Curriculum

BIOC Courses


BIOC 219 Genetics with Laboratory
The goal of the course is to develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of genetics at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. The mechanisms that regulate the control of gene expression leading to alteration in phenotype during cellular differential will be studied. A link will be established between the generation of genetic variants through mutation and recombination, their patterns of inheritance, interactions between genes to produce complex phenotypes and the maintenance of such genetic variation in natural populations. Topics will include: organization of the eukaryotic genome, gene structure and function, multi-level gene control and dysregulation in disease, genetics of pattern formation, inheritance of gene differences, gene and allele interactions and aspects of population and evolutionary genetics. Laboratory investigation will expose students to the fundamentals of genetics including classical and molecular techniques for genetic analysis.


1.25 unit(s)
Prerequisites
BISC 110/BISC 112 and one unit of college chemistry. Not open to first-year students.


BIOC 220 Cellular Physiology with Laboratory
Examines structure-function relationships in eukaryotic cells. We will explore the operation and regulation of molecular machines that carry out processes central to life. Considerable emphasis is placed on experimental approaches for investigating the following topics: protein structure and enzyme kinetics, biological membranes and transport, cytoskeletal assembly and function, protein biogenesis and trafficking, cell communication and signaling, the cell cycle, and intercellular interactions. Laboratory investigations will provide students with experience in classical and modern approaches to examine and quantify cellular processes.

1.25 unit(s)

Prerequisites

BISC 110/BISC 112 and two units of college chemistry. One semester of organic chemistry is recommended. Not open to first-year students.

 

BIOC 223 Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Understanding the Physical Principles of Biochemistry and the Molecules of Life with Laboratory
A gateway course that introduces the fundamental multidisciplinary concepts governing life at the molecular level. Following a review of aqueous equilibria, thermodynamic, kinetic, and spectroscopic principles, the emphasis will be on the molecular structure, assembly, and interactions of biological macromolecules and modern techniques for studying them. Proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids will be covered to provide a molecular understanding of nature and to build an appreciation for its structural complexity. This course is designed to prepare students for the qualitative and quantitative approaches used in the theoretical and experimental studies of biological problems covered in the upper level courses BIOC 323/CHEM 323BIOC 331/CHEM 331BIOC 320/CHEM 320.

1.25 unit(s)

Prerequisites

CHEM 205 or CHEM 120CHEM 211 and BISC 110/BISC 112. Not open to students who have taken CHEM 221.

 


BIOC 320 Integrated Biophysical Chemistry Advanced Laboratory
An intensive laboratory course offering a multi-week independent research project and training in experimental applications of physical chemistry and biochemistry. Topics will include spectroscopy, chemical thermodynamics of biomolecules and enzyme kinetics. This course will emphasize independent hypothesis development and experimental design skills as well as professional conference-style presentation of results. Students will read primary literature, construct a research proposal, develop their own laboratory protocols manual, conduct experiments using a variety of instrumentation, and present their research in a poster format at the end of the semester.  One class period per week plus one lab and mandatory weekly meetings with instructor.

1.0 unit(s)

Prerequisites

CHEM 223

 

BIOC 331 Physical Chemistry of Biological Systems: The Fundamental Models of Biological Molecules and Process
Provides a survey of fundamental principles in physical chemistry and how they relate specifically to the study of biological molecules and processes. Emphasis is placed on empowering students to understand, evaluate, and use models as approximations for the biomolecular world. Models are mathematically represented and provide both qualitative and quantitative insight into biologically-relevant systems. Commonly used experimental techniques, such as spectroscopy and calorimetry, are explained from first principles with quantum mechanical and statistical mechanical models, and computational applications such as protein structure prediction and molecular design are explained through physical models such as molecular mechanics and dynamics. Does not count toward the chemistry major, but counts toward the biological chemistry major and the chemistry minor.

1.0 unit(s)

Prerequisites

CHEM 223 and MATH 116. Not open to students who have taken CHEM 232.

 

BIOC 323 Advanced Biochemistry: Functions of Biological Molecules
Consideration of the function and regulation of biomolecules and macromolecular assemblies, with particular emphasis on binding proteins, enzymes, and metabolic pathways. Contemporary experimental and computational techniques used to study these systems will be discussed, with a focus on applications in the primary literature. Students will be expected to express increased intellectual independence on assignments, including the development of independent research proposals. 

1.0 unit(s)

Prerequisites

CHEM 223. Not open to students who have taken CHEM 328.

 

Independent Study Courses:

BIOC 250, 250H, 350, 355 and 365 are open to any student. The research should focus on some aspect of the molecular biosciences and may be advised by any member of the Biological Chemistry Advisory Committeem, or by another member of the Departments of Biological Sciences or Chemistry upon approval of the Advisory Committee. BIOC 360 and 370 are open only to Biological Chemistry majors by invitation. The honors program will follow the guidelines of the appropriate department.

BIOC 250 Research or Individual Study
Prerequisites:  By permission of instructor.


BIOC 250H Research or Individual Study
Prerequisites:  By permission of instructor.


BIOC 350 Research or Individual Study
Prerequisites: Open by permission to juniors and seniors.


BIOC 355 Biological Chemistry Thesis Research
The first course in a two-semester investigation of a significant research problem, culminating in the preparation of a thesis and defense of that thesis before a committee of faculty from the Biological Chemistry program. Students will discuss their research progress informally with faculty and student colleagues and gain familiarity with contemporary research through presentations by outside seminar speakers. This route does not lead to departmental honors.
Prerequisites: Open only to seniors by permission of the instructor.


BIOC 360 Senior Thesis Research
Prerequisites: By permission of the Advisory Committee. See Academic Distinctions.


BIOC 365 Biological Chemistry Thesis
The second course in a two-semester investigation of a significant research problem, culminating in the preparation of a thesis and defense of that thesis before a committee of faculty from the Biological Chemistry program. Students will discuss their research progress informally with faculty and student colleagues and gain familiarity with contemporary research through presentations by outside seminar speakers. This route does not lead to departmental honors.
Prerequisites: BIOC 355 and permission of the instructor.


BIOC 370 Senior Thesis
Prerequisites: BIOC 360 and permission of the Advisory Committee.

Contact Us

Contact Us

Director:
Don Elmore (Chemistry)
(781) 283-3171
delmore@wellesley.edu

 

Biological Chemistry Advisory Committee:
Melissa Beers (Biological Sciences)

 

Louise Darling (Biological Sciences)

 

John Goss (Biological Sciences)

 

Don Elmore (Chemistry)

 

Vanja Klepac-Ceraj (Biological Sciences)

 

Megan Núñez (Chemistry)

 

Elizabeth Oakes (Chemistry)

 

Kaye Peterman (Biological Sciences)

 

Mala Radhakrishnan (Chemistry)

 

Marc Tetel (Neuroscience)

 

Didem Vardar-Ulu (Chemistry)

 

Adele Wolfson (Chemistry)