Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Location: Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building
5850 College Street
Room 9-B1
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-6436
Fax: (902) 494-1355

Course of Study

First-Year Medicine

Biochemistry and molecular biology provide the foundation on which genetics, physiology, pharmacology and much of pathology rests. Medical practitioners require a firm grasp of basic principles in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, not only to understand basic medical science and inform clinical decision making, but also as a knowledge framework for assimilating and communicating new discoveries throughout their careers. Advances in this area are coming at an astounding pace, with an ever-increasing impact on medical practice; examples include decoding the human genome, determining the structure and mechanisms of disease-related proteins and enzymes, elucidating the pathways of cell communication and development, and discovering new technologies for diagnosis and therapy.

An introduction to the principles of cell and molecular biology is a major component of the Foundations Unit at the beginning of first-year undergraduate medicine. Current concepts in genomics, gene expression, protein structure and function, enzyme mechanism and regulation, signal transduction and cell fate are covered through lectures, cases, and resources for self-directed learning. Important concepts and knowledge in metabolic biochemistry are also integrated into later units, such as Metabolism and Homeostasis.


The Department offers two types of elective programs to limited numbers of medical students: (1) small research projects under the direction of Faculty members and (2) investigations in some depth of student's choice, utilizing the resources of the Kellogg Health Sciences Library. Students wishing to take an elective in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology should consult the Department so that a suitable program may be selected.


Courses for Dentistry Students

Biochemistry for first-year Dental students DENT 1112.01: Human Biochemistry

Courses for Science Students

Details of the following courses will be found in the Calendar of the College of Arts and Science.

Courses for Health Students

  • BIOC 1420.03: Introduction to Biochemistry for Nursing Students

Graduate Studies

The Department offers suitably qualified students an opportunity to study for the degree of Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. A complete description of these programs, as well as of graduate courses, is in the Graduate Studies Calendar.