The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology consists of a somewhat small, but dedicated and hardworking faculty. The faculty is diverse, as is the research activities of the faculty. Most of the department’s varied research activities also address studies that are often focused on health disparities (see the department’s faculty link pages for more details of their research interests). All current faculty members have earned tenure status and most of them are externally funded.

As stated in part of the department’s mission statement, we are dedicated to developing a high caliber program of research and research-based education in, molecular medicine in order to: “promote understanding and amelioration of the disease process, train students with high academic potential in the health sciences and serve the university and scientific community."

The goals of this department continue to reflect its pursuit of excellence in "teaching, research, and service."

I. Teaching Goals

A. To provide Health Science students with state-of-the-art instruction in basic    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

B. To train graduate students for careers in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and other related fields


II. Research Goals: To promote individual and collaborative research in the following (Focus Group) areas:

A. Cellular and Metabolic Regulation (which includes mechanisms of hormone action, nutritional biochemistry, and signal transduction).

B. Molecular Biology - Regulation and Analysis of Genes and their Expression (RAGE) (which includes protein structure and function, mechanisms of enzyme and protein action, cancer biology, molecular modeling and design, separation of macromolecules, and structural and dynamic analysis).



Principal Interest Areas

Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology

Students can pursue research interests utilizing biochemistry and molecular biological techniques, including CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing techniques. Specific faculty research interests are in the areas of (a) cellular and molecular biology and cancer metastasis, (b) human molecular genetics, anticancer agents and cell biology, (c) molecular basis for aging, (d) regulation of gene expression, genome maintenance (DNA repair mechanisms), (e) computational biology and bioinformatics analyses and (f) diseases associated with health disparities. Some of the diseases being studied in the Department include leukemia, prostate cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, liver cancer, aging associated diseases, and more recently studies of Covid infections and mechanisms of action.

Other Research Areas

On a case-by-case basis, students are also allowed to pursue research interests with a resident faculty in collaboration with researchers at other educational or governmental institutions. Generally, the research topic is one which falls within the four areas within the department but may not be represented in the laboratory of a full-time faculty within the department.

Research Facilities

Research laboratories, administrative and faculty offices and departmental course laboratories are in contiguous spaces within the pre-clinical west, Numa P.G. Adams, and Seeley G. Mudd buildings. Additional research space is located in the Cancer Center and the Inter-Disciplinary Research Building. Additional common rooms and support services are available in the pre-clinical and Mudd buildings, as well.