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Biochemistry studies the chemistry of life, from microorganisms and Drosophila to humans. Biochemistry covers many different research areas: the three-dimensional structure of proteins, DNA and membranes, how enzymes function in metabolism, how the genetic code directs protein synthesis, how proteins are modified within cell compartments, how ions are transported across membranes, how hormones trigger cellular responses, how DNA mutations cause disease, how cells carry out phagocytosis or respond to infection and the design of programs that survey families of related proteins.



  • Biochemistry (specialist and major options)
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (specialist)


First-Year Courses

There are no first year courses in biochemistry.  The introductory biochemistry courses are given at the second year level.


Advice for First Year

Students wishing to be considered for entry into the Biochemistry programs should take:

  • CHM135H1 (formerly CHM139H1) - Chemistry: Physical Principles or CHM 151Y1 – Chemistry: The Molecular Science
  • CHM136H1 (formerly CHM138H1) - Introductory Organic Chemistry
  • BIO 120H1 - Adaptation and Biodiversity
  • BIO130H1 - Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Introductory Calculus: MAT 135H1 and MAT 136H1 or MAT 137Y1 or MAT 157Y1

Students who wish to pursue a specialist program should also take PHY 131H1 and 132H1 – Introductory Physics (two half courses).

The Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Specialist Program also requires the following computer science courses: both CSC 108H1 – Introduction to Computer Programming and CSC 148H1 – Introduction to Computer Science, and CSC 165H1 – Mathematical Expression and Reasoning for Computer Science.


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