“What I love about biochemistry is that it is so. incredibly. complex, and yet - within the complexity are patterns that allow us to navigate, parse and predict our way through what seems like a mess. That is why chemistry is so powerful in biological systems. The biology is deep, varied and seemingly limitless - but the chemistry can explain why, and prepare you to recognize that pattern the next time.” Keri Colabroy, professor of chemistry and co-director of the Biochemistry program.

If you go on to do biochemistry, medicine or a related field after graduation, BCM 441 will prepare you to tackle medical school biochemistry and impress at the graduate school level. But even if you don't continue with biochemistry in the same way, this course will have taught you to tackle complexity, digest it, analyze it and repackage the meaning for someone else. And those skills will impress at every level.

The signature project in BCM 441: Advanced Biochemistry is your own website build at your very own domain. This space on the web is where students begin to craft their public lives as scientific scholars. In BCM 441, you will use your website to 1) blog about high-impact biochemistry from the past year, and 2) build a resource on a human disease of your choosing that surveys, integrates and communicates the current understanding of the disease state to both peer and non-expert audiences.

The website project in BCM 441 is part of the Domain of One’s Own initiative at Muhlenberg, and we are supported by the Digital Learning Team and student Digital Learning Assistants in building our web spaces.

In whole or in part, you choose this course because you are dazzled by the depth of detail nature has to offer. Biochemistry is the discipline for studying the very details of life, down to the very molecules and atoms that make it up - and this course is the place to do it.

Upon completing BCM 441, students will be able to:

  • Apply the principles of functional group reactivity from organic chemistry to understand, analyze and predict reactivity of biological molecules, especially enzymes. .
  • Interpret catalytic themes and strategies which govern the regulation and flux of metabolic pathways and cellular homeostasis.
  • Apply bioinformatic strategies to understand evolutionary context and predict protein function
  • Evaluate the current scientific literature for significant findings that are relevant to course content and articulate those findings and their significance to scientific peers.
  • Identify, organize, correctly utilize and cite different types of scientific publications (reviews, original research articles, research summaries) in different types of scientific communication.
  • Apply the study of enzyme mechanism, metabolic and cellular pathways to the understanding of human disease.
  • Integrate chemical and biological perspectives to interrogate multifactorial biochemical problems
  • Reflect upon historic and contemporary ethical controversies from within a scientific context
  • Organize, contextualize and evaluate complex scientific information on human disease and communicate those findings to expert and non-expert audiences.