Fall 2021 - MBB 309W D100

Biochemistry Laboratory (4)

Class Number: 4177

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 8 – Dec 7, 2021: Mon, 2:30–4:20 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/for the total of 12 in-person laboratory experiments for the term. 

Laboratory Schedule:

  • week 1 Buffer preparation
  • week 2 Bradford protein assay
  • week 3 Immunoprecipitation/SDS-PAGE
  • week 4 Western blotting
  • week 5 Western blotting (continued) and fluorescence microscopy
  • week 6 Protein purification (centrifugation/salting out)
  • week 7 Protein purification (gel filtration chromatography)
  • week 8 Protein purification (ion-exchange chromatography)
  • week 9 Enzyme kinetics
  • week 10 Affinity chromatography (part 1)
  • week 11 Affinity chromatography (part 2)
  • week 12 MALDI-TOF/bioinformatics

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


  • Weekly Quizzes 10%
  • Lab Reports 40%
  • Critical Reviews 20%
  • Lab Work 10%
  • Final Online Quiz 20%
  • To receive credit for this course, students must complete all requirements


Lecture:  asynchronous (lecture notes and Zoom recordings of lectures will be uploaded on CANVAS)
Laboratory:  face-to-face (students attend 12 scheduled labs in person)
Assessments:  synchronous final quiz (students must take this exam during scheduled lecture time, Monday, 2-4 pm), asynchronous (take-home exams/papers/assignments), in-lab quizzes before each lab.



  • 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 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.