Co-coordinators: Christopher Jones and Carl Salter
Biochemistry focuses on questions that are both biological and chemical in nature: What molecules and chemical reactions are unique to living organisms? Which are also found in non-living systems? How are biochemical processes controlled in living systems? What enables certain organisms to survive, even to thrive, in environments that would kill members of another species? How can we use our burgeoning understanding of the biochemical basis of life to improve our own lives and the world around us? What are the ethical implications of this vast knowledge of biochemistry and our technical abilities to manipulate the molecular basis of life?
Biochemists are active in all sectors of scientific life, from academic, corporate, and government research labs to science journalism and law offices to hospitals and government agencies at all levels. They are working to understand and combat human diseases, carry out forensic investigations for law-enforcement agencies, develop new and better pharmaceuticals, ensure food availability and quality, understand the impact of environmental changes and toxins on living organisms, struggle with patent issues in the courts, and advise politicians and the public on the science behind many of today's major issues.
Biochemistry is a challenging field, and Moravian's major is designed to help students develop their skills to meet its challenges. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, majors will take courses in a range of relevant areas, all intended not only to acquaint them with fundamental concepts and cutting-edge knowledge but also to help them become adept at using that knowledge to formulate practical approaches to real problems.
The Major in Biochemistry
The major in biochemistry includes 14 course units. Required courses include Biology 112 or 119; Biology 210; Chemistry 113, 114, 211, 212, 220.2 and 331; Physics 111 and 112; Biology/Chemistry 327, 328, and 375.2 (or Biology 370 with approval of the Biochemistry program co-coordinators); and Biology 365 (or another course with the approval of the advisor) plus 1 elective from among the following: Biology 235, 263, 265, 350, 351, or 363; Chemistry 222, 311, 313, 314, 315, 332, or 341. A biology or chemistry research experience (as defined by the Council on Undergraduate Research) such as Independent study (Biology or Chemistry 286, or 381–384) or Honors (Biology or Chemistry 400–401) can also be counted with prior approval of the major advisor and chairs of the Biological Sciences and Chemistry Departments. (Note that Biology/Chemistry 375.2 and Chemistry 220.2 are both half-unit courses.) Biology Seminar (Biology 370) may be substituted for Biology/Chemistry 375.2 with the approval of the major advisor and chairs of the Biological Sciences and Chemistry Departments.