The Department of Biochemistry began as a semi-independent Division within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 1986, and became a separate Department in 2018. The Biochemistry Department is located on the east campus in the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building and current research in the Department spans a wide range of fields from biophysical chemistry to cellular and molecular biology.
Specific areas of focus in the Biochemistry Department are: (1) nucleic acid biochemistry, including RNA structure and function and mechanisms of transcription and replication, (2) signal transduction and cell cycle regulation, and (3) structural biology, including X-ray and electron microscopy, as well as proteomics and bioinformatics. One notable feature of research in the Department is the interactive and collaborative nature of the research, which has a broader effect on the whole university community.
Biochemistry By the Numbers
Biochemistry has over 140 researchers, currently consisting of:
21 tenure track faculty
1 research faculty
2 teaching professors
~75 Ph.D. students
~42 postdocs and scientists
~29 technical staff
7 administrative staff
~400 undergraduate Biochemistry majors, many of which perform undergraduate research and some graduate with Honors by completing an Honors thesis
The Biochemistry faculty include:
a Nobel Laureate
five members of the National Academy of Sciences
three Howard Hughes Investigators
Faculty Awards through the Years:
NIH MERIT Award
NIH Career Development Award
NSF CAREER Award
NIH Pioneer Award
Beckman Young Investigator
University Distinguished Professor
2010-2016 members of the Biochemistry Department published over 800 articles in scholarly journals. Overwhelmingly these papers include graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate students as coauthors.
The Biochemistry Department has a vibrant graduate program and also has two NIH-funded pre-doctoral training programs – one in Signal and Cellular Regulation and a second in Molecular Biophysics. Approximately 60% of the recent Ph.D.s in the Department go on to perform postdoctoral research and most graduates end up with a position in academia or in the biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry.
The Division also participates in community education and science outreach programs, examples include: Science Community Outreach Program and Education (S.C.O.P.E.) and Partnerships for Informal Science Education in the Community (PISEC).