551-0125-00L  Fundamentals of Biology I: From Molecules to the Biochemistry of Cells

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersJ. Vorholt-Zambelli, N. Ban, R. Glockshuber, K. Locher, J. Piel
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


551-0125-00 GGrundlagen der Biologie I: von Molekülen zur Biochemie der Zellen
Vorlesung: Montag 12-14 Uhr, Donnerstag 10-12 Uhr
Übungen: Freitag 12-13 Uhr oder 13-14 Uhr
5 hrs
Mon11:45-13:30HCI G 7 »
Thu09:45-11:30HCI G 7 »
Fri11:45-12:30HCI G 7 »
12:45-13:30HCI G 7 »
13.10.12:45-13:30HIL E 7 »
12:45-13:30HIL E 8 »
12:45-13:30HIL E 9 »
17.11.12:45-13:30HIL E 7 »
12:45-13:30HIL E 8 »
12:45-13:30HIL E 9 »
15.12.12:45-13:30HIL E 7 »
12:45-13:30HIL E 8 »
12:45-13:30HIL E 9 »
J. Vorholt-Zambelli, N. Ban, R. Glockshuber, K. Locher, J. Piel

Catalogue data

AbstractThe lecture provides an introduction to the basics of biochemistry and molecular biology as well as evolutionary principles. The focus is on bacteria and archaea under consideration of universal concepts.
ObjectiveIntroduction to biochemistry, molecular biology and evolutionary principles
ContentThe lecture introduces biology as an interdisciplinary science. Links to physics and chemistry will manifest as biological processes that operate within the laws of thermodynamics and are rooted in elements, molecules and chemical reactions. The transition from geochemistry to biochemistry is discussed and considered in relation to the origin of life. Evolutionary principles are introduced and resulting processes are used as a guiding principle. Unifying concepts in biology are presented, including the structure and function of cellular macromolecules and the ways in which hereditary information is encoded, decoded and replicated. Central principles of universal energy conversion are looked at, starting from redox processes and focusing on bacteria and archaea. Finally, biological processes are put into an ecosystems perspective.

The lecture is divided into different sections:
1. Geochemical perspectives on Earth and introduction to evolution
2. Building blocks of life
3. Macromolecules: Proteins
4. Membranes and transport across the plasma membrane
5. Universal mechanisms of inheritance, transcription and translation
6. Reaction Kinetics, binding equilibria and enzymatic catalysis
7. Essentials of Catabolism
8. Essentials of Anabolism
9. Metabolism and biogeochemical cycling of elements
Lecture notesThe newly conceived lecture is supported by scripts.
LiteratureThe lecture is supported by scripts.
The lecture contains elements of "Brock Biology of Microorganisms", Madigan et al. 15th edition, Pearson und "Biochemistry" (Stryer), Berg et al. 9th edition, Macmillan international.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Personal CompetenciesCritical Thinkingfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a two-semester course together with 551-0126-00L Fundamentals of Biology II: Cells (next semester)
For programme regulations
(Examination block)
Bachelor's Degree Programme in Biochemistry - Chemical Biology 2020; Version 28.11.2022 (Examination Block)
ECTS credits12 credits
Performance assessment as a semester course (other programmes)
In examination block forBachelor's Degree Programme in Biology 2020; Version 07.04.2022 (First Year Examination Block 1)
Bachelor's Degree Programme in Interdisciplinary Sciences 2018; Version 12.07.2022 (Examination Block)
Bachelor's Degree Programme in Pharmaceutical Sciences 2020; Version 23.05.2022 (First Year Examination Block 1)
ECTS credits6 credits
ExaminersJ. Vorholt-Zambelli, N. Ban, R. Glockshuber, K. Locher, J. Piel
Typesession examination
Language of examinationGerman
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationwritten 150 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationDie Prüfungsfragen werden auf Deutsch und Englisch gestellt und können in beiden Sprachen beantwortet werden.
Written aidsEinfacher Taschenrechner
Online examinationThe examination may take place on the computer.
If the course unit is part of an examination block, the credits are allocated for the successful completion of the whole block.
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

Moodle courseMoodle-Kurs / Moodle course
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Biochemistry – Chemical Biology BachelorCore Courses First Year ExaminationOInformation
Biology BachelorFirst Year Examination Block 1OInformation
Interdisciplinary Sciences BachelorCompulsory Subjects First Year ExaminationsOInformation
Pharmaceutical Sciences BachelorFirst Year Examination Block 1OInformation