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BCH Biochemistry

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See also: Faculty Members | Course Descriptions | Course Winter Timetable | More on Department


Biochemistry is the study of the chemistry of living organisms. It includes the identification of cellular molecules and their formation and degradation in cells; the production of energy by cells; and the structure, synthesis and information content of macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids. Biochemists seek a molecular explanation of life; they are primarily interested in the relationship between molecular structure and function.

Modern biochemistry grew out of the application of chemical techniques to biological problems. In many ways it combines biology and chemistry but the subject now covers such a broad range of activity that it is difficult to draw a neat border around biochemistry. Molecular biology, for example, is such an important part of biochemistry that it is often thought of as a separate discipline. Biochemists use molecular methods to explain biological processes whereas other biological scientists study the integrated function of organs, whole organisms, and the complexes of species represented by ecosystems. This is what distinguishes biochemistry from other fundamental disciplines such as physiology and ecology. Some of the most exciting areas of current biochemistry research include: structural biology, enzyme mechanisms, signal transduction, gene expression and development, biotechnology, metabolic diseases, bioinformatics, and molecular evolution.

The Biochemistry Specialist Program is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of the discipline. Frequently, students who have completed a B.Sc. in biochemistry continue their studies in graduate programs in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Departments at this and other universities. Because of the fundamental nature of biochemistry they also find it easy to enter graduate programs in related disciplines. Graduates from either the undergraduate or graduate programs often find employment in research and teaching. Employers include universities and colleges, government laboratories, clinical biochemistry laboratories, forensic laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and many other industries. A knowledge of biochemistry is also helpful in other areas such as marketing, finance, and law. Some biochemistry graduates continue their studies in medicine, dentistry or other health related programs.

Undergraduate Coordinator:

R. R. Baker, roy.baker@utoronto.ca


Medical Sciences Building, Room 5207 (416-978-2700)

Brenda Bradshaw (brenda.bradshaw@utoronto.ca)

Web site: www.biochemistry.utoronto.ca

Biochemistry Programs

Biochemistry (Science program)

The Biochemistry Specialist Program is a Type 3 program. Enrolment is limited and selection is based on performance in First year required courses. Students apply via the Faculty’s Subject POSt web site. See the departmental web site at www.biochemistry.utoronto.ca for more information.

Specialist program:
(14 full courses or their equivalent, including at least three 400-series courses)

First Year:
BIO150Y1; CHM151Y1/(CHM138H1, CHM139H1); MAT135Y1/MAT136Y1/MAT137Y1; PHY110Y1/PHY138Y1/PHY140Y1 (PHY138Y1 recommended)

Second Year:
BCH242Y1; BIO250Y1; CHM220H1, CHM247H1

Third Year:
1. BCH335H1, BCH340H1, BCH371H1; MGB311Y1
2. CHM345H1/CHM347H1
3. One full-course equivalent from the following list:
Any 300-level course(s) in ANA/BIO/BOT/CHM/ HMB/IMM/LMP/MBY/MGB/ PCL/PSL/ZOO, BIO260H1, CHM217H1, BCH304H1, BCH305H1 (departmental approval required)

Fourth Year:
1. BCH471Y1
2. Four of: BCH422H1/BCH425H1/BCH426H1/BCH440H1/BCH441H1/CHM447H1/JBI428H1/MGB420H1/MGB425H1

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