Course Specifics:

Instructor: Dr. Jason C. Hurlbert

Office: Sims 301B

Office hours: M 10:00-11:00 AM, W 1:00-1:45 PM, R 11:00-12:00PM and by appointment

Phone: 323-4928


Meeting Times:

Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00 - 3:30 PM

3 credit hours

Textbook and Required Materials

  1. Biochemistry, 9th ed by Berg, Tymoczko, Gatto and Stryer

Course Website:

The course syllabus will be posted on the Blackboard course shell for CHEM523, however we will use the departmental webserver for the semester. The link to the course page on the server is:

This website will take priority over anything on Blackboard. All Powerpoint files, MP3 audio recordings of lectures, MP4 movies showing biochemical reaction mechanisms will always be found on the Departmental webserver. The Blackboard course shell will only be periodically updated, so your first reference for the course should always be:

Failure to notice an assignment deadline on the website is not an excuse for missing the assignment.

Course Outline and Objectives:

We will cover the following topics during the semester:

Course Outline:

Biochemistry is the branch of science focused on studying the structure, function and interactions of the molecules found in living systems. Its very name tells you that it is a hybrid discipline incorporating biology, organic chemistry, physcial chemistry and even physics into the study of the chemical reactions and interactions that allow life to exist. The goal of this course is to familiarize you with the vocabulary and concepts necessary to understand how living cells function at the molecular level. We will spend one half of the semester learning the basics of biological molecules: amino acids, proteins, sugars, polysaccharide, lipids and membranes. In the second half of the semester, we will put these basic building blocks into motion and study membrane transport, signal transduction, glycolysis and the citric acid cycle.

This is a 500 level course, which means that the concepts we will discuss are advanced and will require you to spend a lot of time and work outside of the classroom to fully understand and apply them. To ensure that you do not fall behind, the bulk of the points in the course will come from online homework assignments in Sapling plus, specifically Reading Quizzes and Homework problems. These assignments are not meant to overburden you, but rather to help you learn as we go and to prevent you from trying to cram before each exam.

This class is meant to push you to your limits and will help you tie together concepts and information you have learned in general chemistry, organic chemistry and various biology courses you have taken during your college career. Every bit of effort you put into this class will be rewarded with a better understanding of the role of chemistry in biological systems and will be reflected in the grade you earn for the course. Go ahead and plan to work on the material for this class at least 10-15 hours a week.

CHEM520 Section 001 Tentative Course Schedule

For specific dates and assignments, please visit the "Course Schedule" page from the link in the top right

Week Topic
1 Course Introduction and the Importance of water
2 Amino acids and Protein Structure
  Exploring proteins and proteomes
3 Computational biology
4 Hemoglobin: Structure and function
5 Test 1
6 Enzyme Kinetics
  Catalytic strategies
7 Regulatory Strategies
8 Test 2
9 Carbohydrates
10 Lipids and Membranes
11 Signal Transduction
12 Test 3
13 Glycolysis
14 Citric Acid Cycle