The biochemistry bachelor’s degreefocuses on the chemistry of living things to prepare you to address current challenges facing the chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, forensic, and biotechnological fields.
The most prestigious national award for undergraduate research
Lab spaces including teaching, research, and instrument labs
Frequency of our in-house Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy instrument
Overview for Biochemistry BS
Why Study Biochemistry at RIT
Educational Growth: Follow in the footsteps of nearly half of RIT’s biochemistry bachelor’s degree students, who continued their education in graduate programs at top-tier universities, including Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, Yale University, Harvard University, MIT, Cornell University, and Virginia Tech.
Academic Communities: Join the student chapters of the American Chemical Society, Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Fraternity, or American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to connect with other students and professionals in your field, attend national conferences, and access employment and career resources.
Undergraduate Research: Engage in biochemistry research starting as early as your first year, preparing you for a wide range of careers with hands-on experience.
Jobs at Industry Leading Companies: Recent biochemistry graduates are employed at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, ICON Laboratory, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Biochemists focus on the chemistry of life. RIT’s biochemistry bachelor’s degree provides knowledge in chemistry, biochemistry, and biology, which will prepare you to consider real-world problems from a variety of perspectives. Delve deeper into your interest of combining the life and shealth sciences with a typical chemistry degree.
RIT’s Biochemistry Bachelor’s Degree
The first year of the bachelor of science in biochemistry includes a mix of general biology and chemistry courses. The first year of the bachelor of science in biochemistry includes a mix of general biology and chemistry courses. During the upper-level years, you’ll take a substantial core of courses in biochemistry, physical chemistry, the liberal arts, and elective courses in life sciences. With RIT’s biochemistry BS you will be able to:
Contribute your skills in corporate, health care, or government positions
Enter professional education in medicine or other health-related fields
Attend graduate programs in a variety of chemical and life sciences related programs
Furthering Your Education in Biochemistry
Combined Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees
Today’s careers require advanced degrees grounded in real-world experience. RIT’s Combined Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees enable you to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as little as five years of study, all while gaining the valuable hands-on experience that comes from co-ops, internships, research, study abroad, and more.
+1 MBA: Students who enroll in a qualifying undergraduate degree have the opportunity to add an MBA to their bachelor’s degree after their first year of study, depending on their program. Learn how the +1 MBA can accelerate your learning and position you for success.
If you’re interested in pursuing medical school and/or graduate programs in the health professions, two advising programs can guide your planning for advanced study in these competitive areas of study:
What’s different about an RIT education? It’s the career experience you gain by completing cooperative education and internships with top companies in every single industry. You’ll earn more than a degree. You’ll gain real-world career experience that sets you apart. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries.
Co-ops and internships take your knowledge and turn it into know-how. Science co-ops include a range of hands-on experiences, from co-ops and internships and work in labs to undergraduate research and clinical experience in health care settings. These opportunities provide the hands-on experience that enables you to apply your scientific, math, and health care knowledge in professional settings while you make valuable connections between classwork and real-world applications.
Cooperative education is optional but strongly encouraged for biochemistry majors.
National Labs Career Events and Recruiting
The Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education offers National Labs and federally-funded Research Centers from all research areas and sponsoring agencies a variety of options to connect with and recruit students. Students connect with employer partners to gather information on their laboratories and explore co-op, internship, research, and full-time opportunities. These national labs focus on scientific discovery, clean energy development, national security, technology advancements, and more. Recruiting events include our university-wide Fall Career Fair, on-campus and virtual interviews, information sessions, 1:1 networking with lab representatives, and a National Labs Resume Book available to all labs.
Identifying Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals
Taylor Wolf ’18 (biochemistry) ’18
Taylor Wolf ’18 (biochemistry) conducted research with Professor Scott Williams to create a test that will identify substandard and counterfeit pharmaceuticals that could help reduce what has been a...
This course serves as an introduction to biology for majors, focusing on the organismal, population, and ecosystem levels. Major themes include: evolution, structure and function, information flow and storage, pathways and transformations of energy and matter, and systems. The course also focuses on developing core competencies, such as applying the process of science, using quantitative reasoning, communicating, and collaborating. (This course is restricted to BIOL-BS, BIOTECH-BS, ENVS-BS, BIOINFO-BS, BIOMED-BS, BIOCHEM-BS, or NEURO-BS students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Introduction to Biology: Molecules and Cells
This course serves as an introduction to biology for majors, focusing on the molecular and cellular level. Major themes include: evolution, structure and function, information flow and storage, pathways and transformations of energy and matter, and systems. The course also focuses on developing core competencies, such as applying the process of science, using quantitative reasoning, communicating, and collaborating. (This course is restricted to BIOL-BS, BIOTECH-BS, ENVS-BS, BIOINFO-BS, BIOMED-BS, BIOCHEM-BS, or NEURO-BS students.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Introduction to Biology Laboratory: Organisms and Ecosystems
This course is an introduction to laboratory work in life sciences. The laboratory work is project-based, and may involve field work as well as laboratory experiments. The course is designed to show the huge scope of biology and will encompass how some molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques connect with organismal and ecological biology. (This course is restricted to BIOL-BS, BIOTECH-BS, ENVS-BS, BIOINFO-BS, BIOMED-BS, BIOCHEM-BS, or NEURO-BS students.
Co-requisites: BIOL-123 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
Introduction to Biology Laboratory: Molecules and Cells
This course is an introduction to laboratory work in life sciences. The laboratory work is project based, and the subject matter of the project(s) may vary. The course is designed to show the huge scope of biology and will encompass some molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques connect with organismal and ecological biology. (This course is restricted to BIOL-BS, BIOTECH-BS, ENVS-BS, BIOINFO-BS, BIOMED-BS, BIOCHEM-BS, or NEURO-BS students.
Co-requisites: BIOL-124 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).
Advanced General Chemistry I
Advanced General Chemistry designed for aspiring chemical professionals. Students will learn the fundamental concepts that support a modern understanding of chemistry. Atomic and molecular structures are presented and investigated using quantum mechanics. The relationship between quantum mechanics, molecular structure, and material properties is emphasized. (Co-requisites: CHEM-175 and (MATH-171 or MATH-181) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Advanced General Chemistry II
Advanced General Chemistry course for aspiring chemical professionals. Students will learn the fundamental concepts that support a modern understanding of chemistry. The relationship between chemical energy and the physical processes of systems is emphasized. Chemical reactions are discussed from a thermodynamic and kinetic perspective. (Prerequisites: CHEM-171 or equivalent course.
Co-requisites: CHEM-176 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Advanced General Chemistry I Lab
This course provides an introduction to a modern chemical laboratory and complements CHEM-171 lecture material through the use of experimentation. Emphasis is placed on laboratory safety, general laboratory practices, and the use of instrumentation to aid in the understanding of concepts. Topics will include keeping a lab notebook, introduction to Excel, Avogadro’s number, atomic and molecular structure, and thermochemistry. (Co-requisite: CHEM-171 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Fall).
Advanced General Chemistry II
A continuation of Advanced General Chemistry I Lab, this course complements CHEM-172 lecture material through experimentation. Emphasis is placed on laboratory techniques, analysis of results, and formal scientific reporting. Topics include chemical kinetics, pH indicators and buffers, measurement of pH, and extraction of copper from copper wire. Special topics to be included. (Prerequisites: CHEM-175 or equivalent course.
Co-requisites: CHEM-172 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).
Calculus I (General Education – Mathematical Perspective A)
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals. (Prerequisites: MATH-111 or (NMTH-220 and NMTH-260 or NMTH-272 or NMTH-275) or equivalent courses with a minimum grade of B-, or a score of at least 60% on the RIT Mathematics Placement Exam.
Co-requisites: MATH-181R or equivalent course.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring).
Calculus II (General Education – Mathematical Perspective B)
This is the second in a two-course sequence. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates. (Prerequisites: C- or better in MATH-181 or MATH-181A or equivalent course.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring).
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. (This class is restricted to incoming 1st year or global campus students.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Elective
General Education – First-Year Writing (WI)
Molecular Biology (General Education)
This course will address the fundamental concepts of Molecular Biology. Class discussions, assignments, and projects will explore the structure and function of biologically important molecules (DNA, RNA and proteins) in a variety of cellular and molecular processes. Students in this course will explore the molecular interactions that facilitate the storage, maintenance and repair of DNA and processes that drive the flow of genetic information and evolution. Students in this course will gain an understanding of various molecular mechanisms, structure/function relationships, and processes as they relate to molecular biology. The foundational molecular concepts in this course will be built upon in a variety of upper-level biology courses. (Prerequisite:(BIOL-101,BIOL-102,BIOL-103&BIOL-104) or (BIOL-121&BIOL-122) or (BIOL-123,BIOL-124,BIOL-125&BIOL-126)or equivalent courses with a grade of C- or higher.
Co-requisite:(CHMG-141&CHMG-145)or(CHEM-151&CHEM-155) or CHMG-131 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Molecular Biology Laboratory (General Education)
This laboratory course will address the fundamental concepts of Molecular Biology. Students in this laboratory will complement their understanding of core concepts in Molecular Biology through the implementation and practice of laboratory techniques used by Molecular Biologists. Laboratory techniques and projects will focus on recombinant DNA technology and the detection and tracking of biomolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins. (Prerequisite:(BIOL-101&BIOL-102&BIOL-103&BIOL-104)or(BIOL-121&BIOL-122)or(BIOL-123&BIOL-124&BIOL-125&BIOL-126)or equivalent courses w/ grade of C- or higher.
Co-requisite:BIOL-206&((CHMG-141&CHMG-145)or(CHEM-151&CHEM-155)orCHMG-131)or equivalent courses.) Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
This course will address the fundamental concepts of cell biology. Class discussions, assignments, and laboratory projects will 1) Explore the structure-function relationships that drive cellular processes at the molecular, cellular and tissue level. 2) Investigate the mechanisms of cellular signaling and the transmission of genetic information. 3) Examine energy transformation strategies and the biochemical pathways used for synthesis and breakdown of ATP and other important biomolecules. 4) Investigate the organizational strategies used by cells to form functional tissue and organ systems. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-206 and BIOL-216) or BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
This course introduces the structure and function of biological macromolecules and their metabolic pathways. The relationship between the three-dimensional structure of proteins and their function in enzymatic catalysis will be examined. Membrane structure and the physical laws that apply to metabolic processes will also be discussed. (Prerequisite: CHMO-231 or CHMO-331 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry I
This course is a rigorous study of the structure, nomenclature, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes. The course will also provide an introduction to chemical bonding, IR and NMR spectroscopy, acid and base reactions, stereochemistry, nucleophilic substitution reactions, alkene, and alkyne reactions. This course will require the use of mechanisms in describing and predicting organic reactions. (Prerequisites: CHEM-151 or equivalent course.
Corequisites: CHMO-335 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry II
This course is a comprehensive study of the structure, reactions and synthesis of the following functional groups: aromatic rings, ketones, aldehydes, and carboxylic acids and their derivatives. Students will apply their knowledge from CHMO-331 to predict products and derive mechanisms that describe various organic reactions. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry Lab I
This course prepares students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab and to carryout reactions covered in the accompanying lecture CHMO-331. (Corequisites: CHMO-331 or equivalent course.) Lab 4 (Spring).
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry II
This course teaches students to perform techniques important in an organic chemistry lab and reactions covered in the accompanying lecture CHMO-332. This course will also help students to solidify the concepts taught in lecture and perform qualitative analysis of unknown compounds. (Prerequisites: CHMO-335 or equivalent course.
Corequisites: CHMO-332 or equivalent course.) Lab 4 (Spring).
General Education – Ethical Perspective
General Education – Global Perspective
General Education – Artistic Perspective
General Education – Immersion 1,2
This course will introduce students to quantitative methods. The course will cover gravimetric techniques, equilibria, statistical methods, and solution chemistry. In addition, equilibrium for polyprotic acids, electrochemistry and potentiometry will be discussed. (Prerequisites: (CHEM-172 and CHEM-176) or (CHMG-142 and CHMG-146) or (CHEM-151 and CHEM-155) or equivalent courses.
Co-requisites: CHMA-215 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Analytical Methods Lab
This laboratory is designed for chemistry and biochemistry majors or those interested in pursuing a minor in chemistry. Experiments include statistics, calibration of equipment, spectroscopy, volumetric analyses, kinetics, Gran Plot, double endpoint titrations, potentiometric titration, photometric determination of copper, and water hardness. (Prerequisites: (CHEM-172 and CHEM-176) or (CHMG-142 and CHMG-146) or (CHEM-151 and CHEM-155) or equivalent courses.
Co-requisites: CHMA-211 or equivalent course.) Lab 4 (Fall).
Biochemistry Lab (WI-PR)
An introduction to the theory and practice of modern experimental biochemical laboratory techniques and concepts. The weekly two-hour lecture provides a theoretical framework for the course and includes a discussion of the properties of biomolecules and how those properties are exploited in the separation and characterization of the molecules. Practical laboratory techniques include the preparation of buffers, centrifugation, chromatography, electrophoretic methods, and UV-visible spectrophotometry as applied to the isolation and characterization of proteins and nucleic acids. The manipulation of genetic material in E. coli will also be executed. This course will be offered in a writing intensive format where the students will write and submit the different sections found in scientific papers (abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusions, references, figures, tables) in an iterative fashion that will include regular feedback from the instructor. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 5 (Fall, Spring).
Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences
Physical principles determine the stability of proteins and nucleic acids, the rate at which biochemical reactions proceed, the transport of molecules across biological molecules. These principles allow us to describe structure and reactivity in complex biological systems and make sense of how these systems operate. This course will cover the three pillars of physical chemistry (thermodynamics, kinetics, and quantum mechanics) from a biological point of view. We will explore reactions involving biological molecules, macromolecular folding/unfolding, ligand binding; enzyme and chemical kinetics; electronic structure, chemical bonds, and spectroscopy. This course is designed for students in biochemistry or biology and is not suitable for students pursuing chemistry. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 and MATH-182 and PHYS-111 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
College Physics I (General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective)
This is an introductory course in algebra-based physics focusing on mechanics
and waves. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s laws,
gravitation; rotational kinematics and dynamics; work and energy; momentum
and impulse; conservation laws; simple harmonic motion; waves; data
presentation/analysis and error propagation. The course is taught using both
traditional lectures and a workshop format that integrates material traditionally
found in separate lecture, recitation, and laboratory settings. Lab 4, Lecture 2 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
College Physics II (General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective)
This course is an introduction to algebra-based physics focusing on thermodynamics, electricity and magnetism, optics, and elementary topics in modern physics. Topics include heat and temperature, laws of thermodynamics, fluids, electric and magnetic forces and fields, DC electrical circuits, electromagnetic induction, opyics, the concept of the photon, and the Bohr model of the atom. The course is taught using both traditional lectures and a workshop format that integrates material traditionally found in separate lecture, recitation, and laboratory settings. (Prerequisites: PHYS-111 or 1017-211 or equivalent course.) Lab 4, Lecture 2 (Fall, Spring).
Advanced Biochemistry Elective (A)*
General Education – Social Perspective
General Education – Immersion 3
Advanced Biochemistry Elective (A)*
Advanced Biology Elective (B)*
Chemistry Elective (C)*
General Education – Electives
Total Semester Credit Hours
Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.
(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.
Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.
* Students must complete 6 credits from List A, 6 credits from List B, and 3 credits from List C.
A graduate level lecture and laboratory course designed to teach a student how to use a Bruker high-resolution NMR spectrometer to perform a variety of chemical analyses. Students are presented a series of brief descriptions of how to perform various functions and experiments on a Bruker NMR. Students then receive hands-on training and perform the experiment. Specific operations taught include: file management, magnet shimming, probe tuning, parameter optimization, pulse sequence development, one-dimensional and two-dimensional acquisitions, variable temperature studies, data processing, diffusion measurements, and measuring relaxation times. This course serves as mechanism to gain different levels of access to the Chemistry Department's NMR spectrometers. (Prerequisites: CHMO-332 or CHMA-221 or equivalent course or graduate standing in CHEM-MS.) Lecture 5 (Spring).
This course will focus on advanced topics in biochemistry, using hands-on activities, in-class discussions, and review of relevant literature to explore the theory and applications behind current biochemical methods and concepts. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Advanced Special Topics
This is an advanced course on a topic that is not part of the formal curriculum. This course is structured as an ordinary course and has specific prerequisites, contact hours, and examination procedures. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Lec/Lab .
Advanced Biochemistry Independent Study
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their final two years of study. (This course requires permission of the Instructor to enroll.) Lecture .
Infectious Disease: Impact Society and Culture
This course investigates the mechanisms of pathogenesis of bacterial, viral, and other microbial infectious agents. This course also covers the historical, social, and cultural impact that these infectious diseases have had on society. Topics may include: antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, vaccines, gut microflora and health, foodborne illnesses, bioterrorism, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and staph infections. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or BIOL-201. Students may not take and receive credit for BIOL-460 and CHMB-460. If you have earned credit for BIOL-460 or you are currently enrolled in BIOL-460 you will not be permitted to enroll in CHMB-460.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Advanced Protein Biochemistry: Structure and Function
This course analyzes protein structure function relationships. Students will investigate how proteins function and how the structure relates to that function. The principles that explain enzyme rate enhancements and mechanistic enzymology will be examined. Additionally, protein superfamilies for phylogenetic relationships will be explored to enhance understanding of protein structure-function relationships. Students will read and discuss the current scientific literature and classic papers. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or equivalent course or degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Protein Conformation and Dynamics
An advanced study of the structure and function of proteins and enzymes. Biophysical and mechanistic aspects of enzyme function will be examined. Applications of computation to protein structure will also be discussed. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or equivalent course or degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Advanced Nucleic Acids Biochemistry; Structure and Function
This course will cover nucleic acid structures as determined by NMR and X-ray crystallography and nucleic acid catalysis, especially that of ribozymes. Genomics, specifically whole-genome sequencing papers, will be analyzed. Current RNA topics including the RNA World, Ribozymes, RNAi, and Riboswitches will be discussed. Current DNA topics including Lateral/Horizontal DNA Transfer, Genome Duplication, Alternate Gene Expression and Synthetic Life will also be discussed. (Prerequisites: CHMB-402 or equivalent course or degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Biology of Plants
This course will focus on aspects of plant anatomy and diversity and their impact on plant physiology. Adaptations to the environment and biotechnological approaches to unraveling the physiology of plants will be explored. A feature of this course will be discussion groups on plant topics from the popular scientific literature- e.g. Biofuels, Bioengineered Plants. The laboratory classes will follow the lectures closely, to give an opportunity to examine the structure and physiology of different plant genera. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-101 and BIOL-102 and BIOL-103 and BIOL-104) or (BIOL-121 and BIOL-122) or (BIOL-123 and BIOL-124 and BIOL-125 and BIOL-126) or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
This course investigates the historical framework of evolutionary biology and the meaning/nature of evidence pertinent to biological evolution. Topics will include: earth history, the evolution of proteins and the genetic code, molecular evolution, neutral theory vs. selection, genetic variation, natural selection, migration, mutation, genetic drift, fitness, population dynamics and genetics, speciation, systematics and classification systems, molecular phylogenetics, the evolution of eukaryotic organisms, behavioral evolution, historical biogeography, and human evolution and variation. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-101 and BIOL-102 and BIOL-103 and BIOL-104) or (BIOL-121 and BIOL-122) or (BIOL-123 and BIOL-124 and BIOL-125 and BIOL-126) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3, Recitation 2 (Fall).
Plants, Medicine and Technology
Plants have played a significant role in the shaping of our world. This course will explore the utilization of plants for foods, fuels, materials, medicine, novel genetic information, and social aspects of different cultures. All cultures depend on about fifteen plant species, most of which have been changed by plant improvement methods to enhance human benefits. This course will explore these changes in important crops, plant constituents used in medicine, and the technology used to produce important plant-produced medicines. (Prerequisite: BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOL-206 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 4 (Spring).
This course presents the microbiology of foods. Topics include microbial food spoilage, foodborne pathogens, food preservation techniques, and environmental parameters found in foods important in the survival of food spoilage microbes and foodborne pathogens. The lab will include exercises on isolating heterotrophs from all kinds of food, isolation of fungi from various foods, and the survival of various pathogens in food and beverages. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Introduction to Microbiology
This course is an introduction to microorganisms and their importance. Principles of structure and function, metabolic diversity, taxonomy, environmental microbiology, and infectious diseases of bacteria and human immunology are discussed. Current concepts in microbiology including microbial communities and the microbiome will also be covered. Students will learn how to read and use the primary literature for microbiology. The class will also discuss political and ethical issues associated with microbiology. Basic laboratory techniques for bacteriology will be learned. These techniques include the use of a microscope to characterize organisms that have been stained using the Gram stain or the spore stain. Students will learn to isolate individual organisms from a mixture of bacteria. Students will learn to use metabolic tests and clinical and commercial testing protocols to identify specific bacteria. Students will detect and enumerate bacteria in food and water samples. The control of bacteria will be performed by testing antibiotic resistance and determining the efficacy of various disinfectants. Finally, each student will develop a hypothesis about a microbiological topic, design experiments, perform the work in the laboratory and write a paper about their findings. (Prerequisites: BIOL-206 and BIOL-216 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Introduction to the principles of inheritance; the study of genes and chromosomes at molecular, cellular, organismal, and population levels. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-206 and BIOL-216) or BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3, Recitation 1 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
This course is a study of the processes of growth, differentiation and development that lead to the mature form of an organism. The course will also address how developmental biology is integrated with other aspects of biology including disease, ecology, and evolution. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-206 and BIOL-216) or BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
The overall goal of this course is to familiarize students with the theory and analysis of genomics data. Students will survey topics including the structure, organization, and expression of the genome in a diverse array of organisms ranging from microbes to humans. Students will also become familiar with the analysis of next generation ‘omics-type data through a series of computational activities and problem sets. A hands-on laboratory component will guide students through a rigorous investigation of genomes. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course is an in-depth treatment of the molecular and cellular events associated with innate and adaptive immune responses. The response of the host to the environment of microbes and pathogens will be emphasized. Recognition and response of the host to the infectious agents and the resolution of the disease state will be examined at the cellular and molecular levels. The immune response to tumors will be treated and medical advances in treating neoplastic disease using immunological therapy will be presented. The laboratories will focus on the cellular and molecular techniques employed in the modern immunology laboratory. A laboratory module employing hybridoma techniques will provide an intensive experience with monoclonal antibodies and their use in diagnostics and disease treatment. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Biological Separations: Principles and Practices
This is a laboratory-based course that teaches classic concepts and techniques to enable the use of these techniques to purify small molecules and macromolecules from whole organisms. Detection techniques will include the use of bacterial biosensors, coomassie-blue staining, silver staining, and immunoblot analysis. Separation techniques will include SDS Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) analysis, thin layer chromatography, and paper electrophoresis. Purification techniques will include ammonium sulfate precipitation, affinity chromatography, and thin layer chromatography. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Fundamentals of Plant Biochemistry and Pathology
This course is primarily focused on biochemical and pathological aspects of a plant's life. This course provides an understanding of why protein catalysts are important in the field of plant biochemistry and plant pathology. More specifically, the role enzymes play in the basic cellular processes of plant growth and development is presented. Topics related to plant pathology are presented; such as plant disease epidemics, plant diagnosis, plant diseases caused by fungi, bacteria, nematodes, viruses, and plant-pathogen interaction, at the ecological, physiological and genetic level. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Microbiology of Fermentation
Microbial fermentation is a hands-on course that will explore the use of fermented foods by early humans and the eventual control of the fermentative process by human culture. An understanding of the metabolism of fermenting microorganisms will be developed including an appreciation for metabolic engineering, starter cultures, and the genetic engineering of fermenting organisms. The course will also examine various fermentation processes including dairy products, cheese, meat, vegetables, bread, beer, wine, distilled spirits, vinegar, cocoa, and coffee. The course includes a laboratory component. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
Biology of Cancer
What are the differences between cancer and normal cells? What cellular pathways and molecular mechanisms do cancer cells exploit to gain proliferative advantage, circumvent programmed cell death pathways and evade the host surveillance system? In this course, students will answer these fundamental questions through activities, class discussion, readings and other assignments. Students will explore how the products of tumor suppressor genes, proto-oncogenes and oncogenes help or hinder the process of tumorigenesis in mammalian cells. Students will gain an understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern cancer cell growth, communication and organization. Students will become familiar with landmark findings and current research in the area of Cancer Biology and will use experimental data to formulate scientific conclusions. Students will participate in several writing assignments to practice scientific writing and learn how to clearly communicate ideas related to Cancer Biology. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
The course provides an overview of concepts and applications in human genetics. Topics include classical and complex mechanisms of inheritance, the human genome, human origins & evolution, forensic applications, personalized medicine, and ethical issues. (Prerequisites: BIOL-321 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course is an introduction to virology with specific emphasis on the molecular mechanisms of virus infection of eukaryotic cells and virus-cell interactions. Virus structure, genetics, the infectious cycle, replication strategies, pathogenesis, persistence, effects on host macromolecular synthesis, viral oncogenesis, viral vectors, emerging viral diseases, and strategies to protect against and combat viral infection will be discussed. (Prerequisites: BIOL-201 or BIOL-302 or BIOG-240 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
In this course aspects of plant biotechnology will be investigated. Areas of concentration will include: tissue culture, genetic transformation of plant cells, regeneration of transgenic plants, and the construction and characterization of transgenic plants for food production, experimental biology investigations, and novel product(development. The laboratory will provide experiences to complement(the lecture information in plant cell culture and experiences in the use of Agrobacterium as the gene shuttle to introduce novel genetic information into plants. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 and BIOL-321 and BIOL-327 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
Plant Molecular Biology
The course will introduce molecular biology concepts and encourage the application of these concepts to the particular plant gene being studied. This upper-level elective course has a strong laboratory element. Small groups will study different plant genes during the semester. The laboratory element will be a self-paced group project to amplify, clone, sequence, and examine the expression profiles of plant genes. Gene databases such as TAIR and NCBI, as well as sequence analysis software, will be used throughout the course. The groups will be guided to make week-by-week project plans, to troubleshoot problems, and record results in laboratory notebooks. In addition, weekly results and progress will be shared via an interactive wiki. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-206 and BIOL-216) or BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Bacterial-Host Interactions: Mircobiomes of the World
This course focuses on the bacterial and host (human, insect, plant, animals and fungi) mechanisms used in interactions with hosts during both pathogenesis and symbiosis. We will explore molecular, microbiome and genomic levels, drawing on the disciplines of genomics, biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology. Several of the agonistic and antagonistic interactions will illustrate broader principles and contribute to our fundamental understanding of biological processes. The results of these interactions have a strong impact on biological productivity, and so are also ever increasing important in human health. An emphasis will be on the roles of molecules and cell structures in determining the outcome of an interaction. Course is intended to allow students to develop knowledge of host-bacterial interactions at the molecular to organismal level, with an emphasis on several model symbiotic- and patho-systems. Knowledge about bacterial mechanisms use to associate with host organisms and the different strategies bacteria employ to gain entry, damage host tissue and obtain nutrients for growth will be explored. We will also illustrate several mutualistic relationships between eukaryotic hosts with partner symbiotic bacteria. Genomic approaches to describe microbiomes (microbial communities) on host organisms and in environments will also be explored. (Prerequisites: BIOL-204 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring, Summer).
Microbial and Viral Genetics
The goal of this course is to gain an understanding of the genetic systems of prokaryotes and their viruses. There are two major foci: (1) the mechanisms bacteria and their viruses employ to preserve the integrity of their genomes and regulate gene expression, and (2) the mechanisms by which these entities acquire new genetic material. The relevance of these processes to evolution and the development of new traits that facilitate survival under new environmental conditions (e.g., antibiotic resistance) is highlighted, especially with regard to clinically, industrially and agriculturally important microbes. Molecular processes whose discovery led to the formation of important research and/or biotechnological tools will also be discussed. Students will participate in laboratory projects which highlight important mechanisms, such as transformation, transduction, lysogeny, conjugation and CRIPSR-Cas acquired adaptive immunity. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-206 and BIOL-216) or BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
Genetic Engineering and Synthetic Biology
This is a laboratory-based course on the introduction to the theoretical basis, laboratory techniques, and applications of genetic manipulations. In the lecture sessions, students will explore the molecular methods, applications of recombinant DNA technology and the issues regarding their use on the effect of genetic engineering in medicine, agriculture, biology, forensics and other areas of technology. The laboratory session has major components: 1) techniques used in the generation of recombinant molecules, 2) use of DNA sequence information and bioinformatics in recombinant DNA applications, 3) use of inducible expression systems for production of biotechnological products, and 4) discussions of potential ethic concerns of genome modifications or enhancements. (Prerequisites: (BIOL-206 and BIOL-216) or BIOL-201 or BIOL-202 or BIOG-240 or equivalent courses.) Lec/Lab 6 (Spring).
Human Anatomy and Physiology
This course is an integrated approach to the structure and function of the nervous, endocrine, integumentary, muscular and skeletal systems. Laboratory exercises include histological examination, actual and simulated anatomical dissections, and physiology experiments with human subjects. (Pre-requisite: (BIOL-123 and BIOL-124 and BIOL-125 and BIOL-126) or (BIOL-123 and BIOL-124) or (BIOL-101 and BIOL-102) or (BIOL-121 and BIOL-122) or MEDG-102 or equivalent course or NUTR-BS or NUTRSC-BS students.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Fall).
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
This course is an integrated approach to the structure and function of the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, immunological, respiratory, excretory, and reproductive systems with an emphasis on the maintenance of homeostasis. Laboratory exercises include histological examinations, anatomical dissections and physiological experiments using human subjects. (Pre-requisite: (BIOL-123 and BIOL-124 and BIOL-125 and BIOL-126) or (BIOL-123 and BIOL-124) or (BIOL-101 and BIOL-102) or (BIOL-121 and BIOL-122) or MEDG-102 or equivalent course or NUTR-BS or NUTRSC-BS students.) Lab 3, Lecture 3 (Spring).
Marcomolecular, Supramolecular, Nanoscale
Macromolecular, supramolecular, and nanoscale chemistry content includes three broad areas such as: synthetic polymers, supramolecular aggregates, and/or meso- or nanoscale materials. Basic synthetic approaches for the preparation of MSN materials such as synthetic polymers, inorganic polymers, framework materials, and nanoparticles. Within each area of these systems, topics include:
1) structure, synthesis and/or preparation, 2) characterization, and 3) physical properties. Course content material discusses important aspects in which large scale chemical systems are significantly different than small molecules. (Prerequisite: CHMO-332 and (CHMP-342 or CHMP-442) or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Advanced Special Topics
This is an advanced course on a topic that is not part of the formal curriculum. This course is structured as an ordinary course and has specific prerequisites, contact hours, and examination procedures. Lec/Lab 4 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Advanced Chemistry Independent Study
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their final two years of study. Ind Study (Fall, Spring, Summer).
This course presents a preliminary treatment of instrumental theory and technique. The course will cover the theory and implementation of spectroscopic, mass spectrometric, and chemical separations instrumentation and techniques. Instrumental techniques include: atomic and molecular emission and absorption and emission spectroscopies, atomic and molecular mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, and high performance liquid chromatography. (Prerequisites: CHMA-211 or CHMA-161 or CHMG-142 or equivalent course.
Co-requisites: CHMA-315 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Advanced Instrumental Analysis Lab
This is a capstone course requiring students to develop experimental protocols involving advanced techniques in instrumental analysis. This course is intended to give an opportunity to develop innovative skills and writing proficiency. Library, literature and textbook research will be required. (Prerequisites: CHMB-405 or CHMP-445 or Graduate Standing in CHEM-MS.) Lab 6 (Spring).
Chemical Separations and Mass Spectrometry
This course will teach state of the art chemical separations and methods which are coupled to mass spectroscopy for the modern analysis of pharmaceutical and biotechnology samples in industrial and academic laboratories. These include gas chromatography (GC, GC-MS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC, LC-MS), solid phase extraction (SPE and SPME), size exclusion/gel permeation (SEC, GPC), and ion exchange chromatography (IXC). Aspects of mass spectroscopy including ionization methods of electron impact (EI), chemical ionization (CI), positive and negative electrospray (ES+, ES-), APCI, and MALDI and techniques involving single and multiple ion/reaction methods (SIM, SRM, MRM) will be included. The separation and analysis of peptides, proteins and pharmaceuticals by LC and LC-MS will be a major focus. Isolation of drug metabolites from serum by SPE followed by HPLC analysis or using size exclusion chromatography to separate biomolecules, or labeling a peptide with a near infrared (NIR) dye are examples of important skills that are learned. (Prerequisites: (CHMG-111 or CHMG-131 or CHMG-141 or CHEM-151) and (CHMG-145 or CHEM-155) and (CHMO-231 or CHMO-331) or equivalent courses.) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Spring).
Advanced Concepts of Environmental Chemistry
This course will build on previous chemistry courses to expand knowledge of biogeochemical cycles, environmental toxicology and applied methods of environmental analysis. The course will be conducted in a workshop format at the graduate level. (Prerequisites: CHMO-231 and CHMO-235 or CHMO-331 and CHMO-335 or equivalent courses.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Introduction to Microbiology
Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry
This course covers descriptive inorganic reactions in terms of periodic trends. Topics will include nucleosynthesis and the birth of the universe, applications used in large-scale industrial processes and their environmental impacts, nanostructured materials, and bonding theory will also be discussed. A detailed study of solid-state chemistry and structure will also be addressed. (Prerequisite: CHMO-231 or CHMO-331 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Structural Inorganic Chemistry
This course will teach students how the properties of inorganic materials are explained by current theories including group theory, molecular orbital theory, acid-base chemistry and solid state chemistry. The topics discussed in this course include molecular structure, coordination nomenclature and isomerization, symmetry, molecular orbital theory, metallic bonding and ionic bonding. (Prerequisite: CHMO-332 or CHMO-232 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Spectrometric Identification of Organic Compounds
This course covers the theory and application of proton, carbon-13, and correlation nuclear magnetic resonance, infrared, and mass spectrometry for organic structure determination. (Prerequisites: CHMO-332 with a grade of C- or better or equivalent course or Graduate Standing in CHEM-MS.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Advanced Organic Chemistry
This course will revisit many of the reactions covered in the first year of organic chemistry with an emphasis on stereochemical control. Students will be introduced to the technique of retrosynthesis. The course will introduce more reactions with an emphasis on current topics from the literature. Students will hone their skills in writing electron pushing mechanisms and the use of protecting groups while practicing the art of designing synthetic strategies for making natural products. (Prerequisites: Graduate standing or CHMO-332 or CHMO-232 with a grade of B or better or equivalent course.Grad or CHMO-332 or CHMO) Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course is mainly about the chemistry applied to synthesize polymers. It includes initially the introduction on the naming and classification and some relevant properties of polymers. We will then discuss the two main methods of synthesizing polymers, namely step-growth polymerization and chain-addition polymerization. Among the step-growth polymerizations, syntheses of different types of polyesters, polyamides, polyurethanes etc. including the reaction mechanisms will be covered. Under chain-addition polymerizations, those by four different initiators (radical, cationic, anionic or coordinative) will be explained. The mechanisms of these types of reactions will be discussed in more detail and, where feasible, effects of stereochemistry or regiochemistry will be included. In addition to the commodity polymers in each category, also the syntheses of some specialty step-growth and chain addition polymers will be included. A few examples of reactions to obtain more reactive monomers will be mentioned. Some specialty type of polymerizations, such as living free radical types, or ring-opening and cyclization polymerizations, will also be discussed. We will include examples of post-polymerization reactions. Finally, we will discuss methods to resolve environmental issues with polymers by developing more sustainable polymers. (Prerequisite: CHMG-201 or MTSE-602 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
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The biochemistry program is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and also follows the guidelines of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Many students join research labs and engage in research starting as early as their first year. Participation in biochemistry research leads to the development of real-world lab techniques, enhanced problem-solving skills, and broader career opportunities. Our students have opportunities to travel to national conferences for presentations and also become contributing authors on peer-reviewed manuscripts. Explore the variety of chemistry undergraduate research happening across the university.
Twelve RIT alumni have been honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards for the 2023-2024 year. The Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented annually by each of RIT’s nine colleges, the School of Individualized Study, and the RIT Graduate School to alumni who have performed at the highest levels of their profession or who have contributed to the advancement and leadership of civic, philanthropic, or service organizations.