Biochemistry

bio-chemistry

Combine your interests in the biological and physical sciences by becoming a biochemistry major at Saint Michael's College.

The biochemistry curriculum at Saint Michael's College combines small class size, excellent faculty, and personal attention with the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience with a variety of techniques and instrumentation, and to conduct research or independent study with a faculty mentor.  

A bachelor's degree in biochemistry prepares you for employment in academic, industrial, and government laboratories or for further study in graduate or professional schools, including forensics, medicine,  pharmacy, and many other allied health programs.

Our program emphasizes the relationships between the structure and function of living things, and the health and medical connections to those relationships.

As a Biochemistry major, you will start with the biology and chemistry courses that provide the background necessary to study biochemistry.  Those courses include Ecology and Evolution, Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry.  In the Biochemistry sequence, you will learn about the four major categories of structures that make up biological systems--peptides/proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and lipids. Then you will go on to study biological membranes, enzymes, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and topics in nutrition.

In your Senior Seminar, you will research a biochemistry topic in great depth.  You have two options to present your research:  prepare a major report on the topic, or develop a research proposal based on the topic (modeled after the process whereby scientists procure funding for research).  For examples of recent Biochemistry senior projects, go to Seminar Projects.

 

Biochemistry Major Requirements

For students majoring in biochemistry, the following courses should be taken in the first year:

First Year Fall First Year Spring
BI-151 Intro to Ecology & Evolution BI-153 Intro to Cell Biology & Genetics
CH-110 General Chemistry I CH-117 Organic Chemistry I
MA-150 Calculus I MA-160 Calculus II
One liberal studies course One liberal studies course

The scheduling of courses for the subsequent years should be discussed with your academic advisor during the first year.  For students planning to study abroad, it is particularly important to plan the subsequent years during that first year.

The following list indicates the other course requirements for the biochemistry major and the semester that each is offered:

Fall Spring
CH-207 Organic Chemistry II CH-208 General Chemistry II
PY-210 College Physics I PY-211 College Physics II
BI-225 Cell Biology BI-223 Molecular Genetics
CH-325 Biochemistry I CH-327 Biochemistry II
CH-302 Physical Chemistry I 

PLUS take a BI 300 or 400 laboratory course OR CH-215 Integrated Chemical Analysis
AND take CH-410 Senior Seminar

Shane Lamos, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry
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Ph.D. University of Wisconsin
B.S. Saint Michael's College

Areas of Expertise:

Using Organic synthesis to develop new tools for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of proteins and metabolites

Courses I Teach:

  • Chemistry Senior Seminar
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Chemistry

Malcolm Lippert, PhD

Biochemistry Program Coordinator, Professor of Biology
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Harvard School of Public Health, Postdoctoral Fellow
Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Vermont
B.S., Biology, Hope College         

Areas of Expertise:

Genetics, Microbiology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology

Courses I Teach:

  • BI153: Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • BI205: Biological Communication
  • BI223: Genetics 
  • BI315: Microbiology
  • BI410: Senior Seminar: The Biology of Public Health
  • BI420: Senior or Honors Research

Mark Lubkowitz, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology
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Post-Doctoral fellow in plant developmental genetics, The University of California: Berkeley
Ph.D., Microbiology, The University of Tennessee
B.S., Biology, Washington and Lee University

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Area of Expertise:

I study how molecules are transported across membranes in plants and how these processes affect seed germination and overall distribution of sugars in plants.

Courses I Teach:

  • BI153: Introductory Cell Biology and Genetics
  • BI205: Biological Communications
  • BI247: Plant Biology
  • BI325: Molecular Biology

Alayne Schroll, PhD

Professor of Chemistry, Leavy Family Chair in Chemistry
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Ph.D. University of Minnesota
B.A. Russell Sage College

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Areas of Expertise:

Bio-organic chemistry, more specifically the development of protecting groups for cysteine and selenocysteine for application in the laboratory synthesis of peptides and proteins

Courses I Teach:

  • Biochemistry I and II
  • Chemistry Senior Seminar
  • Organic Chemistry labs

We can help you identify and apply for student research grants on the state and national level. Many of our students who are awarded these grants work one-on-one with a faculty member during the academic year and during the summer months on campus.

You can also conduct research through programs with other institutions such as Lafayette College, UMass Amherst, UVM and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Students who graduate from our program have a wide variety of career options. Upon graduation, they are qualified to move directly into jobs in industrial, government, and academic laboratories and are prepared to apply for admission to many healthcare professional programs, including medical, nursing, and pharmacy schools.

Our students are also well prepared for graduate studies in biochemistry and, with additional electives, for graduate studies in biology and chemistry. Our graduates get advanced degrees in fields such as biochemistry, organic chemistry, pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, forensics, and science teaching. 

Recent Biochemistry graduates are currently in graduate programs at:

  • University of New Haven (forensics)
  • New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Dartmouth College (biochemistry)
  • Albany College of Pharmacy
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (nursing)
  • Washington University (bioethics)
  • University of Vermont (biochemistry)

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