Biological Chemistry

Professors Lawson (Chemistry) and Baker (Biology); Associate Professors Abrahamsen (Biology), Schlax (Chemistry), Sommer (Biology), and Koviach-Côté (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 website (www.bates.edu/BIOC.xml).

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 committee, but thesis topics must be approved by the program committee.

Double Majoring in Biological Chemistry and Biology, Chemistry, or Neuroscience. If a student undertakes a double major in biological chemistry and biology, chemistry, or neuroscience, he or she may not use the same elective course to fulfill both majors. Additionally, courses required to fulfill the major requirements of one of the majors may not be used to serve as electives for the second major.

Seminar Requirement. Each major is required to make two formal thesis research presentations during the senior year, at least one of which is an oral seminar. Each senior is also required to attend at least four seminars presented by visiting scholars in either the biology or chemistry department.

B.S. Requirements. In addition to Chemistry 107A, Chemistry/Environmental Studies 107B, or First-Year Seminar 398, 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 302 and 310, 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

BIO 190. Organismal Biology (formerly 101).
BIO 242. Cellular and Molecular Biology.
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.
FYS 398. The Chemistry of Color.

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, Biological Chemistry 457 and/or Biological Chemistry 458, 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 318. Biomechanics
BIO 320. Pharmacology.
BIO 330. Advanced Genetics.
BIO 337. Animal Physiology.
BIO 338. Drug Actions on the Nervous System.
BIO 351. Immunology.
BIO 365F. Topics in Cell Biology.
BIO 380. Plant Physiology.
BIO s24. Experimental Biology.
BIO s34. Electron Microscopy.
BIO s44. Experimental Neuro/Physiology.

CHEM 212. Separation Science.
CHEM 215. Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry.
CHEM 223. Analytical Spectroscopy and Electrochemistry.
CHEM 240. Materials Chemistry.
CHEM 301. Quantum Chemistry.
CHEM 302. Statistical Thermodynamics (cannot serve as both an elective and a required course).
CHEM 310. Biophysical Chemistry (cannot serve as both an elective and a required course).
CHEM 313. Spectroscopic Determination of Molecular Structure.
CHEM 325. Organic Synthesis.
CHEM 327. Topics in Macromolecular Chemistry.
CHEM s32. Practical Genomics and Bioinformatics.
CHEM s37. Advanced Measurement Lab.
CHEM s42. Chemical Synthesis and Reactivity.

Courses

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.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

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. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

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. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

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. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

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.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)