Molecular Biophysics (PHYS*7520)

Code and section: PHYS*7520*01

Term: Winter 2021

Instructor: Vladimir Ladizhansky


Course Information

Lecturer contact information

Vladimir Ladizhansky
SSC 1251
ext. 53989 


Tuesday/Thursday, 11:30 am-12:50 pm, AD-S (Synchronous virtual)


  • Protein structure. Nucleic acids structure. Factors determining protein and nucleic acid structures. Protein Stability. Biomembranes. Membrane proteins and their functions. Membrane transport. Evolution and Protein Folding. Human perspective: conformational diseases. 
  • Various topics in structural biology and biophysics of proteins. (Students’ presentations)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and high resolution structure determination in biomolecules. Fundamentals of NMR. Multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. Brief introduction into NMR-based structure determination. Spectral Assignments. Determination of structural constraints. Constraint-based calculation of structure. Protein dynamics. 
  • Applications of NMR to various problems in structural biophysics. (Students' presentations) 


  • Participation in discussions: 5%.
  • Quizzes:     9%
  • Assignments: 30%. 
  • Presentations: 30%. Students will be asked to give three presentations
  • Final proposal/paper: 26%. Students will have to write a research proposal based on one of their presentations.


  • Lodish et al, “Molecular Cell Biology” 5th edition
  • Charles R. Cantor and Paul R. Schimmel: “Biophysical chemistry” part I: The conformation of biological molecules.
  • Additional literature (papers, lecture notes, links to online materials, etc.) will be distributed. 

Recommended Literature

  • Thomas E. Creighton, “Proteins: Structure and Molecular Properties”
  • Karp, “Cell and Molecular Biology”
  • Voet and Voet, “Biochemistry”
  • Stryer, “Biochemistry”
  • Alberts, "Molecular Biology of the Cell" 

Course and University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor (or designated person, such as a teaching assistant) in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the undergraduate calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration.

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community – faculty, staff, and students – to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring. University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection.

Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the Undergraduate Calendar.


The University of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) as soon as possible.
For more information, contact SAS at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email or see the website:

Course Evaluation Information

The Department of Physics requires student assessment of all courses taught by the Department. These assessments provide essential feedback to faculty on their teaching by identifying both strengths and possible areas of improvement. In addition, annual student assessment of teaching provides part of the information used by the Department Tenure and Promotion Committee in evaluating the faculty member's contribution in the area of teaching. 

The Department's teaching evaluation questionnaire invites student response both through numerically quantifiable data, and written student comments. In conformity with University of Guelph Faculty Policy, the Department Tenure and Promotions Committee only considers comments signed by students (choosing "I agree" in question 14). Your instructor will see all signed and unsigned comments after final grades are submitted. Written student comments may also be used in support of a nomination for internal and external teaching awards. 

NOTE: No information will be passed on to the instructor until after the final grades have been submitted. 

Drop date

The last date to drop one-semester courses, without academic penalty, is April 12, 2021. For regulations and procedures for Dropping Courses, see the Undergraduate Calendar.


Please note that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may necessitate a revision of the format of course offerings and academic schedules. Any such changes will be announced via CourseLink and/or class email. All University-wide decisions will be posted on the COVID-19 website and circulated by email.


The University will not require verification of illness (doctor's notes) for the Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 semesters.