Head: G. E. Gillaspy
Professors: D. R. Bevan, D. R. Dean, G. E. Gillaspy, P. J. Kennelly, T. J. Larson, J. Li, B. Mukhopadhyay, P. Sobrado, Z. Tu, and J. Zhu
Associate Professors: R. F. Helm, M. W. Klemba, and R. H. White
Assistant Professors: K. D. Allen, B. J. Jutras, J. Lemkul, Z. B. Mackey, D. Slade, C. Vinauger, and B. Xu
Research Assistant Professors: C. Lahondere and E. Purwanti
Collegiate Professors: K. Hite, S. Marine, and C. Thorpe
Adjunct Faculty: D. Capelluto, B. Costa, C. Finkielstein, D. Good, D. Kelly, J. Mahaney, and D. Tholl
Career Advisor: P. J. Kennelly (231-4317) email@example.com
Academic Support Advisor: A. Rasor (231-8734) firstname.lastname@example.org
Undergraduate Coordinator: D. R. Bevan (231-5040) email@example.com
Undergraduate Lab Coordinator: T. J. Larson (231-7060) firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bachelor of Science in biochemistry is designed to provide students with a thorough foundation in chemistry and biology and an appreciation of how these sciences are integrated to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying biological processes. The plan of study prepares students for careers in medicine, veterinary medicine, biomedical research, agriculture, industrial biochemistry, or biotechnology. In addition, it provides the background for post-graduate studies in the life sciences or professional studies in medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and clinical chemistry.
The department offers the undergraduate biochemistry degree in two colleges, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Science. Biochemistry majors complete the Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements unique to the college in which they are enrolled.
The departmental requirements for majors in either college are: mathematics (9-12 credits); physics (8 credits); principles of biology (8 credits); genetics (3 credits); general microbiology (4 credits); general chemistry (8 credits); organic chemistry (8 credits); physical chemistry (6 credits); analytical chemistry (4 credits); introduction to biochemistry (1 credit); biochemical calculations (2 credits) ; general biochemistry (7 credits); and laboratory problems in biochemistry and molecular biology (6 credits).
To qualify for a major in biochemistry, the department requires that students maintain a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) for the hours passed in all required biochemistry, biology, and chemistry courses. In addition, the department requires that a student earn a C- or better in all required biochemistry, chemistry, and biology courses.
The plan of study allows time for qualified students to participate in undergraduate research (BCHM 4994). Qualified students are strongly encouraged to initiate research activity prior to their senior year. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required for enrollment in BCHM 4994. Students participating in undergraduate research are encouraged to present a senior thesis.
Upper-division students who qualify for the Honors Program may participate in the "in honors" degree program in biochemistry. The Honors Program and undergraduate research program include study and research with individual faculty members.
Biochemistry majors may participate in the Cooperative Education Program that alternates academic study with employment experience. Additional information pertaining to the CO-OP program is included in the "General Information" section of this catalog. Summer internships with various businesses and governmental agencies are frequently available, particularly to rising seniors.
The department supports students' interest in bioinformatics/genomics by providing instruction and laboratory experience in those areas. Students are advised of appropriate supporting courses in computer science that may be used toward a minor in Computer Science.
The department also offers a graduate program leading to the M.S. and Ph.D.
The minimum number of credits required for the B.S. in Biochemistry is 120.
University policy requires that students who are making satisfactory progress toward a degree meet minimum criteria toward the General Education (Curriculum for Liberal Education) (see "Academics") and toward the degree in Biochemistry.
Satisfactory progress requirements toward the B.S. in Biochemistry in both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and in the College of Science can be found on their major checksheet by visiting the University Registrar website at http://registrar.vt.edu/graduation-multi-brief/index1.html.
1014: BIOCHEMISTRY FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE Applications of biochemistry in agricultural and life science disciplines; topical research areas in biochemistry; educational requirements and career opportunities for biochemistry majors; critical thinking and data interpretation in biochemistry. Pass/Fail only. (1H,1C)
1984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
2024: CONCEPTS OF BIOCHEMISTRY Short course in fundamentals of the chemistry of living systems. Introduction to major categories of biochemical substances, metabolic pathways, and principles of biochemical information transfer. (No credit for majors). Pre: CHEM 2514 or CHEM 2535. (3H,3C)
2114: BIOCHEMICAL CALCULATIONS Fundamental mathematical relationships in biochemistry. Calculations central to the investigation of biochemical phenomena including aqueous chemistry, spectrophotometry, enzyme kinetics and thermodynamics. Introduction to the core calculations used in experimental biochemistry and the strategies employed for solving biochemical problems. Pre: CHEM 2535 or CHEM 2565. (2H,2C)
2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
2974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY Honors section. Variable credit course.
2984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
2994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course.
3114: BIOCHEMISTRY FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE LIFE SCIENCES Survey presentation of the basic principles of biochemistry as they apply to biotechnology. Topics covered include protein structure, enzymology, cellular organization, and biochemical regulation. Special emphasis will be given to gene structure, transcription, and translation, cellular organization, and cloning, sequencing, modification and expression of recombinant DNA. Examples will be given of agricultural/medical/industrial applications of cellular and molecular biochemical knowledge. Non-majors only. Pre: CHEM 2536 or CHEM 2566. (3H,3C)
3984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
4054 (APSC 4054): GENOMICS A contemporary analysis of the development, utility and application of high-resolution methods for the study and manipulation of the complete genomes of organisms. The use of new techniques for genomic, metabolic and protein engineering (functional genomics), including high-throughput methods and nanotechnology, will be emphasized. Pre: 3114 or 4116 or BIOL 3774. (3H,3C)
4074: CAREER ORIENTATION Examination of various career opportunities for biochemists in industry, academia, medicine and related health sciences. Introduction to resources for locating career opportunities, resume preparation and interview skills. Restricted to biochemistry majors. Junior standing required. I Pass/Fail only. Co: 4115. (1H,1C)
4115-4116: GENERAL BIOCHEMISTRY Metabolism and chemistry of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids with emphasis on interactions and comparative aspects of microbial, plant, and animal forms. For students in the biochemistry curriculum and other students interested in a foundation course. (Students are required to have at least a C- in both CHEM 2535 and 2536 to be admitted to BCHM 4115). Pre: (CHEM 2536 or CHEM 2566), (BCHM 2114 or CHEM 2154) for 4115; 4115 for 4116. 4115: (4H,4C) 4116: (3H,3C)
4124: LABORATORY PROBLEMS IN BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Presentation of major analytical techniques of importance to biochemistry and molecular biology, including spectrophotometry, electrophoresis, chromatography. Lab study of selected principles and methods used in biochemistry and molecular biology. Pre: 4115, (CHEM 2114, CHEM 2124) or (CHEM 3114, CHEM 3124). Co: 4116. (3H,9L,6C)
4354: BIOCHEMICAL COMMUNICATION Exploration of how chemical signals are produced, transported, and influence microbes (Bacterial and unicellular organism (chemotaxis), plants, and animals (olfactory neuroethology). Applications to cell biology, neurobiology, and ecology. Analysis of the interaction between biochemical communication systems and health (diseases). Management, statistical analysis, and interpretation of large datasets related to biochemical communication, using computational approaches. Pre: (3114 or 4115), (STAT 2004 or STAT 3615). (3H,3C)
4754: INTERNSHIP Variable credit course.
4784 (BIOL 4784): APPLICATIONS IN MOLECULAR LIFE SCIENCE Synthesis and application of biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, genomics, physiology, immunology concepts and techniques to address medical and agricultural problems. Gene characterization and manipulation, protein-based drugs, diagnostics, vaccines, transgenic plants/animals. Analysis, critique, application of research in molecular life science. Pre: (3114, 3124, BIOL 3774, BIOL 4774) or (BCHM 4116, BCHM 4124). (3H,3C)
4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY Variable credit course.
4974H: INDEPENDENT STUDY Honors section. Variable credit course.
4984: SPECIAL STUDY Variable credit course.
4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Variable credit course.
4994H: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH Honors section. Variable credit course.