Duke Biochemistry PhD Program

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
Drs. Paul Modrich and Robert Lefkowitz

Let’s Talk About our Two Nobels in Chemistry

Considered the most prestigious award in the world, the Nobel Prize was given to 2 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.

Dr. Huanghe Yang

Lab Spotlight

Dr. Huanghe Yang and his lab study the molecular and cellular mechanisms of ion and lipid transport across cell membranes and their impact on health and treatment of disease. They focus on the recently discovered TMEM16 protein family—which include the calcium-activated ion channels and calcium-activated lipid scramblases. 

Recent News

Dr. Maria Schumacher was part of a team that found that beyond topoisomerases, an additional protein, GapR in the bacteria Caulobacter crescentus is essential for...

As part of the Emerging Leaders Institute, Grace Beggs and team developed a list of time management tools tailored to graduate...

Kenichi Yokoyama, Ph.D. has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry administered by the American...

Drs. Jane and Dave Richardson were selected as the co-winners of the 2018 Carl Brändén Award by the Protein Society. This...