Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Academic Catalog 2010–2011

  • Jeffrey Dahlseid, Program Contact

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is the study of the structures and functions of biological molecules at the molecular level. It encompasses every area of modern biology and medicine, including aspects of molecular genetics, neurobiology, immunology, cellular and developmental biology, toxicology, biophysics, structural biology, pharmacology, and biotechnology. At the core of these areas is the ability to investigate the macromolecules involved, the proteins, the nucleic acids, the carbohydrates, and the lipids, and to understand their functions and interactions with each other, with small molecules, and with their surroundings.

The interdisciplinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major at Gustavus is intended for students planning graduate studies in areas close to the interface between chemistry and biology, such as biochemistry, biophysics, or molecular biology. By selecting their electives in the major, students can tailor the program to place additional emphasis in either the chemistry or molecular biology area.

Majors are encouraged to include an international experience in their undergraduate years. Gustavus exchange programs with Uppsala University in Sweden, Murdoch University in Australia, and Aberdeen University in Scotland offer appropriate courses for this area of study.

The distributive major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology requires the following 16.5 courses:

  1. Core:
    1. BIO-101, Principles of Biology; BIO-102, Organismal Biology; BIO-201, Cell and Molecular Biology; and BIO-388, Molecular Genetics.
    2. CHE-107, Principles of Chemistry; CHE-141 and CHE-251, Organic I & II; CHE-255, Biochemistry; CHE-360, Proteins; CHE-371, Kinetics and Thermodynamics.
    3. MCS-121 and MCS-122, Calculus I & II. PHY-122 and PHY-172, General Physics I & II with Calculus.
  2. Electives:
    1. BIO-202, Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior, and an additional Level III biology course.
    2. Two chemistry courses, chosen from CHE-258, Inorganic I; CHE-270, Quantitative Analysis; and the Level III chemistry courses.

Note: All majors must participate in four semesters of seminar (CHE-399).