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BIOC 5007Q: Foundations of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Spring 2014 January 6th - April 28th
Mondays from 5PM 6 PM

*Course is offered every other year in the even years (2016 next).*


Key Dates:
Monday, January 6 - April 21 from 5 p.m. 6 pm
Apr. 21 have Dr. Pandey approve your choice of essay topic.
Essay (Take Home Exam) due April 28, 2014.

Medical Science Building, E609b seats at the table are reserved for enrolled students.

Credits: 1

Goals: The objective of this course is to present a historical overview of selected fundamental molecular biological and biochemical principles that underlie modern biological science. Lectures will be based on review articles in journals such as the Annual Review series, the Trends series and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Evaluation will be by means of a take-home essay.

Grading basis:
A 2-3 page (single space) take-home essay.
Attendance is mandatory. Proof of legitimate absence (e.g. medical doctor's letters, hospital admission papers, or funeral notices) must be provided to Dr. Pandey. The 60% of grading will be based on attendance and 40% on essay. Students arriving in the class late by 15 min will be marked absent. Each unexcused absence will reduce the final grade by one letter grade.

Molecular Biology of the News Take Home Essay

Choose one lecture. Write a 2 page essay that delves more deeply into the topic of your chosen lecture. Your essay must include facts that were not provided in the lecture.

Due: April 28, one week after the last lecture

Indicate your choice of lecturer as early as possible. A maximum of three essays will be permitted per lecturer. Dr. Pandey must approve your choice by 6 pm on Apr. 21.

2 pages, typed, double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins no exceptions. Figures and references are not included in the page limit. References should be in the style of the Journal Cell Biology (summarized below) and include the title of the article.
Check spelling and grammar. Grades will be marked down for carelessness.
Please note “Grading Rubric” and “Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department Guidelines on Academic Integrity” (below).

Journal of Cell Biology Reference format:
References should be cited parenthetically in the text by author and year of publication.
Examples of citation formats: (Catalucci et al., 2009), (Pedersen and Tsai, 2009), (Wittman, 2009). References should be listed alphabetically by first author's last name. Abbreviate the names of journals according to PubMed.


Journal Articles
Foster, E.R., and J.A. Downs. 2009. Methylation of H3K4 and K79 is not strictly dependent on H2B K123 acetylation. J. Cell Biol. 184:631638.
Eastman, S.W., M. Yassaeem, and P.D. Bieniasz. 2009. A role for ubiquitin ligase and Spartin/SPG20 in lipid droplet turnover. J. Cell Biol. 184: 909921.

Online Peer-Reviewed Articles
Lopez-Soler, R.I., R.D. Moir, T.P. Spann, R. Stick, and R.D. Goldman. 2001. A role for nuclear lamins in nuclear envelope assembly. J. Cell Biol. doi:10.1083/jcb.200101025

Complete Books
Myant, N.B. 1981. The Biology of Cholesterol and Related Steroids. Heinemann Medical Books, London. 882 pp.

Articles in Books
Innerarity, T.L., D.Y. Hui, and R.W. Mahley. 1982. Hepatic apoprotein E (remnant) receptor. In Lipoproteins and Coronary Atherosclerosis. G. Noseda, C. Fragiacomo, R. Fumagalli, and R. Paoletti, editors. Elsevier/North Holland, Amsterdam. 173181.

Essay grading rubric:

Total possible score: 20

Excellent (4 points)

Very Good (3)

Average (2)

Poor (1)

No credit (0)

Information extends lecture






Overall understanding of topic






Support from specific examples (data, figures, etc.)












Format, grammar, spelling






A (4), B+ (3.5), B (3), C+ (2.5), C (2), D (1), F (0)

From the Code of Professional Conduct: All students are expected to observe generally accepted principles of scholarly work, and to submit their own rather than another's work.

Students may not falsify (state or write something you know to be untrue), fabricate (make up information with the intent to deceive) data, or plagiarize (to pass off the words or ideas of another as your own). Students must reference the published work of others appropriately. Students may not receive or give aid during examinations or other work requiring independent effort. When submitting written material, students explicitly imply that both the ideas and words and sentences used are their own. Note also that individuals are responsible for reporting acts of academic dishonesty that are done by others.

Penalties: The GSBS Executive Council requires all instructors who encounter instances of student academic dishonesty to report them to the Dean of the GSBS. Penalties may include a zero grade on the individual assignment, failure of the course, or dismissal from the program.

Definition of plagiarism: the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work (from
To see numerous examples, Google "examples of plagiarism" (~45,200 hits).

Tips for avoiding plagiarism:
1. Take hand-written notes from your sources. These notes should be brief bullet comments. Cartoons and lists are great. If your first language is not English, take notes in that language. Do not copy and paste text as a form of note-taking.
2. Use more than one source.
3. When you begin to write your text, put away all copies of your sources and work entirely from your notes.
4. Consider the goals of the assignment carefully. Plagiarized text and figures often stand out because they were composed by the other author for a different purpose and do not precisely address the needs of the current assignment.
This site has an excellent on-line tutorial that defines plagiarism, offers examples of different forms of plagiarism, and provides tips on avoiding plagiarism: