Spring 2024 - MBB 309W D100

Biochemistry Laboratory (4)

Class Number: 4999

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Mon, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 15, 2024
    Mon, 12:00–3:00 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 15%
  • Lab Reports 30%
  • Critical Reviews 20%
  • Lab Work and Notebook 10%
  • Writing Assignments 5%
  • Final Quiz 20%
  • To receive credit for this course, students must complete all requirements



  • Lab coat (required)
  • Safety goggles (optional)
  • Face mask (required)


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.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

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 website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the term are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.