Department of Chemistry

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Providing a project-based experience in an undergraduate biochemistry laboratory class can be complex with large class sizes and limited resources. We have designed a 6-week curriculum during which students purify and characterize the enzymes invertase and phosphatase from bakers yeast. Purification is performed in two stages via ethanol precipitation and anion exchange chromatography, and students perform both direct and coupled enzyme assays. By completion of the experimental series, students are able to identify which enzymes they have purified and have obtained kinetic parameters for one. This experimental series requires minimal instructor preparation time, is cost effective, and works with multiple sections of large groups of students. Students participating in this sequence showed increases in conceptual understanding of biochemical concepts as measured through in-class assessments and anonymous surveys.