Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics
usually have a baccalaureate degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or biology, and have taken courses in introductory biochemistry,
calculus, physical and organic chemistry, and physics. Students who have not completed these courses must do so within their first
year of graduate study. GRE test scores are required of all applicants.
Students develop their program of study with a committee of three faculty members. This program must satisfy requirements in the
areas of biochemistry, advanced chemistry, cell biology, gene expression, and mathematics, in addition to special interest electives.
Except for seminars, the program is typically completed within the student's first two years. Students must submit and orally defend a
written research proposal at the end of their second year of residence. Demonstrated knowledge of a foreign language is not required for
a graduate degree in biochemistry.
The thesis advisor is chosen after completion of rotations in two or more laboratories, normally at the end of the first year. A
research committee, including the advisor, is formed at this time. Research for the dissertation is regarded as the candidate's major
training. The final examination for the Ph.D is devoted entirely to a defense of the dissertation by the candidate. Generally the
degree program is completed in five years.
Box 440, Jordan Hall
P.O. Box 800733
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0733
(434) 924-2508 Fax: (434) 925-5069
BIOC 503 - (4) (S)
Biochemistry: Macromolecular Structure and Function
Prerequisite: Calculus, organic chemistry, physical chemistry. Some introductory knowledge assumed.
Provides the necessary background at the professional level for careers in a variety of biological and physical sciences.
BIOC 505, 506 - (2-6) (S)
Open only to graduate students in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. Introduces biochemical research. Students
conduct two or more research projects of limited scope under the direction of staff members.
BIOC 508 - (3) (SI)
Computer Analysis of DNA and Protein Sequences
Prerequisite: MICR 811 or instructor permission.
Surveys computer methods for analyzing DNA and protein sequences. Discusses analytical methods, including DNA and protein sequence
comparisons; recognition of patterns in DNA and protein sequences; finding genes; protein structure prediction; analyzing protein 3-D
structure; and constructing evolutionary trees.
BIOC 510 - (2) (SI)
Prerequisite: BIOC 503 or instructor permission.
Examines the process of DNA replication in prokaryotic, eukaryotic, and viral systems. Includes DNA structure and function; origins,
inhibitors, and enzymes of DNA replication; and protein-nucleic acid interactions.
BIOC 701, 702 - (2) (S)
Introduction to Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry
Prerequisite: One year of undergraduate physical chemistry plus either BIOC 503 or CHEM 743/744; or instructor permission.
Studies physical approaches for examining the structure and dynamics of biological molecules. First semester: thermodynamics and
kinetics of biochemical interactions, including ligand binding, cooperativity, conformational changes of proteins and nucleic acids,
and biochemical regulation. Second semester: spectroscopy, including optical and magnetic resonance methods. Introduces X-ray, electron,
and neutron diffraction methods.
BIOC 703, 704 - (1) (S)
Advanced Concepts in Biophysical Chemistry
Corequisite: BIOC 701, 702.
In-depth treatment of selected topics presented in BIOC 701, 702. Emphasizes using more quantitative tools (such as partition
functions, statistical calculus, elementary group theory, quantum mechanical operators, and matrix algebra) to explain the phenomena
presented in the introductory course.
BIOC 801, 802 - (3) (SI)
Physical Chemistry of Biopolymers
Considers the physicochemical principles and technical approaches current in the study of biopolymers. Emphasizes thermodynamics and
statistical mechanics. Multiple equilibria including subunit interactions, ligand binding, structure and function are discussed in
detail. Offered as required.
BIOC 813, 814 - (1) (S)
Research seminars by invited guests and research personnel within the department. All biochemistry graduate students must attend.
BIOC 815, 816 - (1) (S)
A continuing seminar based on papers in the current literature. Participation is required.
BIOC 817 - (3) (O)
Structure and Function of Proteins
Prerequisite: BIOC 503 or instructor permission.
Includes molecular modeling, protein/receptor interactions; cytoskeletal communication with matrix; supramolecular assembly of
proteins; regulation of enzymatic activity; protein/DNA interactions; regulation via covalent modification of proteins;
protein/membrane interactions; protein evolution; protein processing; and proteins in molecular motion.
Note BIOC 901, 902 through BIOC 997 are taken for doctoral research, before a dissertation director has been selected.
BIOC 901, 902 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Research in Biochemistry of Connective Tissue
BIOC 903, 904 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Transcriptional Regulation
BIOC 905, 906 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Biophysical Aspects of Biological Membranes
BIOC 907, 908 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Nuclear Protein Transport
BIOC 909, 910 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, the Molecular Biology of Microbial Transport Processes
BIOC 911, 912 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Regulation of Eukaryotic DNA Replication
BIOC 913, 914 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, the "Stimulus-Response" Sequence in Blood Platelet Activation
BIOC 915, 916 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Molecular Genetics of Human Neoplasia
BIOC 917, 918 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, DNA Replication and Amplification in Mammalian Cells
BIOC 919, 920 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Molecular Biology of Tumor Suppressors
BIOC 923, 924 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Chromatin Structure and Function
BIOC 925, 926 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Biophysical Chemistry of Phospholipid Assemblies and Protein Kinase Function
BIOC 927, 928 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Yeast Genetics and Cell Cycle
BIOC 929, 930 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics by NMR
BIOC 931, 932 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Structure of Macromolecular Complexes
BIOC 933, 934 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Regulation of Mitosis
BIOC 935, 936 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Transcriptional Silencing
BIOC 937, 938 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Molecular Biology of Mammalian Hormone Action
BIOC 939, 940 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Transcription Development
BIOC 945, 946 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Research in Mammalian Gene Expression
BIOC 949, 950 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Biophysical and Immunological Studies of Immune Complex Mediated Diseases
BIOC 957, 958 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, DNA Replication and Protein Nucleic Acid Interactions
BIOC 959, 960 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Topical Research, Research Proteinases and Proteinase Inhibitors
BIOC 997 - (3-12) (S-SS)
Non-Topical Research, Preparation for Doctoral Research
BIOC 999 - (3-12) (S-SS)
For doctoral dissertation, taken under the supervision of a dissertation director.