CH-418 (Advanced Biochemistry) is a continuation of CH-342 (Integrated Chemistry: Biochemistry or “ICB”). Required for Biochemistry POEs, Advanced Biochemistry is designed to prepare students for all post-baccalaureate work, from employment to education to further training. This course is divided into two sections. The first half will be a continuation of the problem-based learning (PBL) tradition you saw in ICB, albeit with a different focus: Alzheimer’s disease. The second half of the semester will involve metabolism, focusing on the logic of metabolism rather than on rote memorization of metabolic pathways.

For the first half of class, we will use the primary literature as the text. Students will work in groups, reading an assigned piece of literature and developing questions they have about the text (“learning issues”). Learning issues will be distributed among the group members before leaving class. Each student will research his/her learning issue(s) and report back to the group in the next class. The process will be repeated to deepen the understanding of the chosen article. Learning issues, then, typically include questions of methodology, cellular signaling, interpretation of data, and framing observations/interpretation within the larger scientific dialogue. In this class, we will take a comprehensive view of biochemical techniques – from knockout mice to mass spectroscopy – within the context Alzheimer’s disease. Working in small groups, you will identify the questions, and you will find the answers. This, then, means that you will take charge of your own education, with the help and support of the instructor and your peers. In doing so, you will not only deepen your knowledge of chemistry and biology, but you will also refine the skills necessary to succeed independently in whatever path you choose.

In the second half of the semester, we will learn about intermediary metabolism, that is, how the body converts small molecules into energy. The second half of the course will work as a flipped classroom: you will read material on your own and take notes outside of class. In class, you will then work through problem sets based on the material you read.