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Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology Program Courses

The courses listed below include required courses of the core curriculum, research and milestone courses, as well as program specific advanced topics, seminars, journal clubs and tutorials for specialization in Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology.

  • Chemical Biology | BBS 715

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    The course focuses on the use of chemical approaches to answer fundamental questions in biology. Topics include post-translational modifications; chemical synthesis and modification of biopolymers; combinatorial chemistry; chemical genetics; rational drug design; ligand-receptor interactions; and the fundamentals of fluorescence. 

    Course Director: Stephen Miller

    Semester Offered: Fall, odd years

    Last Taught: Fall 2019

  • Molecular Biophysics | BBS 716

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    The goal of this course is to give students a strong foundation in physical principles that underlie the thermodynamic and mechanistic properties of biological macromolecules and macromolecular complexes. In addition to providing theoretical background, lectures and discussion groups will focus on the application of physical chemical principles in contemporary biomedical research. Topics will include spectroscopic and computational approaches to studying protein and nucleic acid structures, thermodynamics and kinetics of protein folding, the solution behavior of macromolecules and principles that govern molecular recognition.

    Course Director: Francesca Massi

    Semester Offered: Fall, even years

    Last Taught: Fall 2020

  • Structural Biology | BBS 717

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    Structural Biology has revolutionized biology.  The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students with a detailed introduction to approaches for structural determination of macromolecules including protein crystallography, cryo electron microscopy (CryoEM), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS).  Emphasis will be placed on both structural determination and analysis of dynamics, which can be crucial for macromolecular function.   Normally, each week will include a 90 minute lecture that is supplemented with either a practical laboratory exercise, paper discussion or problem set, whose time and venue will depend upon the activity.

    Course Directors: Brian Kelch

    Semester Offered: Spring, odd years

    Last Taught: Spring 2021

  • Regulatory RNA Biology | BBS 718

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    This advanced topics course will cover current research in the general area of RNA biology. Topics envisioned may include RNA synthesis; modification and processing pathways; RNA structure; RNA transport and subcellular localization; translational regulation; RNAi and microRNAs; RNA decay; RNA aptamers; RNA catalysts; RNA and early evolution; and RNA as a drug and/or drug target. The format of this course will center around group discussion of papers from the primary literature. Grading will be based on student attendance, performance in presentations and participation in group discussions. 

    Course Director: Sean Ryder

    Semester Offered: Spring, even years

    Last Taught: Spring 2020

  • Cellular Biochemistry | BBS 719

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    Cellular Biochemistry takes an inside-out approach to teaching the molecular biological underpinnings of DNA replication, gene transcription, translation, metabolism, secretion and cell signaling.

    Course Director: Paul Thompson

    Semester Offered: Spring

    Last Taught: Spring 2021

  • Advanced Topics in Bioinformatics | BBS 741

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Bioinformatics & Computational Biology

    The Advanced Topics in Bioinformatics course covers several important areas of modern bioinformatics and computational biology. The course is aimed not only at students specializing in bioinformatics, but also general biology students who would like to utilize bioinformatics tools in their daily research. The course will begin with an overview of modern sources of bioinformatics data, especially high-throughput sequencing data (RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, DNase-seq, ATAC-seq, Whole genome bisulfite sequencing, etc.), followed by a thorough presentation of an extensive set of statistical learning and machine learning algorithms and their application to analyzing biological data. The course will include 10 lectures each with a homework set, followed by individual or group projects, presented in lieu of the final exam. 

    Course Director: Zhiping Weng

    Semester Offered: Fall, Even Years

    Last Taught: Fall 2020

  • Molecular Basis of Disease | BBS 786

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Translational Science

    The objective of this course is to introduce GSBS graduate students to approaches used to understand the molecular causes of representative diseases and application of such knowledge toward the design and implementation of rational therapies. The course is divided into five-week sections covering neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. Interspersed among these topics will be guest speakers who will discuss specific aspects of the drug design process and novel approaches to therapy, including gene-, RNA-, and cell-based interventions. Class discussions will also help prepare students to participate effectively in team-oriented translational science. Pairs of students will each write a research proposal addressing a disease mechanism or therapy development of interest and defend the proposal during the last two weeks of class.

    Course Directors: Pranoti Mandrekar, Chinmay Trivedi

    Semester Offered: Spring

    Last Taught: Spring 2021

  • Graduate Student Seminar Series | BBS 810

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    This course provides students with the opportunity to develop public speaking skills necessary for scientific presentations. This experience will facilitate both formal and informal presentation of a student’s own research. All Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology students will be registered in this course to satisfy the annual presentation requirement.

    Course Director: Nick Rhind

    Semester Offered: Fall, Spring

    Last Taught: Spring 2021

  • Tutorial in Biochemistry | BBS 841

    Programs: Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

    Individual instruction on selected topics is arranged by student and instructor.

    Course Director: William Kobertz

    Semester Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

    Last Taught: Has not been taught within last two years

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