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University of Lethbridge master's student Richard McLean (BSc '14) would be the first to tell you that all educational journeys do not follow the same path.
Patenting a process that harnesses the power of the body’s own cells to repair scar tissue in the brain – thereby opening up a new world of possibilities for treating stroke and traumatic brain injury.
The Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Biological Sciences jointly offer a multi-disciplinary major in Biochemistry for the 40-course Bachelor of Science (BSc). The Biochemistry program will help you develop a strong background in the basic sciences and extensive laboratory skills.
Versatility and intense curiosity are the hallmarks of successful Biochemists, as they draw on knowledge from a variety of fields to investigate the molecules that facilitate life. First, you’ll need to decide what courses to take and make sure they are offered when you need to take them.
The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is located in University Hall, 8th floor in the E section and the central office is E866, so please stop by. Another valuable resource is our Program Planning Guides, guidelines for determining what courses you need to take and when. While pursuing your degree at the UofL there are several opportunities to determine which area of Chemistry or Biochemistry best suits you.
The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is home to many advanced instruments which enable cutting-edge research.
Why a degree in Chemistry or Biochemistry?Chemistry is a major for the broad-minded individual who is interested in integrating both qualitative and quantitative aspects of knowledge.
You can work in a research lab on an Independent or Applied Study, as a research assistant or even full-time as a Co-op student. Faculty members in chemistry & biochemistry welcome students into their labs in many research areas. Looks at the chemical and physical basis of life systems at the molecular level and how these microcosms interact with their environments.
Please explore our faculty's research areas and contact them directly if you are interested in opportunties in their labs. While pursuing your degree, you can gain research experience in our labs and by working for external organizations. RNA research is one of the fastest growing fields in the life sciences, with implications for many diseases, our understanding of evolution, as well as biotechnological applications and has enormous economic potential. The Alberta RNA Research and Training Institute is dedicated to foster and facilitate RNA research and training excellence, to contribute to the multidisciplinary research and teaching community at the University of Lethbridge, its surrounding communities and beyond, ultimately facilitating transfer of leading-edge knowledge into the private sector as well as academia. ARRTI constitutes a coordinated team effort advancing RNA research initiatives in complement to the excellence in the research, teaching, and training programs that already exist at the University of Lethbridge. Biochemistry started as an interdisciplinary area, but it has been a discipline for quite a while.
The Biochemistry Concentration at Carleton rests on the close cooperation between the Departments of Biology and Chemistry. Carleton Biology Professor John Tymoczko (left) is an author on the 5th edition of the textbook Biochemistry with co-authors Jeremy M.
Susan Singer and Joe Chihade will be working collaboratively with a small group of senior Chemistry and Biology majors on their comprehensive exercise in winter and spring of 2007. In spring 2005, Biological Chemistry Laboratory (Chem 321) was developed and taught for the first time by Prof. The spring 2006 laboratory began with the purification of the mutant enzymes designed in spring 2005, which were characterized before a second round of mutational design and site-directed mutagenesis. This new upper-level course with lab, funded by HHMI and to be offered first in winter 2007, will focus on modern techniques for studying proteins and nucleic acids. A Kodak ImageStation 2000R (left) was purchased with HHMI funding for teaching and research in Biology and Chemistry. An Amersham StormTM Gel and Blot Imager (at left) was also purchased with HHMI funds, providing PhosphorImager capability. Creation of an accurate model of DNA was a major milestone for the medical biochemistry field. Biochemical research is responsible for advances in antidepressants and other therapeutic medications. Scientists created a working guitar the size of a red blood cell to illustrate the possible uses of nanotechnology.


Medical biochemistry is the formal study of biochemical exchanges that occur within the human body in the context of medicine, usually in terms of drug interactions or cellular responses to disease or stimulation. Biochemistry itself is a combined study of biology and chemistry, and tends to focus on both how chemical processes happen in organisms and why. Some doctors and physicians are trained in this field and aspects of it are taught in most medical schools, though devoted expertise is more common for pharmaceutical researchers and disease control specialists.
One of the most significant breakthroughs in the field was the creation of an accurate model of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953. The human genome, which is the complete gene sequence unique to human life, was mapped completely in 2003 as a result of the 13 year Human Genome Project.
Progress in the related fields of molecular biology, endocrinology, and cellular biology has been rapid in recent years.
You can also select a General Major in the Sciences and choose Biochemistry courses as options. Thereby, the biochemistry program provides background for a diverse range of careers in the life sciences, including professional programs such as medicine and veterinary medicine. It looks at the chemical and physical basis of life and how these microcosms interact with their environments.
You may find you need some help with this process and we are here to answer your questions and provide support as you complete your degree.
These tools include nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), infra-red, Raman, UVvisible, atomic absorption spectrometers, macromolecular x-ray diffractometer, isothermal titration calorimeter, and a surface plasmon resonance spectrometer.
Knowledge of chemistry is required for all fields of scientific endeavor: engineering, physics, biology and medicine. There are many details involved in applying for Graduate Studies and the links below can help with that process.
Emerging as a recognized discipline early in the last century, biochemistry has grown into a vast subject that spans several established disciplines. The concentration requires courses in Biology and Chemistry, as well as a number of courses at the intersection of Biology and Chemistry. The group will study the work (and related research) of Ron Breaker, a professor in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale University.
The HHMI-funded Kodak digital imager (below) was utilized during both the protein purification (to visualize SDS-PAGE gels) and the restriction digestion stages of the course. In consultation with Biology and Biochemistry, bioanalytical themes and methods will be selected to enhance students' understanding of instrumentation and its application to investigating biological systems on a molecular level. This instrumentation has enhanced the learning experiences of students in courses ranging from Introductory Biology to an upper-level Plant Development course and an upper-level Biological Chemistry lab (noted above). The advances made in labs and research centers impact the way modern medicine is practiced, though, and in many cases shapes the sort of care that people receive.
DNA is often referred to as the core “building block” of life, and it contains what’s basically a map to a person’s genetic patterning and makeup. Since then, medical biochemists have had access to vital genetic information that has allowed for manipulation within the cell nucleus itself. Since all of these scientific fields tie in closely with medical biochemistry, keeping up with the latest advancements in the field can be difficult. A university degree is almost always required, and graduate work in biochemistry, molecular biology, or other health sciences is typically recommended. It is a demanding field that combines expertise in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. Students learn to use such instruments as a part of several undergraduate courses and during the research opportunities listed above.
Yet, the area is growing and maturing, and connecting up to new research and advances in Biology and Chemistry.
It serves as the link between the fields of chemistry and biology, and even as it flourishes at the interface of these subjects, it holds a strong position within the two traditional disciplines.
This course was designed to complement material covered in Biological Chemistry (Chem 320), and to serve as another way for students to meet the laboratory requirement for Carleton's Biochemistry Concentration. The Amersham will be used for sequencing gels and other blots where radioactive labeling material is used. The balance of the endocrine system, which controls hormone levels, is one example; how the brain processes information from nerves and how signals are relayed from place to place is another.


Researchers spend a lot of time studying things like how the body reacts to medicine, which can help them create more effective drugs; they also look for ways of understanding how people react to different environmental triggers like stress as a way of providing more pointed and accurate care.
Watson and Crick’s model opened up possibilities that had been inaccessible up until that point. Medical chemists are finding ways to isolate harmful traits within human DNA and have found methods of sometimes causing them to completely shut down prior to manifestation. A lot of research and reading goes into this job just in terms of staying current with new discoveries and advancements.
There are many different sorts of jobs in this field, from working as a lab technician or writing grants to conducting test groups and running drug trials.
Fundamentally, biochemistry seeks to establish an understanding of biological phenomena at a molecular level. Tymoczko is a biochemist who teaches Biochemistry, Oncogenes and Molecular Biology of Cancer, part of Introductory Biology, and a seminar on Exercise Biochemistry. In the long term, this course may be the basis for a single biochemistry lab course that is jointly taught by the Chemistry and Biology departments. Chemistry has some of this instrumentation and will seek NSF funds for a capillary electrophoresis (CE) instrument and an electrochemical analyzer.
Digital imaging of DNA, RNA, and protein gels and chemiluminescent blots has replaced the use of Polaroid cameras and X-ray film which were difficult and expensive to maintain, partially because of the high cost of film.
By studying and understanding these highly complex reactions, medical biochemists have found ways to better fight infection and disease on the molecular level. Biochemical research has lead to the discovery of many vaccines, antidepressants, and numerous therapeutic drugs that work hand-in-hand with a person’s chemical makeup on a cellular level. Seeing the inner workings of DNA made it possible to understand human anatomy on a molecular scale, which eventually lead to many changes and advancements in how physicians approach and care for various ailments. What this means in practical terms is that doctors can sometimes prevent a disease from happening at all, which can save a lot of suffering and pain. There is a lot to learn, and there are a lot of people dedicated to studying different nuanced causes.
People with this sort of expertise can work in settings as diverse as pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, or universities.
The design of the course is an extended, multi-year research project involving site-directed mutagenesis of a metabolic enzyme, cystathionine-beta-lyase. With this digital imager and a shared server that students can access, each student in a lab group can work with the image of his or her gel at almost any time.
As much as experts do know about the human body and how it functions, there’s a lot that simply remains a mystery. There is a lot of demand for this sort of knowledge and individuals with the right training are often very competitive in the marketplace.
The project is designed to recreate the iterative and cumulative way that knowledge is produced in a research environment. The instrument allows us to enhance contrast and see bands on gels that were not visible with the Polaroid cameras. Joe Chihade (Chemistry) and Stephan Zweifel (Biology) have plans to use this phosphorimager in research and teaching settings.
The time experts spend studying samples and creating reactions has led to a number of breakthroughs in heath care and disease management, and it seems likely that this field will be very much “in demand” for years to come. The more time medical biochemistry experts spend studying it, the closer the field will get to providing answers. Greg presented a talk about the lab at the 19th Biennial Conference on Chemical Education in summer 2006. In addition, the ability to use this equipment for densitometry allows us to obtain more information from our gels.
They used affinity chromatography to purify the wild-type enzyme, determined kinetic parameters for a set of three substrates, used molecular modeling to design site-directed mutations, and then made the mutations and confirmed the success of the mutagenesis using restriction digestion. A Dell computer, also funded by HHMI, captures the digitized image and has software that allows for adjustment of contrast, comparing of relative densities, and more.



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