BIOC 531 Syllabus

Biochemistry 531 – General Biochemistry

Syllabus for Spring Semester 2017

Course Description and Goals

This course, taught in conjunction with Dental Biochemistry 705, is designed to be a general introduction to biochemical compounds, processes, and concepts for students who have had general and organic chemistry and are interested in a medically-oriented, general biochemistry course. Specific topics such as the biochemistry of various diseased states, enzyme mechanisms, therapeutic use of enzyme inhibitors, effects of drugs on various metabolic pathways, signal transduction, drug biotransformation and drug resistance provide basic biochemical information for preparation for various professional curricula and for MCAT and other entrance type exams. The course consists of four lectures or clinical correlations per week for 4 credit hours.

Course Instructors, Required Textbook, and Syllabi

The instructors for Biochemistry 531 are Dr. Mike Gunther, Course Director, and Dr. Peter Stoilov, Dr. Roberta Leonardi, and Dr. Drew Shiemke, all from the Department of Biochemistry, WVU School of Medicine. All four will be readily available to provide student assistance or consultation regarding the course. Students are encouraged to clarify areas of confusion without delay, and to review lecture material daily to “keep up” with the course. A page describing “Some Tips for Studying Biochemistry” is linked to this title as well.

The required textbook for this course is Principles of Biochemistry by Moran, et al. (5th Ed., 2012). The lecture schedule and lecture material to be covered have generally been designed to follow the text, with some change in order. Additional textbooks will be on reserve in the library, if needed, for the few lectures like Blood Clotting that are not covered in Moran.

Also included under "Course Information" on the SOLE page for the course is the schedule of lectures, clinical correlations, and examinations for the semester. The lecture outlines and visual aids which accompany the first 15 lectures are linked to each lecture on the website. Lectures for the remaining portion of the course will be linked to the SOLE website before they are presented in class.


There will be five examinations in this course, which will all carry the same weight toward the final grade. The first four will be given on Friday mornings from 10:00-11:30 a.m.. The last (5th) exam will be given during Finals Week. NOTE that the lectures covered on each exam are specified in the schedule. PLEASE MARK THESE EXAMINATION DATES DOWN NOW ON YOUR CALENDARS! DUE TO THE LARGE CLASS SIZE, CLASS DIVERSITY, AND ROOM AVAILABILITY, THESE DATES ARE FIXED AND WILL NOT BE CHANGED.

Exams will be in multiple-choice format similar to National Board exams and will be administered electronically using the SOLE site. Only the answer submitted in the exam program, and no written information or circled answers written on scratch paper, will be counted in grading each exam.

The examinations are not technically cumulative; that is, each exam including the final will cover material primarily from lectures given since the preceding exam, as specified. However, some of the material covered may depend upon recall of information from previous lectures, for example, in the case of Exams 4 and 5 in which integration of metabolism is a major topic. Exams will cover both lecture and clinical correlation material.

Grading Policies

After an exam, a student will have one week, and one week only, to bring any questions regarding that exam’s grade to the faculty member involved. No grade changes will be made after this deadline.

The final grade in Biochemistry 531 will consist of the average performance on the five examinations. No exam grade will be dropped. In the case of a clear and verifiable emergency which prevents a student from taking an exam, a makeup exam will be made available.

The final letter grades in the course will be assigned according to the following scale:

90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
< 60 = F

Rounding will be done as in the following example: 89.5 = 90 (A), whereas 89.4 = 89 (B). The instructors may make slight, but not less generous, adjustments in this scale at the semester’s end.

Class Attendance

Class attendance is expected of professional students in these professional level courses. Furthermore, class attendance will give you, the student, a distinct advantage in exam preparation for two reasons: exams will be primarily based upon material emphasized in lecture, and some material, esp. clinical correlation material, is not always well-covered in the biochemistry text. Anyone auditing this course is expected to attend all lectures and will sign in/out to certify this.

Recording of Lectures

No videotaping of lectures is permitted. Sound recording of lectures may be allowed with permission from the instructor involved. Such recordings are for individual use only by the recorder, and not for circulation, posting, or publication in any form without written approval by the instructor and Course Director.

Social Justice Statement

"The West Virginia University community is committed to creating and fostering a positive learning and working environment based on open communication, mutual respect, and inclusion. If you are a person with a disability and anticipate needing any type of accommodation in order to participate in this class, please advise me and make appropriate arrangements with the Office of Disability Services (293-6700). For more information on West Virginia University's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, please see"

Severe Weather Statement:

In the event of inclement or threatening weather, everyone should use his or her best judgment regarding travel to and from campus. Safety should be the main concern. If you cannot get to class because of adverse weather conditions, you should contact me as soon as possible. Similarly, if I am unable to reach our class location, I will notify you of any cancellation or change as soon as possible (by 9 o'clock/1 hours before class starts), using (MIX email) to prevent you from embarking on any unnecessary travel. If you cannot get to class because of weather conditions, I will make allowances relative to required attendance policies, as well as any scheduled tests, quizzes, or other assessments. Classes that are cancelled due to adverse weather will be covered (usually) through provision of a Camtasia recording of that material prepared by the instructor or by other provision of the intended notes to the students; the students will remain responsible for any material covered in a class cancelled due to adverse weather.