First Year Experience in Biochemistry
Our Biochemistry First Year Experience (FYE) Courses facilitate new student transition and integration into the department and University.
Our FYE1 and FYE2 courses are taught in the New Classroom Building. An undergraduate Peer Mentor is assigned to each first year Biochemistry student, to help with navigating the first year of studies. Our Peer Mentors attend FYE classes and hold office hours to assist all students in bettering themselves academically.
First Year Experience 1 course (FYE1)
Biochemistry Academic Advisor, Jen Stewart, teaches our Biochem First Year Experience course (BCHM 1014). Jen has been an advisor at VT for nearly 10 years and looks forward to teaching the FYE class each fall semester. She enjoys getting to know the first-year students, helping them learn about Virginia Tech, the biochemistry major, and themselves.
Learn more about the First Year Experience Course
Introduction to Biochemistry Research Skills
Dr. Anne Brown teaches Intro to Biochemical Research Skills, a course designed to provide a course-embedded undergraduate research experience (CURE) to freshmen students. Students work in small groups to use computational techniques like molecular docking and molecular visualization to understand the structure and function of important proteins in our society, like an opioid receptor, an antibiotic resistance protein, and an Alzheimer’s drug target. In addition to learning fundamental knowledge of protein biochemistry, students learn how to effectively function as a research group, how to design an experiment, and how to report results and communicate their science. We use research as a theme throughout the course because the tenets of research (and the professional and workforce skills associated) are useful for ANY career path of our majors.
Learn more about our Intro to Biochemical Research Skills Course
During the Spring 2022 semester, students worked in groups studying one of four protein targets to introduce the relationship between protein structure and function. Students used molecular visualization techniques to understand the overall structure of their proteins, and molecular docking to understand how small molecules can bind to their protein target. From there, students either mutate essential amino acids in their protein or compare how a different small molecule binds to the protein and can impact function. Students then present their group research projects at the Dennis Dean Undergraduate Research Symposium, allowing them to develop their ability to present and communicate science in a professional venue.