• The course is intended for life science majors and takes a holistic approach to Biochemistry. You will learn the basics of proteins, enzymology, nucleic acids and metabolism and use these as foundations to discuss exemplary metabolic pathways for their importance to homeostasis and, when dysregulated, to disease including observable phenotypes and what current strategies are used to treat these disorders. Coursework will consist of quizzes, homework, exams and one graded paper. 
  • Semester Offered: Fall, Spring
  • Credits: 3
  • Course URL: canvas

Course Description:  

This course is intended for life science majors and differs from other biochemistry courses by taking a different approach to presenting biochemical topics as outlined below. While traditional biochemistry classes are focused on memorization and the “sage-on-a-stage” method of content delivery, this class expects you to participate in the course actively. Because class sizes may be large, part of these discussions will involve the use of i-Clicker technology which you have access to as part of the Stryer 10th ed. E-text. These will springboard us into being able to discuss and apply topics that we will be covering this semester using the pedagogical approach below.

The course will take a holistic approach to understanding biochemistry. You will learn the basics of proteins, enzymology, nucleic acids and metabolism. We will then use these as foundations on which we discuss several metabolic pathways in detail with emphasis on how these pathways work together to maintain homeostasis. Importantly we will examine in some detail how dysregulation or dysfunctions in these pathways lead to disease, how the specific mechanisms of these dysfunctions lead to observable phenotypes and what current strategies are used to treat these disorders.

Course Syllabus

Fall 2024 (subject to change)

Course URL: Canvas Site

Course satisfies Learning Goals:

Biochemistry is often approached by students as an exercise in memorization. This will not be the focus of this course. Just as Mathematics is a “language” of sorts, so is any area of discipline including biochemistry. The Aim of this course will be to introduce you to this language so that you may be able to have a conversation using these terms, theory, and knowledge rather than regurgitate them. Through integration of Biochemistry with its applications, the course prepares students not only for careers in health professions but also in research and makes them more competitive for graduate programs and fellowships/grants that want outcomes with practical benefits to society.

To meet these outcomes, we will be approaching biochemistry in a more rounded way. You will learn much of these pathways on your own and reinforce them with before-class quizzes. In class time will be devoted to clarification AND application. It is in this application portion that we will practice carrying on a conversation using the language of biochemistry. These will be reinforced by after-class homework, Exams, and individual research papers.

At the conclusion of this class, you will:

Be able to understand the principles of protein structure and function including enzymology and catalytic strategies of enzymes.
Be able to understand the principles of thermodynamics and metabolism including the relationship between catabolic and anabolic pathways and the role in homeostasis.
Have learned the “language” of biochemistry and basic principles such as:

  • Enzymology
  • Protein composition and function
  • Metabolism – Glycolysis, FA oxidation, Protein metabolism, Oxidative phosphorylation
  • Nucleic acid chemistry

Be able to apply your knowledge to research and synthesize connections between biochemical pathways and disease pathologies.
Have discussions using your knowledge to explain the pathophysiology of metabolic disorders or disorders of related pathways.
Be able to independently research and explain the interplay between biochemical pathways and their effects on the organism as a whole.
Apply the topics we learn about in research, medicine, pharmaceutical industry, nursing, or other contexts.

Course Materials

  • Biochemistry (10th edition), 2023, by Berg, Gatto, Hines, Tymoczko & Stryer. Macmillan. ISBN-13: 978-1-319-48678-5 (EPUB)
  • Macmillan Achieve is required for assignment completion and can be purchased as part of Rutgers First Day program.
  • Additional Literature to be provided by the instructor (e.g., Journal Articles, Patents, Podcasts etc.)

Course Closed?:  If the course is closed, contact Dr. Gabriel Villegas This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a special permission number. 

Faculty

 Dr. Gabriel Villegas This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Student Wellness Services

** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.