Information found in this online edition of the 2009-10 catalog is unofficial and for informational purposes only. By authority of the dean of the College, some factual corrections to the printed version may appear here. The official document of record is the printed edition of the 2009-10 Catalog. For more information, please contact the Office of the Registrar.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Chair: Janis E. Lochner
The molecular logic of living organisms is the focus of this major. Biochemists and molecular biologists study how the collection of molecules within the cell interact to maintain and perpetuate life. The biochemistry/molecular biology major at Lewis & Clark provides students with an opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary course of study that follows the guidelines of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Students majoring in biochemistry/molecular biology devote their first years of study to mastering the basic tenets of calculus, physics, genetics, and chemistry. Upper-division coursework exposes students to current research in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology.
The distinctive character of our program derives from the curricular goals that shape it. Faculty associated with the biochemistry/molecular biology program are proponents of a lab-rich, investigative education for undergraduates in the sciences. Opportunities for scientific inquiry are woven into the laboratory curriculum and prepare the student ultimately to undertake collaborative research projects with the faculty. To foster the ability of our students to engage independently in the scientific process, we devote class time to critically reading the primary literature. In our laboratory courses, students participate in selecting and designing their experiments. The curriculum is constructed to engage students in the scientific process and thereby facilitate the development of reflective judgment and problem-solving skills.
Students majoring in biochemistry/molecular biology are guided by sponsoring faculty from both the biology and chemistry departments. The major prepares students for careers in biomedical research, biotechnology, and genetic engineering. It is especially suitable for students seeking admission to medical or dental schools, or to graduate programs in biochemistry, cell or molecular biology, or genetics. Students majoring in biochemistry/molecular biology may not minor in biology or chemistry.
A minimum of 54 semester credits in biology and chemistry (11 semester credits of which are granted for associated laboratory work), plus courses in mathematics and physics, distributed as follows:
Honors students must complete Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 410.
Biochemistry/molecular biology majors who have distinguished themselves academically by earning a GPA of 3.500 or higher in the major and overall, have completed either Biology 312 or Chemistry 336, and have some prior research experience are invited in the spring of their junior year to participate in the senior thesis program. Students who accept the invitation work with a faculty advisor to develop a research project, which must be approved by faculty overseeing the biochemistry/molecular biology major. Following the experimental work, students prepare a written thesis and orally defend it during the spring semester of the senior year. Honors are awarded to those students whose thesis is judged to be meritorious.
Greg J. Hermann, associate professor of biology.
BCHM 410 Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Seminar
BCHM 496 Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Senior Reseearch
BCHM 499 Independent Study