Course Specifics:

Instructor:  Dr. Jason C. Hurlbert

Office: Sims 301B

Office hours: M 10:30-11:30 AM, T 5:00-6:00 PM, R 12:30-1:30PM and by appointment

Phone: 323-4928


Course Meeting Times:

Friday, 2:00-3:00 PM

1 credit hours

Note: This course is meeting synchronously, despite being an online course. I will make every piece of information and material discussed available via the departmental webserver. Tests will be given during the scheduled class times unless you speak to me in advance and we work out a different time for you to take a test. Course attendance is not mandatory, but on occasion I may ask students to answer brief (10 minute) pop quizzes and send me their answers via Rocketbook.

Course Website

The course syllabus will be posted on the Blackboard course shell for CHEM529, 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 Goals and Objectives

Research articles should be selected from the journals found on the Recommended Journals page (see link on left of this page). Review articles are not eligible for selection. Prior to selection of an article, students are required to consult with Dr. Hurlbert to ensure that the article is a viable choice. On days when the course is scheduled to meet, the presenter will give a 40 minute presentation on their selected paper and then answer questions from the audience. All non-presenting students will be expected to contribute to the discussion folllowing the presentation. The presentations must address the following:

  1. Enough experimental background to frame the goals of the work presented
  2. The goals of the research presented
  3. The techniques used as well as their theoretical basis
  4. Experimental data obtained and interpret the results
  5. Conclusions, future work and relevance to the experimental field
  6. It is the responsibility of each presenter to approve their selected paper with the instructor. Papers for discussion will be available for download from the course website at least a week before the date they are to be presented. Non-presenting students are expected to download, read and analyze each paper before each scheduled meeting. The success of the course not only relies on the presentations given for each article, but also the discussions resulting from them. To assist in this effort, non-presenting students should download and complete the Article Discussion Worksheets as they read through the articles to be discussed. These Article Discussion Worksheets will be picked up at the start of each class to ensure that everyone has read the article for the week. After each presentation, all students are to complete the Presentation Evaluation forms and provide honest, constructive analyses of the presentations given by their peers during the session. These forms will be distilled by the instructor and discussed with each of the students whose presentations were evaluated, thereby ensuring that positive feedback will be provided to each student.

    Student Learning Outcomes

    Upon the completion of this course, students will:

    1. Understand the concepts and vocabulary of modern biochemistry and chemical sciences.
    2. Understand modern methodologies and experimental approaches to studying biochemistry.
    3. Be able to better read and interpret scientific research articles.
    4. Be able to communicate scientific concepts by verbal and written means.

    These learning outcomes mesh well with three of the University Level Competencies (ULCs) that describe the skills Winthrop faculty have outlined for students to develop during their tenure here. These include:

    Competency 1: Winthrop graduates think critically and solve problems.

    You will be regularly tested on your abilities to read, interpret and apply information that ties together biology, general, organic and physical chemistries as they apply to life’s processes.

    Competency 2: Winthrop graduates are personally and socially responsible.

    You will be expected to work with others in the class, while striving to complete assignments individually and with your own personal interpretations.

    Competency 3: Winthrop graduates understand the interconnected nature of the world and the time in which they live.

    Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary science and during this course you will realize the interdependence of biology, physics and chemistry. You will gain an appreciation of how each field can be interpreted in terms from the others.

    Students taking the course for graduate credit

    Any student taking the course for graduate credit will be required to prepare an extended final presentation (20 minutes) and final paper (20 pages) discussing two proteins with respect to structure, function, evolution, and biological relevance. Students will consult with the instructor throughout the semester to ensure that appropriate progress is being made on the assignments

    Drop Policy:

    As described in the Winthrop University Undergraduate catalog

    Student Code of Conduct

    As noted in the Student Conduct Code: “Responsibility for good conduct rests with students as adult individuals.” The policy on student academic misconduct is outlined in the “Student Conduct Code Academic Misconduct Policy” in the online student handbook.

    COVID-19 Masking Expectations

    Winthrop requires that allstudents adhere to safety practices that will minimize the transmission of COVID-19 within the campus community. Accordingly, students are expected to engage in social distancing and wear a cloth face mask while on campus. Failure to comply with this requirement in the classroom will result in dismissal from the current class meeting. Repeated violations will be reported to the Dean of Students as a violation of the Student Conduct Code. Students with conditions that prohibit the wearing of a face mask should discuss this with their instructor and/or contact the Office of Accessibility to arrange appropriate accommodations.

    Online Learning

    Statement concerning coursemanagement: Any student enrolled in courses at Winthropregardless of modality (traditional in-person, online, hybrid, ...) is entitled access to all campus resources.These resources include, but are not limited to, admissions counseling, recreational facilities, and health, library, and academic services.Questions regarding access to these resources should be directed to the assigned academic advisor.

    Syllabus Change Policy

    Should any changes be made to this document, they will be announced in class and everyone will be encouraged to download the latest copy of the document.

    Students with Disabilities/Need of Accommodations for Access:

    Winthrop University is committed to providing access to education. If you have a condition which may adversely impact your ability to access academics and/or campus life, and you require specific accommodations to complete this course, contact the Office of Accessibility (OA) at 803-323-3290, or, Please inform me as early as possible, once you have your official notice of accommodations from the Office of Accessibility.