http://bm.med.miami.edu/

Dept. Code:  BMB

(Code for the major is either Track 1: BCHM or Track 2: BCHN)

Introduction

Biochemistry is the chemistry of life. It includes or has large areas of overlap with molecular biology, biophysics, structural biology, cell biology, metabolism, neuroscience, nutrition, genetics, etc. It tries to explain what happens in living organisms and how biological processes are regulated. It is a relatively young science. Our understanding is still developing and students can learn something new every day. An Undergraduate Major in one of our two tracks, Track 1: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BCHM) or Track 2: Biochemistry and Nutrition (BCHN), provides an excellent preparation for:

  1. Medical School
  2. Graduate Studies in all basic medical sciences: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Genetics, Neurobiology, Microbiology, Immunology, Pharmacology, Biophysics, Physiology, Bio-informatics, Biology, Nutrition, Environmental Science, and others.
  3. Industry: Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Food Production, Food processing, and others.
  4. Allied Health Professions: Nutrition, Dentistry, Forensics, Veterinary Medicine, Toxicology, Clinical Chemistry, Environmental Science, and others.
  5. Non-Health Professions: Chemistry, Physics, Scientific Publishing, Patent Law, and others.

Interesting Articles

Kornberg A, "How I became a biochemist." IUBMB Life. 2002; 53: 3: 185-6. 12102176

Kornberg A, "Biochemistry matters." Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2004; 11: 6: 493. 15164002

Educational Objectives

The undergraduate program in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology strives to provide

  1. superior training in nutrition, biochemistry and molecular biology and
  2. encouragement for self-study and research to students seeking a B.S. degree.

As part of a research-oriented university, the department, through its students, creates new knowledge. As a result of our teaching efforts, the new B.S.’s created will be able to matriculate into professional and graduate schools or to find positions in teaching professions and/or industry. In addition, the department serves the community by providing expertise in matters related to nutritional and medical biochemistry. For example, it teaches biochemistry to pre-medical and other pre-health students across a wide variety of life science related majors including biology, microbiology, neuroscience, and biomedical engineering.

Degree Programs

As a member of the College of Arts & Sciences, the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers an undergraduate B.S. degree. As a member of the Miller School of Medicine, it offers the following graduate degrees: Ph.D., Executive Ph.D., dual B.S.-Ph.D., and dual M.D.-Ph.D. Also, it offers a Molecular Medicine Pathway for M.D. students.

Departmental Honors

Departmental honors can be earned by biochemistry majors who have:

  1. Successfully completed two semesters of research (5 or 6 credit hours of BMB 545). This research must be described in a brief thesis that needs to be approved by three BMB faculty members.
  2. A 3.5 or higher grade point average in all BMB courses.
  3. A 3.3 or higher grade point average in all courses taken at the University of Miami.

Dual Degree Honors Program

The Honors Program in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (HPBMB) is offered to mature high school seniors with strong academic ability and achievement who seek careers in biological or biomedical science. Students can earn both a Bachelor of Science (BS) and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) in approximately 6 years. For information see our website.

Major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

BMB 110. Scientific Basis of Forensic Analysis. 3 Credit Hours.

Basic science topics including mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology are introduced and related to understanding specific topics in forensic analysis such as fingerprint and blood type analyses. Heavy emphasis is given to hands on, in class projects in which students learn to analyze and interpret experimental observations and outcomes.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BMB 145. Introduction To BMB Research. 2 Credit Hours.

Students will collaborate on a research project and learn valuable laboratory skills. The goal for this course is to make students "research-ready" through an active, inquiry-based, platform for developing core competencies in biology, genetics, BMB (biochemistry & molecular biology), bioinformatics, scientific discourse and ethics.
Components: LAB.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BMB 151. Freshman Seminar. 1 Credit Hour.

Students acquire and discuss basic BMB information in a group project setting. Topics are identified by the instructor but refined in response to student interest and discovery. As students create a scientific review manuscript suitable for publication, they learn about the publication process, research ethics and politics.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BMB 245. Foundations in BMB Research. 2 Credit Hours.

Students shadow a research assistant in the lab of a BMB faculty member and learn about the research projects and techniques used by the group. Students will assist in preparing reagents, conducting experiments, analyzing data and generating brief reports. Attendance in lab group meetings is expected. Students maintain a weekly online journal and will write a paper describing the research in the lab and proposing a research problem and approach to solve in BMB545.
Components: LAB.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

BMB 251. Sophomore Seminar. 1 Credit Hour.

Students acquire and discuss basic BMB information in a group project setting. Topics are identified by the instructor but refined in response to student interest and discovery. As students create a scientific review manuscript suitable for publication, they learn about the publication process, research ethics and politics.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BMB 260. Introduction to Biochemistry and Nutrition. 3 Credit Hours.

The composition of food and the composition and functioning of a typical cell a re described in chemical terms, leading to an understanding of how life process es such as digestion, and metabolism occur and are regulated at the level of in dividual molecule and reactions. Applications of biochemistry and nutrition ar e discussed.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BMB 400. Principals Of Experimental Biochemistry And Molecular Biology. 2 Credit Hours.


Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BMB 401. Biochemistry For The Biomedical Sciences. 3 Credit Hours.

The biochemical composition, structure, and cellular metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids are rigorously described, emphasizing problem solving strategies required of biomedical field applications.
Prerequisite: CHM 201 or CHM 222.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BMB 402. Principles of Experimental BMB. 2 Credit Hours.

An active, inquiry-based, platform for developing core competencies in biochemistry & molecular biology, making students "research ready".
Corequisite or Prerequisite: BMB 401.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BMB 411. Readings in BMB. 1 Credit Hour.

Students read and discuss one BMB primary research article each week and answer a set of questions meant to provoke critical evaluation of the work. The course introduces students to critical reading of the primary literature in BMB and is open to students at any level. Peer-mentoring and informal student-led instruction is central to the course.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BMB 417. Nutritional Biochemistry. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will provide thorough understanding of the role of different nutrients, their occurrence in food, uptake in the digestive system, transport in blood or lymph, uptake in cells, storage, function and metabolism and excretion. Biosynthesis of nutrients in plants and micro-organisms will also be considered. The students will be taught how to gather information about the course topics.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BMB 501. Senior Seminars. 1 Credit Hour.

Students attend seminars of their own choice, presented by either visiting/residing faculty or graduate/postdoctoral students on recent research topics in BMB or any other discipline in the basic biomedical sciences. Students write short reports on these seminars and critically evaluate the presentations. This course can be taken more than once.
Prerequisite: BMB 401.
Components: SEM.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BMB 506. Biomedical Case Studies. 1 Credit Hour.

Students explore topics in BMB in the context of solving problems presented in a clinical/biomedical framework. Students work in small groups and independently to acquire, critically evaluate, synthesize and present information.
Corequisite or Prerequisite: BMB 401.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall & Spring.

BMB 507. Protein Structure, Function, & Biology. 3 Credit Hours.

The physical characteristics and behavior of proteins are described, including structure, folding, dynamics, modifications, and interactions. In addition, experimental approaches to protein structure and function are addressed. Readings include both textbook assignments and current research articles, and a term paper is written and submitted for writing credit.
Prerequisite: BMB 401.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall.

BMB 509. Molecular Biology of the Gene. 3 Credit Hours.

Biochemical processes involved in the flow of genetic information in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes are described, including DNA replication, repair, genetic recombination, RNA transcription and processing, protein synthesis, control of gene expression, cell differentiation, and recombinant DNA technology. Extensive classroom discussion is mandatory. Reading includes BMB primary research papers, course notes and a textbook.
Prerequisite: BMB 401.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Spring.

BMB 511. Topics in BMB. 1 Credit Hour.

Students independently explore the literature in BMB with guidance by a BMB Faculty mentor. BMB primary research literature in an area of mutual interest to the student and the Faculty mentor (usually a content expert in that area) is discussed. Students prepare a paper or other appropriate product (e.g. computer software, a structural model, a dynamic simulation) for evaluation. Writing credit is available for papers.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.

BMB 519. Nutrition and Genetics. 3 Credit Hours.

The influence of nutrition on gene expression through modification of DNA and proteins in chromatin is described (i.e., epigenetics). Also, genetic variations, as well as the influence of bacterial flora of the digestive tract, are considered with respect to abilities to metabolize various dietary components. Students learn how to gather information about course topics and present their findings
Prerequisite: BMB 401.
Components: LEC.
Grading: GRD.

BMB 545. Research Problems in BMB. 2-3 Credit Hours.

Students actively participate in the research laboratory of a faculty mentor to work on an independent research project. Students develop abilities to formulate good questions and sound hypotheses, design practical experiments, collect and analyze useful data, and make justifiable conclusions. Students maintain a weekly online journal, write a paper, and present their research in the lab. Two semesters of BMB545 is required to write a thesis (pre-requisite for graduating with honors in BMB). Writing credit is available for papers.
Components: LAB.
Grading: GRD.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, & Summer.