physiological Chemistry. (3-0) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: Chem 332, BBMB 301 or Biol 314. Structure and function of proteins; enzymology; biological oxidation; chemistry and metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, amino acids and nucleic acids; protein synthesis and the genetic code; relationship of biochemistry to selected animal diseases. Biochemistry of higher animals emphasized. Not acceptable for credit toward a major in agricultural biochemistry, biochemistry or biophysics. Credit for both BBMB 420 and the 404, 405 sequence may not be applied toward graduation. Nonmajor graduate credit.
BBMB 430. Procaryotic Diversity and Ecology. (Dual-listed with 530). (Cross-listed with Micro). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2011.Prereq: Micro 302, Micro 302L. Survey of the diverse groups of procaryotes emphasizing important and distinguishing metabolic, phylogenetic, morphological, and ecological features of members of those groups.
BBMB 440. Laboratory in Microbial Physiology, Diversity, and Genetics. (Cross-listed with Micro). (1-7) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: Micro 302, 302L, Chem 332, Biol 313L. Study of the fundamental techniques and theory of studying the diversity of microbial life. Experimental techniques will include isolation and physiological characterization of bacteria that inhabit different environments. Also included are techniques for the phylogenetic characterization, and genetic manipulation of diverse species of bacteria.
BBMB 451. Physical Biochemistry. (2-0) Cr. 2. F.Prereq: Chem 331, Phys 112 or 222; a previous course in calculus is helpful but not required. Selected topics in physical chemistry in the context of applications to problems in biology, biochemistry and food sciences. Not acceptable for credit toward a major in biochemistry or biophysics. Nonmajor graduate credit.
BBMB 461. Topics in Biophysics. (2-0) Cr. 2. S.Prereq: 451 or Chem 321 or Phys 304. Biological phenomena viewed as problems in physics, with a focus on structure determinations and macromolecular characterization. Nonmajor graduate credit.
BBMB 490. Independent Study. Cr. arr. F.S.SS.Prereq: College of Agriculture: junior or senior classification and permission of instructor; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: permission of instructor. College of Agriculture: a maximum of 9 credits of 490 may be applied toward graduation.
BBMB 499. Undergraduate Research. Cr. 1-5. Repeatable. F.S.SS.Prereq: Permission of staff member with whom student proposes to work. Research under senior staff guidance.
Courses primarily for graduate students, open to qualified undergraduate students
BBMB 501. Comprehensive Biochemistry I. (4-0) Cr. 4. F.Prereq: Chem 210 or 211, 322, and 332; a previous course in biochemistry is strongly recommended. Chemical composition of living matter and the chemistry of life processes. Chemical characterization of amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids; enzymology and co-enzymes; metabolism of carbohydrates; biological oxidations.
BBMB 502. Comprehensive Biochemistry II. (4-0) Cr. 4. S.Prereq: 501. Chemical composition of living matter and the chemistry of life processes. Metabolism of lipids, amino acids, and nucleotides; membrane biochemistry; biosynthesis of DNA, RNA, and proteins; gene regulation; selected topics.
BBMB 503. Bioinorganic Chemistry. (Cross-listed with Chem). (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered 2010.Prereq: Chem 402 or BBMB 405. Essential elements: transport and storage of ions and of oxygen; metalloenzymes and metallocoenzymes; electron-transfer processes in respiration and photosynthesis; metabolism of nonmetals and redox processes involved in it; medicinal aspects of inorganic chemistry.
BBMB 520. Genetic Engineering. (Cross-listed with GDCB, MCDB). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2009.Prereq: Gen 411 or BBMB 405. Strategies and methods of gene cloning, restriction endonuclease mapping, southern hybridization, isolation and manipulation of plasmid DNA, and detection of specific genes in bacteria.
BBMB 530. Procaryotic Diversity and Ecology. (Dual-listed with 430). (Cross-listed with Micro). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2011.Prereq: Micro 302, Micro 302L. Survey of the diverse groups of procaryotes emphasizing important and distinguishing metabolic, phylogenetic, morphological, and ecological features of members of those groups.
BBMB 531. Structure and Reactivity of Biomolecules. (3-0) Cr. 1. F.Prereq: Chem 332. Five weeks. Special properties of reactive groups prevalent in biomolecules and reactions commonly encountered in biochemical studies. A study of reaction types and mechanisms in biochemistry.
BBMB 541. Computational Biochemistry. (1-0) Cr. 1. F.Prereq: A previous course in biochemistry is recommended. Computer applications in biochemical research.
BBMB 542. Introduction to Molecular Biology Techniques. (Cross-listed with B M S, BCB, EEOB, FS HN, GDCB, Hort, NREM, NutrS, V MPM, VDPAM). Cr. 1. Repeatable. F.S.SS.Prereq: Graduate classification. Workshops in basic molecular biology techniques and related procedures. Satisfactory-fail only.
BBMB 551. Molecular Biophysics. (3-0) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: Chem 322. An examination of physical methods for the study of molecular structure and organization of biological materials, with emphasis on applications. Spectroscopy, hydrodynamic methods, nuclear magnetic resonance, and X-ray diffraction.
BBMB 552. Biomolecular NMR Spectroscopy. (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered 2011.Prereq: Chem 325 or permission of instructor. Advanced solution state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy as applied to biological systems. Topics include theoretical principles of NMR, practical aspects of experimental NMR, methodologies for protein structure determination, NMR relaxation, recent advances in NMR spectroscopy.
BBMB 569. Bioinformatics III (Structural Genome Informatics). (Cross-listed with BCB, Com S, Cpr E, Math). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: BCB 567, Gen 411, Stat 430. Algorithmic and statistical approaches in structural genomics including protein, DNA and RNA structure. Structure determination, refinement, representation, comparison, visualization, and modeling. Analysis and prediction of protein secondary and tertiary structure, disorder, protein cores and surfaces, protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interactions, protein localization and function.
BBMB 581. Seminar. (1-0) Cr. 1. F.Prereq: Permission of instructor. Short presentations by students and discussion on assigned topics. For entering graduate students.
BBMB 590. Special Topics. Cr. arr.
BBMB 593. Workshop in Biochemistry and Biophysics. Cr. 1. Repeatable.Prereq: Permission of instructor. Graduate workshops in selected topics in biochemistry and biophysics. Credit in this course does not meet the requirement for advanced graduate electives in Biochemistry.
Courses for graduate students
BBMB 607. Plant Biochemistry. (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. F., offered 2010.Prereq: 405 or 502. Description of unique aspects of plant biochemistry including lipid metabolism, cell wall structure, secondary metabolism, phytoalexin biosynthesis, and plant defenses.
BBMB 615. Molecular Immunology. (Cross-listed with Micro, V MPM). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2009.Prereq: BBMB 405 or 502. Current topics in molecular aspects of immunology: T and B cell receptors; major histocompatibility complex; antibody structure; immunosuppressive drugs and viruses; and intracellular signalling pathways leading to expression of genes that control and activate immune function.
BBMB 622. Carbohydrate Chemistry. (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered 2010.Prereq: 404 or 501. Structure, occurrence, properties, function, and chemical and enzymatic modifications of monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, and glycoproteins.
BBMB 632. Kinetics of Enzyme Action. (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered 2011.Prereq: 501. Fundamental and advanced enzyme kinetics. Topics include integrated rate equations, methods for deriving initial-rate equations, inhibition, product effects, methods for verifying kinetic mechanisms, allostery, hysteresis, isotope effects, and complex kinetic mechanisms.
BBMB 640. Signal Transduction. (Cross-listed with GDCB, MCDB). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. S., offered 2010.Prereq: GDCB 528, BBMB 404. Mechanisms and components of cellular signal transduction including receptors, G-proteins, second messengers, protein phosphorylation, other post-translational protein modications, and transcriptional regulation.
BBMB 642. Mechanisms of Enzymatic Catalysis. (2-0) Cr. 1. Alt. F., offered 2010.Prereq: 404, 420, or 501. First 8 weeks. The chemical basis of enzymatic catalysis with emphasis on mechanisms of substrate recognition, general acid-base catalysis and stereoelectronic factors.
BBMB 645. Molecular Signaling. (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered 2011.Prereq: 405, 420, or 502. Molecular mechanisms of cellular signaling including receptor activation, desensitization and cross talk, signal transduction pathways, and nuclear receptors. Discussion includes a variety of cell surface receptors and their hormone; growth factor and extracellular matrix activators; protein kinases; caspase and transcription factor downstream signals; lipids, gases and cyclic nucleotides as regulators of cell signaling. Course content includes current literature, student and instructor presentations and research proposal writing.
BBMB 652. Protein Chemistry - Chemical Methods. (2-0) Cr. 1. Alt. S., offered 2010.Prereq: 404 or 501. First 8 weeks. Chemical reactions as a means of determining protein structure and biological function.
BBMB 653. Protein Chemistry - Physical Methods. (2-0) Cr. 1. Alt. S., offered 2010.Prereq: 404 or 501. Second 8 weeks. Protein structure determination as a means of understanding biological function.
BBMB 660. Membrane Biochemistry. (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. F., offered 2010.Prereq: 405 or 502. Protein and lipid constituents of biological membranes. Structure and topography of membrane proteins. Selected topics concerning the membrane proteins involved in diverse biochemical processes, such as energy transduction transport across membranes, neurotransmission and signal transduction.
BBMB 661. Current Topics in Neurobiology. (Cross-listed with Neuro, GDCB). Cr. 2-3. Repeatable.Prereq: Permission of instructor. Topics may include communication, hormones and behavior, neural integration, membrane biophysics, molecular and cellular neuroscience, developmental neurobiology, neuroanatomy and ultrastructure, sensory biology, social behavior, techniques in neurobiology and behavior.
BBMB 670. Molecular Biology of Muscle. (Cross-listed with An S). (3-0) Cr. 3. Alt. F., offered 2010.Prereq: BBMB 405, 420, or 502. Ultrastructure of muscle; chemistry, structure, function, and molecular biology of muscle proteins. Molecular aspects of muscle contraction, development, and turnover. Cytoskeletal proteins and dynamics.
BBMB 675. Nucleic Acid Structure and Function. (2-0) Cr. 2. F.Prereq: 405 or 502. In-depth discussion of nucleic acid properties, structures and structure/function relationships. Interactions between nucleic acids and proteins will be emphasized.
BBMB 676. Biochemistry of Gene Expression in Eucaryotes. (Cross-listed with MCDB). (2-0) Cr. 2. Alt. S., offered 2010.Prereq: 404 or 501, 405 or 502 or GDCB 511. Analysis of the biochemical processes involved in expression of eucaryotic genes and the regulation thereof, including RNA polymerase, transcriptional regulatory proteins, enhancers and silencers, chromosome structure, termination, RNA processing, RNA transport, RNA turnover, small RNAs translational regulation, protein turnover.
BBMB 681. Advanced Seminar. Cr. 1. Repeatable. F.S.Prereq: Permission of instructor. Student presentations.
BBMB 682. Departmental Seminar. Cr. R. F.S.Prereq: Permission of instructor. Staff and visitor research.
BBMB 696. Research Seminar. (Cross-listed with Agron, GDCB, PlBio, Hort, For). Cr. 1. Repeatable.Research seminars by faculty and graduate students. Satisfactory-fail only.
BBMB 698. Seminar in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. (Cross-listed with MCDB, GDCB, Micro, V MPM). (2-0) Cr. 1-2. Repeatable. F.S.Student and faculty presentations.
BBMB 699. Research. Cr. arr.Prereq: Permission of instructor.