Course Information

Information on Research Project Courses and Course Policies.

Biochemistry 2280A - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

An introduction to biochemistry with emphasis on protein structure and function, intermediary metabolism and nucleic acid structure and function.


Distance Studies Biochemistry 2280A - Summer

An introduction to biochemistry with emphasis on protein structure and function, intermediary metabolism and nucleic acid structure and function.

Details for registration can be found on the website of Western's Office of the Registrar.

Biochemistry 2288A - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for Foods and Nutrition

An introduction to biochemistry with emphasis on protein structure and function, intermediary metabolism and nucleic acid structure and function.


Biochemistry 3380G - Biochemistry Laboratory

This course consists of a series of laboratory exercises designed to familiarize the student with the basic methods in biochemistry and molecular biology, and to demonstrate concepts taught in biochemistry lecture courses. Students will learn how to present their results in an acceptable scientific format. 

Biochemistry 3381A - Biological Macromolecules

A consideration of the structure of proteins and nucleic acids; enzymology; elements of recombinant DNA technology and related methodology.


Biochemistry 3382A - Biochemical Regulation

Among the topics discussed will be principles of metabolic control, mechanisms of signal transduction, regulation of DNA replication, regulation of gene expression, and epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation.


Biochemistry 3383F/G - Introduction to Biochemical Research

Students carry out a research project under the direction of a faculty member, gaining practical experience in a biochemistry research laboratory. Experimental design, critical thinking, and scientific communication will be emphasized, and students will develop skills at reading and reviewing primary scientific literature.

To obtain permission for this course, follow the three instructions below.

First, be sure you have the prerequisites. For Biochemistry 3383F/G, Biochemistry 3381A and 3382A are pre- or co-requisites. 

Second, you must arrange a project with a Biochemistry faculty member. Generally, this means taking the initiative to contact faculty members and inquire about the possibility of a project. See our Faculty Research webpage for the research interests of faculty members.

Third, email Biochemistry counselling to request permission, indicating which faculty member you will be working with.


Biochemistry 3385B - Human Biochemistry

A course dealing with Biochemical aspects of the human condition. Topics in human disease, medical testing, and lifestyle will be considered in a clinical-case-oriented fashion. The emphasis will be on structural and metabolic issues related to carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals, nucleic acids and proteins.


Biochemistry 3386B - Clinical Biochemistry

The application of biochemical and molecular principles to the analytical components used to select, evaluate and interpret tests for clinical diseases. Also included will be discussions on the specialized instruments required. Students will gain understanding of the practice of clinical biochemistry, as one of the disciplines of laboratory medicine.

Biochemistry 3390B - Advanced Methods for Biochemistry

Students will explore the chemical and physical underpinnings of biochemical phenomena by solving practical, real-world, quantitative problems. Students will learn how to answer biochemical research questions by applying advanced experimental strategies and techniques, including methods in bioinformatics and the mining of biochemical databases.

Biochemistry 3392F/G - Synthetic Biology: Principles and Practice

An introduction to the principles of synthetic biology. Students learn to retrieve and apply information from databases to design and model regulated biological circuits using standard components (Biobricks). Teams of students create, communicate, and defend original synthetic biology proposals.

Biochemistry 4410A - Molecular Biology of DNA and RNA

The use of fundamental techniques in molecular biology and molecular genetics are illustrated using examples from the classic and current literature. Selected topics include eukaryotic gene cloning, transgenic animals, rational drug design, DNA replication and cell cycle regulation.


Biochemistry 4415B - Applications of Synthetic Biology and Chemical Genetics in Medicine

This course will explore how metabolic pathways are currently being re-engineered in microorganisms to produce drugs that are otherwise difficult to manufacture. We will also investigate how drug targets are being identified using newly developed chemical genetic screening methods. The impact of both approaches on medicine will be evaluated.

Biochemistry 4420A - Molecular Biology of Proteins

Topics to be considered at an advanced level will include: protein folding, stability, dynamics and association with the membrane.


Biochemistry 4425B - Proteomics and Protein Biotechnology

The course will cover applied aspects of protein chemistry in biotechnology and protein design. Topics covered will include applications of modern analytical and biophysical techniques used in proteomics and related biochemical analyses, protein structure design, and antibody engineering.

Biochemistry 4450A - Molecular Genetics of Human Cancer

Key cellular pathways that are frequently subverted in tumour cells leading to neoplasia will be discussed, as well as mechanisms by which environmental factors affect tumour development. Cancer models and molecular therapies will also be considered. There are two sections of this course offered. Section 001 is an in class course and section 650 is an online distance studies course.


Biochemistry 4483E - Research Project and Seminar

The major laboratory course for the Honors Specialization in Biochemistry and Honors Specialization modules combined with Biochemistry. Lectures on laboratory safety, biosafety, use of animals in research, scientific integrity; an independent research project (topic and advisor chosen by consultation between student and faculty); scientific communication (two seminars and a written report). See more on Research Project Courses.

Although students can take the course during the fall/winter, they also have the option of completing the course in the summer between years 3 and 4. If they then complete the Biochemistry 4999 course in their 4th year, they have the option of enrolling in the Accelerated MSc. More information about the summer 4483 course, 4999 course, and the Accelerated MSc can be found on the Accelerated MSc page.


Biochemistry 4484E - Student-directed Research Projects

This course runs over two terms, Fall and Winter, and fulfills the requirements of an honours specialization project in most biochemistry modules (similar to 4483E). With faculty mentorship, student-teams will design, build, test, and defend an interdisciplinary lab-research project. The teams will assess how their project will integrate into real-world scenarios and present their research in multiple formats. The objective of this course is for students to develop their problem-solving and research abilities. The student teams will develop Synthetic Biology projects based on a research goal of their choice. The projects will require interdisciplinary work that demonstrates how the biotechnology in their project will integrate into society through deliverables that include websites, presentations, and written reports.


Biochemistry 4999E - Advanced Research in Biochemistry

This laboratory course is intended for students interested in pursuing high-level research. Lectures on literature searches, data mining, and effective communication; an independent research project (topic and advisor chosen by consultation between student and faculty); and scientific communication (introduction to topic, mid-year report, seminar).

This course is offered in the fall-winter terms and is intended for students who are enthusiastic about scientific research and would like to gain additional experience and/or proceed to the graduate program immediately after completion of their undergraduate studies (see Accelerated MSc). The Advanced Research Project can be conducted in the same laboratory as the Year 4 Summer Honors Research Project, or a different laboratory.

Importantly, students enrolled in the Advanced Research Project will be assigned an “advisory committee,” analogous in function to the graduate advisory committees currently in place for MSc and PhD students. The supervisor and advisory committee together will be responsible for providing input into the research program, as well the student’s development as a scientist.

Chemical Biology 4500E  - Research Project in Chemical Biology

The major laboratory course for students in the Honors Specialization in Chemical Biology. Under the supervision of a faculty member, students will work on an independent research project, submit reports, write a thesis describing research findings and present and defend their findings in an oral seminar. Professional development activities include: skills for critical analysis of research, writing technical reports, ethics.