CHEM 505 - Nucleic Acids Biochemistry
Fall 2021, Section 100
Instruction Mode: Section 100 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Chemistry (CHEM)
Department: LSA Chemistry
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
CHEM/BIOLCHEM 451 and 452 or Graduate Standing.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/30/21 - 12/10/21 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


We now realize that the human genome contains at least 80,000 non-redundant non-coding RNA genes, outnumbering protein-coding genes by at least 4-fold, a revolutionary insight that has led some researchers to dub the eukaryotic cell an “RNA machine”. How exactly these RNAs guide every cellular function – from the maintenance and processing to the regulated expression of all genetic information – lies at the leading edge of the modern biosciences, from stem cell to cancer research. This course will provide an equally broad as a deep overview of the structure, function, and biology of DNA and particularly RNA. The class will be taught from a chemical/molecular perspective and will bring modern interdisciplinary concepts from biochemistry, biophysics, and molecular biology to the fore. We will explore important examples from the current literature and the course content will evolve accordingly (handouts and primary literature will be available on the Canvas course website). Through that approach, the course is intended to provide students with ‘real-world’ skills necessary for success after graduation: evaluating primary literature and presenting scientific data.

Course Requirements:

Your grade will be a composite of the grades obtained from four assigned 2-page reviews of the primary literature, one in-class “journal club” presentation, and one Wikipedia entry on a topic related to RNA. In two of the four reviews, you will be asked to play the role of a journal editor and write a “News and Views”-style summary; in the remaining two cases, you will be asked to play the role of a peer reviewer and critique a published article. Each of these six assignments will make up 15% of the grade; the remaining 10% will be class participation.

Intended Audience:

As a special topics course for graduate students, CHEM 505 or BIOLCHEM 505 is open to graduate students from Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Biophysics, the Program in Biomedical Sciences umbrella, and others.

Class Format:

Lecture twice weekly for 1.5 hours


CHEM 505 - Nucleic Acids Biochemistry
Schedule Listing
100 (LEC)
 In Person
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
8/30/21 - 12/10/21

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for CHEM 505 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)