Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

BIOCHEMISTRY | Life explained


Biochemistry is a booming career field and our students are prepared to take advantage of tremendous job growth in this intellectually challenging field. With extensive research opportunities, hands-on learning experiences, and small class sizes that ensure personalized work with tenured faculty, Baker biochemistry majors graduate ready to take the world by storm.

PREPARED FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL

Of those who apply, 87% of Baker students are accepted into medical school—more than twice the national average. During the past 10 years, 100% of Baker students who submitted veterinary, dental, or osteopathy school applications were accepted.

ORIGINAL RESEARCH

Biochemistry students may partner with one of our faculty members to pursue an original research project. This is an outstanding opportunity for students to receive one-on-one attention with the professors they see in the classroom. 

GRADUATE STUDY

Many of our biochemistry students pursue graduate work in fields such as biotechnology, genetics, and immunology. Baker grads often receive graduate scholarships to major research programs, including those at the Stanford University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Kansas.

INTERNSHIPS & SUMMER SHADOWING

Baker’s faculty excels at placing students in full-time summer internships and facilitating opportunities for job shadowing. 

SCIENCE AT BAKER UNIVERSITY

Baker science graduates go on to become doctors, researchers, educators, and even water slide engineers. How does Baker prepare students for success after graduation? What are some of our recent alumni doing now? Watch the video to find out!

ANDREW | Chemistry & Biology Major, Class of 2017

“Studying biochemistry at Baker has been a rewarding experience. The faculty do an excellent job in presenting difficult and abstract concepts in a way that is accessible to students, which translates directly into Baker’s outstanding acceptance rates into medical, dental, and pharmacy schools. Due to Baker University’s outstanding science curriculum and devoted faculty, I feel fully prepared for the MCAT and higher education in preparation for a career in the medical field.”

MICHAEL | Biochemistry Major, Class of 2017

“What I’ve learned will serve as my foundation to study and hopefully practice medicine in order to better serve my community, and what I love the most about the biochemistry program at Baker is the application of previous course work. Relevancy is very important to me when learning. It’s a good feeling when you realize what you learned in a previous course actually mattered and is helping you be successful in an upper-level course. The same few professors have taught my major classes at every level since I’ve been here, so there is no need to worry about adjusting to new teaching styles.”

CAREERS

Biochemistry majors are exceptionally prepared for careers in medical, science, and research fields. Students who have majored in the fundamental sciences at Baker have gone on to these careers:

  • Chief scientist at Oncimmune, which develops technology for early cancer detection
  • Forensic chemist for the FBI
  • Junior scientists in research labs and for the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Analysts in environmental chemistry and chemical synthesis
  • Medical doctors
  • Chemistry professors and teachers

%

of Baker graduates are employed full time or enrolled in graduate school within six months of receiving their diploma.

Course Descriptions

R: course can be repeated for credit; P/NC: course graded on a pass/no credit basis

Courses required for these programs are listed in the current catalog.

BI 151 – Cell and Molecular Biology 3 hrs.

This course is an entry-level course for Biology majors. The course will address the relationship between structure and function of the major biological molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and fats) as well as the relationship between structure and function of cells and organelles. The students will also be introduced to the basic principles of molecular genetics and evolution.
Co-requisite BI 151L

BI 151 L – Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory 1 hr.

The laboratory that accompanies BI 151.

Co-requisite: BI 151.

BI 152 – Genetics 4 hrs.

This course is an entry-level course for Biology majors. Genetics is the study of heredity at the population, organismal, cellular, and molecular levels. This course will focus on the Mendelian rules of inheritance in individuals and in populations. The molecular mechanisms that control cell division and gene expression will also be discussed. There will be three lecture/discussion periods per week, and one laboratory session per week where students will learn techniques used to study inheritance patterns.

Prerequisite: BI 151.

BI 385 – Advanced Molecular Biology 3 hrs.

This course will allow students to expand on their previously acquired knowledge of genetics. Students will study classical and current experiments in molecular biology that are used to determine how the molecules involved in DNA replication, RNA transcription, and protein translation interact and function at the molecular level.

Prerequisites: Junior status, BI 152, and CH 251.

BI 386 – Advanced Methods in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 3 hrs.

This intensive laboratory course will give students the opportunity to carry out modern molecular experimental techniques such as recombinant DNA, electrophoresis, protein purification, blotting, and DNA sequencing. Today these techniques are utilized to answer questions in cell biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. Students should have completed most other biology and chemistry requirements prior to taking this course so that they are prepared to both understand and design molecular experiments.

Prerequisites: Senior status and BI 383 or 385 or CH 370.

CH 137 & CH 137L – General Chemistry I and Laboratory I 4 hrs.

This course is an introduction to the principles and applications of inorganic chemistry. Topics include the structure of atoms and molecules; chemical stoichiometry; aqueous chemistry; atomic spectra, chemical bonding, and molecular structure; periodic properties; properties of gases, liquids, and solutions; and elementary thermodynamics.

Prerequisite: MA 145. Co-requisite: CH 137 Lab.

CH 138 – General Chemistry II 3 hrs.

This course is a continuation and expansion of the material in CH 137. Topics include kinetics; equilibrium and the thermodynamics of spontaneity; and an introduction to elementary organic chemistry. Normally students enrolled in CH 138 should also be enrolled in CH 140, which is a prerequisite for all subsequent chemistry courses.

Prerequisite: CH 137 and CH 137L.

CH 140 – Quantitative Analysis 2 hrs.

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of standard methods of analysis. The concepts of stoichiometry and equilibrium are emphasized, and the laboratory provides practice in gravimetric, volumetric, potentiometric, and spectrophotometric procedures. The course consists of one lecture and one laboratory session per week.

Prerequisite or co-requisite: CH 138.

CH 251 – Organic Chemistry I 4 hrs.

This course is an introduction to the study of the structure and reactivity of organic compounds. Topics include bonding, resonance, acid-base theory, spectroscopy, stereochemistry, nomenclature, and named reactions. Laboratory work includes basic techniques and reactions, chromatography, and spectroscopy. The course consists of three lectures and one laboratory session per week.

Prerequisites: CH 138 and 140.

CH 252 – Organic Chemistry II 4 hrs.

This course is a continuation of CH 251. Topics include functional groups and reaction mechanisms. Laboratory work includes basic techniques and organic qualitative analysis. The course consists of three lectures and one laboratory session per week.

Prerequisite: CH 251.

CH 341 – Instrumental Methods of Analysis 4 hrs.

The theory and practice of physicochemical and instrumental methods of analysis are presented. Areas covered are spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, chromatography, electroanalytical methods, and areas of current interest. The course consists of three lectures and one laboratory session per week.

Prerequisite: CH 252.

CH 361 & CH 361L – Physical Chemistry I and Laboratory I  4 hrs.

This course introduces the basic principles of physical chemistry. Topics covered in this course include thermodynamics, kinetics, quantum mechanics, and spectroscopy.

Prerequisites: PC 226 and CH 252. Co-requisite: CH 361L is strongly encouraged.

CH 370 – Biochemistry 3 hrs.

This course is an introduction to the chemistry of biological compounds and their structure and reactions in living organisms. Topics include structures of amino acids, proteins, and enzymes; mechanisms of enzyme and coenzyme action; the structure and role of carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids; metabolic pathways; and the biosynthesis of proteins.

Prerequisite: CH 252.

CH 470 – Advanced Topics in Biochemistry 3 hrs.

This course is a continuation of the topics introduced in CH 370, including structure and function of biological compounds, kinetics, enzyme mechanisms, metabolism, and information storage.

Prerequisite: CH 370.

BI 410 – Senior Seminar in Biology 2 hrs.

This is the senior capstone course for all seniors graduating with a degree in Biology. The students will consult with the course instructor and project mentor in order to choose a topic that is relevant to their career interests and goals. Through research of the literature, each student will develop a significant paper that will demonstrate their ability to research, interpret, and write in their chosen field.

Prerequisite: Senior status, Biology major. It is strongly suggested that students have completed at least two biology courses at the 300 level prior to taking this seminar.

OR

CH 491 – Chemistry Seminar 2 hrs.

This course is a survey of the chemical literature in which extensive use will be made of chemical abstracts and current journals. The student must select a topic of interest, research the literature, and present a paper.

Prerequisite: Senior status

 

Supporting Course Work

MA 171 – Calculus I 4 hrs.                                                Generally taught every semester

This course is the beginning course in calculus. Topics to be studied include functions, limits, continuity, derivatives, applications of the derivative, definite integral, and topics in differential calculus. Prerequisites: Students should have a strong background in algebra and trigonometry. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as a high school pre-calculus course with trigonometry or both MA145 and MA146 with grades of C or higher. Students who have questions about their preparation should talk to a member of the math department. Students with strong algebra skills who need trigonometry may take MA146 as a co-requisite. (Students planning on taking MA 171 in the spring should enroll in MA146 in the prior fall semester since MA 146 is generally only offered in the fall semester.)

MA 172 – Calculus II 4 hrs.                                              Generally taught every semester

This course is a continuation of MA 171. Topics to be studied include more techniques of integration and applications of calculus, including sequences and series.

Prerequisite: MA 171 with a grade of C or higher.

PC 225 – General Physics I 4 hrs.

This course is a calculus-based introduction to classical mechanics. Key concepts include Newton’s laws of motion, Newton’s law of gravitation, conservation of energy and momentum, and rotational motion. These concepts are further explored in the laboratory sessions where basic data analysis techniques are also introduced. The course consists of three lectures and one laboratory session per week.

Prerequisite or co-requisite: MA 171.

PC 226 – General Physics II 4 hrs.

This is a continuation of PC 225 providing a calculus-based introduction to electricity and magnetism. Key concepts include electric force and charge, the electric field, Gauss’s law, the electrostatic potential, electrical energy, current, simple circuits, the magnetic force and field, Ampere’s law, and electromagnetic induction. The course consists of three lectures and one laboratory session per week.

Prerequisite: PC 225. Prerequisite or co-requisite: MA 172.

Scholarships

The Department of Biology and Chemistry gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Biology
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Chemistry
  • Howard T. Bonnett Scholarship and Mrs. Ivan L. Boyd Memorial Scholarship
  • Margaret E. Scanlon Endowed Memorial Scholarship
  • E.J. Cragoe Scholarship
  • Chemical Rubber Company Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award
  • Sonia Browning Endowed Scholarship
  • Doris Cink & Kathryn Zimney Endowed Scholarship

Academic Recognition

  • Outstanding Senior in Biology
  • Outstanding Senior in Chemistry
  • Outstanding Junior in Biology
  • Outstanding Sophomore in Biology
  • Outstanding Freshman in Biology

STUDENT LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

DIALOGOS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM

Dialogos creates opportunities for the free exchange of ideas among scholars. Students from every part of the academy present original works, in a variety of forms and mediums, and engage with an interdisciplinary community of peers, staff and faculty. The symposium also features a keynote address from a prominent Baker alum. Through open and critical discussion, participants learn from and contribute to the betterment of the whole. At Dialogos, to quote John Wesley, we "think and let think."

Dialogos creates opportunities for the free exchange of ideas among scholars. Students from every part of the academy present original works, in a variety of forms and mediums, and engage with an interdisciplinary community of peers, staff and faculty. The symposium also features a keynote address from a prominent Baker alum. Through open and critical discussion, participants learn from and contribute to the betterment of the whole. At Dialogos, to quote John Wesley, we "think and let think."

BOOK Program

Students are encouraged to participate in the BOOK Program (Baker Organizational Observation for Knowledge) to enhance their internship experiences. The program encourages students to look deeper into organizations by researching the history, mission, structure, products and services, finances and management of the company. At the conclusion of the program, presentations are given in front of a panel of judges who choose the winner of a cash prize.

BOOK Program

Students are encouraged to participate in the BOOK Program (Baker Organizational Observation for Knowledge) to enhance their internship experiences. The program encourages students to look deeper into organizations by researching the history, mission, structure, products and services, finances and management of the company. At the conclusion of the program, presentations are given in front of a panel of judges who choose the winner of a cash prize.

FACULTY

Dr. Erin Morris

Associate Professor of Biology, Chair of the Department of Biology & Chemistry | erin.morris@bakerU.edu
“I always say if I were not a scientist I would be a historian. I love looking through old documents and understanding how past events have shaped the world today. I get to combine these two things when I teach a Genology Interterm. That class covers deep human history through genetics and recent family history using ancestry databases.”

B.A. Drury University, Ph.D. University of Missouri-Columbia

Expertise: molecular plant genetics
Office: Boyd Science Center 228 | 785.594.7881

Molly AndersonMolly Anderson

Assistant Professor | molly.anderson@bakerU.edu

B.S. Baker University, M.S. Johns Hopkins University
Expertise: organic chemistry, biochemistry

Office: Boyd Science Center 303 | 785.594.4549

Michael Barbush

Dr. Michael Barbush

Professor of Chemistry, R. Milford White Chair in Chemistry | michael.barbush@bakerU.edu

B.S. Baker University; M.A., Ph.D. Washington University
Expertise: organic chemistry, biochemistry
Office: Boyd Science Center 301 | 785.594.8310 | More Info

Dr. Jamin Perry

Assistant Professor of Chemistry | jamin.perry@bakerU.edu

B.S. Missouri Southern State University, Ph.D. University of Missouri at Columbia
Expertise: physical chemistry
Office: Boyd Science Center 302 | 785.594.8326

Dr. Christa Manton

Assistant Professor of Biology | christa.manton@bakerU.edu
B.S. Truman State University, Ph.D. University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Expertise: molecular and cellular biology
Office: Boyd Science Center 227

Dr. Irene Unger

Associate Professor of Biology, Director of the Baker Wetlands | irene.unger@bakerU.edu

B.S. Truman State University, M.S. St. Louis University, Ph.D. University of Missouri at Columbia
Expertise: plant-soil-microbe interactions
Office: Boyd Science Center 226

CONTACT US

Andrea Howell
Department Assistant
Biology & Chemistry
Math, Physics, & Computer Science
Office: Boyd Science Center 327
785.594.8419
andrea.howell@bakerU.edu

Pin It on Pinterest