Full course description
Biochemistry is defined as ‘the study of the molecules of living things’. However, knowledge about structures and properties of these intrinsically inanimate molecules only provides a static picture of living cells. It does not answer the most important question: How do these molecules confer the remarkable combination of characteristics we call life? That is, how can a living organism be more than the sum of its lifeless parts? Therefore, a more appropriate definition of Biochemistry is that it describes, in molecular terms, the structures, mechanisms and chemical processes shared by all organisms, and provides organizing principles that underlie life: the molecular logic of life. These principles can be summarized as:
- All living organisms build macromolecules from the same kind of rather simple small molecules (monomeric subunits)
- The structure of a macromolecule determines its specific biological function
- Each genus and species is defined by its distinctive set of macromolecules
Aim and approach:
As an introduction to various basic concepts in biochemistry and molecular biology, this course aims to communicate fundamental principles governing structure, function and interactions of biological molecules to students encountering biochemistry for the first time. The course is meant to lead to an increased appreciation of the science of biochemistry and will prepare students to enter more detailed courses on biochemistry and molecular biology to finally allow entrance to various Master programmes in the life sciences. The major objectives are:
- To communicate fundamental principles governing structure, function and interactions of biological molecules to students encountering biochemistry for the first time.
- To increase appreciation of the science of biochemistry.
- To study the synthesis and degradation of large biomacromolecules like proteins, lipids, polysaccharides and nucleotides.
- To create deeper understanding of the basic principles of enzyme catalysis and inhibition.
- To prepare students to enter advanced courses that require more detailed biochemistry knowledge and to allow entrance to various Master programmes in the life sciences.
At the end of the course, you will be able to:
- Communicate on fundamental principles governing structure, function, and interactions of biological molecules;
- Appreciate the science of biochemistry and its relevance to Health and Disease;
- Understand the roles of macromolecules such as proteins, lipids, polysaccharides, and DNA in living cells and relate to diseases such as hyperventilation, thrombosis and scurvy;
- Identify, explain, and discuss the basic principles of enzyme catalysis and inhibition;
- Enter advanced courses that require more detailed biochemistry knowledge and enroll to various Master programs in life sciences.
- Biochemistry (9th ed). ; Berg, J.M., Tymoczko, J.L., Gatto G.J., Stryer, L. ; W.H. Freeman and company. ISBN-10: 1-319-11465-2; ISBN-13: 978-1-319-11465-7;
- Biochemistry (6th ed.); Garrett R.H. and Grisham C.M. ; Cengage Learning. Student ed. ISBN: 978-1-305-57720-6; Loose-leaf ed. ISBN: 978-1-305-88604-9.