Tentative Schedule Fall 2003


Instructor Information

Instructor: Susan R. Stapleton

Office/Lab: 3154 Wood/4062 Haenicke

Office Hours: M, T: 9:00 to 10:00 or by appt.

Phone: 387-2853 or 387-2858


Chemistry Home Page:

Stapleton Home Page:

Chapters Covered

Text: Voet and Voet, Biochemistry 2nd edition, 1995

Chapters as background reading:

1 - overview of simple biology

27 - overview of DNA as the vehicle of inheritance

Biochemistry Terms

Chapters to be covered and material emphasized:

2 - aqueous solutions: acids/bases and buffers 3 - thermodynamic principles: energy, enthalpy, entropy and free energy

4 - amino acids: know single letter abbreviations, structures and general properties; peptide bonds

5 - techniques in protein purification: isolation, characterization and methods of separation; be able to develop a purification strategy

6 - covalent structures of proteins: primary structure determination and evolution

7 - 3 dimensional structures of proteins: 2o, 3o, and 4o structure

Review Material I

8 - protein folding, dynamics and structural evolution: resource read for folding only

9 - hemoglobin, protein function in microcosm: structure relates to function

12 - introduction to enzymes: nomenclature and regulation of activity

13 - rates of enzymatic reactions: kinetics and mechanism of inhibition

Review Material II

28 - nucleic acid structures and manipulation: structure, fractionation and sequencing

29 - transcription: RNA polymerase and eukaryotic systems

30 - translation: genetic code and ribosomes

31 - DNA replication, repair and recombination: enzymes involved and mechanism

Review Material III

Supplemental Reading

Supplemental articles will be given as appropriate: these articles will be used to fuel class discussions and you will also be responsible for the material on an exam. The reference for the articles will be posted on this web site.


Exams: The exams are 100 points each. The final exam will be cumulative and worth 150 points. Exams are primarily essay questions testing your ability to design experiments, interpret data and discuss relevant theories.

Presentation/Handout: Due to the class size, groups will be formed for this assignment, however, all group members are expected to participate in the presentation and be able to field any questions.

It is expected that each group will make a 15-20 min. presentation (with an additional 5 min. for questions) discussing the relevant information that is covered in a research article that was chosen either from a list of suggested titles or a relevant one of your choice. The presentation should include an introduction into the topic, details on techniques or methods if needed, relevant data and conclusions.

On the day of the presentation, you will provide for the class a handout (no more than 5 pages) that summarizes the topic and provides the data you will be discussing. This handout is intended to help stimulate discussion from your audience and may also serve as a study guide for the exams.

The presentation will be graded on quality and understanding of the material as well as ability to convey the material. The point total for the presentation will be 50 pts. (10 pts. for subject knowledge, 15 pts. for organization and presentation; including timing of material presented, 15 pts. for handout, and 10 pts. for ability to answer questions).

Exam and Presentation Dates
Oct. 6

Nov. 3

Dec. 1

Final- Dec. 8, 7:15-9:15 pm


Sept. 29

Oct. 27

Nov. 24

Grading Scale for Exams and Presentations

Grading scale for exams:

> 90 = A
> 85 = BA
> 75 = B
> 70 = CB
> 60 = C
> 55 = DC
> 50 = D
Less than a 50 earns a failing grade of E

Grading scale for presentations:

> 46 = A
> 43 = BA
> 39 = B
> 36 = CB
> 32 = C
> 29 = DC
> 25 = D
Less than a 25 earns a failing grade of E

Academic Policies

Missed exams or presentations results in a zero points obtained.  Excuses from exams maybe given on
case by case basis upon discussion with the instructor prior to the exam date.

Incompletes will be given according to University Policy only. An incomplete is not a substitute for a
failing grade. Incompletes are given only after completing a major portion of the coursework with a
passing grade and circumstances beyond your control prevent you from completing the coursework.

Academic Integrity
You are responsible for adhering to the Student Academic Rights and Responsibilities which can be found
at These guidelines
summarize action that could be taken for instances of cheating, plagiarism, and other items of

Suggestions for Success in this Class
Biochemistry is a complex and ever changing discipline.  The material that is covered draws upon basic
knowledge from both chemistry and biological sciences.  It is strongly suggested that the student review
these principles at the beginning of the semester.  Additionally, it is wise to read the text or supplemental
material prior to when it is covered in class.  Review the material covered in class on a weekly basis.
Come prepared to class with questions if material is still not clear.  Utilize office hours or appointment
hours to work though the difficult concepts.  Think about how the material covered can be applied to
address biochemical issues.  Try not to memorize massive amounts of material but think about concepts.
Most of all, have fun with the material, it truely is an exciting time in science.


URL- (if known, otherwise omit)
Revised Date: June 24, 1997