University of Utah
Biological Chemistry
BLCHM Course Descriptions
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General Catalog Fall 2012
Posted Mar 02, 2012

Disclaimer: The course information below is current as of Mar 02, 2012, is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute a legal contract between the University of Utah and any person or entity.

This Web document is updated twice a year, on or about the first day of registration for Fall and Spring semesters.

6050  Faculty Research Interest Seminars (0.5) Prerequisite: BLCHM graduate student.
   Seminars on research interests of faculty in the Biological Chemistry Graduate Program.

6100  Journal Club/Grant Writing (2) Prerequisite: BLCHM graduate student.
   This Core Curriculum Course for all First Year Graduate Students in the Molecular Biology and Biological Chemistry Programs consists of two complementary parts. The first half of the semester is a structured journal club that investigates in depth assigned papers from the primary literature of a specific area of research. The second half of the semester consists of the mentored development of a mini-grant proposal that further investigates questions raised in the journal club discussions. These semester-long courses have 5-8 students and are generally co-taught by several faculty. Students elect one Journal Club/Grant Writing course from among approximately five classes focused on different topics that are offered each Spring Semester

6400  Genetic Engineering (2) Prerequisite: BIOL 3510 or equivalent.
   This course covers essential techniques used in genetic engineering. Assuming modest background in biology, the course introduces fundamental aspects of molecular biology including mechanisms for storage of information in DNA and transfer of this information to RNA and protein molecules. Manipulations of DNA molecules to rearrange or remodel genetic information ("cloning") are described from both theoretical and practical viewpoints. Topics covered include the use of restriction endonucleases, amplification of DNA sequences using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), detection of DNA and RNA using hybridization (Southern and Northern blotting), properties of cloning vectors and their use in constructing genomic and cDNA libraries, DNA sequencing and sequence analysis, creating and detecting mutations in DNA and introducing these mutations into a genome, and expression and characterization of proteins.

6410  Protein and Nucleic Acid Biochemistry (2) Cross listed as MBIOL 6410. Prerequisite: BIOL 3510 or equivalent.
   The Biochemistry course covers the structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins, as well as the thermodynamics and kinetics of their interactions with each other and with other biologically important molecules. It is expected that all students have taken an undergraduate course in Biochemistry, and you may find it useful to review chapters discussing the above-mentioned subjects in an undergraduate Biochemistry textbook. You will also need to have a basic working knowledge of kinetics and thermodynamics. (So, if you are not comfortable working with equilibrium constants, free energies, and rate constants, please review these topics in an undergraduate chemistry text.) There are no required texts for this class; readings from various texts will be made available to the class. Some professors may administer a pre-quiz at the start of their lectures to make sure you are adequately prepared for the material to be covered. To receive further details and updates, please contact For more information please go to:

6430  Structural Methods (1.5) Prerequisite: BIOL 3510 or equivalent.
   This course provides an integrated approach to the applications of NMR and X-ray crystallography in structural biology. Topics covered include: basic NMR theory, and the application of 2D and 3D NMR methods for the determining protein and RNA structures; methods of macromolecular crystallization and crystal structure determination.

6450  Biophysical Chemistry (2) Cross listed as CHEM 7450. Prerequisite: BIOL 3510 or equivalent.
   Topics covered include: Basics of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, with applications in biochemistry; transport phenomena; enzyme kinetics and inhibition; kinetic isotope effects; principles and applications of absorbance, fluorescence, and CD spectroscopies.

6460  Protein Chemistry (2) Cross listed as CHEM 7460. Prerequisite: CHEM 2310 and 2320 or equivalent.
   This is a one half semester course which focuses on the mechanisms of chemical reactions involving peptides and proteins and methods for their study. Subject matter includes enzyme mechanisms, chemical modification of proteins and cofactor chemistry. Prerequisite: organic chemistry.

7960  Research (1 to 10) Prerequisite: BLCHM graduate student.
   Laboratory rotations for students in the Graduate Programs Biological Chemistry.

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