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BIOCHEMISTRY.

B.S. Degree in Biochemistry

Biochemistry Degree – Bachelor of Science (BS)

An interdisciplinary major at Catawba College offered by two collaborating academic departments, Biology and Chemistry.

Pursuing this challenging course of study to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Catawba College will prepare you for work in industry, or to go on to graduate school or professional health science programs, such as medical school.

The study of Biochemistry represents a growing and vital sub-discipline of science.  It aims to capture the modern synthesis of molecular biology and chemistry and is vital to understanding living organisms. Interrelated fields are molecular medicine, microbiology, and forensics.

Faculty mentoring, experiential learning opportunities, conducting and presenting research at professional conferences, travel, and carefully selected internships help Catawba College Biochemistry majors both understand and master critical concepts in Biology and Chemistry.  Small class sizes, individualized learning experiences and one-on-one interactions with top-notch faculty assure that you will be well-prepared for your professional next steps after graduation.


Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry seek a strong and solid foundation in both Biology and Chemistry.


Biochemistry Program Highlights

A fairly new academic program offering at Catawba College, the Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry was first awarded in 2016.  It grew out of one student’s desire to create a major that blended curricular offerings from Biology and Chemistry. 

Catawba Biology Student doing internship at sea
Internships in Biochemistry.

Catawba College Biochemistry students have been successful applicants for paid National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates and summer biomedical sciences institutes.

Catawba student presents research
Research Opportunities in Biochemistry.

Three Catawba College undergraduate students, one a biochemistry major, published peer-reviewed scientific journal articles in the journal “Frontiers in Pharmacology” and in the journal “Food and Chemical Toxicology.”

Catawba College students also win research funding, research awards and present at professional scientific conferences such as the Association of Southeastern Biologists Meeting, North Carolina Academy of Sciences Meeting, and the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Research Symposium.

RELATED BACHELOR DEGREE PROGRAMS

Outcomes

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JOBS WITH A BIOCHEMISTRY DEGREE.

Catawba College Biochemistry majors are both competitive and employable when they graduate.

Some examples of employment opportunities that our Biochemistry majors have and are pursuing follow:

  • Nuclear Chemistry Technician – Duke Energy
  • Microbiologist – Glenmark Pharmaceuticals
  • LabCorp Burlington, N.C.

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GRADUATE SCHOOLS.

Students earning a Biochemistry degree from Catawba College are well prepared and get accepted into post-baccalaureate programs at these prestigious institutions:

  • Boston University 
  • N.C. State University 
  • Wake Forest University 
  • Ross University of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dental College of Georgia 
  • Sherman College of Chiropractic Medicine
  • Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine

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"My integrative education at Catawba through the science department was undeniably the sole reason I am where I am today. The faculty and staff of the science department are excellent mentors both in and out of the classroom."

Emily Auwarter '16 
Catawba College's first Biochemistry graduate; Currently pursuing a Masters in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Boston University's School of Public Health

Read More

Biochemistry Facilities

189-ACRE
 ECOLOGICAL
PRESERVE

DEDICATED
STUDENT MOLECULAR
BIOLOGY LAB

EXTENSIVE
CHEMICAL
INSTRUMENTATION

SCANNING
ELECTRON MICROSCOPE
(SEM)


GREENHOUSES


HERBARIUM

EPIFLURORESCENT
MICROSCOPE

CORAL
CULTURE
LABORATORY

DIRECT
MERCURY
ANALYZER

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PARTICIPATE.

Participation in one or more honor societies related to your Biochemistry major is a way to keep connected with and encouraged by your peers.  The American Chemical Society (ACS) and Gamma Sigma Epsilon Honor Society welcome students with a passion for Chemistry, while Catawba College’s Tau Eta Chapter of Tri- Beta (Beta Beta Beta), Catawba’s Biological Honor Society, is for students with a bent toward biological studies.  As a Biochemistry undergraduate, you may enjoy the challenge of both.

Or, if a career in Health Services is part of your long-range plan and part of the reason you choose to pursue a Biochemistry degree, the Catawba Pre-Health Club may be a good fit for you. It would align you with like-minded students serious about achieving academic success as an undergraduate in order to prepare for the next steps in their professional futures.

Faculty

Dr. Jay Bolin

Chair and Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Jay Bolin joined the Catawba College faculty after a post-doctoral stint at the Smithsonian Institution’s Department of Botany. Interested in plant systematics, molecular phylogenetics, plant ecology, and parasitic plants, Dr. Bolin has been known to fry up a batch of tasty kudzu leaves for his Biology students. His research recently took him to the country of Oman to conduct taxonomic research on parasitic plants.

Dr Joe Poston

Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Joe Poston is interested in ornithology, ecology and animal behavior. He was recently appointed to serve a three-year term on the N.C. Wildlife Resources Nongame Wildlife Advisory Committee as an At-Large Conservation Stakeholder Affiliate.

Dr. Steve Coggin

Professor of Biology Dr. Steve Coggin’s biological interests include fractals in cell growth and complexity theory in cytoplasmic streaming, but those are just starting points for his scientific curiosity. He and faculty colleague Dr. Joe Poston chased totality in August 2017 and ended up with their photography equipment at a campground in Greenwood, S.C., to successfully record the total solar eclipse. A certified scuba diver, he has traveled with his students to far-flung places like Bonaire and the Galapagos Islands.

Dr. Constance Rogers-Lowery

Associate Professor of Biology and Provost Dr. Constance Rogers-Lowery has an affinity for corals, in particular the physiology of corals.  Her research interests concerning climate change and coral decline led to the establishment of the Coral Culture Laboratory in Catawba College’s Department of Biology where she is always anxious to recruit the next generation of coral aficionados. Although Dr. Lowery was selected in 2018 to serve as Catawba’s provost, her passion for interacting with students will keep her teaching at least one class each semester.

Dr. Carmony Hartwig

Assistant Professor Dr. Carmony Hartwig’s area of expertise is Molecular Parasitology, particularly the protozoan species that results in human malaria. Under her tutelage, the next generation of mosquito experts is being trained and developed on the campus of Catawba College. Thanks to the work she and her Biology students completed, a total of 34 different species of mosquitos have been identified in the 189-acre Stanback Ecological Preserve adjacent to campus.

Dr. John Wear

Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Catawba Center for the Environment Dr. John Wear is interested in aquatic ecology, water quality and sustainable living.  He oversaw the design of Catawba’s sustainable facility on campus and was involved in the creation of the South Yadkin Wildlife Refuge.  Among his distinctions, he was named a North Carolina Conservationist of the Year by the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Program.

Dr. Sue Calcagni

Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Dr. Sue Calcagni teaches in two academic disciplines.  She is an expert in aquatic toxicology, watershed studies, environmental physiology and diversity. She was instrumental in shaping Catawba’s Environment and Sustainability bachelor’s degree program.

Curriculum

Required Courses for B.S. in Biochemistry
Required Courses for B.S. in Biochemistry

BIOL 1501 Molecules and Cells

4

Choose 1 from the following:
- BIOL 1502 Structure and Function of Organisms
- BIOL 1503 Ecology and Evolution

4

BIOL/CHEM 3552 Biochemistry

4

BIOL 3590 Cell Biology

4

CHEM 1501 General Chemistry I

4

CHEM 1502 General Chemistry II

4

CHEM 2501 Analytical Chemistry

4

CHEM 2601 Organic Chemistry I

4

CHEM 2602 Organic Chemistry II

4

CHEM 3511 Thermodynamics and Kinetics

4

MATH 1801 Calculus

4

PHYS 2521 General Physics 1

4

PHYS 2522 General Physics II

4

Choose 1 from the following:
- BIOL 3562 Microbiology
- BIOL 3591 Genetics

4

BIOL 4501 Capstone in Biological Sciences (2)
- OR -
CHEM 4100 Chemistry Research Seminar (3)

2-3

 

Total:

58-59

Course Descriptions
Course Descriptions

1101 BIOSCIENCE (4 hours)
A general introduction to biological science for non-biology majors. Lecture and laboratory. Students may not receive credit for both BIOL 1101 and BIOL 1501, BIOL 1502, BIOL 1503.

1110 TOPICS IN BIOLOGY (1-4 hours)
A study of a topic selected from the biological sciences at an introductory level.

1115 HUMAN BIOLOGY (3 hours)
An introduction to the biological basis of human life, with emphasis on those organ systems and human behaviors that are most significantly involved in issues of health and illness.

1120 CONCEPTS OF GENETICS (3 hours)
An introduction to the science of heredity from Mendel to molecular genetics. This course will emphasize the applications of modern genetics including human genetic diseases, genetic engineering, gene therapy, the human genome project and ethics.

1123 FUNDAMENTALS OF MICROBIOLOGY (4 hours)
This course will be offered as an introductory biology course that will focus on learning basic techniques currently practiced in the field of clinical microbiology. Students will explore microbes of medical importance and gain hands-on experience with microbial culturing, aseptic technique, and gross morphological and chemical characterization of clinically-significant microorganisms.  The course will include both a lecture and laboratory component.

1125 BIOLOGY IN THE MOVIES (3 hours)
An introduction to the science, theory, and practice of biology, using movies as learning and discussion tools.

1501 MOLECULES AND CELLS (4 hours) 
An introduction to the chemical and cellular basis of life for natural science majors. This course will examine biochemistry, cell structure and function, cell division, genetics, molecular biology, genomics and biotechnology. Lecture and laboratory. Students may not receive credit for both BIOL 1101 and BIOL 1501.

1502 STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF ORGANISMS (4 hours) 
An introduction to the morphology and physiology of plants and animals for natural science majors. This course will emphasize the diversity of structure and function among living organisms. Lecture and laboratory. Students may not receive credit for both BIOL 1101 and 1502.

1503 ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION (4 hours) 
An introduction to principles of ecology and evolution for natural science majors. This course will examine ecosystems, populations, biogeochemical cycles, biogeography, natural selection, and speciation. Lecture and laboratory. Students may not receive credit for both BIOL 1101 and BIOL 1503..

2110 INTERMEDIATE TOPICS IN BIOLOGY (1-4 hours)
A study of topics in the biological sciences at the intermediate level.

2419 ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY I (4 hours)
Cell structure and functions; tissue and organ systems: Skeletal, muscular and nervous. Lecture and laboratory. Not recommended for Biology majors.

2420 ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II (4 hours)
Organ systems: Circulatory, respiratory, digestive, excretory, endocrine and reproductive systems. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 2419. Not recommended for Biology majors.

2450 ORNITHOLOGY (4 hours)
Astudy of the biology of birds, to include their behavior, conservation, ecology, evolution, flight, and migration. The lab will emphasize identification of birds in the wild and will also include opportunities to capture and band wild birds. One overnight weekend trip is required.

2475 TROPICAL BIOLOGY (3 hours) 
An introduction to the biology of tropical ecosystems. Content may vary but typically will include a natural history of tropical plants and animals, tropical ecology, and conservation and sustainable use of tropical resources. Includes a trip to the tropics. Same as ENV 2475.

2503 BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH METHODS (2 hours)
An introduction to biological research including experimental design, data analysis, statistics, literature review, scientific writing and scientific speaking. Prerequisite: BIOL 1501, BIOL 1502 or BIOL1503.

2509 FIELD BOTANY(4 hours)
An introduction to the study of plants in the field, including winter botany, plant identification, reproductive ecology, useful and harmful plants, and a general treatment of the vegetation and plant communities of North Carolina. Lecture, laboratory and field work. Prerequisite: BIOL 1101 or BIOL 1502.

2513 MARINE SCIENCE (3 hours)
The study of marine organisms and environments. During this course, students will become certified in SCUBA diving and engage in an international dive trip to a Caribbean location.

2514 MARINE SCIENCE LAB (1 hour)
Laboratory to accompany Marine Science lecture. Students will become certified in SCUBA diving and engage in an international dive trip to a Caribbean location. Prerequisite or corequisite: BIOL 2510.

3505 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY (3 hours)
A study of the biological principles that can be brought to bear upon species conservation. Principles will come from areas such as population biology, community ecology, human contributions to extinction, and strategies for reversing species declines. Lecture and some field trips. Prerequisite: BIOL 1502 or 1503 (both recommended).

3509 DENDROLOGY(3 hours)
A study of woody plants, to include identification, classification, distinguishing characteristics, habits, ranges and habitats, with emphasis on the southeastern United States. Lecture, laboratory and field work. Prerequisite: BIOL 1101 or BIOL 1502.

3510 SELECTED TOPICS IN ADVANCED BIOLOGY(1-4 hours)
Any biological topic of an advanced level of difficulty, not listed in the College Bulletin, and mutually agreed upon by a professor who is qualified in the subject and a group of students, may be offered if there is sufficient demand. Credit will vary with the number of lectures and laboratories offered per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 1501 or 1502 OR 1503 and permission of the instructor.

3514 TOPICS IN CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY(1-4 hours)
An upper level course on a topic in cellular and/or molecular biology not listed in the College Catalog. Credit will vary with the number of lectures and laboratories offered per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 1501 and permission of the Instructor.

3512 TOPICS IN ORGANISMAL BIOLOGY(1-4 hours)
An upper level course on a topic in organismal biology not listed in the College Catalog. Credit will vary with the number of lectures and laboratories offered per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 1502 and permission of the Instructor.

3513 TOPICS IN ECOLOGY(1-4 hours)
An upper level course on a topic in ecology not listed in the College catalog. Credit will vary with the number of lectures and laboratories offered per week. Prerequisites: BIOL 1503 and permission of the Instructor.

3521 COMPARATIVE VERTEBRATE ANATOMY(4 hours)
A study of the past record of evolution (temporal diversity or phylogeny) and the present result of evolution (spatial diversity) of the organs and organ systems of vertebrates with consideration given to their functional adaptations. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 1502.

3527 VERTEBRATE ECOLOGY(4 hours)
A study of vertebrate ecology, particularly how scientists learn about vertebrates by studying them in the wild. Topics will include vertebrate distribution, abundance, behavior, conservation, and evolution. Labs will emphasize sampling vertebrate populations and communities. Lecture and Laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 1503.

3550 MICROSCOPY(4 hours)
A study of the theory, preparation and examination of biological materials for light and electron microscopy. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 1501.

3552 BIOCHEMISTRY(4 hours)
Same as CHEM 3552. An introduction to the chemistry of cellular processes, to include protein conformation and function, the generation and storage of metabolic energy, and the biosynthesis of important cellular structures as the main themes. The course will include a seminar emphasizing representative case studies involving the clinical application of biochemical knowledge. Prerequisite: CHEM 2602.

3562 MICROBIOLOGY AND IMMUNOLOGY(4 hours)
The biology of microorganisms including systematics, metabolism, pathogenic mechanisms, and industrial uses. The cellular and humoral immune responses of vertebrates are emphasized in lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 1501.

3565 PARASITOLOGY (4 hours)
The biology of parasitic organisms and the interaction with their hosts.  Lecture and laboratory.  Prerequisite: BIOL 1502.

3575 PLANT TAXONOMY(4 hours)
Classification and systematic survey of vascular plants, principles and methods of systematic botany, general evolutionary relationships and the development of technical keying skills. Lecture, laboratory and overnight field trips. Prerequisite: BIOL 1502 and 1503.

3580 ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY(4 hours)
The study of function at the cellular, organ, and organismic level. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 1502.

3590 CELL BIOLOGY (4 hours)
A comprehensive study of cells with emphasis on the relationship between structure and function at the cellular and subcellular level. Topics include: organelles, cell division, energy metabolism, cell motility systems, and cell differentiation. Prerequisites: BIOL 1501 and CHEM 2601.

3591 GENETICS(4 hours)
A general study of the basic principles of inheritance, the chemical, structural, and functional bases of genetic material, and quantitative and population genetics. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 1501.

3593 ECOLOGY(4 hours)
A general study of ecological principles to include structure of communities, organism-environment interactions, energy flow, nutrient cycling, competition and population dynamics. Lecture, laboratory and two overnight field trips. Prerequisite: BIOL 1503.

3599 BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY(4 hours)
A study of the ways in which an animal’s behavior contributes to the survival and reproductive success of individuals. Topics include social behavior, predator-prey interactions, foraging decisions, mate choice, and parental care. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 1503.

3600 EVOLUTION (3 hours)
Advanced study of the evolution of life on earth. Topics will include evolution at the molecular through population levels, human evolution, and the history of evolutionary thought. Prerequisites or corequisites: Junior or senior standing, BIOL 1501, 1502, and 1503.

4101 BIOLOGY SEMINAR(1-3 hours)
Reports and discussions on various topics in biology presented by students and faculty. Prerequisite: permission of Department Chairman and Instructor.

4201 PRACTICUM IN BIOLOGY (1-6 hours)
A participatory study of a subject under the supervision and guidance of persons in an off-campus situation. Prerequisites: Junior standing in biology permission of coordinating professor and departmental approval. Application must be approved in the semester preceding the one in which the practicum is to be undertaken.

4301 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN BIOLOGY(1-6 hours)
Self-directed study following a contractual plan initiated by the student and conducted under a faculty advisor. Prerequisites: Junior standing in biology, permission of coordinating professor, and departmental approval. Contract must be approved in the semester preceding the one in which the study is to be undertaken.

4401 INTERNSHIP IN BIOLOGY(1-6 hours)
Field experience in some aspect of biology with formal evaluation, supervision and direction provided by an outside agency in concert with the supervisory professor and student. Prerequisites: Permission of coordinating professor and departmental approval. Application must be approved in the semester preceding the one in which the internship is to be undertaken.

4501 CAPSTONE IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE (2 hours)
A capstone experience for senior biology majors that will integrate material learned in the major. A project will be completed that includes reading, writing, synthesis, analysis, and public speaking. Prerequisite: BIOL 2503 and Senior standing.