PhD Program

We’re one of the few programs in the country that trains in structure/function—where students learn at the molecular level and from the ground up to find the cause and cure of disease. In our program, students take the lead in their research and frequently collaborate with different labs. And the research? It’s cutting-edge in a supportive environment. See how we train the next generation of biochemists.

Research Interest Areas

  • DNA Biochemistry
  • RNA Biochemistry
  • Lipids, lipoproteins, membrane transport,
    membrane structure and function
  • Protein structural biochemistry and biophysics
  • Mechanisms of signal transduction
  • Enzyme catalysis and regulation
  • Glycobiology, vaccine and antifungal

Let’s Talk About our Two Nobels in Chemistry

Considered the most prestigious award in the world, the Nobel Prize was given to two faculty in the Department of Biochemistry. In 2015, Dr. Paul Modrich received the Nobel in Chemistry for his mechanistic studies in DNA repair and in 2012, Dr. Robert Lefkowitz won the Nobel in Chemistry for his discoveries that reveal the inner workings of an important family of G protein-coupled receptors.

The Zhou Lab 2019

Lab Spotlight

The Zhou Lab elucidates the connections among the structure, dynamics, and function of protein–protein and protein–ligand complexes and their roles in various cellular processes. Current efforts focus on protein complexes involved in bacterial membrane biosynthesis, co-transcriptional regulation, and translesion DNA synthesis using NMR, crystallography, cryoEM and enzymology. The Zhou lab has also played a major role in the development and application of innovative NMR technologies, including automated resonance assignment and high-resolution, high-dimensional spectral reconstruction from sparsely sampled data.

Recent News

In 2019-20 we had nine Phds who successfully defended their dissertations. Read more

Michael Boyce, PhD, to co-direct national program charged with enhancing diversity among biomedical research faculty. Read more

 Biochemistry welcomed six new students in the 2020 matriculating class.

Skyler develops and tests novel inhibitors of LpxH and investigates how to improve the permeation of antibiotics across the double membrane of highly infectious, gram-negative bacteria. Read more about her research