Elective Course Information

Course Name Description Course Number
Biochemical & Biophysical Properties of Membranes The composition of biological membranes and the functional aspects of their composition; models of membrane structure, membrane function, and mechanisms of membrane transport. BCMB 620
Protein Crystallography BCMB 628
Advanced Molecular Biology: Topics and Methods in Modern Molecular Biology Provide updated information and knowledge about biochemical and molecular activities on chromatin and nucleic acids; transcription initiation, activation, silencing, chromatin assembly and remodeling, DNA damage and repair, RNA processing and editing, and coupling of transcription to cellular events. BCMB 625
Protein Design: How Structure is Related to the Function of Proteins Advanced topics that cover the structure, chemistry and function of proteins. Particular aspects of protein biochemistry include: the chemical properties of amino acid side chains, catalysis, levels of protein structural organization, purine metabolic pathways, rational drug design, membrane receptors, extracellular matrix, protein cofactors, kinase and phosphatase catalytic mechanisms. BCMB 618
Intro to Biophysics (PSU/OHSU joint course) Biophysics involves the application of physical techniques to achieve an understanding of life processes at a molecular level. Physical techniques are central to the measurement of the atomic structure, dynamics and interactions of molecules that are a core foundation of modern molecular biology, while physical theory governs the predicted behavior of biomolecules and helps us achieve a mechanistic understanding of how they work. Thus, biophysics is a central science in the fundamentals of normal physiology, molecular pathology, and in the development of pharmaceutical remedies for a wide range of diseases. This is the first of two lecture courses that will prepare graduate and advanced undergraduates for research and professional work in Molecular Biophysics. It will cover macromolecular structure and underlying atomic interactions, and the thermodynamics and kinetics through which function is understood, using membrane proteins as an example. It will then introduce three of the experimental technologies used to elucidate structure and dynamics: Crystallography, Spectroscopy and Magnetic Resonance. At the conclusion of this course, students will have the theoretical foundation to understand the properties of macromolecular functions, and understand the principles by which their actions are simulated. Students will be able to critically assess primary literature written for a general scientific audience in the area of macromolecular structure & function, understanding the experimental basis in crystallography, NMR and spectroscopy. Students will also be prepared for the Advanced Biophysics course which would be the entry point into practical application of biophysical techniques. BCMB 630
Adv. Biophysics (PSU/OHSU joint course) Biophysics involves the application of physical techniques to achieve an understanding of life processes at a molecular level. Physical techniques are central to the measurement of the atomic structure, dynamics and interactions of molecules that are a core foundation of modern molecular biology, while physical theory governs the predicted behavior of biomolecules and helps us achieve a mechanistic understanding of how they work. Thus, biophysics is a central science in the fundamentals of normal physiology, molecular pathology, and in the development of pharmaceutical remedies for a wide range of diseases. This is the second of two primarily lecture courses that will prepare graduate and advanced undergraduates for research and technical work in Molecular Biophysics. It will cover the practical aspects of the elucidation of macromolecular structure and dynamics by NMR spectroscopy and x-ray crystallography, and the characterization of macromolecular interactions by electron microscopy, mass spectrometry and fluorescence methods. It will examine computational methods for interpreting structure, predicting properties and simulating mechanisms of action. At the conclusion of this course, students will have a working understanding of the primary experimental and computational methods by which the structure, dynamics and interactions of biomolecules are elucidated and their actions simulated. Students will be able to critically assess primary research literature written for a general scientific audience that uses any of the common physical approaches to understand macromolecular systems. Students will understand the nature of advances that can be made with the principal techniques and their limitations. They will also be prepared for mentored practical research investigations that use the primary methods. BCMB 631