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Nucleic Acid Chemistry

3rd term
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online with Some Asynchronous Online
Class Times:
  • M W,  3:30 - 4:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Floyd Bryant

Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry and/or Molecular Biology


Discusses nucleic acid structure, and also describes techniques for manipulating and analyzing nucleic acids, including gel electrophoresis, PCR, and DNA sequencing. Reviews methods used to synthesize nucleosides, nucleotides and oligonucleotides, and chemical reactions that lead to modifications of nucleic acids. Covers topics including DNA-drug interactions, antisense and antigene oligonucleotides, ribozymes and deoxyribozymes, DNA cages, DNA origami, DNA nanostructures, and DNA nanodevices.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Design schemes to synthesize nucleosides, oligonucleotides and oligonucleotide conjugates
  2. Predict the products of reactions between nucleic acids and various chemical agents, ionizing and ultraviolet radiation
  3. Describe the design and function of antisense and antigene oligonucleotides, siRNAs, and nucleic acid aptamers
  4. Describe how ribozymes and DNAzymes catalyze chemical reactions
  5. Describe the design, synthesis and function of nucleic acid nanostructures and machines
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 50% Midterm
  • 50% Final Exam

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent required for non-JHSPH students

For consent, contact: