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  • College of Arts & Sciences

    • Science Division
    • Kirkbride Hall, Room 323
    • tel: 610-499-4002
    • fax: 610-499-4496
  • Shirley Fischer-Drowos

Curriculum, Biochemistry

The biochemistry program at Widener explores the innovative interface between biology and chemistry.

Students have their pick of a number of unique courses in addition to biochemistry lectures, labs, and seminars. The program is capped by a senior thesis research project, which — through close consultation with faculty members — gives students a chance to present their research to a broader audience.

Sample Courses

View a selection of courses students may take as a biochemistry major.

BCH 101 Biochemistry Seminar I

This course introduces biochemistry majors to the essence and tools of biochemistry. The course involves active learning strategies, student presentations, guest lectures, external seminars, and other activities designed to acquaint students with and promote understanding of the discipline. Students investigate topics related to biochemistry through the preparation of a research paper and an oral presentation of the research topic to the class near the end of the semester. 

BCH 451 Biochemistry I

This is the first of a two-semester sequence in the fundamentals of biochemistry designed for biochemistry, ASC certified chemistry, and pre-health profession students. Major goals are (l) to introduce the language of biochemistry and (2) to provide an understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological context in which biochemistry takes place, (3) to develop problem-solving and analytical analysis skills and (4) to develop the ability to work in teams and small groups. The course provides the structural framework of biochemistry through examination of the molecular components of the cell and protein dynamics. The class discusses the thermodynamics of biological systems, amino acids and protein structure, carbohydrates, lipids and membrane structure, membrane transport systems, nucleotides and nucleic acid structure, and enzyme dynamics—kinetics and mechanism of catalysis.

BIOL 326 Medical Genetics

A lecture and laboratory course for pre-medical students and biology and biochemistry majors that examines the importance of genetics and model organisms to better understand human disease. Special emphasis is placed on the genetic dissection of homologous genes in model organisms to explore specific defects that cause human genetic disorders and to investigate potential therapies that ameliorate the disease condition. Critical reading of current scientific literature forms the basis of the lectures.

CHEM 365/367 Analytical Chemistry with Lab

Students concentrate on equilibria with specific reference to ionic solutions including acid-base, complex ion, redox and solubility equilibrium phenomena, with applications to the development of procedures for the analysis of inorganic systems. The core of the laboratory course focuses on analyzing a diverse array of samples and matrices (biological, chemical, environmental, agriculture, and others) using classical analytical quantitative methods of analysis. Sampling, experimental design, data reduction methods, and computer applications are also included.

BCH 499 Research Experience

Students engage in individual investigation of a problem in biochemistry by carrying out original research under the direction of a biochemistry faculty member. A written final report must be submitted upon completion of the project, and the student is required to make a presentation at an on- or off-campus forum.

For more information about courses and requirements for biochemistry, please refer to page 64 in our course catalog.