The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers a program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The objective of this program 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.