Essentials of Biomolecules: Nucleic Acids and Peptides


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The proposed course aims to provide essentials of chemistry and biology of two very important class of biomolecules: nucleic acids (DNA/RNA) and proteins. The course allows to decipher: how structural features are translated into biological functions; how highly organized and selective chemical reactions are adopted that allows DNA to replicate or dictates step-wise synthesis of specific sequence of proteins; how organic chemistry tools in combination with enzymes were ingeniously applied to determine sequences of DNA and proteins and how chemical modifications could be done to mimic similar biological properties. The course also includes modern techniques, development of biomolecular probes as high-throughput detection of biomolecules, single nucleotide polymorphisms and disease diagnosis. Overall, the course falls within the domain of organic chemistry and chemical biology.

INTENDED AUDIENCE : For chemistry, Biochemistry and Biotechnology students
PREREQUISITES : Basic knowledge in organic chemistry
INDUSTRY SUPPORT : All major pharmaceuticals and Biotech companies


COURSE LAYOUT Week 1: Introduction, Nucleic acids and proteins Week 2: Synthesis of nucleobases, nucleotides and oligonucleotides Week 3: Solid phase synthesis of oligonucleotides Week 4: DNA replication, Polymerases, DNA sequencing and PCR Week 5: DNA damage, mutations and cancer Week 6: DNA to proteins: transcription, translation and genetic code Week 7: Peptides, sequencing and applications in therapeutics Week 8: Solution phase and solid phase peptide synthesis Week 9: Expansion of genetic code: PNA, LNA and molecular probes Week 10: Modern techniques for biomolecules and disease diagnosis Week 11: Structures and chemistry of sugars and carbohydrates Week 12: Carbohydrate based polymers as biomolecular probes and therapeutics; conclusion