Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
Director, Fall Semester and Interim 2009-10: Kim Kandl (Biology), genetics, molecular biology, cell biology; Spring Semester 2009-10: Jeffrey Schwinefus (Chemistry), physical and biophysical chemistry
Faculty, 2009-10: Beth R.J. Abdella (Chemistry), bio-organic chemistry (on leave Fall Semester); Douglas Beussman (Chemistry), analytical and bioanalytical chemistry (on leave); Eric S. Cole (Biology), developmental biology; Steven Freedberg (Biology), bioinformatics, evolutionary ecology (on leave); Laura Listenberger (Biology, Chemistry), molecular cell biology, biochemistry, lipid biology; Gregory Muth (Chemistry), biochemistry, organic chemistry; Janice Pellino (Biology, Chemistry), biochemistry, RNA interference; Jean Porterfield (Biology), genetics, evolution, molecular systematics; Kathleen Shea (Biology), population genetics, conservation; Anne Walter (Biology), biophysics, membranes, cell physiology (on leave)
Biomolecular science incorporates a wide range of traditional scientific fields. Expanding interest in the intersections of disciplines such as biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, psychology, and physics has led to the development and growth of new scientific areas. Biochemistry and molecular biology have been recognized as interdisciplinary sciences for many years. Newer on the scene are fields such as bioinformatics, molecular evolution, and biophysical chemistry.
overview of the concentration
The St. Olaf concentration in biomolecular science will appeal to any student who is seeking an understanding of the core sciences of biology and chemistry but wishes to pursue an integrated selection of upper level courses or to apply the study of biology and chemistry to a different major. The quarter-credit course, Explorations in Biomolecular Science, introduces concentrators and other interested students to the breadth of this scientific area. An experiential learning component takes biomolecular science out of the traditional classroom and enables students to explore its applications in fields such as medicine, agriculture, or genetics.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CONCENTRATION
Biomolecular Science concentrators must complete the following core courses:
Biology 125, Cellular Biology and Genetics
Biology 126, Evolution and Diversity
Biology 233, Intermediate Genetics
Biomolecular Science 201, Explorations in Biomolecular Science, 0.25 credits
Chemistry 125, Structural Chemistry and Equilibrium
Chemistry 126, Chemical Reactions
Chemistry 247/253, Organic Chemistry and 248/254, Synthesis Laboratory, and
Chemistry 379/373, Biochemistry I and Experimental Biochemistry
Chemistry 121 and 123 can substitute for Chemistry 125. Chemistry/Biology 125, 126 and 127 can substitute for Chemistry 125, 126 and Biology 125.
Each concentrator must take part in an Experiential Learning Component (see below) and must select at least two Level III electives from a set of approved courses including:
Biology 315, Principles of Bioinformatics,
Biology 341, Cell Physiology,
Biology 364, Molecular Biology,
Biology 372, Developmental Biology,
Chemistry 384, Bioanalytical Chemistry
Chemistry 385, Biochemistry II
Chemistry 391, (when taught as Biophysical Chemistry), and
Computer Science 315, Bioinformatics
Students are encouraged to consult with their advisor and the program director about the appropriate physics and mathematical sequences for their interests as well as appropriate complementary courses, e.g., Biology 383, Evolutionary Biology.
Experiential Learning Component
Participation in an experimentally-based research experience or employment that takes biomolecular sciences beyond the traditional classroom is required of each concentrator. This can occur either on or off campus. This activity must be pre-approved by the Biomolecular Science Committee and be supported after the fact by a letter from a supervisor.
A quarter-credit course devoted to a broad study of the field of biomolecular science through the reading and discussion of primary and secondary literature across the field. Through exploration of the breadth of the field, biomolecular concentrators plan their own 300-level course structure. While required of all Biomolecular Science concentrators, this course is open to all interested students. P/N only. Prerequisite: either Biology 125, Chemistry 125, or Chemistry/Biology 125, or the equivalent. Offered annually in the Spring Semester.
298 Independent Study
This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor. Offered based on department decision.
398 Independent Research