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.

Illustration of the Kuehn Lab

Lab Spotlight

Get to know the Kuehn Lab. They research the genetic, biochemical and functional features of bacterial vesicle production. Their studies will provide new insights into the membrane dynamics of Gram-negative bacteria and aid in the identification of new therapeutic targets for important human and plant pathogens. 

Recent News

Frontiers in Microbiology published recent PhD graduate, Nichole Orench-Rivera’s thesis work that determined outer membrane cargo selectivity based on call wall tethering. Read more

Haoran Pang, in the Yokoyama lab, received the best poster award at the 11th Annual Southeast Enzymes Conference (SEC) held virtually. A part of his work was published in JACS in 2020.  

Skyler Cochrane presented her research, "Novel Sulfonyl Piperzine Antibiotics Targeting the Lipid A Biosynthetic Enzyme LpxH in Gram-negative Bacteria” during the Antibacterial Targets and Drug Discovery Spotlight Session at the April Experimental Biology Virtual Conference.

To our 2021 newly minted Biochemistry PhDs. Your success is well deserved!