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Reading List and Library

Most of these books should be available in your College library but to give as many students as possible an opportunity to use them on a regular basis the Department of Biochemistry also keeps copies in a Part I Section of the Colman Library (in the Main (Hopkins) Biochemistry building facing Tennis Court Road on the Downing Site). Selected books may be borrowed overnight from this collection. You are also welcome to make use of the main collection of books and journals but borrowing these is not permitted. Part II and Part III Biochemistry students have priority for seating in the library. The Assistant Librarian is available to help in locating books.

Recommended Books, suitable for student purchase

If you wish to buy, we suggest that you browse first in libraries, book shops or third-years’ book collections.

(a) Leading general biochemistry texts

  • Alberts, B., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K. and Walter P. Molecular Biology of the Cell. Garland Science, 5th edition 2008 (£61.00 paperback). The largest and most comprehensive of the cell and molecular biology textbooks, now with a CD-ROM as well as a revised Problems Book. Will be useful for Part II courses as well as IB.
  • Berg, J. M., Tymoczko, J. L. and Stryer, L. Biochemistry. Freeman, 7th edn, 2011. (£53.99)

Similar in style and layout to previous editions but expanded and updated. for access to Student Resources.

  • Voet, D. & Voet, J. G. Biochemistry. 4th edn, 2010. (£50.99)
  • Voet, D., Voet, J. G. & Pratt, C. W. Principles of Biochemistry. Wiley, 3rd edn, 2008. (£48.99)

Voet et al includes much medically relevant material within a clear and straightforward account of mainline Biochemistry (CD-ROM included). It is not simply an abridged version of their more advanced and comprehensive book.

  • Lodish, H., Berk, A., Zipursky, S. L., Matsudaira, P., Baltimore, D. and James Darnell, J. Molecular Cell Biology , Freeman, 7th edn 2012. (£56.99)

Restructured and updated from previous edition, with extra emphasis on experimental technologies

See http://w

  • Alberts, B. et al. Essential Cell Biology, Garland, 3rd edn 2009. (£49.99)

This strictly is a Cell Biology text, but it covers many aspects of modern biochemistry, although without so much on the "structural" side. Comes with a free CD-ROM. It is a spin-off from Alberts Molecular Biology of the Cell, an outstanding textbook which is very useful to set the information in the course into its wider biological context.

There are good companion web sites that give further information about these books, and contain useful onward links.

Alberts. Molecular Biology of the Cell

Stryer, 6th edition.  Biochemistry

Voet, Voet & Pratt 4th edn. Principles of Biochemistry

Lodish.  Molecular Cell Biology


Alberts.  Essential Cell Biology

(b) Other good biochemistry texts

  • Karp, G. Cell and Molecular Biology: Concepts and Experiments. Wiley, 6th edn 2010. (£48.99)

This book emphasises experimental approaches to core concepts through the use of, inter alia, high quality pictures to convey the processes involved.

  • Nelson, D. L. & Cox, M. M. Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry. Freeman, 5th edn, 2008. (£49.99).

Particularly useful for bioenergetics and metabolism.  Good for signalling.

  • Mathews, C. K. & Van Holde, K. E. & Ahern, K. G. Biochemistry.  Addison Wesley, 3rd edn, 2000. (£64.98).

For a quick overview of factual material - useful for revision,

  • Hames, B. D. et al. Instant Notes in Biochemistry. Bios, 4th edn, 2011. (£20.00).
  • Turner, P. C. et al. Instant Notes in Molecular Biology. Bios, 3rd edn, 2005. (£19.99).

And for an introduction to practical biochemistry,

  • Wilson, K. & Walker, J.  Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. CUP, 7th edn, 2010 (£37.50).


For a very basic chemistry revision,

  • Corwe, J. Chemistry for the Biosciences. OUP, 2nd edn, 2010. (£27.99).

Other sources of information

Journals, well worth consulting

Research-oriented summaries (2-4 pages) of important topics in biochemistry and molecular biology are contained in the monthly journal Trends in Biochemical Sciences (usually known as TIBS). A similar journal is Bioessays. The Scientific American usually contains at least one biochemical article per issue and is well worth a glance. Copies of these journals are found near the Part I reading area.

Web Sites

Ever more useful source of information. We shall just give here two of our favourite general addresses, which have many forward links.

Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man.

Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.

Books on specific topis for perusal in libraries

(a)   Genes, DNA, genetic manipulation, etc.

  • Brown, T. A. Gene Cloning and DNA analysis: an introduction. Blackwell Science,     6th edn 2010 (£32.50)
  • Brown, T. A. Genomes. Bios, 3rd edn, 2006. (£49.00)
  • Howe, C. J. Gene Cloning and Manipulation. CUP, 2nd edn, 2007. (£31.00)
  • Lewin, B. Genes X.  Pearson Higher Education, 2007. (£49.99)
  • Ptashne, M and Gann, A. Genes and Signals, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. 2001 (£25.00)
  • Watson, J. D. et al. Molecular Biology of the Gene. Benjamin Cummings, 6th edn 2007. (£57.99)
  • Lesk, M. Introduction to Genomics. OUP 2007 (£27.99)
  • Morgan, David O. The Cell Cycle. OUP 2006 (£32.99)
  • Serdyuk, Igor N. Methods in Molecular Biophysics. CUP 2007 (£60.00 Hardback)


(b)  Proteins and enzymes

  • Abeles, Robert H., Frey, Perry A., Jencks, William P. Biochemistry. Jones and Bartlett Publishers International, 1992 (£39.95)
  • Branden, C. & Tooze, J. Introduction to Protein Structure. Garland, 2nd edn, 1999. (£45.50). Beautifully illustrated
  • Bugg, T.  Introduction to Enzyme and Coenzyme Chemistry. Blackwell Science, 2nd edn, 2004 (£39.95)
  • Creighton, T. E. Proteins. Freeman, 2nd edn, 1992. (£54.99)
  • Darby, N. J. & Creighton, T. E. Protein Structure. IRL Press, 1993. (£9.95)
  • Fersht, A. R. Structure and Mechanism in Protein Science. Freeman, 3rd Rev edn 1999. (£56.99) Good for those who like to dig into fundamentals.
  • Attwood, T. K. & Parry-Smith, D. J. Introduction to Bioinformatics. Longman, 1999. (£45.99) Very clear on what it’s all about, and with nitty gritty too.


(c)   Metabolism, hormones, signalling etc.

  • Fell, D. Understanding the Control of Metabolism. Portland Press, 1996. (£18.95)

A clear and readable discussion of how metabolism is controlled, with particular emphasis on metabolic control analysis. It goes beyond what you need to know but is worth a look nevertheless.

  • Haynie, D. T.  Biological thermodynamics.  CUP, 2nd edn 2008.  (£31.00)
  • Gadian, D. G. NMR and its applications to living systems. OUP, 2nd edn, 1996. (£55.00) Gives a fairly up-to-date description of the applications of magnetic resonance in biology.

This is for those of you who are really interested in this technique.

  • Hardie, D. G. Biochemical Messengers Factors. Kluwer, 2nd edn, 1998. (£24.99)  Clear conceptual introduction.
  • Hardie, D. G. & Hanks, S. ed, The Protein Kinase Factsbook. Academic Press, 1995. Paperback (£68.99 two volume set)
  • Heldin, C-H. & Purton, M. ed, Signal transduction. Stanley Thornes, 1998. (£41.00)

(Reprint of 1996 edn from Chapman and Hall) Collection of articles from leaders in the field. Remains useful despite its age.

  • Hancock, J.T., Cell Signalling.  3rd edn.  OUPr, 2010. (£28.99)

Broader coverage than Heldin & Purton, integrates well into the course as a whole. Useful website.


(d)  Bioenergetics

  • Nicholls, D. G. & Ferguson, S. J. Bioenergetics 3. Academic Press, 3rd edn, 2002. (£47.99).  Excellent and all you need.


(e) Cancer

  • Hesketh, R. The Oncogenes and Tumour Suppressor Gene Factsbook. Academic Press, 2nd edn, 1997. (£48.99)
  • Hesketh, R. Betrayed by Nature: The War on Cancer. MacSci, 2012 (£16.99)

This book is very highly recommended for people with little or no biological experience. Very useful for those who are not BioNatSci.

  • McKinnell, Robert G & Parchment, Ralph E. The Biological Basis of Cancer. CUP 2nd edn, 2006. (£40.00)