Fundamentals of Biomolecules

Fundamentals of Biomolecules

Biomolecules are often the end product and a critical component of the bioprocessing and biopharmaceutical industries. This course provides a basic introduction to inorganic and organic chemistry followed by a discussion of the structure, function, and behavior of the four groups of biomolecules (carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins). This course may be particularly useful to those with limited formal education in inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. The class format consists of lectures and classroom exercises and does not contain a laboratory component. (2.0 CEUs)


This course is designed for any individual that has a limited to moderate working knowledge of chemistry and how it applies to the biological sciences. Successful completion of this course will prepare an individual to best  achieve the learning objectives in all other laboratory-based courses at the BioNetwork Capstone Center.

Topics Include

This 3 day, 20 hour course covers the following topics:

  • Introductory Chemistry
    • Reduction-Oxidation reactions
    • Acid-Base reactions
    • Equilibrium constants; pKa
    • Buffers
    • Making solutions and concentration calculations
  • Organic Chemistry
    • Functional groups
    • Resonance and Aromaticity
    • Electronegativity
    • Intermolecular Forces and application to physical properties
    • Cis- Vs. Trans- stereoisomers
    • Polymerization
  • Overview of the Cell
  • Carbohydrates
    • Aldose vs. Ketose
    • Monosaccharides
    • Disaccharides
    • Oligosaccharides
    • Glycogen, Starch, Cellulose, Chitin, Xathan gum
  • Lipids
    • Fatty acids
    • Glycerolipids
    • Phospholipids
    • Sterols
  • Proteins
    • Structure-Function relationship and denaturation

Learning Objectives

  • Be able to confidently read and interpret the periodic table of elements.
  • Recognize common chemistry terminology and the general application to biological systems.
  • Be able to explain how chemical composition can affect overall physical properties, how this information can be used in the production of solutions or buffers, and to perform separations, extractions, or chromatography.
  • Be able to describe a standard carbohydrate and the different bonding patterns that lead to different attributes or uses.
  • Be able to describe the four classes of lipids and how each is used in a biological system.
  • Be able to explain how protein denaturation is performed, describe the structure-function relationship of a protein, and how this relates to the ability to catalyze reactions as an enzyme.
  • Be able to explain how to determine the isoelectric point of a protein and how this property can be exploited to purify a desired compound using chromatography.
  • Describe the “Central Dogma of Biology.”
  • Describe how are nucleic acids replicated.
  • Elaborate on the relationship between the primary sequence of DNA and the primary sequence of proteins, and explain what a gene or genome are.
Fundamentals of Biomolecules

Colleges listed here when available.

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Level: Intermediate

Lecture HoursLab or Activity HoursTotal

Delivery Options

Delivered in-person in a classroom or lab setting.
Live Instructor Led
Delivered online with a live instructor at a scheduled date and time.
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