Biochemistry Curriculum

Our students must complete seven contracts, three Independent Study Projects and a senior thesis project to graduate. Contracts consist of three to five academic activities — courses, tutorials, internships, independent reading projects, etc. — that will develop your personal educational goals during a semester.

Here’s a list of recent course offerings in Biochemistry:

Biochemistry I, Protein Structure and Function

This course will be an in-depth study of protein and nucleic acid structure, function, and regulation. The focus of the class will be on molecular mechanisms of protein function. Mechanisms of human diseases will also be discussed. The last two weeks of the course will include advanced topics chosen by the students themselves.

Biochemistry II, Metabolism and Advanced Topics
This course will be a continuation of Biochemistry I. We will cover advanced topics including sugar, amino acid, lipid, and nucleotide metabolism as well as eukaryotic mechanisms for transcription regulation. The last two weeks of the course will include advanced topics chosen by the students themselves.

Biochemistry Laboratory
This class will allow students to get experience using a variety of modern techniques in biochemistry and molecular biology. Experimental design, laboratory methods, and data analysis will be emphasized. Students will learn to do protein purifications, enzyme essays, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), restriction enzyme digestions, DNA ligation and transformation of E. coli. Students will do a research project during the course.

Bioinorganic Chemistry
The functions of inorganic centers in biological systems will be examined. Why certain metals are involved in specific functions, mechanisms of metalloenzyme-catalyzed reactions, synthetic structural and functional models, and physical methods used to study bioinorganic systems, are some of the topics we will discuss. Additionally, we will examine in some depth several specific problems in bioinorganic chemistry. Using this approach, course participants will gain substantial practice in reading the primary literature, and will experience the way in which research on a particular problem unfolds. Some choices of topics will be determined by student interest.

Cell Biology Lecture
This course will focus on the structure and function of eukaryotic cells. Topics will include bioenergetics, the structure and function of membranes, organelles and the cytoskeleton, cellular metabolism, macromolecular transport and cellular organization, the cell cycle, cell signaling, and the extracellular matrix. The cellular bases of diseases and of extracellular signal perception will be emphasized.

Cell Biology Laboratory
This laboratory course is designed to compliment the Cell Biology Lecture course. Students will develop laboratory technique and data analysis skills while learning several different approaches used to study cells. Some independent inquiry will be required. Such cell biological techniques as microscopy (various types), tissue preparation for microscopy, sub cellular separation, protein and nucleic acid extraction, gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting, and real time RT-PCR will be emphasized.

Chemical Structure Elucidation
The use of instrumentation to determine chemical structures is an essential skill for anyone continuing in the field of chemistry. This course will cover the the theory and use of NMR, IR, MS, UV-VIS and other common research instrumentation needed to determine the identity of a chemical compound. There will be additional class time scheduled for use of the instruments.

Chemistry Inquiry Laboratory
This laboratory focuses on purification of compounds and the determination of chemical structure by spectroscopic methods. The lab emphasizes group work and collaboration. In one lab, students must first determine who else in the lab has the same material as they do, then form a group to determine the compound’s structure. Substitution and elimination reactions are explored.

Enzyme Reaction Mechanisms
This course will cover the chemical strategies used by a wide variety of enzymes to catalyze biochemical reactions. We will cover general mechanisms including group transfer, oxidation reduction, substitution, carboxylation, decarboxylation, isomerization, and aldol reactions. Topics will also include methods to elucidate reaction mechanisms, the three-dimensional structure of enzyme active sites, and methods of enzyme regulation.

General Chemistry I
This is the first course in a two-semester general chemistry sequence that is intended for first-year students and designed for all science students interested in chemistry-related fields. Students are expected to complete General Chemistry I and II and Organic Chemistry I and II and their respective labs to satisfy the two years of chemistry required by many graduate and medical school programs.

General Chemistry II
This course is a continuation of General Chemistry I. Topics this semester will include thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry and electrochemistry.

General Chemistry Laboratory
This is a rigorous laboratory course to accompany General Chemistry. Development of laboratory technique, problem-solving skills, quantitative data analysis and communication skills will be stressed. Experimental work will include calorimetry, chemical equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, spectroscopy, and kinetics.

Introduction to Genetics
Genetics is a comprehensive course encompassing classical Mendelian hypotheses, biochemical genetics, cytoplasmic heredity, population applications and new concepts in DNA technology. We will explore these areas using simulations, small observational experiments in class in addition to interactive lectures.

Genetics laboratory
The genetics lab is a full term endeavor. It is divided into two parts emphasizing the major areas of genetic experimentation.

Genetics Laboratory Part I - Classical Genetics Techniques Laboratory
Part One (Module 1)

Goals are to acquaint the student with laboratory instruments, to instill lab safety and to begin building lab poise. Experiments will center around classical Mendelian genetics. Thus, little knowledge of chemistry is required to complete this course successfully.

Genetics Laboratory Part II - Fundamentals of Applied Genetics
Part Two (Module 2)

Laboratory skills gained in the Module 1 Lab will be extended and amplified in this course. Students will be required to do a series of experiments using a variety of organisms. Development of micro techniques in this course is essential.

Molecular Biology
This course will cover various advanced topics in molecular biology. The focus will be on transcription regulation and on methods used in molecular biology. We will discuss methods such as in vitro transcription, reverse transcription, PCR, site-directed mutagenesis, and cloning.

Organic I, Structure & Reactivity
This is the first course of a two-semester sequence in Organic Chemistry and covers the core of how the chemical structure of organic compounds relates to chemical reactivity. We review fundamental chemistry concepts and then use basic principles to predict the reactivity of organic compounds. Our purpose is to understand how and why reactions occur rather than memorizing a large vocabulary of reactions. We will emphasize recognition of structural similarities and grouping by like processes so that the student achieves a coherent understanding of the basis of chemical reactivity. The course covers substitution, elimination and electrophilic addition processes.

Organic II, Structure & Reactivity
This course continues the theme of how chemical structure relates to reactivity of organic compounds. The first part is the reactions of carbonyl compounds and carboxylic acid derivatives. The second part comers aromatic compounds, radical reactions, sugars, amino acids, and macromolecular chemistry.

Organic Chemistry Laboratory
This laboratory explores the preparation and characterization of organic compounds. We will also study a reaction in detail to explore the reaction mechanism. All students will have direct access to most research instrumentation.

Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Systems
This course will cover key concepts of thermodynamics and kinetics, illustrated by their application to the structure, function, and interactions of large molecules of biological interest.  The applications covered will include enzyme kinetics, electrophoresis, consideration of free energy and surface tension as applied to biological membranes, and many others.  This course satisfies the one-semester Physical Chemistry class requirement for the Biochemistry AOC. 
 
Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Students will perform a variety of physical chemistry and kinetics measurements.  The emphasis of the course will be on modern instrumental methods and data analysis using sophisticated mathematical software.  Students will be exposed to many techniques, including IR and UV-Vis spectroscopy, spectrofluorimetry, calorimetry, and surface tensiometry.


For detailed requirements, check out our General Catalog and the Biochemistry Academic Learning Compact.

For a complete list of courses, click here.

 

Internships, ISPs and Tutorials

In addition to traditional classes, students in Biochemistry at New College augment their coursework with an assortment of internship opportunities, ISPs (Independent Study Projects) and individual and group tutorials. Below are examples of some of the recent internships, ISPs and tutorials completed by our students.

Internships
Roskamp Institute
Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute

ISPs (Independent Study Projects)
• C. elegans Strain Construction and Molecular Biology Lab
• Plastic Surgeon Observation
• Protein Purification and Enzyme Kinetics
• Shadowing A Doctor
• Brain Health Center Shadowing at Cleveland Clinic
• Enzyme Assay Analysis of Sistrurus barbouri Venom
• Enzyme Kinetics of C. elegans GPD-3
• Medicinal Chemistry

Tutorials
• Purification and Characterization of AChE from D. suzukii
• Quantification of Male rha-1 C. elegans Mutant mRNA Thesis Lab
• Immunology
• Virology
• Measuring Small RNA Expression with RT-PCR
• Protein Purification Research Lab

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New College faculty members in Chemistry and Biochemistry have doctorates from University of Wisconsin, MIT, Berkeley and Cornell University and have earned grants from a variety of national and international agencies.

Office of the Provost
New College of Florida
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Phone: (941) 487-4200
Fax: (941) 487-4201
provost@ncf.edu