Molecular Biophysics (PHYS*7520)

Code and section: PHYS*7520*01

Term: Winter 2022

Instructor: Vladimir Ladizhansky


Course Information


Lecturer Office Ext Email
Vladimir Ladizhansky SSC 1251 53989


Tuesday/Thursday, 11:30 am-12:50 pm
AD-S (Synchronous virtual) until January 24.
In-person component will be announced. 

Course Topics

  • 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. 
  • Review of biophysical methods for characterization of protein structure and dynamics. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and high-resolution structure determination in biomolecules. 
  • Various topics in structural biology and biophysics of proteins. (Students’ presentations)
  • Applications of NMR to various problems in structural biophysics. (Students' presentations) 


Assessment Weight
Participation in discussions 5%
Quizzes 9%
Assignments 30%
Students will be asked to give two presentations
Final proposal/paper
Students will have to write a research proposal based on one of their presentations.

Course Materials


  • 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" 

University Statements

Email Communication

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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. The grounds for Academic Consideration are detailed in the Undergraduate and Graduate Calendars.

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Copies of Out-of-class Assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliable back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.


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When accommodations are needed, the student is required to first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). Documentation to substantiate the existence of a disability is required; however, interim accommodations may be possible while that process is underway.

Accommodations are available for both permanent and temporary disabilities. It should be noted that common illnesses such as a cold or the flu do not constitute a disability.

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For Guelph students, information can be found on the SAS website

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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 encourages academic integrity. 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.

Recording of Materials

Presentations that are made in relation to course work - including lectures - cannot be recorded or copied without the permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a student, or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted.


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Academic Calendars


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.