Introduction

This HarvardXPLUS course is a limited enrollment course, offering smaller cohorts, deeper engagement with faculty, and access to the HarvardXPLUS credential.

Principles of Biochemistry integrates an introduction to the structure of macromolecules and a biochemical approach to cellular function. Topics addressing protein function will include enzyme kinetics, the characterization of major metabolic pathways and their interconnection into tightly regulated networks, and the manipulation of enzymes and pathways with mutations or drugs. An exploration of simple cells (red blood cells) to more complex tissues (muscle and liver) will be used as a framework to discuss the progression in metabolic complexity. Learners will also develop problem solving and analytical skills that are more generally applicable to the life sciences.

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What you'll learn:

  • The structure and function of the chemical building blocks of life
  • The central role of enzymes in catalyzing the reactions of life
  • The primary metabolic pathways that power cells
  • The intricate mechanisms that regulate cellular metabolism
  • The integration of biochemical processes in the context of cells, tissues, and whole organisms

 

Image credit: PDB ID 2DN1, 2DN2
Park S-Y, Yokoyama T, Shibayama N, Shiro Y, Tame JRH (2006) 1.25 A resolution crystal structures of human haemoglobin in the oxy, deoxy and carbonmonoxy forms. J Mol Biol 360: 690–701.

Meet The Author

Alain Viel

Alain Viel

Director of Undergraduate Research and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University

Alain Viel is Director of Undergraduate Research and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. He received a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology of Development from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France (Paris VI) and did his postdoctoral work at Harvard University. He teaches research-based courses as well as courses in molecular biology and biochemistry. He is a founding member of BioVisions, a collaboration between scientists, teaching faculty, students, and multimedia professionals that focuses on science visualization. He is the co-author of the award winning animation series “The Inner Life of the Cell.”

Rachelle Gaudet

Rachelle Gaudet

Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University

Rachelle Gaudet received a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Université de Montréal, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, and did her postdoctoral work at Harvard University. She has been on the faculty in Harvard’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology since 2002, where she does research in structural biology of membrane proteins and teaches biochemistry and physical chemistry for the life sciences. In her research, she use x-ray crystallography and biochemistry to provide important insights into the molecular mechanisms of transport and signaling proteins that play important roles in immunity, neuronal development, pain perception, and hearing.

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