Fall 2020 - MBB 309W D100

Biochemistry Laboratory (4)

Class Number: 3064

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Mon, 3:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    MBB 231, with a minimum grade of C. Recommended: CHEM 215 and CHEM 286 precede MBB 309W.



Contemporary techniques in biochemistry including protein purification, immunochemical methods, and lipid characterization. Writing.


The purpose of this W (writing) intensive laboratory course is to introduce students to fundamental techniques used in modern biochemistry and to teach them how to be effective writers. The students will learn the correct format of scientific writing and submit four laboratory reports. In addition to the practical learning in the laboratory, the students will review two current research papers. The lecture component of the course will present background to laboratory experiments and provide additional writing guidance.

2 lecture hours/week; 4 lab hours/every second week for the total of 6 in-person laboratory experiments in total for the term. 

Laboratory Schedule:

  • week 1 Buffer preparation (remote)
  • weeks 2-3 Protein quantification (in person)
  • weeks 4-5 SDS-PAGE (in person)
  • weeks 6-7 Western blotting (in person) and fluorescence microscopy (remote)
  • weeks 8-9 Protein purification (in person)
  • weeks 10-11 ADH kinetic assays (in person)
  • weeks 12-13 affinity chromatography (in person)

The instructor reserves the right to change laboratory schedule without advanced notice. 


  • Writing Assignments 5%
  • Weekly Online Quizzes 15%
  • Lab Reports 30%
  • Critical Reviews 20%
  • Lab Work 10%
  • Final Online Quiz 20%
  • To receive credit for this course, students must complete all requirements


Lecture:  synchronous via Zoom (students are expected to attend scheduled lectures remotely) 
Laboratory:  face-to-face (students attend scheduled labs in person every 2 weeks)
Assessments:  asynchronous; take-home exams/papers/assignments  
Final exam:  synchronous; held on the last day of scheduled lectures for the term via CANVAS



  • Lab coat (required)
  • Safety goggles (optional)
  • Face mask (required)
  • Access to high-speed internet
  • Computer (with audio/webcam is not required but recommended)


Boyer, Rodney. Biochemistry Laboratory: Modern Theory and Techniques. 2nd Ed. Benjamin Cummings: 2012.

Pinker, Steven. The Sense of Style. The thinking person's guide to writing in the 21st century.  Viking: 2014. 
ISBN: 978-0-670-02585-5

Hacker, Diana, Douglas P. Downs, and Barbara Fister. Canadian Writer’s Reference. Bedford/St. Martins: 2011.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  • For help with writing, learning and study strategies please contact the Student Learning Commons at
  • Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability, must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (778-782-3112 or e-mail:  caladmin@sfu.ca)

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).