Chemistry 313: Advanced Organic Chemistry for the Life Sciences

Course Level: 
Third Year
Academic Year: 

Prof. John Sherman
Office: A243

Text: No formal text. Use any introductory organic text.

Handouts: Some notes will be posted on the web and/or handed out. These will be mostly definitions and other data. The majority of notes will be in-class.


A. Amino acids and peptides (4 weeks)

  1. Amino acids: structure, acid/base properties, review of pKa and electronic effects
  2. Reactions of amino acids
  3. Peptides: structure determination, synthesis of 

B. Carbohydrates (4 weeks)

  1. Monosaccharides-structure, conformations (review)
  2. Reactions of monosaccharides
  3. Protecting groups
  4. Glycoside couplings
  5. Oligosaccharide structures

C. Organophosphate esters (2 weeks)

  1. Acid/base properties, hydrolysis mechanisms, synthesis of
  2. DNA/RNA synthesis

D. Pyridoxal phosphate and thiamin (1-2 weeks)

  1. Structure, function
  2. Mechanisms of catalytic reactions


midterm 1 15%
midterm 2 20%
final 100%