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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology combines biology, the study of living things, and chemistry, which examines the composition, structure, properties and reactions of all forms of matter. This degree takes Wilson’s biology and chemistry programs, which already are popular among students, to a new level. Previously students could take courses in both disciplines, but could not get that in-depth synthesis of topics from both fields.
This major teaches students to draw from information taught in biology courses and apply detailed chemical analysis to understand how and why biological molecules interact. A number of post-graduate options are open to students with the degree, including master’s degree and doctoral programs in biochemistry and biology, bachelor’s degree programs in nursing, and professional schools in pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, and veternary medicine (see specific program for admission requirements). Graduates with a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology also have a wide variety of career options, including research opportunities and other technical positions in the pharmaceutical industry, biotech companies, forensic testing laboratories and academic, government or military laboratories.
Every student who majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology will begin her own research project during the spring semester of her junior year. Wilson's program is unique in that each student can conduct research on the topic of her choice and thus is not limited by the research interests of the faculty. This research project is part of a three semester course sequence that is completed during the spring semester of her senior year. The first semester focuses on writing the research proposal. The second semester she will conduct the research and give oral presentations on the project. At the end of the second semester, each student presents the research at the Physical and Life Sciences Research Symposium. The third semester is when the final research paper is written.
Many students also take the opportunity to present their research findings at the Pennsylvania Academy of Science annual meeting, held every spring.
Introduction to cell anatomy and organismal biology. The five kingdoms of life are surveyed, emphasizing distinguishing features and lifestyles. in-depth study of major organ systems of multicellular animals. emphasis on principles underlying living organisms, problems they face and solutions that have evolved. designed as first of two semesters of a general survey. Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory. NSL
Introduction to biochemistry, molecular cell biology and cell energetics. Genetics covered in relation to molecular mechanisms, population biology and evolutionary theory. survey of botany, including anatomy and physiology of plants. introduction to ecological principles, including ecosystem organization; interaction of biotic and abiotic factors; and the biosphere. Prerequisite: 101. Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory. NSL
Mendelian genetics and principles of heredity; introductory molecular genetics; evolutionary genetics. Prerequisite: 102. Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory. NSL
A rigorous, detailed study of cellular structure and function at the molecular level. Topics include general organization of metabolic processes in plants and animals, evolution of cellular organization, synthesis and function of proteins, and selected topics in molecular genetics. Prerequisites: 102 and two upper-level courses in biology or chemistry. NS
An exploration of the principles of molecular genetics with emphasis on the control of cellular activities and the molecular structure, function, and regulation of genes. Topics include gene technology, genetic analysis in cell biology, regulation of the cell cycle, cell-to-cell signaling, gene control in development, and cancer. The course is designed as writing intensive and as such, will include substantial writing assignments, including a major scientific research paper (multiple drafts), portfolio and essay exams. Prerequisite: 208.
A laboratory course for junior/senior-level students interested in research methods in molecular biology and biochemistry. experimental topics will include enzyme kinetics; protein isolation, purification and analysis by electrophoresis and immunofluorescence; cell culture techniques; and advanced molecular genetics. .5 credits, three hours laboratory. Prerequisite: Bio 310 or CHM 310 or concurrent registration in Bio 310 or CHM 310.
The first semester of a two-semester sequence intended for students majoring in the sciences. The course focuses on the study of atomic structure, nomenclature, stoichiometry, energy, bonding and coordination chemistry. The laboratory work reinforces lecture topics. Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in MAT 103 or placement above MAT 103. High school chemistry or an introductory chemistry course is strongly recommended. Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory. NSL
The continuation of General Chemistry i with emphasis on solutions, kinetics, equilibrium, acid-base chemistry, thermodynamics and electrochemistry. The laboratory work reinforces lecture topics and includes qualitative analysis. Prerequisites: CHM 101 and MAT 103. Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory. NSL
The first course of a two-semester sequence that introduces structure, bonding and reactivity of organic (carbon-based) compounds. The lecture focuses on properties and reactivity of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alcohols, aldehydes and ketones, with an emphasis on reaction mechanisms and stereochemistry. The laboratory introduces basic purification and synthetic techniques, and analytical methods including polarimetry, iR and nMR spectroscopy. Prerequisite: 102. Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory. NSL
A continuation of CHM 201 with an added emphasis on molecules with biological importance. The lectures include a discussion of carboxylic acids and their derivatives, enolates, aromatics, amines, lipids, carbohydrates and amino acids. The laboratory work includes more advanced synthetic methods and an independent research project. Prerequisite: 201. Three hours lecture, three hours laboratory. NSL
A study of the fundamental principles of statistical analysis of data, theory and quantitative methods of spectrophotometry and analytic separations. The laboratory work integrates classical and instrumental techniques in the analysis of real-life samples. Prerequisite: 102. Three hours lecture; three hours laboratory. NSL
This course will introduce students to the major classes of biomolecules: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids. The course emphasizes the chemistry that dictates the structure and functions of biological molecules. Biochemistry i will also involve detailed study of proteinacous enzymes, models of enzyme activity and enzymatic regulation. nucleic acid enzymes and current topics in nucleic acid biochemistry will be discussed. The combination of the major classes of biological molecules to form biological membranes and the transport through such complex structures will be discussed. Prerequisite: 202. Three hours lecture.
This course will be a continuation of the Biochemistry i course beyond an introduction to the major classes of biomolecules. The course will involve a detailed study of biomolecule metabolism (biochemical thermodynamics, glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid cycle, electron transport, oxidative phosphorylation, gluconeogenesis, fatty acid catabolism, amino acid metabolism, nucleic acid metabolism, glycogen metabolism) and dnA processing into RnA and protein (replication, transcription, translation, protein folding, protein processing and protein degradation). Prerequisite: 318 Three hours lecture.
Review of functions and introduction to the concepts of limits, differentiation and integration. use of the derivative and analytic geometry for sophisticated graphing of functions and relations. Application of the derivative and definite integral to the study of problem-solving techniques in the physical sciences. Prerequisite: 110 or Mathematics Placement exam results. NS
Continuation of the study of the derivative and definite integral for problem-solving, involving more challenging functions. Topics include techniques of integration, improper integrals, numerical approximation techniques, conics, sequences and series, and polar coordinates. Prerequisite: 130. NS
Students learn to explore primary scientific literature, develop a research project, and, depending upon student and faculty interest, learn advanced laboratory skills. The course will result in a research proposal. .5 credits. Prerequisite: at least four courses above the 200 level in chemistry.
The second course in the three-semester research sequence for biology and chemistry majors, with a focus on research and oral presentations. seminar based on original research and/or recent scientific literature following the proposal developed in 398. seminar presentations and a draft research paper are required. specific research topics selected based on interests and background of faculty and students. 1 course credit. Prerequisite: 398.
The third course in the three-semester sequence for biology and chemistry majors, with the focus on the analysis of research results, the research paper and a poster presentation. .5 course credits. Completion of this course will fulfill one writing-intensive credit. Prerequisite: 400. WI.
Learning Goals:Students completing a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major will
Catherine T. Santai, Ph.D.Assistant Professor of ChemistryWilson College1015 Philadelphia AvenueChambersburg, PA 17201
717-264-4141 x firstname.lastname@example.org