Spring 2005


Instructor:     Gary Kunkel

                        406A Biochemistry



                        webpage URL:


Time, location:          Thurs. 2:20-3:10PM, Room 401/403 Biochemistry


Prerequisites:            BICH 441 and BICH/GENE 431, or concurrent enrollment; or approval of instructor



In this course, we will read and discuss landmark papers in biochemistry and molecular genetics from the 1950s and later.  One student will be the primary discussant for a paper to be presented during each meeting.  As a primary discussant, you will be expected to provide background leading up to the assigned paper and discuss the impact of this paper on the field. Also, you should review the data and techniques presented in the paper.  The primary discussant will be required to meet with me prior to the presentation in order to go over any questions about the paper or its historical perspective.


It is very important that all class members take part in the discussion, even when you are not the primary discussant.  You will need to be prepared to discuss the papers critically (meaning, that you must read the papers before class).  If you think the data are good or bad, say so, and why.  What controls did the authors present carefully or leave out?  How does the data support various models presented in that paper or other papers that you have read?  At the beginning of each class period, every student will be required to submit two carefully designed questions pertaining to the paper, or set of papers, assigned for that class meeting.



Grading will be allocated as follows: (100 pts total)

            performance as primary discussant                                              50%

            participation in other discussions                                                  25%

            submission of questions relating to assigned paper                  25%

            each unexcused absence: subtract 5 pts