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Basic Department

Biochemistry

About the Department
Biochemistry  Courses
Biochemistry Faculty
Genetic Division
Genetic Course
 

Biochemistry Courses

Courses:

BCH 612 Medical Biochemistry
BCH 621 Molecular Biology
BCH 661 Current Topics in Molecular Biology
   

Elective:

BCH 613 Enzymology and Protein Chemistry
BCH 742  Special Topics in Biochemistry: Protein Targeting
BCH 743 Biochemistry-Cell Signal Transduction 
BCH 744 Graduate Level Molecular Virology
BCH 746 Herv and Disease
BCH 747 Procaryotic Molecular Genetics
 

 

BCH 612 Medical Biochemistry

Participated Faculty: José A. Torres-Ruiz, Ph.D., 
Carmen M. Mercado, Ph.D., Edward H. Eylar, Ph.D.,
Dr. Robert Villafañe, Ph.D., Dr. Wilfredo Hernández, Ph.D., 
Dr. Richard J. Noel, Jr., Ph.D., Dr. Eric Lorenzo, Ph.D., 
Dr. Simón E. Carlo, M.D., Dr. Alberto Santiago-Cornier, M.D.,
Dr. Pedro G. Santiago

Course Description: The Medical Biochemistry course is presented to medical and graduate students in their first year. It is a two-semester course that includes approximately 78 lectures in addition to small group discussions and review sessions. I

The course is divided in essentially six units: Structural and functional relationships of proteins, Generation and storage from carbohydrate metabolism, Generation and storage from lipid metabolism, Nitrogen metabolism, Gene expression and control, and Medical Genetics. In this course, medical aspects are emphasized to build up the necessary background for future application in other basic sciences and clinical courses.

The course is delivered in the form of lectures and Small Group Discussions. One of the main intentions of the small group discussions is for the medical students to apply the biochemical concepts learned in lectures to understand the molecular basis of a given disease. Ph.D. students, on the other hand, will be required to attend and participate of the discussions of research papers in relevant areas of modern Biochemistry.

Credit: 13 (Value for M.D.), 9 credits for Ph.D. 

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BCH 621 Molecular Biology

Participated Faculty:  

Course Description: This course intends to provide the student with a thorough exposure to the diverse aspects of the fast growing science of molecular genetics. Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic molecular biology will be considered. This course is intended for advanced students (both M.D. and Ph.D.) seeking the fundamentals that will allow them to develop a career in the molecular aspects of genetics. Topics will include both classical subjects, like regulation of bacteriophage lambda infection, and more novel topics, like gene therapy and cloning of mammals.

Credit: 3

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BCH 661 – Current Topics in Molecular Biology

Participated Faculty: Dr. Eric Lorenzo

Course Description: This is a course intended for students considering a career in experimental Molecular Biology, or that their research career would benefit from the incorporation of molecular techniques. It is also useful for students interested in learning how modern Molecular Biology is touching our lives. The course is composed mainly (~75%) of discussions of important papers dealing with cutting-edge developments in Molecular Biology. The remainder 25% of the time will be devoted to short (less than ½ h) lectures on information deem vital to understand the papers discussed.

Credit: 2

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BCH 613 -  Enzymology and Protein Chemistry

Course Description: Course designed to study protein chemistry emphasizing on structure and conformation of proteins, structure/function relationships of enzymes, kinetics and mechanisms of enzymatic reactions, current research methods in enzymology as well as clinical and industrial applications.

Credit: 3

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BCH 742 – Special Topics in Biochemistry: Protein Targeting

Course Description: The main goal of this course is to discuss significant advances in the area of protein targeting in eukaryotes. Protein targeting, how proteins find the correct and functional location in the cell, is one of fundamental processes of life. Because the majority of proteins are manufactured in the cytosol, most of the targeting processes to be discussed look at the mechanism by which such proteins find their way to the correct intracellular destination from the cytosol. Newly synthesized proteins contain protein targeting signals which act as molecular address tags to allow the protein to engage with the protein targeting machinery on any particular organelle. A general failure of protein targeting would be incompatible with life. However, defects in the targeting of specific proteins to specific destinations are known. For instance, lysosomal storage diseases are often associated with defects in the recognition of the mannose 6-phosphate signal found on lysosomal enzymes. The characterization of certain disorders has been one of the major keys in the elucidation of the mechanisms involved in protein targeting.

Credit: 2

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BCH 743 - Biochemistry-Cell Signal Transduction 

Course Description: This course studies cell signal Transduction pathway. It is aimed for Ph.D. students who need to learn recent knowledge as well as techniques developed in this rapidly growing field. It is desirable for this course's participants to have at least rough outlines of ideas on what topics of thesis studies they are considering or taking.

The first half of this course will be devoted to study the significance of cell signal Transduction in health and disease. We are going to learn general principles of cell signaling, including from ligand binding up to gene expression, in physiologically relevant and biomedically important cell responses. Also, the contents cover the most recently reported finding. During the entire period of this first half of session, detailed information of techniques frequently used for the studies of cell signal Transduction will be discussed. Through this half of session, the participants are anticipated to gain critical judgment on what is known and what is not known in the field of signal Transduction and its related fields, as well as to be able to find biochemically important problems that need to be elucidated in future.

The second half of the course will be allocated to discuss on logical development for potential theme of study by each participant. Students are anticipated to present their topics of interests to be gained through previous half of this session for further development, i.e. significance of study, specific aims, study design, feasibility, etc. This discussion part provides participants valuable opportunities to express their ideas and capabilities of study development in real senses, as well as to defend against potential arguments by others.

After this entire course, the participants are expected to attain clear pictures how the knowledge of cell signal transduction can be further developed or applied to their own thesis studies. The achievement of this goal by each participant is, therefore, evaluated by the factors necessary for conducting their thesis study.

Credit:
2

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BCH 744 – Graduate Level Molecular Virology

Course Description: This course will cover both basic topics and original articles related to the most recent findings in HIV and HCV molecular virology and pathology.

Credit: 3

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BCH  746 – Herv and Disease

Course Description: All human have endogenous retrovirus sequence (HERV) as parts of their genomes.  HERV elements represent approximately 1% of the human genome.  This course will cover all aspects of HERVs – including the theoretical origins, various families, genome structure, lifecycle, and impact on human health.  Particular emphasis will be placed on the relationship between activation of functionally silent HERVs and development/ progression of certain diseases.  Finally the relationships between HERVs and other retrovirus will be discussed.  Course materials will consist of papers from the literature as well as info rmation from a variety of web-pages.

Credit: 3

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BCH 747 – Procaryotic Molecular Genetics

Course Description: The principles of molecular genetics will be elucidated in fourteen chapters of the textbook. Including areas: (1) General Genetics; (2) Membranes and Membrane Interactions, 3) DNA Replication; 4) Transcription.

Within these areas, the following topics are expected to be covered: molecular aspects of pathogenicity, quorum sensing, genetics of disulfide bond formation and cell division, signal sequence and signal transduction. , Outer membrane proteins and penicillin-binding proteins and phages and diseases, transcription factors and diseases.

Preparation for postdoctoral studies requires a knowledge and familiarity with molecular genetics. Prokaryotic methodology and knowledge have been instrumental in fueling the current tremendous advances in eukaryotic molecular biology; therefore knowledge of prokaryotic molecular genetics is necessary for in depth understanding of any area in biomedical sciences. This course aims to fill a required need in the curriculum at the Ponce School of Medicine. In future years it is hoped that a laboratory section can be added to this course.

Credit: 3

 


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