College of Arts and Sciences
Department Chair Charles Saladino, Jr., PhD
Anna Fedor, Associate Professor of Chemistry, BS Pennsylvania State University; PhD Syracuse University
John Morgan, Assistant Professor of Chemistry/Biochemistry, BS Haverford College; PhD California Institute of Technology
Charles Saladino, Jr., Professor of Chemistry, BA, MA Hofstra University; PhD Iowa State University
Biochemistry is an exciting and challenging field of study that combines the worlds of chemistry and biology into a science that explores the chemistry of biomolecules and those biological processes that support a living system. Today’s biochemistry operates in the world of life on earth described by biology and probes the complexities of this world on the molecular scale using the concepts and analysis techniques derived from the field of chemistry.
The biochemistry major reflects the fusion of the biological and chemical fields as a hybrid of both departments’ curricula, combining the essential areas of chemistry knowledge of biology at the molecular level. We believe that students must first be good chemists before they can be good biochemists. Thus, the program is designed to be highly interdisciplinary. The biochemistry program at Misericordia University prepares students for graduate studies in chemistry and biochemistry, as well as the pharmaceutical, biomedical, and bio-technology industries.
At the end of their sophomore year and thereafter, biochemistry majors must have and maintain a GPA of 2.5 in courses required for the major in order to remain in good standing in the program, and a GPA of 3.0 to be recommended for graduate or professional schools. Students must earn a minimum of three (3) credits of research (CHM 460 ) before, or during, the first semester of their senior year. Research can be replaced with a summer internship (CHM 490 , up to 3 credits) before, or during, their junior year.
Program Goals and Outcomes
The following are program goals for the Biochemistry major:
- To prepare students in the area of biochemistry for careers in industry or for study in graduate or professional programs.
- To teach students to solve problems, to think critically, and to interpret and report data with the use of technology
- To familiarize students with chemical literature in multiple formats, including print and electronic references and chemical databases
- To help students develop skills for independent and collaborative laboratory practices, including lab safety, analytical instrumentation, chemical synthesis, and quantitative analysis
- To promote students’ understanding of professional, ethical, and social responsibilities in the practice of chemistry and biochemistry
- To prepare students to communicate effectively through written reports and oral presentations, including preparation of professional quality visual aids
The Biochemistry major program goals are realized in the following student learning outcomes:
- Demonstrate proficiency in laboratory techniques in lower-level courses and proficiency in reporting advanced research in upper-level courses
- Demonstrate proficiency in researching, completing, and reporting advanced disciplinary research
- Demonstrate proficiency in laboratory techniques and in preparing formal laboratory reports
- Illustrate professional, ethical, and social responsibilities in the practice of chemistry and biochemistry in advanced disciplinary research
- Present advanced disciplinary research in paper, poster, and oral presentation to the university’s consortium group
The Pre-Professional Specialization curriculum is the same as the B.S. in Biochemistry degree with the following exceptions:
- The students interested in pursuing post-graduate professional studies should, at minimum, maintain a GPA of 3.0 (a “B” average) or better in order to be recommended to these programs.
- Students are required to take CHM 356 Physical Chemistry II as one of their two chemistry electives.
- As part of their specialization, students must complete three additional credits of biology major electives as one of their free electives, for a total minimum of 9 credits of biology major electives, from the following list of courses: BIO 343 Microbiology , BIO 351 Comparative Anatomy , BIO 301 Gross Anatomy , BIO 346 General Physiology , BIO 360 Immunology , BIO 435 Cell Biology , BIO 441 Molecular Genetics
- As part of their specialization, students are required to complete at least three credits of mathematics major electives as part of their free electives, from the following list of courses: MTH 215 Mathematical Statistics , MTH 226 Calculus III , MTH 241 Linear Algebra