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Biochemistry Queen's University

Biochemistry

Location: 
Botterell Hall
Room number: 
813

Associate Dean, Life Sciences and Biochemistry: Michael D. Kawaja
Life Sciences Program: Katherine Rudder
Biochemistry Program: Denise Cameron

Biochemistry, the study of chemical processes in living tissues, is one of the fastest developing subjects within the biological sciences. Many of the major scientific discoveries during the last forty years have been in the area of biochemistry, which is benefiting greatly from the recombinant DNA revolution. The sequencing of the entire genomes of many organisms including humans has ushered in a new era in Biochemistry which includes the use of state-of-the-art techniques to study patterns of protein and gene expression changes occurring in disease states. In addition, global efforts are underway to characterize lipid and metabolite components in a given state of health or disease. Biochemistry in the 21st century will continue to uncover the biochemical basis for life, to unravel the molecular basis for many diseases including cancer and heart disease thereby offering new strategies for the development of cures and to establish new tools for the development of emerging nanotechnologies.

Biochemistry has wide scope and deals with such diverse topics as molecular genetics, the structure and function of nucleic acids, proteins, and lipids, enzymology, metabolism and bioenergetics, hormones and vitamins and the specialized biochemistry of specific organisms or tissues such as muscle or brain.

The biochemist applies the basic principles of chemistry, mathematics, physics and biology to the study of living tissues; thus a good grounding in these subjects is an integral part of the B.Sc.(Honours, Biochemistry) program at Queen's.

The first two years of study in the Biochemistry program involve courses in general chemistry, organic chemistry, mathematics and biology, the latter giving also a first introduction to biochemical themes. The first full courses in biochemistry are offered in the third year of the B.Sc. program, together with an extensive laboratory course; and the fourth year is devoted almost entirely to biochemistry, covering some of the latest advances, and including a large proportion of advanced laboratory experience.

The aim of the program is to train students in the principles and techniques of biochemistry, and also to provide a foundation for those who may choose to go on to Graduate School to pursue a career in biochemical or related research. This program will also provide a strong background in biochemistry for those contemplating careers in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries as well as professional schools.

Degree Options

Bachelor of Science (Honours) - BScH

Specialization in Biochemistry
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Biochemistry.

Specialization in Biochemistry - Cooperative Program
An intensive course of study with approximately two-thirds of your courses within Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics and Biochemistry.

Major in Biochemistry
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Bachelor of Science - BSc

General in Biochemistry
A less intense course of study leading to a 3-year degree.

Full list of Undergraduate Degree Plans at Queen's University

Graduate Degree Options

Biochemistry - PhD
Biochemistry - MSc (Anatomical Sciences)
Biochemistry - MSc

First Year Courses

  • BIOL 102/3.0 and BIOL 103/3.0
  • CHEM 112/6.0
  • MATH 121/6.0
  • PHYS 117/6.0 or PHYS 106/6.0 or PHYS 104/6.0

Although Physics is not required for the Minor or General Plans, if you don’t take first year physics, and you change your mind, you will find it much harder to change to a Chemistry, Geology or a Life Science Plan in the future.

What it takes to study Biochemistry in your second year >

High School Requirements for Admission

Ontario requires 4U Advanced Functions and Introductory Calculus, Chemistry and Physics or recognized equivalents. If coming from another province, see the Admissions webpage for more information.

Ontario recommends 4U Geometry, Discrete Mathematics and Biology or recognized equivalents.  If coming from another province, see the Admissions webpage for more information.

Job and Career Opportunities for Biochemistry Grads

Biochemistry, the study of chemical processes in living tissues, is one of the fastest developing subjects within the biological sciences. Many of the major scientific discoveries during the last forty years have been in the are a of biochemistry, which is benefiting greatly from the recombinant DNA revolution. The sequencing of the entire genomes of many organisms including humans is the start of a new era in Biochemistry which will involve the use of microchips to study patterns of protein and gene expression changes occurring in disease states. In addition, global efforts are underway to identify all protein lipid and metabolite components of a given state of health or disease. Biochemistry in the 21st century will uncover the biochemical basis for life, continue to unravel the cause for many diseases including cancer and heart disease offering new pathways for the development of cures and establish new tools for the development of emerging nanotechnologies. Biochemistry has wide scope and deals with such diverse topics as molecular genetics, the structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins, enzymology, metabolism and bioenergetics, hormones and vitamins and the specialized biochemistry of specific organisms or tissues su ch as muscle or brain.

Some of our Biochemistry grads work in the following industries:

  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Botany
  • Complementary Medicine
  • Conservation
  • Dentistry
  • Ecology
  • Education
  • Epidemiology
  • Food Science and Technology
  • Forensic Science
  • Forestry
  • Genetics
  • Journalism
  • Manufacturing
  • Medicine
  • Nutrition & Dietetics
  • Patent Law
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Photography
  • Physiology
  • Public Health
  • Medical Research
  • Toxicology
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Zoology

Career paths for Biochemistry grads handout from Career Services >

Have Questions?

Call us at 613-533-2470 or email us.

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