Tiny Enzymes, Huge Potential

July 12, 2022

Bioorganic Chemistry (CHM 330) will be a fascinating next step in your major for more advanced chemistry or biochemistry students. The course focuses on enzymes, proteins that are catalysts within cells. This in-depth study of enzymes allows you to explore advanced biochemistry, applying principles and techniques you learned in organic chemistry to the study of biological reactions.

When asked whether CHM 330 could be a steppingstone within a student’s career development, Professor Elizabeth Trimmer says, definitely. It allows students to practice thinking more deeply. Understanding the more profound principles of bioorganic chemistry, the sciences, and how they apply to our lives could be the next step toward research, grad school, or med school.

Trimmer shares that one of her students had a unique opportunity to extend their learning with the class and is now conducting significant research in the field of enzymes. She also estimates that 35-40 students have done research with her, gaining invaluable insight and experience.

Innovative Bioorganic Technology at Grinnell

The study of bioorganic chemistry wasn’t always as high-tech as it is now, and at Grinnell, you will have access to newer technology and better tools as an advanced chemistry student. Grinnell keeps pace with the ever-advancing innovations in chemistry and in the sciences in general. You’ll have the opportunity to use the latest instruments and software during labs to investigate and explore reactions at the molecular level.

During class, Trimmer says that you will learn about enzyme structure, catalytic strategies, kinetics, and methodologies to determine enzyme mechanisms. During labs, you will measure rates of enzyme reactions to obtain information about the mechanism. In one lab, you will determine the rate of a fast enzyme reaction using a stopped-flow attached to a UV/visible spectrometer; you’ll also use a novel kinetics computer program to simulate the reaction and then compare the experimental to the simulated data.

Learn more about studying chemistry at Grinnell

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