Biochemistry

Department of Biochemistry

School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
140 Farber Hall
South Campus
Buffalo, NY 14214-3000

Phone: 716.829.2727
Fax: 716.829.2725
Web: www.smbs.buffalo.edu/bch

Kenneth Blumenthal
Chair

Gail R. Willsky
Director of Undergraduate Education
gwillsky@buffalo.edu

About the Program

Biochemistry addresses the chemical principles that underlie biological processes. The course of study in biochemistry emphasizes macromolecular structure and function, control of gene expression, and metabolic regulation as they relate to basic and biomedical science. The strength of the program lies in the extensive research experience in the laboratories of the faculty.

Acceptance Information

The course requirements of the first two years are common to a number of science majors and allow the student considerable flexibility at the end of the sophomore year. There is no minor available in biochemistry.

Interested students should contact the director of undergraduate studies during the second semester of the sophomore year. Applicants should bring a copy of a current UB DARS report directly to the administrative assistant in the Department of Biochemistry. Students are admitted to full standing in the department after successful completion of their first two years.

Honors, Awards, and Scholarships

The department offers the John F. Moran Memorial Award annually to the student with the highest average in BCH 403, the Outstanding Senior undergraduate major award, and the White Memorial Award to the student with the highest GPA and acceptance to medical school.

Departmental Honors is also available.

Opportunities for Undergraduate Research and Practical Experience

The biochemistry major requires students to complete 8 credit hours of research in an active laboratory. This provides an opportunity for students to work on an independent project as part of a research team with faculty, graduate students, technical staff and postdoctoral fellows. As part of this research experience the student is required to present a poster describing their research, usually done at the annual Biochemistry Research Day.

Notable Program Features

The core of the biochemistry program provides a link between didactic courses and learning from the literature and research presentations in the BCH 401, BCH 403, BCH 404, BCH 405, BCH 407 series. State of the art facilities within the Biochemistry Department include a MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometer, 2D �Differential In-Gel Electrophoresis equipment, and a BIAcor Instrument. Students also have access to core facilities located throughout the University and RPCI to support their research.

Career Opportunities/Further Study

Graduates are prepared to enter medical, dental, or graduate school, or to go into occupations in academic, industrial, medical, or governmental settings.

Biochemistry - B.S.

Acceptance Criteria

Applications accepted after three semesters, and/or after the student has completed 60 credit hours.
Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum GPA of 3.0 in prerequisite courses.

Advising Notes

Minimum GPAs of 2.0 in biochemistry courses, and 3.0 in prerequisite courses, are required to graduate.

Prerequisite Courses

Two of the following three BIO courses: BIO 200 Evolutionary Biology, BIO 201 Cell Biology, and BIO 205 Fundamentals of Biological Chemistry
BIO 215 Fundamentals of Biological Chemistry Laboratory
CHE 101 General Chemistry
CHE 102 General Chemistry
CHE 201 Organic Chemistry
CHE 202 Organic Chemistry
MTH 141 College Calculus I
MTH 142 College Calculus II
PHY 107 General Physics I
PHY 108 General Physics II
PHY 158 General Physics II Lab

Required Courses

BCH 401 Introduction to Research
BCH 403 Biochemical Principles
BCH 404 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry
BCH 405 Research Topics in Biochemistry
BCH 407 Research Presentations
BCH 498 Undergraduate Research Participation in Biochemistry
CHE 319 Physical Chemistry
One restricted chemistry elective*
300/400-level science/math electives** (10 credit hours)

Summary
Total required credit hours for the major...82-84

See Baccalaureate Degree Requirements for general education and remaining university requirements

Recommended Sequence of Program Requirements

FIRST YEAR
Fall�BIO 200, CHE 101, MTH 141
Spring�BIO 201, CHE 102, MTH 142

SECOND YEAR
Fall�CHE 201, PHY 107, one elective
Spring�BIO 215, CHE 202, PHY 108, PHY 158

THIRD YEAR*
Fall�BCH 401, BCH 403
Spring�BCH 404, BCH 498
Fall and Spring�One or two 300/400-level science/math elective(s)**
(CHE 319 may be taken in the third year)

FOURTH YEAR*
Fall�BCH 405, CHE 319, BCH 498
Spring�BCH 407, BCH 498
Fall and Spring�One or two 300/400-level science/math elective(s)**

*Third- or fourth-year students must take one course from among the following: CHE 320 Physical Chemistry, CHE 321 Inorganic Chemistry, CHE 419 Physical Chemistry, MCH 401 Molecular Structure and Reaction Mechanisms in Medicinal Chemistry, MCH 402 Principles of Synthetic Organic Chemistry, MCH 403 Mechanisms of Drug Action, or MCH 412 Instrumental Analysis. Substitutions must be approved by the director.

**Of the 10 credit hours of upper-level didactic science electives approved by the department, four credit hours of mathematics beyond MTH 142 may be included.

Summary

Required credit hours in biochemistry (includes 8 credits of BCH 498) and upper-level science......36-37

Additional required science and math credit hours......46-47

Required credit hours in science and math (all levels)......82-84

Course Descriptions

BCH 401 Introduction to Research

Credits:  1
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  accepted biochemistry major
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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For accepted students about to start the upper-division biochemistry program. Meets once per week for one hour, with scheduled library workshops. Includes critically reading a scientific paper, introduces library skills needed to do research, and correlates basic biochemistry knowledge with ongoing research programs in the Biochemistry department. Students use these presentations to help them arrange for 2 credit hours of BCH 498 for the following semester.

BCH 403 Biochemical Principles

Credits:  4
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  BIO 200 and CHE 202
Corequisites:  None
Type:  LEC

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One semester general biochemistry course for science majors and students of pharmacy. Covers protein and membrane structure and function, metabolism, and nucleic acid structure and molecular biology.

BCH 404 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry

Credits:  3
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  BCH 401, BCH 403, accepted biochemistry major, or permission of instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Covers five areas of biochemistry beyond the basic survey course BCH 403. Requires literature reading. Covers each subject area in 5 lectures; 3 didactic lectures, one faculty led paper discussion, and one student presentation.

BCH 405 Research Topics in Biochemistry

Credits:  3
Semester: F
Prerequisites:  BCH 401, BCH 403, BCH 404, or permission of instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Focuses on learning cutting-edge biochemistry by reading, analyzing, and discussing research papers. Emphasizes molecular and mechanistic aspects of signal transduction in growth, differentiation, development and cancer; and signaling in response to hormones to the nervous system.

BCH 407 Research Presentations

Credits:  1
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  senior standing in biochemistry
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Students attend one research seminar of their choosing per week involving biochemistry and write a two- to three-page report of that seminar. If the student obtains a paper by the seminar speaker and incorporates that into the report, it takes the place of one seminar.

BCH 408 Gene Expression

Credits:  2
Semester: Sp
Prerequisites:  permission of instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  SEM

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Elective course that familiarizes students with up-to-date concepts in eukaryotic gene expression. Through a classroom discussion of selected papers, introduces students to current issues in gene transcription, mRNA processing, and their regulation. Augments classroom learning with detailed problem sets.

BCH 498 Undergraduate Research Participation in Biochemistry

Credits:  1 - 8
Semester: F Sp Su
Prerequisites:  Permission of instructor
Corequisites:  None
Type:  TUT

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Under the direction of faculty, the course consists of an original investigative project involving library and lab work. open to majors as a research project. Requires one poster presentation. Students must complete 8 credit hours.

BCH 499 Independent Study

Credits:  1 - 4
Semester: F Sp
Prerequisites:  None
Corequisites:  None
Type:  TUT

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The content of this course is variable and therefore it is repeatable for credit. The University Grade Repeat Policy does not apply.

For students having specific academic interests or objectives; requires a department faculty sponsor before preregistration.

Updated: Apr 12, 2006 11:03:49 AM