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Biological Chemistry

Professor Lawson (Chemistry); Associate Professors Pelliccia (Biology), Abrahamsen (Biology), and Schlax (Chemistry; chair)

Biological chemistry encompasses the study of the form and function of the proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids found in living organisms. Traditionally, biological chemistry has been an interdisciplinary field, drawing on techniques and expertise from physics, medicine, biology, and chemistry. The required courses for the major give a student a solid foundation in basic science, while the array of elective courses allows wide latitude in pursuing an area of individual interest. The thesis provides a final integrating experience.

The program maintains affiliations with certain research laboratories at which students may conduct a semester of research for credit. Such credits may be used to fulfill one of the elective requirements or a portion of the thesis requirement; however, such a possibility must be arranged by the student prior to beginning the research program.
More information on the biological chemistry program is available on the Web site (www.bates.edu/BIOC.xml).

Cross-listed Courses. Note that unless otherwise specified, when a department/program references a course or unit in the department/program, it includes courses and units cross-listed with the department/program.

Major Requirements. The major requires thirteen or fourteen courses, including a one- or two-semester thesis, mentored in either the biology or chemistry department. Students may choose thesis advisors from faculty not formally part of the biological chemistry program, but thesis topics must be approved by the program committee.

Double Majoring in Biological Chemistry and Biology or Chemistry. If a student undertakes a double major in biological chemistry and biology or chemistry, he or she may not use the same elective course to fulfill both majors.

Seminar Requirement. Each major is required to present at least one seminar during the senior year and attend at least four seminars presented by visiting scholars in either the biology or chemistry department.

B.S. Requirements. In addition to Chemistry 107A or Chemistry/Environmental Studies 107B, and Chemistry 108A or Chemistry/Environmental Studies 108B, two semesters of calculus (Mathematics 105-106) and two semesters of physics (Physics 107 or First-Year Seminar 314, and Physics 108 or First-Year Seminar 274) are required. Since three of these courses are required for Chemistry 203 and 220, only Physics 108 or First-Year Seminar 274 is an additional requirement.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.

For further information, students should consult a member of the program.

Required Courses
For the classes of 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, all of the following:
Any 100-level biology course or AP biology credit (recommended: BIO 106. Animal Development, or BIO 108. Cancer, or BIO 131. Human Genetics and Biotechnology).
BIO 201. Biological Principles.
BIO s42. Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Beginning with the class of 2009, all of the following:
BIO 101. Organismal Biology.
BIO 242. Cellular and Molecular Biology.

For all classes:
One of the following:
BIO 316. Molecular Aspects of Development.
BIO 331. Molecular Biology.

One of the following:
CHEM 107A. Atomic and Molecular Structure.
CH/ES 107B. Chemical Structure and Its Importance in the Environment.

One of the following:
CHEM 108A. Chemical Reactivity.
CH/ES 108B. Chemical Reactivity in Environmental Systems.

One of the following:
CHEM 302. Statistical Thermodynamics.
CHEM 310. Biophysical Chemistry.

All of the following:
CHEM 217. Organic Chemistry I.
CHEM 218. Organic Chemistry II.
CHEM 321. Biological Chemistry I.
CHEM 322. Biological Chemistry II.

A one- or two-semester thesis is also required, with the thesis advisor being a faculty member in either chemistry or biology.

Elective courses
Choose at least two, one of which must come from biology. It is strongly recommended that students considering graduate programs in biochemistry, biophysics, or related disciplines select a chemistry elective.

BI/NS 308. Neurobiology.
BIO 314. Virology.
BIO 315. Bacteriology.
BIO 316. Molecular Aspects of Development (cannot serve as both an elective and as a required course).
BIO 320. Pharmacology.
BIO 331. Molecular Biology (cannot serve as both an elective and as a required course).
BIO 337. Animal Physiology.
BIO 338. Drug Actions on the Nervous System.
BIO 351. Immunology.
BIO 352. Membrane and Receptor Biology.
BIO 380. Plant Physiology.

BIOC 312. Genomics, Proteomics, and Bioinformatics.

CHEM 203. Statistical Thermodynamics (cannot serve as both elective and required course).
CHEM 206. Quantum Chemistry.
CHEM 212. Separation Science.
CHEM 215. Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry.
CHEM 220. Biophysical Chemistry (cannot serve as both elective and required course).
CHEM 223. Analytical Spectroscopy and Electrochemistry.
CHEM 313. Spectroscopic Determination of Molecular Structure.
CHEM 325. Organic Synthesis.
CHEM 326. Advanced Organic Chemistry.
CHEM 327. Topics in Macromolecular Chemistry.
CHEM s32. Practical Genomics and Bioinformatics.

Courses
BIOC 312. Genomics, Proteomics, and Bioinformatics.The genetic information encoded within the chromosomes of a vast number of organisms is now available. Consequently, biologists are faced with the need to understand the basic principles of information technology in order to extract meaning from these raw data. In this course, students explore the experimental and computational methods that are used to generate and analyze these data. Topics include genes and gene structure, gene and protein prediction algorithms, microarray technologies for DNA and protein, phylogeny and database design. Students also make extensive use of open-source programs as well as public biological data repositories in order to facilitate their exploration of this new and exciting field of biology. Prerequisite(s): Biology s42. Recommended background: Biology 331. Normally offered every year. A. Planchart.
BIOC 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every year. Staff.
BIOC 457. Senior Thesis.A laboratory or library research study in an area of interest under the supervision of a member of the biology or chemistry department. Senior majors deliver presentations on their research. Students register for Biological Chemistry 457 in the fall semester and Biological Chemistry 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Biological Chemistry 457 and 458. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. Staff.
BIOC 457, 458. Senior Thesis.A laboratory or library research study in an area of interest under the supervision of a member of the biology or chemistry department. Senior majors deliver presentations on their research. Students register for Biological Chemistry 457 in the fall semester and Biological Chemistry 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Biological Chemistry 457 and 458. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. Staff.
BIOC 458. Senior Thesis.A laboratory or library research study in an area of interest under the supervision of a member of the biology or chemistry department. Senior majors will be asked to deliver presentations on their research. Students register for Biological Chemistry 457 in the fall semester and Biological Chemistry 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Biological Chemistry 457 and 458. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Short Term Courses
BIOC s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff.