Key information

Next planned course: Spring 2021 (COVID-permitting)
Location: NMBU
Course responsible: Dr. Åsmund Røhr Kjendseth

Grading: Evaluation of report & an oral exam
Credits: 4 ECTS


All students must register to BioCat.


This course aims to provide students with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills in biological red-ox chemistry. When encountering work involving red-ox active enzymes, students are often overwhelmed by complicated and technical literature, and may feel confused when familiarizing with novel protocols and non-intuitive procedures. The plethora of different red-ox cofactors that carry out complex chemistry in enzyme active sites include transition metal ions, organic molecules and amino acid side chains. Moreover, the protein scaffold modulates the functionality of these cofactors, for example are iron ions and flavin involved in both electron transfer processes and catalysis. Another topic that will be encountered in this course is intermolecular networks of enzymes that shuttle substrates and facilitate electron transfer. We intend to train the students in basic electrochemistry, enable them to recognize and identify “standard” challenges that tend to appear when working with red-ox enzymes. The students should after completing the course be able to carry out initial red-ox enzyme characterizations independently and be familiar with further experimental opportunities.


The course will be taught intensively over 5 days at NMBU (6-9 students). We will provide the students basic knowledge of red-ox chemistry and provide examples of typical processes in Nature involving red-ox chemistry. After this general introduction, the theoretical background necessary for understanding and performing the techniques taught in this course will be presented at a higher level. The higher-level theoretical part of the course will typically be organized as lectures followed by group work involving a literature case study for each subtopic of the course.

The subtopics are related to three practical exercises; i) voltammetry, ii) UV-vis and fluorescence spectroscopy of red-ox enzymes, iii) red-ox enzyme mechanisms studied by stopped flow.

We intend to build a course where theory and practical experiments are knitted together and that the students can work independently and hands on while performing experiments.

Day 1: 

Basic introduction to biological red-ox chemistry and how to work with these methods in the lab. This introduction will provide the necessary knowledge to carry out the practical exercises. Mainly lectures and group work.

Day 2-4: 

Each day, one of the subtopics will be the main focus of lectures/group work (3h). These sessions will put emphasis on data analysis and how to develop mechanistic hypotheses that can be tested with the methodology. The students will be divided into 3 groups and carry out exercise i), ii), and iii), one each day.

Day 5: 

Group work related to practical exercises, Q&A, summarizing lecture.

The students are expected to spend 1-2 hours after class each afternoon preparing for next day activities.

Work requirement

See above

Exam and evaluation

Evaluation of student report generated from results obtained during the practical part of the course and an oral exam.


Learning outcome

The candidate



General competence