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 G protein-coupled receptors.

The Boyce Lab

Lab Spotlight

Dr. Mike Boyce and his lab study protein glycosylation. It is the most abundant post-translational modification in nature and impacts all aspects of cell physiology. As a sugar-based modification, it lies at the nexus of cell signaling and cell metabolism. Glycosylation is difficult to study with common techniques, therefore his lab uses a range of biochemical, biophysical, cell biological and chemical biological methods to study protein glycosylation in mammalian health and disease.

Recent News

Published in Nature Communications, the Lee Lab defines four crystal structures of the Lipid II flippase, MurJ. They identified the key ion for function and provided a framework for the development of inhibitors. Read More

Jane Richardson is the 2019 recipient of the Alexander Hollaender Award for her outstanding contributions to the field of biophysics. Read about Jane's accomplishments.

A PhD can take varied career paths outside the common faculty position. Our own Jimin Hu, of the Boyce Lab, shares one alumna's atypical story. Read More

Congratulations to Blanca Rodriguez for her recent fellowship award to attend the 2019 Microbial Adhesion and Signal Transduction GRC.