Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Richard A. Paselk

Chem 438

Introductory Biochemistry

R. Paselk
Spring 2007


Office: SA560a
Office Hours: MWF 1300-1350, TTh 1400-1450 other times by appointment Phone: x 5719
Home: 822-1116

Lecture Schedule: See Biochemistry on my Web Page (
Texts: Horton, H Robert, Lawrence A. Moran, K Gray Scrimgeour, Marc D. Perry, and J. David Rawn. Principles of Biochemistry, 4th ed. Pearson Printice Hall, Upper Saddle River (2006)
Paselk. Biochemistry Pathway Diagrams. HUB

General: For those who need a review of organic chemistry, I have in my office: Rodwell, Organic Chemistry (A brief review). This is a good, very brief, review of most of what you should know about organic chemistry reactions prior to taking biochemistry.

My attitude towards texts is that they are references to repeat, expand, clarify (or confuse!), and otherwise aid you in your endeavor to understand biochemistry. I do not "require" that you buy a text - you're an adult, you should know what you require to "get through" a course. It's your decision. However, I strongly recommend purchasing a book. Horton et. al. will be the central text for most of this course. The text and I may sometimes disagree. If you discover such a disagreement let's discuss it - I may decide to go along with Horton, agree to disagree and accept both points of view, or try to convince you as to why I'm correct (perhaps newer literature has moved the field, etc.).

I have been posting my notes for some time. They are not perfect. Old errors may still exist, and new errors are introduced as new material is added and old material is updated. My students are my only editors-I rely on you to help me find mistakes! If you use the notes and think you've found an error please tell me via e-mail. My lecture notes from Spring 2005 are also available to you with this caveat - there will be differences in what is covered, when it is covered, and of fact. However if you wish to use them to "preview" what is likely to be covered next, please feel free.

I have traditionally tried to emphasize thinking and problem solving in this course and intend to continue. Thus there may be exam questions with answers you haven't seen and there will be synthesis questions. You can pass the course without "getting" these questions, but you won't get an "A."

Discussion: Other than exam weeks there will be a discussions each week. Attendance is mandatory for these discussion periods! (Attendance for my lectures is, on the other hand, your choice.) The Discussion is graded on participation and evidence you have done the reading, not brilliance or cleverness (you won't lose points for foolish or ignorant responses). Brilliance and understanding will be tested on exams. I may randomly call on people during discussions each week.

There will be a specific reading or/and computer assignment for each discussion (Case-study, journal article, etc.) which you are expected to read. I intend to provide these readings by the previous Monday on the Discussion schedule on the web, however, I am somewhat forgetful, so if you haven't found it by Monday before the discussion, e-mail me please!

You will be given about a week to do discussion problems. Be aware that discussion problems sometimes require a great deal of time and thought. Some questions may require meditation or a period of "slow fermentation in back of your mind." It is best to start work on them immediately so you can figure out how to budget your time.

A Word About Exams: Note the in-class exams dates and be certain you can make them:

Exam I (Weeks 1-6) - Friday, March 2, 1500-1650 (Discussion period)

Exam II (Weeks 7-12) - Friday, April 13, 1500-1650 (Discussion period)

Final Exam (Comprehensive): Monday, May 7, 15:00-16:30

I do not generally give make-up exams, but can sometimes make an accommodation if notified in advance. So if you think you can't make an exam, please call me in advance. If you can't reach me directly, leave a message on my voice mail or email. DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING UNTIL YOU HAVE RECIEVED A RESPONSE FROM ME! Grading:

Discussion write-ups etc.:

 to be determined for a total of

 100 pts.

 Midterm exams:

 2 @ 100 pts. each

  200 pts.

based on attendance and participation

  100 pts

 Final exam:  

  200 pts.


 Total =

600 pts.

Drop Policy: I will give you until I return the first hour exam to drop this class with a "W." After that time, failure or other academic problems, as well as time management (work, kids, etc., but see below) will not be considered to be among the category of "serious and compelling reasons" needed to drop this course. Serious and compelling reasons are considered to be problems outside of the student's control and which could not be anticipated, such as serious illness or hospitalization. If you do have a problem, please notify me as soon as possible if you think it may require your dropping the class.

Incompletes: Incompletes are generally reserved for students who are unable to complete the class for serious and compelling reasons which occur after the last drop period.



If you have a documented learning disability and would like to discuss academic accommodations, please contact me as soon as possible. Our campus Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) can assist you with the accommodation process and can be reached at (707) 826-5392 (TDD). The SDRC is located in House 71 (Little Apartments) off Library Circle.

Lecture Notes

C438 Home


Last modified 11 February 2007