Course Descriptions

Core Courses

  • An introductory course: BIOL 807: Graduate Molecular Biosciences, CHEM 760: Introduction to Chemistry in Biology, MDM 766: Organic Chemistry of Biological Pathways, or PHCH 862: Pharmaceutical Equilibria
  • BIOL 860/ CHEM 860/ MDCM 860/ PHCH 860: Principles and Practice of Chemical Biology.  (3 hours, lecture) A survey of topics investigated by chemical biology methods including: transcription and translation, cell signaling, genetic and genomics, biochemical pathways, macromolecular structure, and the biosynthesis of peptides, carbohydrates, natural products, and nucleic acids.  Concepts of thermodynamics and kinetics, bioconjugations and bioorthogonal chemistry will also be presented​.  Prerequisite: BIOL 807 or CHEM 760 or MDCM 766 or PHCM 862 or permission of instructor.
  • BIOL 816/ CHEM 816/ MDCM 816/ PHCH 816: Careers in Chemical Biology.  (1 hour, seminar; taken 4 semesters).  Advanced course examining current research topics in chemical biology. An emphasis will be placed on career options open to PhD scientists in Chemical Biology, and preparation for the different career paths.  Extensive student/faculty interaction is emphasized utilizing lectures, class discussion of assigned readings of research reports, and oral presentations.  Prerequisite: Concurrent or previous enrollment in BIOL 860/ CHEM 860/ MDCM 860/ PHCH 860 or permission of instructor.
  • Ethics Training: BIOL 804: Scientific Integrity, CHEM 700: Responsible Scholarship in the Chemical Sciences, MDCM 801: Issues in Scientific Integrity, or PHCH 804: Issues in Scientific Integrity


  • BIOL 506: Bacterial Infectious Diseases.​  Explores bacterial infectious diseases from the perspective of how disease is established and the mechanisms that underlie disease, as well as how to treat and prevent infectious disease. Not open to freshmen or sophomores. Prerequisite: BIOL 400 or BIOL 401, or consent of instructor. 
  • BIOL 688: Molecular Biology of Cancer.  The basic concepts of molecular biology are examined and used to probe the process by which a normal cell becomes a cancer cell. The course investigates DNA damage and repair, chemical carcinogenesis, gene cloning and manipulation, the control of gene expression in eukaryotes, tumor viruses, the roles of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in carcinogenesis, and cancer therapy. 
  • BIOL 754: Brain Diseases & Neurological Disorders.  Major brain diseases and neurological disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Schizophrenia, etc., will be discussed in terms of the etiology, molecular, and cellular basis of potential therapeutic interventions. 
  • CHEM 740: Principles of Organic Reactions.  A consideration of the structural features and driving forces that control the course of chemical reactions.  Topics include acid and base properties of functional groups, qualitative aspects of strain, steric, inductive, resonance and solvent effects on reactivity, stereochemistry and conformations, an introduction to orbital symmetry control, basic thermodynamic and kinetic concepts and an overview of some important classes of mechanisms.
  • CHEM 840: Physical Organic Chemistry.  An examination of the methods used to probe the mechanisms of organic reactions and of the chemistry of some important reactive intermediates. Topics will include isotope effects, kinetics, linear free energy relationships, solvent effects, a continuing discussion of orbital symmetry, rearrangements, carbocations, carbanions, carbenes, radicals, excited states, and strained molecules. 
  • ENTR 701: Entrepreneurship.    ​Learn the entrepreneurial process - the approach successful entrepreneurs use to find a new business opportunity and determine its viability.  Using videos, guest speakers, case studies and step-by-step presentations, the course provides a foundation to help you discover your entrepreneurial strengths, identify a solid new business opportunity and determine the resources necessary to bring that to market.
  • JOUR 700: Effective College Teaching.  ​Teaching revolves around learning.  So a course about teaching must, by nature, focus on learning about learning.  This course will will cover more than learning, but learning will be central, both in terms of how to help students learn but also how teaching itself is really about learning.
  • LDST 730: Managing the Work of Leadership.   Through webinars and case in point pedagogy, this course prepares students to manage the day to day communicative and executive functions necessary for doing the work of leadership. Topics will include crisis management, stakeholder engagement, speech writing, fundraising, image management, and professionalization.
  • MDCM 785: Natural Products of Medical Significance.  A discussion of biosynthesis, isolation, structure determination, partial synthesis and total chemical synthesis of organic natural products of medicinal significance. Examples of the classes of compounds to be considered include steroid hormones, cardiac glycosides, alkaloids, antibiotics and terpenes.
  • MDCM 790: Chemistry of Drug Action II.  A discussion of the principles of contemporary drug design with specific examples chosen from the original literature. This course covers the organic substances used as medicinal agents, including consideration of their orgins, chemical properties, structure-activity relationships, metabolism and mechanicams of actions. 
  • PHCH 626: Biopharmaceutics & Drug Delivery.  A study of biological barriers to drug delivery, conventional dosage forms, and new and future drug delivery strategies. 
  • PHCH 715: Drug Delivery.  The course will survey the latest technology for delivering pharmaceuticals and biologicals to reduce side effects and enhance drug efficacy. The course will survey the latest research in this area and examine more classical delivery methods. A qualitative and quantitative understanding of drug delivery practice and theory is the goal.

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