Biological Chemistry I
This one-semester, graduate-level course focuses on the fundamental biochemical and biophysical properties of the two main classes of biological macromolecules, proteins and nucleic acids. Because biochemistry is a vast subject that encompasses many traditional areas of chemistry (biophysical, bioorganic, bioinorganic, etc.), as well as newer areas (bioinformatics, genomics, proteomics, etc.), this course does not attempt a comprehensive treatment. Instead, the focus is on a ubiquitous cellular process (namely, information flow from DNA ➙ RNA ➙ protein), with the three-fold aim of (i) introducing the biological context for chemical processes such as DNA replication and RNA transcription; (ii) elucidating the physical principles that underlie the structure and function of proteins, nucleic acids, and other biopolymers involved in this process; and (iii) introducing some of the key methodologies used to acquire such knowledge (e.g., crystallography, calorimetry).