Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
CH 211
Course Title:
Introduction to Biochemistry
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces the chemistry of biological systems. Covers the structure and function of biological molecules as well as the chemistry of heredity, metabolism and biological energy. Prerequisites: (CH 106 or equivalent) or (CH 241 or equivalent). Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Biochemistry 211 is a course designed for science majors, chemical engineering majors, and pre-professional students.  It is designed to introduce students in a field of science, pre-professional majors in engineering, medicine, and dentistry to the chemistry of biological systems, its language and concepts.  It is a four-credit course that meets four hours per week for lecture.

The course covers aspects of each of the following: An Introduction to Functional Groups, Energetics in biological systems, Biochemical Pathways, Metabolism, Enzymes and Enzyme Mechanism, Nucleic Acids, Genetic Information. Special topics are discussed as time and interest permits.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Apply chemical principles to real-world situations, taking into account factors such as reasonable approximation and limitation due to uncertainty.
  • Be prepared for future studies in a field of science and related disciplines.
  • Apply critical thinking skills to situations in the real world involving chemical knowledge, evaluating factors such as limitations arising from uncertainty in measurement, and methodology.
  • Collaborate effectively with fellow students to set up an experiment, collect data, record results, analyze the outcome, and prepare a report in the form of a science paper.
  • Evaluate his/her own abilities and skills in chemistry, formulating a strategy to increase lifelong learning.

Course Activities and Design

The entire course promotes different types of learning: active, collaborative, and independent learning. The lecture portion of this class is designed to stimulate interest in the subject and promotes active, collaborative, and independent learning.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

At the beginning of this course, the instructor will detail the methods used to evaluate student progress and the criteria for assigning a course grade. These methods will include one or more of the following: written examinations, quizzes, homework assignments, research papers, small group problem solving, oral presentations, or maintenance of a notebook.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

1.0 Introduction to Biological Chemistry

1.1 Living Cells

1.2 Water

  • Energetics of Life
  • Historical perspective of Biochemistry

2.0 Function and Structure

    • Carbohydrates
    • Lipids
    • Amino Acids
    • Proteins
  • Protein Dynamics
    • Introduction to Enzymes
    • Enzyme Specificity and Regulation
    • Enzyme Kinetics

4.0 Metabolism and Its Regulation

  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Aerobic and Anaerobic Metabolism
  • Nitrogen Metabolism

5.0 Genetic Information

  • Nucleic Acids
  • Genetic Information, Recombination, and Mutation