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CHEM305 Biological Chemistry

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

Application of fundamental chemistry principles to an understanding of chemical reactions and molecular structure in biological systems.

CHEM 305 Biological Chemistry focuses on how the concepts and techniques from various fields of chemistry may be applied to interpret chemical transformations in biological systems and to determine the structure of biomolecules. The paper will evaluate frontiers in biological chemistry by identifying the underlying fundamental concepts of molecular transformation and structure.

Paper title Biological Chemistry
Paper code CHEM305
Subject Chemistry
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,080.30
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,858.95

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18 200-level CHEM points
Recommended Preparation
CHEM 205
Schedule C
CHEM 305 is an important paper for chemistry majors wishing to proceed to a career that involves biological chemistry and also for all general degree students requiring knowledge and understanding of biological chemistry.
Dr Alan Hayman
Tel 64 3 479 7923
Location: Science II, 4n9
Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator: Dr Alan. R. Hayman
Dr E.W.Tan
Assoc Prof Steve Moratti
Dr Courtney Ennis

Paper Structure
  • Amino Acids and Peptides
    • The chemistry and reactivity of amino acids and peptides
    • Methods of isolation, purification and analysis of peptides and proteins
    • Strategies used in the chemical synthesis of peptides
  • Enzymes
    • The role and modes of action of enzymes in catalysing biological reactions
    • Structure activity relationships and kinetics of enzymes
    • Mechanisms of enzyme reactions using proteases as examples
    • Strategies for enzyme inhibition in drug design
  • Spectroscopy of Biological Systems
    • Spectroscopic investigations are integral to the study of biological materials. We will examine the principles and applications of (i) FTIR and Raman spectroscopy to interrogate polypeptides and proteins and (ii) NMR, EPR and Mossbauer spectroscopy to study specific metalloenzymes.
  • Polymers
    • An overview of polymers and their properties
    • Chemical synthesis of natural polymers
    • Biocompatible and biodegradable polymers
    • Use of polymers in drug delivery and devices
Teaching Arrangements
Three lectures per week and one 4-hour lab class per week.
Jones, J. Amino acid and peptide synthesis, Oxford University Press

Bruice, P.Y. Organic Chemistry, (4th edn), Prentice-Hall

Fersht, A. Enzyme structure and mechanism, Freeman
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Expectations at the completion of the paper:
  • An understanding of the scientific concepts underlying chemical transformation and structure determination involving biological molecules
  • An appreciation of the chemical factors controlling biological processes
  • An ability to identify fundamental concepts in chemistry underlying biological systems
  • Demonstrated expertise in the generic activities of information retrieval, critical analysis and presentation, logistical planning and cooperative teamwork
  • An understanding of how chemical knowledge is applied in a practical, problem-solving context

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 9-12, 18-22
Thursday 09:00-09:50 9-12, 18-22
Friday 09:00-09:50 9-12, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 14:00-17:50 10-13, 19-22
A2 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 10-12, 18-22