Chemistry and Biochemistry  {SF State Bulletin 2013 - 2014}

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Chemistry and Biochemistry

College of Science and Engineering

Dean: Sheldon Axler

 

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

TH 806
Phone: 415-338-1288
Chair: Jane DeWitt

Associate Chair: Nancy Gerber
Undergraduate Coordinator: Nancy Gerber
Graduate Coordinators: Andrew Ichimura, Bruce Manning

 

Faculty:

Professors: Aragón, DeWitt, Erden, Esquerra, Gassner, Gerber, Macher, Manning, Palmer, Simonis, Trautman, Wu
Associate Professors: Anderson, Baird, Guliaev, Ichimura, Komada
Assistant Professors: Amagata, Eroy-Reveles
Research Associate Professor: Yen
Adjunct Professor: Runquist
Emeritus Professors: Buttlaire, Keeffe, Luckey, Orenberg, Plachy

 

Programs

B.A. in Chemistry

B.S. in Chemistry

B.S. in Biochemistry

Minor in Chemistry

M.S. in Chemistry

M.S. in Chemistry: Concentration in Biochemistry

 


 

Program Scope and Career Outlook

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry offers an outstanding educational environment for undergraduate and graduate students. Our mission is to educate, train, and produce versatile chemists and biochemists that understand both the theoretical basis and practical applications of their discipline. Department faculty provide quality instruction across a wide range of sub-disciplines. Our degree programs are designed to prepare students for various professional positions (i.e., biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, chemical manufacturing, and other laboratory-based industries), health professions (i.e., medical, pharmacy, and dental school), graduate study, and teaching positions.

 

Students receive significant hands-on experience with modern instrumentation in our relatively small-sized lab classes, and the opportunity to participate in research projects under the direct supervision of our faculty. The department houses a variety of state-of-the-art research instrumentation, laboratory facilities, and computational labs. These include a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) facility, a Mass Spectrometry (MS) facility, and the Computational Chemistry and Visualization (CCV) laboratory.

 

The Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry program is particularly well-suited for those students whose career goals involve the integration of chemistry with other fields. This program can be combined with another degree or minor to develop the unique synthesis of experience needed for careers in health professions, forensic science, environmental science, regulatory affairs, chemical engineering, patent law, management, sales, marketing, technical writing, scientific journalism, library science, and art restoration. This program also provides excellent preparation for high school science teachers. Students planning to become K-12 chemistry or science teachers should note that additional preparation beyond the major is required to meet the breadth requirements and should consult with the credential advisor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry to review the state-mandated requirements.

 

The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, which is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS), prepares students to pursue a career in chemically-oriented industry or to begin graduate study in chemistry and other molecular sciences. The degree provides a solid foundation in mathematics and physics, breadth in chemical sub-disciplines (analytical, biochemical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry), and excellent hands-on training in laboratory and instrumental techniques.

 

The Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry is designed for students who wish to be particularly well qualified at the rapidly expanding interface between biology and chemistry. The degree includes extensive laboratory training, provides exceptional preparation for careers in biotechnology, and enjoys a favorable reputation among biotechnology companies in the Bay Area. This degree also provides a strong foundation for a graduate degree in biochemistry.

 

The Master of Science degree in Chemistry and the Master of Science degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry are programs of study with research at the core. As the student focuses in depth on an independent scientific investigation, solid research and communication skills are developed. The goal of both M.S. degree programs is to provide students with a thorough grounding in laboratory and research skills, and in-depth training in their areas of specialization. Areas of specialization include the traditional divisions of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, and biochemistry) and interdisciplinary areas such as environmental and materials chemistry, and chemical-biology. Our M.S. program provides excellent training for (1) careers in all aspects of the chemical industry (biotechnology, environment, process and analytical, basic research); (2) science educators seeking to increase their skill and knowledge base; and (3) students whose goal is advanced study at the Ph.D. level. The M.S. in Chemistry program is approved by the ACS.

 

Significant features of our department include high-quality teaching, one-on-one advising for all of our majors, and opportunity for students to participate in research under the direct supervision of active faculty members who are recognized authorities in their field. Department faculty are actively involved in research, and many undergraduate students work on research projects under the direct supervision of their faculty research advisor. Students interested in becoming involved in research should consult with an advisor and review faculty research interests on our department website (www.chembiochem.sfsu.edu). Examples of research projects currently under investigation by our faculty members and their research students include:

 

Analytical Chemistry: Identification and quantitation of organic pollutants via Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) and Direct Sampling Mass Spectrometry (DSMS). Application of X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) to the determination of toxic elements in foods, supplements, and other products. Development of novel analytical techniques for separation and detection of redox-sensitive trace species.

 

Biochemistry: Enzyme reaction mechanisms. Synthesis of enzyme inhibitors, characterization of transition-state analogs, and measurement of enzyme-ligand interactions. Characterization of enzymes involved in the nitric oxide cellular signaling pathway. Structural and functional studies of metalloproteins involved in redox reactions, oxygen activation, oxygen transport, and signal transduction. Structure-function relationships in metalloenzymes and proteases; Computational studies of carcinogen modified bases to understand the role of structural features in human DNA repair and recognition, and on the effects of toxic metals on DNA repair efficiency.

 

Environmental Chemistry: Detection of trace levels of volatile organic compounds and heavy metals in urban air, water, and soil samples. Determination of structures and speciation of metals and trace elements adsorbed on environmental surfaces. Modeling speciation, precipitation, and adsorption reactions of trace elements in environmental systems. Application of natural C isotopes to the study of C cycling at the marine/sediment interface.

 

Organic/Bioorganic Chemistry: Reaction mechanisms and synthetic applications of organic peroxides. Small rings. Heterocyclic chemistry. Chemistry of singlet oxygen. Mechanisms of fundamental organic reactions: computational approaches to modeling the transition states of nucleophilic substitutions and elimination reactions. Conformations of small peptides. Structure-reactivity relationships in acid- and base-catalyzed organic reactions, including heterolytic cleavage of C-H and C-C bonds. Design and synthesis of substrate analogs to elucidate the catalytic mechanisms of enzymes. Design and synthesis of novel enzyme inhibitors for use in sensitizing tumor cells to common chemotherapeutic strategies.

 

Materials and Inorganic Chemistry: Synthesis and characterization of nanoscale multilayered inorganic-organic hybrid structures for use as sensors, detectors, and photovoltaics; Fundamental investigations of novel materials such as alkali metal doped silica zeolites, M@SZ (M=Na-Cs) prepared as powders and films; Organic chemistry in confined spaces, zeolites as microscopic reaction vessels; Surface chemistry and the investigation of self-assembled monolayers for enhanced thermal and mechanical stability.

 

Natural Products Chemistry: Isolation and characterization of novel compounds from marine microorganisms from sediments, algae and sponges with anti-cancer, or anti-malarial properties.

 

Physical/Biophysical Chemistry: Characterization of structural features and dynamic behavior of natural and synthetic macromolecules in solution using physical methods and theoretical models. High precision computational modeling and electro-optic characterization of hydrodynamic transport properties of small, medium, and large molecules. Biophysical spectroscopic methods, including nanosecond time-resolved polarized absorption spectroscopy, to characterize biological function and examine the molecular basis of disease.

 

Undergraduate Programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry

High school preparation for the chemistry and biochemistry degree programs should include two years of algebra, one year of geometry, one-half year of trigonometry, one year of chemistry, and one year of physics. Calculus is highly recommended.

 

Mandatory Advising All undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry majors are required to meet with a major advisor several times over their academic career. First-time freshmen and new transfer students are required to meet with an advisor during the first semester of attendance, or at a group advising session held the first Friday of the semester at noon. Continuing students enrolled in CHEM 115, CHEM 335, CHEM 321, CHEM 300 and CHEM 351 will be required to meet with an advisor that semester to avoid having a hold placed on their registration for the next semester.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry

  • All courses used in the major program must be completed with letter grades (CR/NC not allowed).
  • Courses that are required for the major must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

 

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Lower Division Requirements

Course Title Units
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 215/
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/Laboratory (3/2) 5
CHEM 233/
CHEM 234
Organic Chemistry I/Laboratory (3/2) 5
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
MATH 227 Calculus II 4
One of the following sets: 8
PHYS 111/
PHYS 112

  and
PHYS 121/
PHYS 122
General Physics I/Laboratory (3/1)
 
 
General Physics II/Laboratory (3/1)
or
PHYS 220/
PHYS 222

  and
PHYS 240/
PHYS 242
General Physics with Calculus I/Laboratory (3/1)
 
 
General Physics with Calculus III/Laboratory (3/1)

Lower Division Units: 31

 

Upper Division Requirements

Course Title Units
CHEM 300 General Physical Chemistry I 1 3
CHEM 321 Quantitative Chemical Analysis 3
CHEM 322 Quantitative Chemical Analysis Laboratory 2
CHEM 325 Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 336 Organic Chemistry II Lab 2 2
CHEM 340
    or
CHEM 349
Biochemistry I
 
General Biochemistry
3
CHEM 390 GW Contemporary Chemistry and Biochemistry Research - GWAR 3

Students must complete at least 3 units of advanced laboratory electives selected from the list below. Consult with an advisor regarding selection of elective courses and check course co- and prerequisites before enrolling. 3 units.

Course Title
CHEM 327 Practical GC and HPLC (4)
CHEM 343 Biochemistry I Laboratory
CHEM 370 Computer Applications in Chemistry and Biochemistry
CHEM 420 Environmental Analysis
CHEM 422 Instrumental Analysis (4)
CHEM 426 Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (2)
CHEM 451 Experimental Physical Chemistry (2)
CHEM 470 Research
CHEM 699 Independent Study in Chemistry 3 (3)

Upper Division Units: 25

Total Units for Major: 56

 

Note: A minimum of 40 upper division units must be completed for the degree (including upper division units required for the major, general education, electives, etc.). A student can complete this major yet not attain the necessary number of upper division units required for graduation. In this case additional upper division courses will be needed to reach the required total.

 

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

  • All courses used in the major program must be completed with letter grades (CR/NC not allowed).
  • Courses that are required for the major must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

 

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Lower Division Requirements

Course Title Units
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 215/
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/Laboratory (3/2) 5
CHEM 233/
CHEM 234
Organic Chemistry I/Laboratory (3/2) 5
CHEM 251 Mathematics and Physics for Chemistry 3
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
MATH 227 Calculus II 4
PHYS 220/
PHYS 222
General Physics with Calculus I/Laboratory (3/1) 4
PHYS 230/
PHYS 232
General Physics with Calculus II/Laboratory (3/1) 4

Lower Division Units: 34

 

Upper Division Requirements

Course Title Units
CHEM 321 Quantitative Chemical Analysis 3
CHEM 322 Quantitative Chemical Analysis Laboratory 2
CHEM 325 Inorganic Chemistry 3
CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 336 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory 2 2
CHEM 340 Biochemistry I 3
CHEM 351 Physical Chemistry I 3
CHEM 353 Physical Chemistry II 3
CHEM 390 GW Contemporary Chemistry and Biochemistry Research - GWAR 3
CHEM 426 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory 4 2
CHEM 451 Experimental Physical Chemistry 4 2

Upper Division Electives

A minimum of 9 units of electives must be selected from the following list of courses.

Course Title
CHEM 327 Practical GC and HPLC (4)
CHEM 341 Biochemistry II
CHEM 343 Biochemistry I Laboratory 4
CHEM 370 Computer Applications in Chemistry and Biochemistry
CHEM 420 Environmental Analysis
CHEM 422 Instrumental Analysis (4)
CHEM 433 Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHEM 443 Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory (4)
CHEM 470 Research
CHEM 640 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry (2 - 3)
CHEM 645 Research Trends in Chemistry and Biochemistry
CHEM 680 Chemical Oceanography
CHEM 699 Independent Study in Chemistry 3 (3)

Upper Division Units: 38

Total Units for major: 72

 

Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

  • All courses used in the major program must be completed with letter grades (CR/NC not allowed).
  • Courses that are required for the major must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and a grade of C- or better in CHEM 341 and CHEM 343.

 

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Lower Division Requirements

Course Title Units
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
CHEM 215/
CHEM 216
General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts/ Laboratory (3/2) 5
CHEM 233/
CHEM 234
Organic Chemistry I/Laboratory (3/2) 5
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
MATH 227 Calculus II 4
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I 5
One of the following sets: 8
PHYS 111/
PHYS 112

  and
PHYS 121/
PHYS 122
General Physics I/Laboratory (3/1)
 
 
General Physics II/Laboratory (3/1)
or
PHYS 220/
PHYS 222

  and
PHYS 240/
PHYS 242
General Physics with Calculus I/Laboratory (3/1)
 
 
General Physics with Calculus III/Laboratory (3/1)

Lower Division Units: 36

 

Upper Division Requirements

Course Title Units
CHEM 300 General Physical Chemistry I 1 3
CHEM 301 General Physical Chemistry II 1 3
CHEM 321 Quantitative Chemical Analysis 3
CHEM 335 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 340 Biochemistry I 3
CHEM 341 Biochemistry II 3
CHEM 343 Biochemistry I Laboratory 3
CHEM 390 GW Contemporary Chemistry and Biochemistry Research - GWAR 3

Students must complete at least 12 units of upper division chemistry and biology electives selected from the lists below. Electives must include at least one course with a CHEM prefix and at least three laboratory courses. Note that many biology electives have a BIOL 240 prerequisite. Students wishing to enroll in BIOL 350, BIOL 355, and BIOL 612 without completing the BIOL 240 prerequisite should contact an advisor prior to registration. Students should consult an advisor regarding selection of elective courses and check course co- and pre-requisites before enrolling. Graduate level courses in chemistry or appropriate courses in biology, physics, geosciences, and computer science may be substituted upon prior approval of advisor. 12 units.

Upper Division Electives in Chemistry

Course Title
CHEM 322 Quantitative Chemical Analysis Laboratory (2)
CHEM 325 Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 327 Practical GC and HPLC (4)
CHEM 336 Organic Chemistry II Laboratory 2
CHEM 370 Computer Applications in Chemistry and Biochemistry
CHEM 420 Environmental Analysis
CHEM 422 Instrumental Analysis (4)
CHEM 426 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (2)
CHEM 433 Advanced Organic Chemistry
CHEM 443 Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory (4)
CHEM 451 Experimental Physical Chemistry (2)
CHEM 470 Research
CHEM 640 Advanced Topics in Biochemistry (1-3)
CHEM 641 Advanced Topics in Chemistry (1-3)
CHEM 645 Research Trends in Chemistry and Biochemistry
CHEM 680 Chemical Oceanography
CHEM 699 Independent Study in Chemistry 3 (3)

Upper Division Electives in Biology

Course Title
BIOL 350 Cell Biology
BIOL 351 Experiments in Cell and Molecular Biology (4)
BIOL 355 Genetics
BIOL 357 Molecular Genetics
BIOL 358 Experiments in Molecular Biology
BIOL 361 Human Genetics
BIOL 401 General Microbiology
BIOL 402 General Microbiology Laboratory (2)
BIOL 420 General Virology
BIOL 435 Immunology
BIOL 436 Immunology Laboratory (2)
BIOL 612 Human Physiology
BIOL 613 GW Human Physiology Laboratory GWAR (2)
BIOL 638 Bioinformatics and Gene Annotation
BIOL 640 Cellular Neurosciences

Upper Division Units: 36

Total Units for major: 72

 

Minor Program in Chemistry

A minimum of 23 units of chemistry, including CHEM 115 and CHEM 215/216, are required to qualify for a minor in chemistry. Ted of the 23 units must be upper division, with at least 6 of those units taken at SF State.

 

All courses must be completed with letter grades (CR/NC is not acceptable). Only one course from each of the following pairs can be counted towards the minor: CHEM 130 or CHEM 233, CHEM 349 or CHEM 340. The following courses cannot be counted toward the minor: CHEM 100, 101, 102, 105, 107, 108, 109, 110, 361, and 599.

 

Graduate Programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry

 

Admission to Program

Students must meet these criteria:

  • Satisfy the University’s admission requirements.
  • Have completed an undergraduate major in chemistry or biochemistry. If this criterion is not met, the student may be admitted but additional course work will be required.
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0 in chemistry and related courses.
  • Report GRE scores of the general (not subject) exams.
  • Applicants are required to fill out the department application form. Department application procedures are described at www.chembiochem.sfsu.edu/graduate_app_proc.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with previous academic work and/or potential for graduate work in chemistry. These letters should be sent to the graduate advisor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

 

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: Applicants are required to satisfy the entry-level written English proficiency requirement by a score of 4 or above on the GRE Analytical Writing section. Applicants who do not meet the GRE AWA score, but meet all other requirements, may be admitted on a conditional basis. The conditional status will be removed upon successful completion of a writing-based entrance exam. Admitted students who do not pass the writing-based entrance exam will take CHEM 390, SCI 614 or an equivalent writing course by the end of the second semester.

Level Two: Students will demonstrate an advanced level of proficiency in written and spoken English by successfully completing CHEM 880, a thesis (CHEM 898) or written manuscript (CHEM 895), and an oral defense of the research project.

 

Advancement to Candidacy

In order to advance to candidacy, students must:

  • Pass any three of the American Chemical Society (ACS) graduate entrance examinations: analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic, or physical chemistry. These examinations cover mainly undergraduate level material.
  • Satisfy Level One of the written English proficiency requirement.
  • Satisfy all course deficiencies stipulated upon entrance into the program.
  • File an Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form.

 

Note: After initiating a research project, a graduate student must enroll each semester in CHEM 897 while actively engaged in research for the M.S. degree. A maximum of 9 units of CHEM 897 may be included on the Advancement to Candidacy.

 

Master of Science in Chemistry

See general information for Graduate Programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry above.

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Program

Course Title Units
CHEM 834 Organic Spectroscopic Methods 3
CHEM 880 Seminar 3
One of the following courses selected on advisement of advisor: 3
CHEM 850 Valency and Spectroscopy
CHEM 851 Biochemical Spectroscopy

Research Requirements

Research project in organic, analytical, physical, environmental, inorganic or chemical education subdiscipline required.

Course Title Units
CHEM 897 Research 6 - 9
One of the following culminating experience courses selected with prior consultation with culminating experience committee: 3
CHEM 898 Master's Thesis
CHEM 895 Applied Research

Related Study

9 - 12

Graduate courses in biochemistry, chemistry, physics, mathematics or biology on advisement of graduate major advisor. Upper division courses may be used with permission of graduate major advisor.

Minimum Total Units: 30

and Oral Defense of Culminating Experience

 

Master of Science in Chemistry: Concentration in Biochemistry

 

See general information for Graduate Programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry above.

 

Courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated. On-line course descriptions are available.

 

Program

Course Title Units
CHEM 834 Organic Spectroscopic Methods 3
CHEM 880 Seminar 3
One of the following courses selected on advisement of advisor: 3
CHEM 850 Valency and Spectroscopy
CHEM 851 Biochemical Spectroscopy

Research Requirements

Research project in biochemistry, bioorganic, bioanalytical, biophysical, bioinorganic, biomedical or biochemical education subdiscipline required.

Course Title Units
CHEM 897 Research 6 - 9
One of the following culminating experience courses selected with prior consultation with culminating experience committee: 3
CHEM 898 Master’s Thesis
CHEM 895 Applied Research

Related Study

9 - 12

Graduate courses in biochemistry, chemistry, physics, mathematics or biology on advisement of graduate major advisor. Upper division courses may be used with permission of graduate major advisor.

Minimum total: 30 units

and Oral Defense of Culminating Experience

 


 

Footnotes

  1. CHEM 351 may be substituted for CHEM 300 and CHEM 353 may be substituted for CHEM 301.
  2. CHEM 338 may be substituted for CHEM 336.
  3. By petition only. CHEM 699 and CHEM 470 may not both be used to fulfill the elective requirements.
  4. Students may substitute CHEM 343 for CHEM 426 or CHEM 451 upon prior approval of advisor. If CHEM 343 is used as a substitute, it can not also be used as an elective.

 

 

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