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Elective list for Majors Spring 2021

UMBC Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


CHEM 406/606 Bioinorganic Chemistry*, Dr. Aaron T. Smith

Areas: Inorganic Chemistry, Biochemistry. This class is designed to give the participant an overview of how metals function in biological systems. The course comprises lectures, presentations, and primary literature as a means to survey cutting-edge advances in the field of bioinorganic chemistry. This class has three units: coordination chemistry of metals within biological systems; physical and spectroscopic characterization of metal interactions within biological systems; and mechanistic studies of metalloenzymes. NOTE that neither 405 nor 405L is required as a as a pre-requisite for this course.

CHEM 455 Biomedicinal Chemistry*, Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke

Areas: Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry. This survey course provides an introduction to drug design, discovery and development processes from a biological, organic chemistry and mechanistic standpoint. Basic principles of drug design and development, including modern rational approaches, various drug targets, the design and mechanistic features of various classes of inhibitors and prodrugs, DNA interactive drugs, toxicity, development of resistance, and patent issues will be covered.

CHEM 490/684  Photochemistry and Photobiology: Concepts and Experimental Methods*,
Dr. Lisa Kelly 

Areas: Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry. This course will focus upon the fundamental aspects of photophysical and photochemical phenomena.  Fundamental aspects of the creation and fate of electronically excited states will be covered.   The application of modern instrumentation to probe excited-state dynamics will be emphasized.  Topics will include the theory and practical aspects of fluorescence and transient absorption spectroscopies.  Representative topics include the interaction of light with molecular systems to (i) initiate and understand important light-initiated reactions, including photosynthesis, vision, and nucleic acid photochemistry and (ii) develop practical sensors for use in biological or environmental applications.   Readings from the current literature will be used throughout the course to illustrate modern applications of photochemistry and photobiology. 

CHEM 490 Organic Spectroscopy*, Dr. Paul Smith

Area: Organic Chemistry.  An overview of spectroscopic methods used to determine the structures of organic compounds. NMR, UV/visible absorption, and infrared spectroscopy as well as mass spectrometry are covered, with particular emphasis on NMR and use of multiple types of spectral data for structure elucidation.

CHEM 490 Advanced NMR Spectroscopy*, Dr. Michael Summers

Areas: Biochemistry, Analytical Chemistry. This course focuses on theoretical aspects of solution-state NMR spectroscopy and their applications to chemical and biological systems. NMR theory is described using principles of classical and quantum mechanical physics.  Emphasis is placed on theories behind methods commonly used for biomolecular structure/function studies, including the nuclear Overhauser effect, sensitivity enhancement of insensitive nuclei, and multi-dimensional NMR methods.


*Approved as an elective for the undergraduate major in Biochemistry


Important Note

CHEM405 is only offered in spring semesters and CHEM405L is only offered in fall semesters.
B.S. CHEM majors should take CHEM 405 in the spring of their junior year.