Biochemistry

Courses

FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a list of courses offered by Western State Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the current university catalog at http://www.western.edu/catalog. To determined the courses required for your major, check the "Majors and Minors" tab for your area of study.

 BIOL 150 - BIOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES GSC1 (4 credits)

An introduction to the central unifying concepts of biology including the biochemical foundations of life, cell structure and function, cell metabolism, genetics, and evolution. Laboratories introduce students to the process and methods of science through investigative experiences. This course is designed for the science major. Prerequisites: A year of high school biology; and a year of high school chemistry or CHEM 101 or CHEM 111.

 BIOL 150 - BIOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES LAB (0 credits)

An introduction to the central unifying concepts of biology including the biochemical foundations of life, cell structure and function, cell metabolism, genetics, and evolution. Laboratories introduce students to the process and methods of science through investigative experiences. This course is designed for the science major. Prerequisites: A year of high school biology; and a year of high school chemistry or CHEM 101 or CHEM 111.

 BIOL 151 - DIVERSITY PATTERNS OF LIFE LAB (0 credits)

An overview of organismal diversity and ecology. Through a taxonomic survey, students are introduced to prokaryotic and eukaryotic diversity including microorganisms, plants, and animals. Organismic anatomy and physiology, as well as fundamentals of ecology, are also considered. Laboratories introduce students to the process and methods of science through investigative experiences. This course is designed for the science major. Prerequisites: A year of high school biology and a year of high school chemistry or CHEM 101 or CHEM 111.

 BIOL 151 - DIVERSITY PATTRNS OF LIFE (4 credits)

An overview of organismal diversity and ecology. Through a taxonomic survey, students are introduced to prokaryotic and eukaryotic diversity including microorganisms, plants, and animals. Organismic anatomy and physiology, as well as fundamentals of ecology, are also considered. Laboratories introduce students to the process and methods of science through investigative experiences. This course is designed for the science major. Prerequisites: A year of high school biology and a year of high school chemistry or CHEM 101 or CHEM 111.

 BIOL 310 - CELL BIOLOGY (3 credits)

An introduction to cellular function and structure. Prerequisites: BIOL 150 and BIOL 151. Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 231 or CHEM 331; and COTH 202.

 BIOL 312 - GENETICS W RECITATION (4 credits)

A course in Mendelian inheritance, linkage, chromosomal aberrations, molecular genetics, gene regulation, genetic engineering, and population genetics. Prerequisites: BIOL 301, BIOL 310, CHEM 231, and CHEM 234; or CHEM 331.

 CHEM 111 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY I GSC2 (3 credits)

An introductory course designed for science majors focusing on principles and applications of chemistry. Topics covered in this course are stoichiometry, bonding models, intermolecular forces, and periodic trends. Prerequisite or corequisite: MATH 140 or Accuplacer college-level mathematics test score of 85 or above, ACT math score of 24 or above, or instructor permission.

 CHEM 112 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB I GSC1 (1 credits)

An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 111. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. Laboratory notebook keeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Corequisite: CHEM 111.

 CHEM 113 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY II (3 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 111. Topics covered in this course are thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Prerequisite: CHEM 111.

 CHEM 114 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY LAB II (1 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 112. An introduction to basic laboratory techniques of inorganic chemistry correlating with CHEM 113. Experiments emphasize techniques, instrumentation, and solution chemistry. Laboratory notebook keeping and the safe handling and disposal of laboratory chemicals are also stressed. Prerequisite: CHEM 112. Corequisite: CHEM 113.

 CHEM 306 - ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY W LAB (4 credits)

A lecture/laboratory course involving principles, techniques and calculations involved with quantitative analysis of substances. Includes solution chemistry, gravimetric, volumetric, redox, and pH determinations. Prerequisites: CHEM 113 and CHEM 114.

 CHEM 331 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (3 credits)

First semester course of a two semester organic chemistry sequence. This course is an in depth study of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons. Topics include their naming, electronic structure, bonding, reactivity, stereochemistry, and reaction mechanisms Prerequisite: CHEM 113.

 CHEM 332 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II (3 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 331. This course discusses spectroscopic analysis, physical, and chemical properties of organic functional groups. Emphasis includes synthesis, mechanisms, and reactions of aromatic compounds, carbonyl containing compounds, and amines. Prerequisite: CHEM 331.

 CHEM 334 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LAB I (1 credits)

An accompanying laboratory course for CHEM 331, serving as an introduction to basic macro-and micro- scale organic techniques used to separate, isolate, and characterize organic compounds. Methods utilized include distillation, extraction, chromatography, Infrared (IR) spectroscopy. Prerequisite: CHEM 114. Corequisite: CHEM 331.

 CHEM 335 - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY LAB II (1 credits)

This lab is a continuation of CHEM 334, with an expansion in scope that allows incorporation of more complex synthetic problems. The lab will employ the use of thin layer chromatography (TLC) to follow reaction progress along with NMR spectroscopy to determine reaction outcomes. Prerequisite: CHEM 334. Corequisite: CHEM 332.

 CHEM 451 - PHYSICAL CHEM I (3 credits)

A detailed study of thermodynamics, phase equilibria, kinetic theory and chemical kinetics. Offered in alternate years, 2011-2012. Prerequisites: CHEM 113, MATH 251, and PHYS 201

 CHEM 471 - BIOCHEMISTRY I (4 credits)

A study of structural biochemistry and metabolism. The course begins with an overview of the aqueous environment and its effects on solutes, including biomolecules. Other subject matters include the chemistry of proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and lipids; the mechanisms and kinetics of enzymes; and the stoichiometry and chemistry underlying the core metabolic processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Prerequisite: BIOL 150, CHEM 332, and SCI 202.

 CHEM 472 - BIOCHEMISTRY II W LAB (4 credits)

A continuation of CHEM 471. A study of the molecular mechanisms by which cellular processes are controlled in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Topics include the biochemistry of macromolecular processes, the structure of genes and chromosomes, the genetic and molecular techniques used to study gene expression, and the transcriptional and translational control of gene expression. The laboratory includes recombinant DNA techniques to manipulate the genome of a model organism. Prerequisites: BIOL 312 and CHEM 471.

 CHEM 494 - Research Problems in Chemistry (1-4 credits)

An advanced, supervised laboratory or literature research experience involving methods of chemical research in an area of analytical, physical, organic, or biochemistry. A research paper and oral presentation of research results is required. Prerequisite: SCI 202. 

 MATH 151 - CALCULUS I GMA1 (4 credits)

A study of differential calculus, including limits, continuous functions, Intermediate Value Theorem, tangents, linear approximation, inverse functions, implicit differentiation, extreme values and the Mean Value Theorem. This course also introduces Integral calculus including anti-derivatives, definite integrals, and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 27 or above; SAT math score of 610 or above; MATH 141 with a minimum grade of "C-"; or Accuplacer university-level mathematics test with a score of 95 or above. GT-MA1

 MATH 251 - CALCULUS II (4 credits)

Topics include techniques of integration, area computations, improper integrals, infinite series and various convergence tests, power series, Taylor's Formula, polar coordinates, and parametric curves. Prerequisite: MATH 151 with a minimum grade of "C-."

 PHYS 200 - GENERAL PHYSICS I GSC1 (4 credits)

A quantitative lecture and laboratory introduction to the basic principles of physics, using the concepts of calculus as a tool. Topics covered include the motions of particles, forces in nature, field concepts, energy, conservation laws, many-particle systems, and thermodynamics. A student may not receive credit for both PHYS 170 and 200. Prerequisites: PHYS 140 or one year of high school physics; and completion of MATH 151 preferred but may be taken concurrently.

 PHYS 200 - GENERAL PHYSICS I LAB GSC1 (0 credits)

A quantitative lecture and laboratory introduction to the basic principles of physics, using the concepts of calculus as a tool. Topics covered include the motions of particles, forces in nature, field concepts, energy, conservation laws, many-particle systems, and thermodynamics. A student may not receive credit for both PHYS 170 and 200. Prerequisites: PHYS 140 or one year of high school physics; and completion of MATH 151 preferred but may be taken concurrently.

 PHYS 201 - GENERAL PHYSICS II GSC1 (4 credits)

A continuation of PHYS 200 dealing with electromagnetism, light, and the atomic structure of matter. A student cannot receive credit for both PHYS 171 and 201. Prerequisite: PHYS 200.

 PHYS 201 - GENERAL PHYSICS II LAB (0 credits)

A continuation of PHYS 200 dealing with electromagnetism, light, and the atomic structure of matter. A student cannot receive credit for both PHYS 171 and 201. Prerequisite: PHYS 200.

 SCI 202 - SCIENTIFIC WRITING (3 credits)

An introduction to the effective oral, written, and graphical communication in the sciences. Students address these skills by exploring current issues in science. Prerequisites: ENG 102 and minimum sophomore standing with a major in anthropology, biology, or chemistry.

Biochemistry is the study of structure, function and chemical reactions that take place in living systems. It’s a very broad field, with jobs and career opportunities ranging from medicine and dentistry to food science and agriculture. 

At Western, small class sizes and lab sections allow students personal attention, and plenty of hands-on experience with a variety of tools, techniques and instruments.

What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?

Students in biochemistry receive training with instrument systems including infrared spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy and capillary electrophoresis. Students also learn numerous molecular biology techniques, including PCR and DNA transformations.

Biochemistry encompasses several areas of science, calling creative, imaginative, hardworking students, who enjoy working and interacting with others scientists to make new discoveries.

Beyond the Classroom

Students in biochemistry take field trips to a variety of facilities. At the Crested Butte wastewater treatment plant, they collect water samples for metal analysis. Classes have also studied crime-scene analysis at the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI) lab.

Students attend a variety of conferences and work with faculty members on original research. Western students have also participated in summer research at Vanderbilt University, Montana State University, the University of Wyoming and other institutions offering Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) programs. Stipends for these summer research positions range from $3,500 to $4,500, with housing included.

After Graduation

Students with degrees in biochemistry from Western State Colorado University can explore several career paths, including research in health and medicine, studying diseases and their cures. Biochemistry prepares students for research in drug development, gene therapy and stem cells. Biochemists also work in nutrition, forensic science, toxicology and environmental preservation.

Next Steps

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Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Biology Laboratory Coordinator
B.A., Western State Colorado Universtiy, M.S., San Francisco State University, Ph.D. candidate - University of Washington, Seattle. Current
Phone: (970) 943-2437
Office Location: Hurst Hall 128A