Established in 1986, the Biochemistry Division spans a wide range of fields from Bioinformatics and Cellular and Molecular Biology, to Synthetic and Biophysical Chemistry. The current areas of focus involve:

  • Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Biochemistry, including RNA structure and function and mechanisms of Transcription and Replication
  • Structural Biology, including X-ray and NMR, Proteomics, and Informatics
  • Molecular Biophysics and Signal Transduction 
  • Proteomics, Genomics, and Bio-informatics 
  • And much more
Caruthers Building Inside the Caruthers Building View outside the Caruthers Building

The current Biochemistry faculty include a Nobel Laureate, three members of the National Academy of Sciences, three Howard Hughes Investigators, a Howard Hughes Early Career Scientist, three NIH MERIT Awardees, three former NIH Career Development Awardees, an NSF CAREER Awardee, two former Guggenheim fellows, a former Pew Scholar, a former Beckman Young Investigator, two former Searle Scholars, and two University Distinguished Professors. 

In the past several years the Biochemistry faculty has averaged a total of approximately 50 papers in scholarly journals. These papers overwhelmingly include graduate students and post-doctorates as coauthors. The Biochemistry Divisions has a vibrant graduate program and participates in three NIH-funded training grants, which support PhD training for current students. Approximately 60% of the recent PhDs in the Division go on to perform postdoctoral research and most graduates end up with a position in academia or in the biotech and/or pharmaceutical industry. 

Research in Biochemistry laboratories is currently supported at a level of $440,000/yr per lab. Furthermore, the Biochemistry Division had external awards of $13 million in FY 2013. The largest source of funding is the National Institutes of Health, and additional funding sources include:

  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • National Science Foundation
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Defense
  • Pew Foundation
  • W. M. Keck Foundation
  • Beckman Foundation
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association 
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  

Individual faculty collaboration with industrial partners and contracts/gifts to support research in Biochemistry are currently provided by Agilent Technologies, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, InDevR, Somalogic, and Array Biopharma.

In short, The Biochemistry Division of University of Colorado at Boulder offers a world-class interdisciplinary research environment in a beautiful mountain setting.

Suggested Undergraduate Course Requirements

The link above to suggested undergraduate course requirements are just that, suggested.  We have accepted students who have undergraduate majors in Biology, Chemistry,Genomics, MCD Biology, Bioinformatics, Chemical Engineering and many other majors.  Keep in mind that lab research is also highly considered for admissionand this research can be paid or unpaid.

Opportunities for Underrepresented Students

The Colorado Advantage Program is intended to introduce college seniors interested in graduate school (PhD) to the outstanding Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) doctoral programs at CU-Boulder.

The Colorado Advantage Program will be having a Graduate Preview Weekend November 6-8, 2014.  This is an opportunity to preview the Chemistry and Biochemistry PhD Programs at CU-Boulder. Click here for Colorado Advantage Program application and details about this weekend.

Certificate Program in IQ Biology

The PhD certificate program in Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biology (IQ Biology) is a University of Colorado cross-departmental program and part of the BioFrontiers Institute. Biochemistry is a participating department. For graduate students with a strong quantitative or biological background, IQ Biology offers a diverse interdisciplinary experience through lab rotations, curriculum, and programs. For more information about IQ Biology, please visit

Molecular Biophysics at the University of Colorado

The Molecular Biophysics Program at the University of Colorado, jointly sponsored by NIH and CU, is a collaborative effort involving students, postdocs and faculty from four departments on the Boulder campus. Participants share a common interest in biological systems, and seek to understand these systems in terms of physical and chemical principles. Visit for more information.