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Free Educational Resources

Faculty in our department have written open-source textbooks and guides to help biochemistry and biophysics students get the resources they need.

We are dedicated to improving and expanding biochemistry education across Oregon and beyond and hope to offer materials that can assist teachers and instructors in bringing science to their classrooms. We believe that every student should have ready access to the learning materials they need. Faculty in our department have worked to create comprehensive textbooks that are free and available for our students and the public.

Fundamentals of Cell Biology

Written by BB's Lauren Dalton and collaborator Robin Young

This textbook is focused specifically on the principles and concepts of a foundational Cell Biology course. The book takes a more conceptual approach that highlights how scientists study cells, and how to analyze and interpret experimental results. Rather than focusing primarily on historical experiments that were key to our understanding of cells, the book explores a range of more modern experimental techniques so that students can begin to understand how cells are studied now, in the 21st century. The book includes over 200 newly created illustrations and animations, that were specifically designed for this book, as well as review questions at the end of each chapter, to help students explore and understand the material.

Download this book here 

Biochemistry Free For All 1.3

Kevin, Indira and Taralyn Tan's lastest (FREE) electronic book is aimed at helping students at all levels of biochemistry to learn in a fun and engaging format. The iBooks version can run on an iPad or a Mac running iBooks. The PDF version can be used on any computer. Please note that the file is VERY large and will take considerable time to download.

Access the iPad version 
Download powerpoint files by topic 
Download: Biochemistry Free For All 1.3 (pdf)

Biochemistry Free & Easy

Kevin and Indira's electronic book is aimed at helping students learn the basics of biochemistry in a fun and engaging format. The book incorporates original songs, recordings, verses and links to over 100 video lectures.

  • The full-featured iPad version can be viewed only on an iPad with iBooks.
  • The PDF version can be viewed on any computer.
  • The iPad version is now available in most countries.
Access the iPad version 
Access the Kindle version on Amazon 
Download the PDF version 

Applied Bioinformatics

Written by bioinformaticist David Hendrix, this textbook provides a broad introduction to bioinformatics with a special focus on nucleic acid sequences. Topics range from some basic concepts such as sequence alignment and motifs, and then covers the analysis of deep sequencing data and projects with large data sets. The book can be read for free online or can be downloaded at a low cost.

More free resources

In addition to the two free textbooks, acclaimed former BB instructors Kevin Ahern and Indira Rajagopal also put together a host of instructive materials still in use by students around the globe. Courses (based on the textbooks) are available for free through Apple's iTunes U, and the pair has recently published "Kevin and Indira's New Guide to Getting Into Medical School." All of this, and much more, is available on Ahern's website, which also includes lecture videos, free courses and downloadable teaching resources for faculty.

Contact Kevin at to learn more!

Support free biochemistry & biophysics education

Help support the efforts behind these books and the development of new ones by donating through the OSU Foundation. Make sure to indicate that the donation is for the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the “I want to give to” box.