Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Program
Program Directors: Dr. Joseph Wu (M.S. students) and Dr. Yuk-Ching Tse-Dinh (Ph.D. students).
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The objective of these programs is to provide students with a thorough background in modern biochemistry and molecular biology. This theoretical background provides the fundamental knowledge necessary for an understanding of the life sciences at the molecular level.
The doctoral program prepares students for a career in independent research or teaching in academia, government, or industry. Doctoral students are introduced to laboratory research early in their course of study. Research opportunities in the department are in the areas of protein structure and function, enzyme reaction mechanisms, regulation of gene expression, mechanism of hormone action and cell signaling, enzymology and mechanisms of DNA replication and repair, cell cycle regulation, control of cell growth, molecular biology of the cancer process, molecular neurobiology, and the genetics and biochemistry of bacterial and viral pathogens. A common theme of the research programs is the application of modern recombinant DNA technology to the study of gene regulation and protein structure-function relationships. Specific admission requirements for the Ph.D. include: one year each of inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics at the undergraduate levels. A year of physical chemistry is also recommended.
The Master’s program provides advanced training in the principles of biochemistry and molecular biology. Research opportunities are available (Plan B). Recent graduates from the Master’s program have found technical positions in academic and pharmaceutical company labs, pursued careers in teaching, science writing and editing, and as scientific consultants in business settings, or have gone on to advanced studies for the Ph.D. or M.D. degrees.