Syllabus for Molecular Bioenergetics and Biophysics

Molekylär bioenergetik och biofysik


  • 10 credits
  • Course code: 1KB703
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Biology G1F, Chemistry G1F

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2009-10-01
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-10-16
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2019
  • Entry requirements:

    30 credits in basic chemistry including 5 credits in biochemistry and 5 credits in physical chemistry

  • Responsible department: Department of Chemistry - Ångström Laboratory

Learning outcomes

After the course students should know how to

  • Account for the structure and topology of energy converting membrane protein complexes.
  • Explain thermodynamic principles if biological energy conversion.
  • Account for common redox components and - processes of electron transport proteins
  • Account for the mechanisms of different kinds of energy converting systems in living organisms.
  • Use spectroscopic and other physical and analytical methods for studying membrane processes as well as biological redox processes.
  • Use modern methods to study molecular mechanisms in respiration, photosynthesis.
  • Make clear and pedagogical presentations of an individual project.


Structure, function and molecular mechanisms of membrane proteins, and their role in biological energy conversion. Energy conversion of eukaryote and prokaryote cells, with focus on thermodynamic principles of biological electron transfer, photosynthesis and respiration. Subjects that are emphasised are entropy, chemical potential and the biochemical standard state. The aim is to increase the understanding of how biological redox reactions generate energy, and the connection between electron transport and proton translocation. Applications such as photobiological fuel production will be discussed.

The laboratory exercises are meant to teach spectroscopic methods to study membrane proteins and energy conversion reactions at a molecular level. Computer-based modelling will be used to study membrane protein structure.


The course is given in the form of lectures, discussions, laboratory sessions and literature projects. Participation in laboratory sessions and discussions is compulsory.


Written examinations are organised at the end of the course (6 credits). Laboratory exercise sessions (4 credits) To pass final grades it is required that all parts have been assessed passed. The final grade corresponds to a weighted average of the results of the written examination and the laboratory sessions.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Nicholls, David G.; Ferguson, Stuart John Bioenergetics

    4. ed.: Amsterdam: Academic Press, 2013

    Available as e-book through Uppsala University Library.

    Find in the library


  • Nicholls, David G.; Ferguson, S. J. Bioenergetics

    4th edition: Amsterdam: Academic Pr., 2013

    Alternative print version.

    Find in the library