Spring 2021 - MBB 323 D100

Introduction to Physical Biochemistry (3)

Class Number: 3143

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 11 – Apr 16, 2021: Mon, Wed, Fri, 9:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    MATH 152 (or 155), PHYS 121 (or 102, or 126, or 141), CHEM 122 (or 102), MBB 222 with a minimum grade of C.



Introduction to physical biochemistry including thermodynamics, spectroscopic principles and applications, and molecular transport and interactions. The physical properties and structure determination of biomolecules will be emphasized.


Students will be introduced to three major topics forming the basis of Physical Biochemistry: thermodynamics, spectroscopy and kinetics.

Weeks 1 – 5:     Thermodynamic principles and applications
Weeks 6 – 10:   Introduction to spectroscopy - from energy levels to biomolecular structure
Weeks 11 – 13: Kinetics – reaction rates and mechanisms  

Class structure: 3 lectures, 1 tutorial, 0 lab hours/week


  • 5 Quizzes 70%
  • 12 written assignments 30%


  • Lecture: asynchronous (pre-recorded, available online)
  • Tutorial: 5 assessments will be given during synchronous tutorials
  • Assessments:  blended; both synchronous (mandatory attendance) and asynchronous assessments
  • No final exam
  • Remote invigilation: possibly



  • access to high-speed internet
  • computer
  • students require the ability to scan/upload hand-written assignments


Raymond Chang, Physical Chemistry for the Biosciences. 2005. University Science Books.
ISBN: 1-891389-33-5

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 spring 2021 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).