Molecular and Cell Biology (MOCB)

Combined Program across the Departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering

STEPHEN MILLER, Graduate Program Director


BIEBERICH, CHARLES J. (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; Developmental biology
BUSH, ALLEN C. (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; Biophysical chemistry of complex carbohydrates
FARABAUGH, PHILIP J. (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., Harvard University; Molecular genetics
KARPEL, RICHARD (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Ph.D., Brandeis University; Protein-nucleic acid interactions
LINDAHL, LASSE (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., University of Copenhagen; Gene expression, , Latino immigrants in US and Spain, Women and Politics in Latin America, Costs and benefits of Immigration, Latino Political Participation in USA.
MOREIRA, ANTONIO R. (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering), Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; Biochemical engineering, scale-up, bio-transformations, regulatory/GMP
OMLAND, KEVIN E., (Biological Sciences), Ph.D, State University of New York, Albany; Evolution, molecular systematics, animal behavior, bird plumage coloration, molecular ecology, population genetics, speciation
OSTRAND-ROSENBERG, SUZANNE (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., California Institute of Technology; Immunology
ROBINSON, PHYLLIS R., Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Signal transduction in the visual system. Elucidation of the mechanisms of activation and deactivatoin of vertebrate visual pigments. Study of a novel vertebrate opsin, melanopsin, which is involved in the photo entrainment of circadian rhythms
SUMMERS, MICHAEL F. (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Ph.D., Emory University; Howard Hughes Associate Medical Investigator, nuclear magnetic resonance and bio-inorganic chemistry
WOLF, RICHARD E., Jr., Ph.D., University of Cincinnati; Molecular biology, gene regulation

Associate Professors BREWSTER, RACHEL (Biological Sciences) Ph.D., University of Michigan; Neuroscience, genetics, molecular and cell biology
BUSTOS, MAURICIO M. (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., University of California, Irvine; Plant molecular biology
EISENMANN, DAVID M. (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., Harvard University; Developmental biology and signal transduction
KELLY, LISA (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Ph.D., Bowling Green State University; Photochemistry, photoredox-initiated oligonucleotide and polypeptide cleavage and heterogeneous catalysis
LEIPS, JEFFERY W., (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., Florida State University; Molecular and organismal ecology, molecular biology/ genetics, ecology, environmental biology
LIN, WEIHONG (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., Colorado State University: Neurobiological studies of chemical sensations mediated by olfactory, taste and trigeminal systems with emphases on signal transduction and modulations.
LU, HUA (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., Texas A&M University; Molecular genetics and signal transduction during plant-pathogen interactions.
MARTIN, MARK R. (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering) Ph.D., Purdue University; Fermentation, proteomics and genomics, microbial responses to real-life environments, microbial cell wall synthesis
MILLER, STEPHEN M., (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Development, evolution of development, algal biofuels
RAO, GOVIND (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering), Ph.D., Drexel University; Mammalian cell culture, metabolic engineering, oxygen toxicity, biosensing
ROSS, JULIE M. (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering), Ph.D., Rice University; Cellular and biomedical engineering, cell adhesion, tissue engineering
SCHREIER, HAROLD J. (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University; Microbiology, gene regulation

Assistant Professors
GARDNER, JEFFREY (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Molecular-genetic analysis of bacterial physiology and metabolism
STARZ-GAIANO, MICHELLE (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., New York University: Cell migration during Drosophila development, with focus on signaling pathways

Senior Research Scientist
LI, XIANG (Biological Sciences), Ph.D., UMBC; Development and cancer biology
SINHA, PRATIMA, (Biological Sciences), Ph.D, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences. Molecular and cellular basis of tumor immunity

Degree Offered


Program Description

The Ph.D. program in Molecular and Cell Biology (MOCB) combines the substantial faculty resources and research facilities of several departments within the Colleges of Natural and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering at UMBC to offer an inter-disciplinary and state-of-the- art educational experience for those desiring advanced training in molecular and cell biology. The program provides participants with the conceptual and technical background to investigate basic or applied problems in the life sciences at the molecular and cellular levels in the biomedical, bioengineering and life sciences.

Program Admission Requirements

Candidates for admission should present a bachelor’s degree with undergraduate training in organic chemistry, general biology, genetics, cell biology, physics and calculus. A course in biochemistry is recommended but not required. In most cases, candidates will have majored in biochemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, microbiology, molecular biology or the biological sciences. All applicants are required to take the aptitude sections of the Graduate Record Examination. All original application documents must be sent directly to the Graduate School, not the graduate program.

Degree Requirements

Eight courses of three or more credits each is required, and no more than two of the eight may be seminar courses. The course work will include a two-semester course in biochemistry (CHEM 437 and CHEM 638) one course based on the principles of genetic analysis (BIOL 634 or BIOL 614), one course in prokaryotic molecular biology (BIOL 611 or BIOL 634), one course in eukaryotic molecular biology (BIOL 614 or 626) and at least one seminar course. Courses listed at both the 400 and 600 level must be taken at the 600-level, and research credits are not counted toward the eight-course requirement. Students must maintain a “B” average in all of their course work. The biochemistry course requirement may be waived if the student has earned a “B” or better in a one-year biochemistry course at another institution. During their first year, MOCB students will participate in at least three research rotations. Faculty will design short projects for these rotations to provide students with an introduction to experimental research and an opportunity to learn more about specific areas of molecular and cell biology before they choose a dissertation project. MOCB students also are required to teach for two semesters. Upon completion of the first year of study, MOCB students should choose a dissertation advisor from the program’s faculty and begin their dissertation research. In the fall of the second year, students must form and meet with their permanent advisory committee. This committee will be composed of the dissertation advisor and at least three other members of the program’s faculty and at least one member from outside the department of the dissertation advisor. Before the end of their fifth semester in residence, students must prepare and submit to their advisory committee a research proposal written in the format of an NSF or NIH grant. Defense of this proposal, along with a test of general knowledge in the candidate’s chosen field, constitutes the preliminary examination. Students must meet annually with their advisory committee to report on their progress toward completion of their dissertation research.

Facilities and Special Resources

The students in the program have ready access to extensive facilities at UMBC for all types of research in molecular and cell biology. These facilities include advanced equipment for molecular biology (real-time PCR machines, a phosphorimager and image documentation systems), cell biology (confocal and electron microscopes and fluorescence-activated cell sorter), biochemistry (ultracentrifuges, HPLC and FPLC, and fully equipped cold rooms) and neurophysiology (micro-spectrophotometers, micro-manipulators and video image analysis systems). Support facilities include a transgenic plant facility in a modern greenhouse, NIH-approved animal quarters, darkrooms, controlled-temperature rooms and excellent shops for mechanical work and electronics. Numerous computers provide department research support. The network infrastructure serving the Biological Sciences Building and the adjacent Martin Schwartz Hall was upgraded in 2001 to support high-speed streaming video and graphics through switched 10/1000 MB connections to every computer. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UMBC has a wide array of instrumentation for research in structural biochemistry and biophysical chemistry, including mass spectrometry, NMR, electron spin resonance, circular dichroism, variable frequency phase fluorometry, Fourier transform infrared and Raman spectroscopy. Also available are high-speed computers for molecular modeling and biopolymer studies. In addition, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry houses a unit of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and some faculty have appointments in the Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland Medical School. Students in these labs also have access to all of the facilities in the Cancer Center.

Financial Assistance

All MOCB students are guaranteed financial support until completion of their degree through teaching or research assistantships, contingent on available funds and on making satisfactory progress toward their degree. The large amount of sponsored research conducted by the program's faculty provides opportunities for graduate students to be employed on research projects.

Fellowship Opportunities at the Interface of Chemistry and Biology

UMBC has authorized a limited number of fellowships for incoming graduate students who are interested in both the areas of chemistry and biology. These fellowships aim to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century, which surely will reward those who have expertise in more than one area of science. Even now, those scientists who can bridge the gap between biology and chemistry are in high demand in such areas as the pharmaceutical industry. Thus, synthetic chemists who are knowledgeable about metabolism and biologists who understand the physical principles governing the interactions between macromolecules are widely sought after.

Fellowship recipients will obtain their Ph.D. degree in an area of the chemical or the biological sciences, but with an additional focus in the other discipline. Each course of study will be tailored individually to take into account students’ strengths and interests, but all will include course work at an advanced level in both the biological sciences and chemistry, as well as biochemistry. In addition, students will carry out research rotations in the laboratories of faculty members from both disciplines and will attend seminars from both departments. Due to the rigorous nature of this program, the normal teaching duties for first-year students will be waived, and an enhanced stipend of $20,000 (plus remission of tuition and fees) will be awarded.


UMBC Department of Biological Sciences

BIOL 430
Biological Chemistry [4]

An introductory course describing the essential principles of biochemistry. Topics include the structure and characterization of biological macro-molecules, the energetics and thermodynamics of coupled biological reactions and enzymology. The most important metabolic pathways are described, emphasizing their cellular compartmentalization, integration and control. (Fall) Prerequisites: BIOL 303 and CHEM 352.

BIOL 602
Introduction to Laboratory/Field Research [1-3]

The purpose of this course is to introduce incoming graduate students to the breadth of possible research areas at UMBC. A student taking this course will do research for 10 weeks in three professors’ laboratories. This will acquaint students with laboratory techniques and faculty members in several areas before they decide on their thesis advisor. One credit is earned per laboratory.

BIOL 605
Advanced Topics in Comparative Animal Physiology [4]

This course takes a comparative approach to the study of how various selective pressures have resulted in the evolution of specific solutions to physiological problems. These solutions are viewed within the context of the fundamental limitations to biological evolution that are set by the physical and chemical properties of matter. The exact topic will change from semester to semester. Representative topics might include vision, temperature regulation and thermal tolerance, renal physiology or cognitive neurophysiology. Most of the material covered will be from original research reports that will be evaluated critically by each student. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

BIOL 611
Bacterial Physiology [4]

The combined approaches of bacterial genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry are applied to the study of bacterial physiological processes. An emphasis is placed on examining adaptation strategies used by bacteria upon encountering alterations in environment. Topics include mechanisms of transcriptional and post-translational control,Regulation of carbon and nitrogen metabolism, biosynthesis, energy transduction, signal transduction systems and bacterial development. Prerequisite: BIOL302 and BIOL 303 or consent of instructor. Recommended: BIOL 430 or CHEM 437.

BIOL 614
Eukaryotic Genetics and Molecular Biology [4]

Genetics and molecular biology of lower and higher eukaryotes and their viruses. The course will focus on the maintenance and expression of genetic material as it relates to cell growth and development. It will cover current topics in the molecular genetics of several lower and higher eukaryotes at an advanced level, including mechanisms of genetic control that operate at the level of DNA replication, transcription and translation. Topics to include the molecular basis of phenomena such as gene amplification, global control of transcription initiation, protein sorting and secretion, control of yeast mating type as a model for development, the origin of antigen diversity, oncogenesis, pattern formation in Drosophila and sex determination in mammals. (Fall) Prerequisite: BIOL 302 and BIOL 303 or consent of instructor.

BIOL 620
Advanced Topics in Cell Biology [4]

A course designed to acquaint graduate students with contemporary problems of structure and function at the cellular level through a critical examination of the current literature. The course will include both lecture material, with an emphasis on the experimental basis of current knowledge, and presentations by students of oral and written reports on selected topics. The area covered in any semester will vary according to recent developments in the field and according to the interests of the students and faculty. The list of available areas includes structure and function of biomembranes; composition, structure and replication of chromosomes; assembly, growth and reproduction of cytoplasmic organelles; cellular growth and division; regulation of cellular function; and nuclear-cytoplasmic interactions. Note: May be repeated for credit with different topic. Prerequisite: BIOL 303 and/or consent of the instructor.

Biological Electron Microscopy [3]

Theory and practice of the study of biological materials with the high resolution of the electron microscope. Specimens will be prepared for examination by a variety of modern procedures. These include tissue and cell fixation, embedding for ultra-thin sectioning, carbon film preparation, mounting of particulate materials and macromolecules, positive and negative staining, metal shadowing in the vacuum evaporator and critical-point drying. An introduction to scanning electron microscopy will be provided. The photographic darkroom procedures required for the production of finished electron micrographs are included. Prerequisite: BIOL 303 and/or the consent of the instructor.

BIOL 625
Immunology [4]

This course pursues, in depth, the rapidly expanding areas of cellular, humoral and tumor immunology. Following a brief overview of the immune system’s response to exogenous antigen, the course concentrates on such topics as antibody production and structure, lymphocyte sub-populations, cell-cell interactions, cell-mediated immune responses, cell surface alloantigens, histocompatability, immunogenetics, transplantation and tumor immunology. The exact content of this course varies from year to year depending on the status of research in the field. (Fall) Prerequisite: BIOL 302, BIOL 303 or consent of the instructor and BIOL 430 or CHEM 437.

BIOL 626
Approaches to Molecular Biology [4]

This course will focus on the molecular biology of eukaryotic cells and will include such topics as the sequence organization of DNA and genes, chromosome structure, messenger RNA synthesis and processing, messenger RNA translation and the regulation of the expression of genetic information. Prerequisite: BIOL 302, BIOL 303 or consent of the instructor.

BIOL 634
Microbial Molecular Genetics [4]

The approaches of microbial genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry are combined for the study of the molecular mechanisms regulating gene expression in bacteria. Emphasis is placed on critical reading of the research literature. Application of the combined approaches of microbial genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry to the study of fundamental biological processes will be demonstrated. The research literature will be used to describe the current state of knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of prokaryotic gene regulation and the genetic biochemistry of chromosome structure and DNA replication, repair and recombination. Prerequisites: BIOL 302 and BIOL 303 or consent of instructor. Recommended: BIOL 430 or CHEM 437.

BIOL 635L and 636L
Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory I and II [7, 7]

This two-semester course is designed to demonstrate the approaches and methodologies of molecular biology used to study the organization, expression and regulation of genes. Emphasis is on acquiring facility in the design of experiments, analysis of data and troubleshooting, as well as in developing a broad range of technical skills and the ability to use modern laboratory equipment. The first part of the course focuses on in vivo or recombinant DNA cloning techniques and emphasizes the isolation, manipulation and molecular characterization of DNA and RNA. The second part involves in vivo genetic analysis in selected prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. It includes mutagenesis and genetic mapping in E. coli, as well as use of gene fusions to assess gene expression in vivo. Eukaryotic cell culture and immunological techniques are used to illustrate their utility in molecular biology. Co-requisite: BIOL 626 and CHEM 437 or BIOL 430. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

BIOL 642
Introduction to Developmental Biology [4]

A lecture and discussion course that considers the two major aspects of animal development: 1) the means by which, starting with a fertilized egg, progeny cells progressively differentiate from their precursors and one another to produce the ultimate diversity of the multi-cellular organism and 2) the processes by which this increasingly complex population of cells is synthesized into a single integrated organism. (Fall)

BIOL 643
Topics in Advanced Developmental Biology [4]

Designed to emphasize cellular, molecular and biochemical aspects of basic developmental questions, this course will introduce the student to modern approaches to determination, differentiation and morphogenesis. Experimental design and analysis of data are emphasized. Topics include molecular and cellular aspects of gametogenesis, fertilization, embryogenesis and continuous development in the adult; mechanisms of intra- and inter-cellular communication; developmental model systems using unicellular organisms will be considered. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: BIOL 442 and/or consent of the instructor.

BIOL 645
Signal Transduction [4]

This course will examine some of the methods by which the reception of signals from the environment leads to the changes in gene and protein activity in responding cells, which constitutes a biological response. Signal transduction in the context of developmental biology and neurobiology will be the main areas of study. Six to eight topics will be covered in detail. The design and interpretation of scientific experiments will be emphasized through critical reading, analysis and presentation of original articles from the primary literature. The use of genetic, molecular and biochemical techniques to address questions in the field of signal transduction will be examined. Prerequisite: Undergraduate-level courses in genetics and cell biology. Permission of instructor is required.

BIOL 651
Neurobiology [4]

Nervous system function at the cellular level. Ionic mechanisms underlying electrical activity in nerve cells, the physiology of synapses, transduction and integration of sensory information, activity in populations of neurons, the specification of neuronal connections and trophic and plastic properties of nerve cells. Prerequisite: BIOL 305 or consent of the instructor.

BIOL 654
Vision Science [4]

This course will focus in depth on visual systems of animals and humans. Coverage will span the range of modern research from the biochemistry and physiology of the photoreceptors to the ecology, evolution and functional optimization of visual systems. Topics include visual pigments, biochemical basis of phototransduction, visual processing and organization of visual centers of the brain, eyes, optical arrays, visual evolution and ecology. Prerequisite: BIOL 305 or equivalent. Recommended: BIOL 451.

BIOL 656
Plant Molecular Biology [4]

Following a brief review of some important principles and techniques in molecular biology, this course will pursue, in depth, such topics as the cloning and characterization of chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear genomes in plants, interactions of the nuclear and chloroplast gene products, genetic engineering of the nitrogen fixation genes, DNA plant viruses and the Agrobacterium Ti plasmid. The course content will reflect the status of research in this rapidly developing area. Prerequisite: BIOL 304 or consent of the instructor.

BIOL 666
Population and Quantitative Genetics [4]

The emphasis in this course will be the study in natural populations of characters whose variation are controlled by multiple genes. The foundations in Mendelian and population genetics will be described, followed by a comprehensive treatment of the field of quantitative genetics and then by a discussion of the place of quantitative genetics in behavioral genetics, physiological ecology and in population biology in general. Prerequisite: STAT 350 and BIOL 142 or consent of the instructor.

BIOL 675
Biology of the Bacteria [4]

The biological characteristics of the bacteria will be considered. Bacterial physiology and ecology structure-function relationships and host-parasite interactions will be emphasized. Prerequisite: BIOL 303 or consent of the instructor.

BIOL 683
Genes to Genomes [4]

This is a combined lecture, paper discussion and hands-on computing course comprising four major sections that study the applications of evolutionary theory to the exploration and analysis of phenotypic and biological sequence data. We begin by building a sound conceptual basis for the theory of evolution, including an introduction to population genetics. Real biological sequence data is then introduced and used to illustrate and extend this theory. From here, the focus shifts to some major branches of current evolutionary research, introducing recent published work for each topic. During the last part of the course, students give presentations on a research topic in evolution of their choice. A term paper on this topic is required from each student at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: BIOL 142.

BIOL 700
Introduction to Graduate Experience [1]

This seminar course is designed for first year graduate students who have just matriculated in the Department of Biological Sciences. This course introduces new graduate students to the graduate culture in the Department of Biological Sciences. Students are required to attend the Department's weekly seminars as well as a one hour class discussion with the instructor.

BIOL 710
Graduate Seminar: Topics in Genetics [3]

An examination of current problems in prokaryotic and eukaryotic genetics. Such problems may include transcription and translation, recombination, DNA and chromosome replication, chromosome organization, gene regulation and extrachromosomal inheritance. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: Consent of the instructor and passage of the genetics qualifying examination.

BIOL 712
Mentoring in the Sciences [1]

This seminar course is designed for graduate students working in the sciences and addresses key concerns and challenges faced by mentors at all levels in scientific disciplines. The topics covered in this seminar include intellectual issues (scientific teaching, comprehension and learning how to ask questions), technical issues (experimental design, precision and accuracy), personal growth issues (developing confidence, creativity and independence) and interpersonal issues (dealing with students of diverse experiences and backgrounds, motivation, honesty between mentor and student, scientific integrity and discrimination). The course is conducted in a discussion format using case studies and reading materials relevant to each topic to provide tangible starting points for discussion. The grade is based on participation in discussion, completion of written assignments and presentations in class. Prerequisite: Graduate student/post-doctoral status in a scientific discipline.

BIOL 720
Graduate Seminar: Cell Structure and Function [3]

Critical discussions on current problems in cell biology, concentrating on the structure and function of the various cellular structures and the relations among them. The topics will include the structure and function of cell membranes, the cell nucleus, mitochondria, chloroplasts and other organelles. Additional topics will include genetic transcription and translation, cell growth and division, cell motility and regulation of cellular processes. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

BIOL 721
Research Seminar in Membrane Biology [1]

This course is designed primarily for students currently engaged in some aspect of membrane research. Critical discussion of literature and ongoing research, a seminar presentation and a paper are required. Note: May be repeated for credit with the consent of the instructor. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, biochemistry and consent of the instructor.

BIOL 725
Research Seminar in Immunology [1]

Students and faculty will present results of their recent experiments and/or important papers from current literature for critical discussion; participation in the discussion of the work of others is expected. Note: This course is intended primarily for students currently engaged in research in immunology. May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 739
Research Seminar in Molecular Biology [1]

Students and faculty will present results of their recent experiments and/or important papers from current literature for critical discussion; participation in the discussion of the work of others is expected. Note: This course is intended primarily for students currently engaged in research in molecular biology. May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 740
Graduate Seminar: Analysis of Development [3]

An examination and critical review of the literature pertaining to persistent problems in developmental biology and the differentiation of cell types. Topics to be covered include gametogenesis, fertilization and cleavage patterns, biochemical events during early embryogenesis, nucleo-cytoplasmic interactions in development, inductive phenomena, the role of cell contact specificities in morphogenesis, and stability of the differentiated state and the hormonal controls in differentiating cell systems. The theory of differential gene expression will be evaluated by examining the cytological and biochemical evidence for time and tissue specificities of gene action. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

BIOL 745
Research Seminar in Developmental Biology [1]

This is a research and literature review course focused on the field of developmental biology. Recent primary scientific literature and reviews reporting on important developments in the broad area of developmental biology will be presented by students and faculty for critical discussion. Topics chosen may come from work on prokaryotic, animal or plant model systems. Note: May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 755
Research Seminar in Cellular Neurobiology and Behavior [1]

Primary scientific literature and recent reviews reporting on important new developments in research on nervous systems will be presented and discussed. One or two general topics will provide the focus for each semester’s study. Note: May be repeated for credit.

BIOL 770
Graduate Seminar in Molecular Biology [3]

The class will consist of a series of student led seminars related to a specific topic in molecular biology. The topic will change from year to year and normally will be in an area where substantial progress recently has been reported. Each weekly session will include student presentation of several papers assigned by the class director upon discussion with the student in charge of a given seminar. The presentation will be intermingled with discussion among the seminar participants. All students are expected to have read assigned papers before each seminar and to contribute to the discussion. Grading will be based on the quality of the presentation(s) and the participation in the discussion.

UMBC Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

CHEM 437
Comprehensive Biochemistry I [4]

The first semester of a two-semester sequence providing a thorough introduction to modern biochemical principles. Major topics include enzyme kinetics and structures and the properties of proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids. (Fall) Prerequisite: BIOL 100 and CHEM 352 or equivalent.

Biochemistry Laboratory [4]

Modern methods of biochemical research. Laboratory experiments are designed to provide experience in working with biologically active materials and familiarity with standard biochemical techniques. These include spectrophotometry; chromatography; isotope tracer techniques; ultra-centrifugation; enzyme kinetics; isolation, purification and characterization of proteins; nucleic acids and subcellular organelles. Two laboratory sessions per week. (Fall) Co-requisite: CHEM 437 and consent of the instructor. Prerequisite: CHEM 352L.

CHEM 451
Mechanisms of Organic Reactions [3]

Advanced general treatment of the study of organic reaction mechanisms with emphasis on the development of broad principles governing a variety of organic reactions. Description of metastable intermediates such as carbonium ions, carbanions, carbenes and free radicals, kinetic effects in relation to structure, conformational analysis and stereochemistry. (Fall) Prerequisite: CHEM 352.

CHEM 606
Bioinorganic Chemistry [3]

The functions of metals in biology and medicine are presented with emphasis on the structural and catalytic properties of metal centers in metallo-proteins. Topics include catalysis, metallo-enzyme mechanisms, inorganic co-factors and co-enzymes, and metal chemo-therapeutic agents. Prerequisite: CHEM 405 and consent of instructor.

CHEM 631
Chemistry of Proteins [3]

An advanced treatment of the chemistry of proteins and protein-containing supramolecular structures. The topics include isolation and purification of proteins, structure of proteins and relation of structure to biological function. Prerequisite: CHEM 437 or BIOL 430 or consent of instructor.

CHEM 632
Advanced Biochemistry [3]

The topics presented would not normally be covered in any other biochemistry courses and may include an advanced treatment of enzyme kinetics, with emphasis upon two substrate systems, allosteric control mechanisms, replication and transcription and the biochemistry of specialized tissues. Prerequisite: CHEM 437 and CHEM 438 or consent of instructor.

CHEM 633
Biochemistry of Nucleic Acids [3]

A survey of nucleic acid structure and function, with emphasis on chemical aspects. Topics will include DNA and RNA structure, packaging of nucleic acids, chemical and physical properties of nucleic acids, proteins and enzymes of DNA replication, fidelity of nucleic acid synthesis, biochemistry of DNA recombination, enzymology of transcription and RNA processing. Prerequisite: CHEM 437 or equivalent or consent of the instructor.

CHEM 638
Comprehensive Biochemistry II [4]

This course is intended primarily for first year graduate students who have completed CHEM 437, Comprehensive Biochemistry I. The student will be required to attend the undergraduate lecture course in biochemistry (CHEM 438, Comprehensive Biochemistry II) that covers metabolic pathways and selected topics in nucleic acid and membrane biochemistry. In addition, the student will be assigned reading in research literature in one or more of the above areas and be required to present a seminar or write a paper based on this reading.

CHEM 640
Special Topics in Molecular Structure [3]

Discussions of the major physical methods for determining molecular structure will be presented. Emphasis will be placed on the application applying experimental problems and to computational methods required for interpretation of data. Topics to be discussed include X-ray, electron and neutron scattering; molecular spectroscopy (infrared, ultraviolet and microwave); nuclear magnetic and electron spin resonance; dipole moment determination and dielectric relaxation. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

CHEM 641
Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules [3]

Introductory course with emphasis placed on developing broad general concepts applicable to the study of all types of macromolecules, i.e., synthetic and biological. Topics considered include determination of molecular weight distributions, conformational properties of high polymers, thermodynamics and transport properties of polymer solutions, polyelectrolytes and polymerization processes. Techniques such as sedimentation analysis, light scattering, osmometry and viscometry will be discussed. Prerequisite: CHEM 302 or consent of instructor.

CHEM 642
Physical Biochemistry [3]

Structural determination of proteins and nucleic acids in the solid state and in solution. Transitions between and stability of secondary and tertiary structure. Ligand binding and association processes. Interpretation of spectra, titration curves and multi-component equilibria, hydrodynamic properties and fluorescence polarization. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. CHEM 302 and CHEM 437. Recommended: CHEM 441.

CHEM 643
Molecular Spectroscopy and Biopolymers [3]

Team-taught course covering theory and applications of advanced spectroscopic techniques used to study the structure and function of bio-macromolecules (polysaccharides, DNA, co-enzymes and co-factors). Aspects of modern Fourier transform NMR, including one- and two-dimensional methods (COSY, NOESY, HOHAHA) will be presented. Principles of mass spectrometry and examples of the potential, limitations and applications of electron impact, desorption ionization, high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry and interfaced chromatography/ mass spectrometry will be discussed. Theory and applications of other spectroscopic techniques, including molecular vibrational (Raman, resonance Raman and infrared), electron spin resonance (ESR) and laser fluorescence spectroscopies also will be presented. Prerequisite: CHEM 302 and consent of instructor.

CHEM 652
Physical Organic Chemistry [3]

Introduction to theoretical aspects of organic chemistry. Molecular orbital approximations, linear free-energy relationships, general theory of acid-base catalysis, medium effects and isotope effects. Prerequisite: CHEM 302, CHEM 352, CHEM 451 and consent of instructor.

CHEM 653
Organic Chemistry of Nucleic Acids [3]

A survey of organic chemical principles governing structure, properties and reactions of nucleic acids, including synthesis of nucleic acid bases, nucleosides, nucleotides polynucleotides and their important synthetic analogues possessing anti-viral and anti-tumor properties. Study of reactivity of nucleic acid building blocks, including addition and substitution reactions, ring openings, rearrangements, hydrolysis of glycosidic and phosphodiester bonds, photochemical reactions and enzymecatalyzed reactions. Study of primary structure, acid-base property, tautomerism and conformation of nucleic acids. Review of secondary structure, base pairing and stacking interactions, helical structure, stability, conformation, denaturation, renaturation, cross linking and DNA-drug interactions. Prerequisite: CHEM 352.

CHEM 672
Enzyme Reaction Mechanisms [3]

The mechanism of enzyme action will be examined with emphasis on the following topics: three-dimensional structure of enzymes, chemical catalysis, methods of determining enzyme mechanisms, sterochemistry of enzymatic reactions, detecting intermediates, affinity labels and suicide inhibitors, transition-state analogs, energy relationships, evolutionarily “perfect” enzymes, genetic engineering and enzymes and use of binding energy in catalysis. Instruction will be in both lecture and seminar format, with emphasis on recent literature. Prerequisite: CHEM 352 and CHEM 437 or BIOL 430 or consent of instructor. Recommended: CHEM 451.

CHEM 680
Seminar in Biophysical Chemistry [3]

A series of lectures and weekly seminars dealing with current developments in the field of biophysical chemistry.

CHEM 682
Special Topics in Biochemistry [3]

A series of weekly seminars dealing with topics of current research interest in the field of biochemistry. A single area, in which advances of major significance have been made may be chosen.

UMBC Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

ENCH 482
Biochemical Engineering [3]

Introduction to biochemical and microbiological applications for commercial and engineering processes, including industrial fermentation, enzymology, ultra-filtration, food and pharmaceutical processing, and resulting waste treatment. Enzyme kinetics, cell growth, energetics and mass transfer. Prerequisite: ENCH 427 and ENCH 440.

ENCH 659
Statistical Design Of Experiments [3]

This course introduces the basic concepts which underlie modern statistically designed experimental programs for research, product and process development, and manufacturing optimization.

ENCH 762
Advanced Biochemical Engineering [3]

Industrial aspects of microbiology and cell culture are examined. The selection of screening for high-producing cell lines and the development of optimal bioreactor operating strategies are illustrated by considering various industrial processes for producing of primary and secondary metabolites. The rationale and processing of recombinant cells is discussed in terms of process optimization. Prerequisite: ENCH 482 or consent of instructor.