CHEM2052 – Chemical Biology

Lecturer Dr James De Voss
Course Link UQ Site
Faculty Science
Prerequisites CHEM1200, CHEM1010 or CHEM1030
Contact Hours 3 Lecture hours, 3 Contact hours
Semester(s) Taught Semester 2
Course Units 2
Submit reviewView reviews (1)


Total average


Learning Materials ( 70 )
Learning Activities ( 100 )
Blackboard Management ( 70 )
Course Content ( 100 )
Course Structure ( 100 )
Contact Availability ( 100 )
Course Difficulty ( 50 )

Reviews (1)

CHEM2052 – Chemical Biology 84.3

This was one of my favorite courses so far. Although a chemistry course, it is heavily aimed at biologists and the chemistry presented is straight forward. There are no wet labs but there is a 3 hour tutorial session each week. The tutorial is not graded but attendance is compulsory and the worksheets are highly relevant for the exams. The course is split into 4 modules, with the first 2 evaluated at the midsem exam and the last 2 examined in the final. (#1 Amino acids & Mass Spectrometry, #2 Enzymes in Drug Discovery, #3 Carbohydrates, nucleic acids and other biological molecules, #4 Transition Metals in Biology, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance). There is also a science communication assignment which carries 20% of the final mark. You need to chose a recent chemistry research paper and present it in a 2 page popular science style article and a 3 minute video. Another 10% of the final mark comes from online sapling quizzes (like in CHEM1100/1200).
Most students who were taking this course had already done BIOC2000 or CHEM2050 and found the content pretty easy. I did it after completing CHEM1200 and still didn't struggle with the chemistry.
This course made me fall in love with enzymes. There are a lot of lectures that explain how the enzymes which we hear about in biology actually catalyze reactions and how the different amino acids function. Some highlights for me were learning the chemistry behind antiviral drugs, cancer drugs, iron uptake and deficiency, DNA synthesis and alcohol metabolism.
The lectures cover all the examinable content and there was no need for a textbook. However, for a deeper understanding, any organic chemistry or biochemistry textbook would suffice.

Semester taken

Semester 1 - 2017

Your program/major

BBiotech Hons/ Drug Design

Is lecture attendance necessary?


Is the textbook necessary?


  • Small cohort - good communication
  • Responsive lecturers
  • Interesting content
Negatives No negative points
Posted on November 23, 2017 2:01 pm

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