background

Biological Chemistry

Professors Dearborn (Biology) and Lawson (Chemistry); Associate Professors Abrahamsen (Biology), Koviach-Côté (Chemistry), and Schlax (Chemistry, chair); Assistant Professor Williams (Biology); Visiting Assistant Professor Richards (Biology)

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 (bates.edu/biological-chemistry).

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.

Students may not double major in biological chemistry and biology, chemistry or neuroscience.

Seminar Requirement. Each major is required to make one formal thesis research presentation for each semester of thesis completed. 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 CHEM 107A, CH/ES 107B, or FYS 398, and CHEM 108A or CH/ES 108B, MATH 106 or MATH 206 and two semesters of physics (PHYS 107 or FYS 314, and PHYS 108 or FYS 274) are required. Since three of these courses are required for CHEM 302 and 310, only PHYS 108 or FYS 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/Lab.
BIO 242. Cellular and Molecular Biology/Lab.

One of the following:
BIO 328. Developmental Biology/Lab.
BIO 331. Molecular Biology/Lab.

One of the following:
CHEM 107A. Atomic and Molecular Structure/Lab.
CH/ES 107B. Chemical Structure and Its Importance in the Environment/Lab.
FYS 398. The Chemistry of Color/Lab.

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

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

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

A one- or two-semester thesis, BIOC 457 and/or BIOC 458, is also required, with a thesis advisor who is 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/Lab.

BIO 314. Virology.
BIO 315. Bacteriology/Lab.
BIO 320. Pharmacology.
BIO 328. Developmental Biology/Lab (cannot serve as both an elective and a required course).
BIO 330. Advanced Genetics/Lab.
BIO 331. Molecular Biology/Lab (cannot serve as both an elective and a required course).
BI/ES 333. Genetics Conservation Biology/Lab.
BIO 337. Animal Physiology/Lab.
BIO 338. Drug Actions on the Nervous System.
BIO 350. Immunology.
BIO 351. Immunology/Lab.
BIO 365F. Topics in Cell Biology.
BIO 380. Plant Physiology/Lab.
BIO s31. Avian Biology.
BIO s34. Electron Microscopy/Lab.
BIO s35. Experimental Toxicogenomics/Lab.
BIO s40. Experimental Developmental and Molecular Biology/Lab.
BIO s44. Experimental Neuro/Physiology/Lab.

CHEM 212. Separation Science/Lab.
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. Advanced Organic Chemistry.
CHEM 327. Topics in Macromolecular Chemistry.
CHEM s37. Advanced Measurement Laboratory/Lab.
CHEM s42. Chemical Synthesis and Reactivity/Lab.

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.
Interdisciplinary Programs

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 BIOC 457 in the fall semester and BIOC 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both BIOC 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

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

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.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)