Feb 03, 2023  
2019 - 2020 Academic Catalog 
2019 - 2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biological Chemistry, B.A.

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Biological Chemistry

   Member of the Division of Science


Heriberto Hernandez-Soto (Chemistry)



Charvann Bailey (Biology)
Ben DeRidder (Biology)
Michael French (Biology)
Leslie Gregg-Jolly (Biology)
Shannon Hinsa (Biology)
Erick Leggans (Chemistry)
Mark Levandoski (Chemistry)
Clark Lindgren (Biology)
Elaine Marzluff (Chemistry)
T. Andrew Mobley (Chemistry)
Vida Praitis (Biology)
Joshua Sandquist (Biology)
Lee Sharpe (Chemistry)
Stephen Sieck (Chemistry)
James Swartz (Chemistry)
Elizabeth Trimmer (Chemistry)

Biological chemistry studies the chemical basis of biological processes. As such, it is an interdisciplinary combination of biology and chemistry requiring a distinct subset of material from both fields. The core courses of the major introduce students to methods of inquiry into biological chemistry and consider the structure and function of nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates, and how these molecules mediate chemical processes in the cell. These core courses are designed jointly by members of the biology and chemistry departments to emphasize the interrelationships of the topics being presented. Elective courses enable students to consider specific topics within the broad range of biological chemistry in greater depth.

All of the instrumentation in both the biology and chemistry departments is available for the courses and research projects of biological chemistry majors. Majors are encouraged to participate in research projects with faculty in biology or chemistry.

Major Requirements: A minimum of 32 credits


To be considered for honors in biological chemistry, graduating seniors, in addition to meeting the College’s general requirements for honors, must complete an independent research project, publicly present the work in seminar format at Grinnell, and demonstrate excellence in the work. The public presentation is satisfied automatically by all students who participate in the chemistry department summer research program.  Other students are expected to satisfy this requirement by presenting in the biology or chemistry seminar programs, but other equivalently formal public presentation settings may be considered.  Achieving Honors also requires that you contribute to the program in other ways, for example, by attending seminars, being a teaching assistant or mentor, serving on the SEPC (Student Educational Policy Committee), or participating in outreach activities. The faculty believes that graduating with honors in biological chemistry should not be regarded solely as the completion of set of requirements, but rather that honors signify demonstrated academic excellence and an unusually high commitment and dedication to the discipline.

Biological Chemistry Courses


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