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Department of Biochemistry


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.

There are a number of very good biochemistry text books available… some of which are quite general and cover similar topics, while others are more specialized. It’s probably a good idea to choose one of the ‘Leading General Biochemistry Texts’ that suits you, then use the others to dip in and out of as required. The use of relevant textbooks is essential for underpinning the material given to you in lectures – do make the most of the resources available to you.

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

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

  • Berg, J. M., Tymoczko, J. L. and Stryer, L. Biochemistry. Freeman, 7th edition, 2011. (£58.99)

Similar in style and layout to previous editions but expanded and updated. For access to Student Resources see:

  • Lodish, H., Berk, A., Zipursky, S. L., Matsudaira, P., Baltimore, D. and James Darnell, J. Molecular Cell Biology , Freeman, 7th edition 2013. (£67.99)

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

  • Nelson, D. L. & Cox, M. M. Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry. Freeman, 6th edition, 2013. (£55.99). Particularly useful for bioenergetics and metabolism. Good for signalling.

  • Alberts, B., Johnson, A., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K. and Walter P. Molecular Biology of the Cell. Garland Science, 6th edition 2014 (£75.00 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.

(b) Other good biochemistry texts

  • Karp, G. Cell Biology. Wiley, 7th edition 2013. (£192.99) 1 copy

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

  • Mathews, C. K. & Van Holde, K. E. & Ahern, K. G. Biochemistry. Addison Wesley, 4th edition, 2012. (£59.99).
  • Voet, D. & Voet, J. G. Biochemistry. 4th edition, 2013. (£49.99)
  • Voet, D., Voet, J. G. & Pratt, C. W. Principles of Biochemistry. Wiley, 4th edition, 2013. (£49.99) 

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.

(c) For a quick overview of factual material – useful for revision:

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

(d) And for an introduction to practical biochemistry:

  • Wilson, K. & Walker, J. Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. CUP, 7th edition, 2010 (£29.99)

(e) For a very basic chemistry revision:

  • Crowe, J. Chemistry for the Biosciences. OUP, 3rd edition, 2014. (£29.99).

(f) For Cell Biology:

  • Alberts, B. et al. Essential Cell Biology, Garland, 4th edition 2014. (£60.00)

This strictly is a Cell Biology text, but it covers many aspects of modern biochemistry, although without so much on the "structural" side. 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.

Books on specific topics, for perusal in libraries

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

  • Brown, T. A. Gene Cloning and DNA analysis: an introduction. Blackwell Science, 6th edition 2010 (£37.50)
  • Brown, T. A. Genomes. Bios, 3rd edition, 2006. (£39.99)
  • Howe, C. J. Gene Cloning and Manipulation. CUP, 2nd edition, 2007. (£34.99)
  • Lewin, B. Genes XIII. Pearson Higher Education, 2003. (£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, 7th edition 2013. (£133.99)
  • Lesk, M. Introduction to Genomics. 2nd edition. OUP 2007 (£38.99)
  • Morgan, David O. The Cell Cycle. OUP 2006 (£35.99)
  • Serdyuk, Igor N. Methods in Molecular Biophysics. CUP 2007 (£78.00 Hardback)

(b) Proteins and enzymes

  • Abeles, Robert H., Frey, Perry A., Jencks, William P. Biochemistry. Jones and Bartlett Publishers International, 1992 (£39.99)
  • Branden, C. & Tooze, J. Introduction to Protein Structure. Garland, 2nd edition, 1999. (£58.00). Beautifully illustrated
  • Bugg, T. Introduction to Enzyme and Coenzyme Chemistry. Blackwell Science, 3rd edition, 2012 (£34.95)
  • Creighton, T. E. Proteins. Freeman, 2nd edition, 1992. (£73.99)
  • 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 edition 1999. (£56.99) Good for those who like to dig into fundamentals.
  • Gregory Petsko and Dagmar Ringe, Protein Structure and Function, Primers in
  • Biology, Oxford University Press, 2008 (£39.99)
  • 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 edition 2008. (£39.99)
  • Gadian, D. G. NMR and its applications to living systems. OUP, 2nd edition, 1996. (£80.00) 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.
  • Heldin & Purton Signal Transduction Chapman & Hall 1996, (Reprinted by Stanley Thornes, 1998). Old but still good
  • Hancock Cell signalling OUP 3rd Edn, 2010

(d) Bioenergetics

  • Nicholls, D. G. & Ferguson, S. J. Bioenergetics 3. Academic Press, 3rd edn, 2002. (£52.99). Excellent and all you need.

(e) Cancer

  • Weinberg, R. The Biology of Cancer. Garland Science, second edition 2014. The most comprehensive cancer biology textbook complete with a CD-ROM. Will be useful for Part II courses as well as IB.
  • 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 edition, 2006. (£45.00)

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.

Links to literature sources on Moodle

The Reading list and links to Textbooks and Journals can be found on Moodle

  • Textbooks via pubmed
  • Links to Electronic Journals via the University
  • Trends in Biochemical Sciences (TiBS)
  • Current Opinions in Chemical Biology
  • Current Opinions in Structural Biology