BIBC 103: Biochemical Techniques

Biology Academy 2016

Welcome to BIBC 103 Biochemical Techniques!

Course website:

Syllabus: Please see more information on TritonEd course website 

Instructor and mentors

Instructor: Jenny Herndon

Teaching assistants: TBA

Mentors: TBA

Course description

This course will introduce several key methods that are used in a typical molecular biology or biochemistry laboratory, focusing mainly on the techniques and concepts that are involved in protein purification/analysis. You will gain a conceptual understanding of, and some hands-on experience in, various protein purification techniques, expression and purification of recombinant proteins from bacterial cells, and methods for analyzing the different properties of proteins. The laboratory work will consist of three multi-day projects, as well as some smaller, single-day experiments. As this is an introductory lab course, all lab work will emphasize the learning of basic lab skills and good lab practices.

Learning in this course

This course is not simply an introduction to biochemical techniques. Rather, it is designed to illustrate how biochemists and molecular biologists approach experimental problems. Laboratory experiments are not accidents in progress; on the contrary, successful laboratory work is always carefully thought through in advance. The emphasis of this course is therefore on the preparation for and the reflection of each laboratory experiment. Through the laboratory projects, we will develop the skills necessary to interpret data from experiments in order to answer questions about biological systems, as well as design experiments to answer new questions. In keeping with this, the importance of good experimental design, including the use of appropriate controls, will be highlighted in all experiments. A complete list of the learning goals and expected outcomes for the course can be found on the class TritonEd website.

Textbook and other course materials

Biochemical Techniques Lab Manual, 2016 Edition

All textbooks and course materials will be provided to the students free of charge on the opening day (July 30, 2016).

Course requirements and grading

Our course has three grading components: quizzes and exams (45%), written lab reports (45%), and in class participation (10%). The grading scheme is as follows but may be adjusted to improve everyone’s grades if necessary: A+/A/A- at or above 90%, B+/B/B- at 80-90%, C+/C/C- at 70-80%, D+/D/D- at 60-70%, and F at under 60%. Exact boundaries will be determined based on final grade distributions. Our course is not graded on a curve (i.e. 20% of students getting A, B, C, and such). Thus, the ability to do well in this course is not dependent on others doing poorly.

Academic integrity

Integrity of scholarship is essential for an academic community. The University expects that both students and faculty will honor this principle and in so doing protect the validity of University intellectual work. For students, this means that all academic work will be done by the individual(s) to whom it is assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind.

In our course, we need to establish a set of shared values. Following are values adopted from the International Center for Academic Integrity, which are open to discussion and possible alteration. Each team should adopt these values and must articulate the expectations for how they are made manifest within the team’s work together.

Honesty: We will honestly demonstrate our knowledge and abilities according to standards and expectations. We will also communicate openly and without deception, including citing appropriate sources.

Responsibility: We will complete our work on time and participate fully (both mentally and physically) in class and in the laboratory. We will also contribute to work done in teams.

Respect: We will speak openly with one another while respecting diverse viewpoints and perspectives. We will also provide sufficient space for others to voice their ideas.

Fairness: We will contribute equally to laboratory work, papers, project, and team learning, so that we are not “freeloading” off of others on our teams. We will also not seek unfair advantages over others.

Trustworthiness: We will not engage in personal affairs while on class time, and we will be open and transparent about what we are doing in class. We will also not distribute course materials to others

Accessibility and inclusion | | 858-534-4382

Any student with a disability is welcome to contact us early in the quarter to work out reasonable accommodations to support their success in this course. Students requesting accommodations for this course due to a disability must provide a current Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) letter issued by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). Students are required to present their AFA letters to faculty and to the OSD Liaison in the Division of Biological Sciences in advance so that accommodations may be arranged.