Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Bioconjugation Chemistry CHEM5077

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Chemistry
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course will introduce key concepts in modern bioconjugation/ligation chemistry. The current state of the art in methods for selectively linking biomolecules (e.g. native chemical ligation, oxime/hydrazone ligations, triazole ligations, intein fusion methods) will be presented, along with applications of these methods to contemporary challenges in biomolecular science.


This course will run for five weeks in semester 1. Content will be delivered through six one-hour lectures, a one-hour tutorial and a three-hour workshop.

Requirements of Entry

Available to students enrolled in the MSc in Chemical Biology

Excluded Courses



One piece of coursework consisting of a report (ca. 1500 words) critically evaluating a recent paper that features a bioconjugation protocol of the types discussed in the lecture material (25 %).

One exam covering the lectured content (75 %).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to familiarise the students with the capabilities afforded by modern (bio)chemical techniques for fusing together different chemical functionalities selectively and under mild conditions. Students will gain an appreciation for how these methods can be used to address contemporary challenges in biomolecular sciences including chemical biology.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

1. Critically evaluate the desirable properties in a bioconjugation protocol.

2. Describe and critically evaluate contemporary chemical ligation protocols.

3. Describe and critically evaluate 21st amino acid technologies and their applications.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.