BIOL/CHEM 5312- 2015

Spring Semester 2015
WF 11:00-12:20
Room 130, Dedman Life Sciences Building

Instructor: Steven Vik Telephone 214-768-4228

236 Dedman Life Sciences Building

Office Hours Tuesday 1:00-2:00 or by appt. Website

BIOL/CHEM 5312- Physical Biochemistry

Prerequisites: Calculus (MATH 1338), Organic Chemistry (CHEM 3372) and Biochemistry (BIOL/CHEM 5310). Recommended: Physical Chemistry (CHEM 5381 or 5383)

The successful completion of this course will earn students the following Proficiencies:
      Writing, Oral Communication, and Information Literacy

Syllabus (pdf)

Tentative Lecture Schedule

Homework assignments


Required Textbook:

                         Principles of Physical Biochemistry, Van Holde, Johnson & Ho , 2005, 2nd ed.

The text is the source of reading material, and of many of the homework problems.

Students may ask questions via e-mail. If the question is of general interest a reply will be mailed to the entire class. All mailings will be sent to your addresses. If you would like messages also sent to another address, e-mail it to me.
Lectures will be available in pdf form in advance of class on Blackboard. It is advised to print them and bring them to class. There will be four exams during the semester, each covering 2 chapters in the text book. There will be no final exam. There will be 8 homework assignments, each generally covering one chapter.

A final project will be due at the end of the semester.  It includes both a written paper (1600-2000 words) and an oral presentation (10-15 minutes).  The topic will be chosen in consultation with the instructor from a list that will be published on Blackboard, and on the course website.  Students will be required to locate background material to their topics using the online search PubMed.  Students will be required to submit a rough draft, or detailed outline, of their paper about three weeks in advance of the due date. It will be returned with comments from the instructor.  The paper must include background material to introduce the topic, a description and evaluation of one or two key experiments, and a bibliography. The bibliography must include at least two relevant scientific articles, one of which must be a review article. The paper is due Wednesday May 6 at 3:00 PM.  The presentations will be scheduled during the last week of classes, and must be submitted, e.g., as a powerpoint file, to the instructor 24 hours in advance.

Student Learning Outcomes:  Upon successful completion of this class, students will be able to:

1. Understand and apply the basic principles of physical biochemistry
2. Analyze a research paper and make a presentation to the class
3. Understand and explain several key research techniques used in biochemical research.

Writing Proficiency:

Through multiple opportunities supervised and/or directed by a professor, an editor or other authority, students will demonstrate proper use of language through completion of a substantial amount of purposeful writing appropriate for a specific or targeted audience.

Oral Communication:

1.  Students will be able to select, organize and use appropriate evidence or information to suit a specific or targeted audience.

2.  Students will be able to use appropriate vocal and visual cues to deliver a presentation to a specific or targeted audience.

Information Literacy:

1.  Students will be able to select and use the appropriate research methods and search tools for needed information.

2.  Students will be able to evaluate sources for quality of information for a given information need.


Grading:  The course grades will be determined according to the following scheme:



Exam I


Exam II


Exam III


Exam IV




If you need to schedule an exam at an alternate time, it must be done in advance. If you are unable to attend an exam, e.g. due to illness, you must contact me by telephone or email in advance. Be aware that the preceding schedule is subject to change.

HONOR CODE:It is expected that students have read sections of the 2014-2015 University Bulletin (p.105-107, or ) concerning university regulations and academic honesty. In matters of homework, it is permitted to consult your classmates or others for assistance, but the work submitted must be your own.

Disability Accommodations: Students needing academic accommodations for a disability must first be registered with Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies (DASS) to verify the disability and to establish eligibility for accommodations. Students may call 214-768-1470 or visit to begin the process. Once registered, students should then schedule an appointment with the professor to make appropriate arrangements.

Religious Observance: Religiously observant students wishing to be absent on holidays that require missing class should notify their professors in writing at the beginning of the semester, and should discuss with them, in advance, acceptable ways of making up any work missed because of the absence. (See University Policy No. 1.9.)

Excused Absences for University Extracurricular Activities: Students participating in an officially sanctioned, scheduled University extracurricular activity will be given the opportunity to make up class assignments or other graded assignments missed as a result of their participation. It is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements with the instructor prior to any missed scheduled examination or other missed assignment for making up the work. (University Undergraduate Catalogue)

Last updated Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Comments/questions: E-mail me

Copyright 2015, Steven B. Vik, Southern Methodist University