HarvardX: MCB63X Principles of Biochemistry

This introduction to biochemistry explores the molecules of life, starting at simple building blocks and culminating in complex metabolism.

Course Description

The course integrates an introduction to the structure of macromolecules and a biochemical approach to cellular function. Topics addressing protein function will include enzyme kinetics, the characterization of major metabolic pathways and their interconnection into tightly regulated networks, and the manipulation of enzymes and pathways with mutations or drugs. An exploration of simple cells (red blood cells) to more complex tissues (muscle and liver) is used as a framework to discuss the progression in metabolic complexity. Students will also develop problem solving and analytical skills that are more generally applicable to the life sciences.

Course Syllabus

There are 5 units of content, and 1 preliminary unit

  • UNIT 0: Preliminaries
  • UNIT 1: Introduction to Biochemistry
  • UNIT 2: Structural Biochemistry
  • UNIT 3: Cellular Bioenergetics
  • UNIT 4: Tissue-specific metabolism
  • UNIT 5: Synthesis and degradation of biomolecules



Starts August 18, 2015

Course at a Glance

10 weeks of study 2-4 hours/week English English & Vietnamese subtitles