Chem& 405

CHEM 405: Biochemistry I - 5 credits

The first in a two-quarter sequence for students in the Bachelor in Applied Science in Molecular Biosciences, science majors and students interested in careers in pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine and medical technology. Topics include protein structure and function; carbohydrates and their metabolism, electron transport processes and some of the major metabolic pathways. Previously CHEM 265. Only CHEM 265 or CHEM 405 can be taken for credit, not both. Prerequisite: BIOL& 211 and CHEM& 261 or equivalent.

View details for CHEM 405

About this course

This is the first in a two-quarter biochemistry sequence for students preparing to enter the Schools of Pharmacy, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and undergraduate majors in Chemistry and Biochemistry.

It is a 5 credit class, where we meet every week for 4 periods (50 minutes each) for lecture and discussion.

The class has also a lab component (1 hour a week) where we work on short experiments, case studies and computer modeling exercises.

The course is divided into two major sections. We begin by reviewing important concepts from biology and chemistry necessary to the study of biochemistry. We introduce amino acids and discuss primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary levels of protein structure. We learn about proteins as functional biomolecules via physiologically relevant examples, going into some detail to understand the basis of enzyme catalysis and enzyme kinetics. We discuss biochemical signaling with an emphasis on heterotrimeric G proteins. The second portion of the course primarily covers the principles of metabolism. We study the structure and chemistry of carbohydrates. We discuss glycolysis, the citric acid cycle and glycogen metabolism. We then study the pathways of electron transport and oxidative phosphorylation in eukaryotes. We end the course with a discussion of photosynthesis.

Chem 405 (previously Chem 265) transfers to UW as BIOC 405.

This is the link to the Chem 405 (previously Chem 265) syllabus:

Comments from a few students that took Chem 405/406 (previously Chem 265/266 during Winter 2012- Spring 2012 or Winter 2013-Spring 2013 (these students earned grades ranging from C’s to A’s)

If you are interested in Health Sciences graduate school — medical, dental, pharmaceutical — I can’t give this course series a strong enough recommendation. It is intellectually rigorous and covers material in impressive depth. I took the MCAT three months after finishing this two-course series and breezed through the biochemistry sections. This class had already covered literally everything I needed to know for the MCAT. Friends from this class who are now in top medical schools have said their biochem is a breeze after the foundation learned from Jacqui’s course.

Yes, the course material is challenging. And it’s a lot of work. But I promise you that Jacqui will do literally everything in her power to help you both master the material and do well in her class. She will provide extra study sessions on weekends, massively detailed exam prep worksheets, and answer keys for every piece of homework, case study, or exam. Grading is eminently fair and Jacqui will always give the student the benefit of the doubt in grading. I honestly felt like Jacqui woke up every day thinking about how to help us (the students) learn this material and succeed in her class.


I took biochem 440 last quarter at UW and was amazed how much more I learned here at BC – being able to visualize the helical wheel in Chemdraw was extremely enlightening, as were the aminoacid sequencing tools included in the software much better than using only the helical wheel diagram to try and get the concept down. Doing the quick protein separation was a perfect way to solidify the concept of elution. The actual separation of color was very cool.


Intro to biochemistry at Bellevue College was incredibly engaging and rewarding. Having briefly taken intro to biochem at UW with 700+ other people, I have a direct comparison: feeling like cattle going through a meat grinder as opposed to being part of an actual learning experience. I didn’t feel like I was memorizing and regurgitating information just to be ahead of the curve. I felt like I was challenging my own conceptual capacity for biological systems and research.
To name a few aspects of the course that should be, but are unfortunately not, facets of ALL college courses: the laboratory experiments were perfectly selected to aide in my understanding of subject matter. If you have been an undergrad, you have found yourself at some point sitting in lab asking yourself how this has anything to do with what you are doing in class; not in this class. Jacqui Drak, puts an immense amount of thoughtfulness into her lessons and the direction of topics that is perfectly complimented by her experience in the field of biochemical research. Nothing is better than hearing about an enzymes application in the real world. Even though it is a sizable and challenging amount of information to learn, the pace of the class, the pertinent and helpful classwork and the very available cup of coffee and chat at office hours makes it all achievable. The bottom line is that the factual and conceptual knowledge I gained from this class will be invaluable in Vet School. Not to mention, I had a blast and my brain absolutely got its moneys worth.


Of the many reasons to enroll in Biochemistry (CHEM 265/266) at Bellevue College, the ones that immediately come to mind are the following: from an economic standpoint, it is hard to beat the bargain price of community college tuition rates in comparison to the four-year college tuition costs for essentially the same course; in addition to the lower tuition rate, there is the added bonus of lab work and a discussion section, not a part of the UW’s biochem class; and the smaller class size facilitates quality student/instructor and student/student interaction, which in turn enhances the learning process. If you are looking for a course that will integrate concepts from biology, physics, and chemistry, this is the class for you. That ochem you slogged through suddenly becomes more relevant, and you get to spend time on processes like cellular respiration and metabolism that you probably whizzed through in bio or A&P with superficial expediency. Not only do you get to tie together some of the things from these other classes, but you get to take a peek into what might lie ahead in your academic future. Speaking of the future, it was exciting to witness firsthand the acceptance of several classmates into their programs–pharmacy, premed, vet school–during the two quarter span of biochemistry; it certainly gave me hope to see someone I know achieve a goal similar to my own. Finally, as if giving you a reason for actually caring about organic chemistry at a bargain price isn’t enough, you get to learn from someone whose passion for and depth of knowledge in the subject is readily apparent from Day One of class. Jacqui stays up-to-date on the latest research and developments in the field of biochemistry, and her curiosity and enthusiasm are contagious. She is dedicated to making sure you “get it,” and makes herself available for your questions practically 24/7!


Taking biochemistry at Bellevue College not only fulfilled a pre-requisite for graduate school, but also sparked further curiosity in the subject. Dr. Drake’s personal touch to each lecture was engaging and ensured that we received the most current information. The small class size encouraged discussions and debate between students. This deepened my understanding of the material and extended the learning environment out of the classroom. I would recommend this class to anyone.


Last Updated August 20, 2017