• Congratulations!

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

  • The Department of Biochemistry Wishes to Recognize

    George Georgiou, Grace Hooks, Justin Martyr, Daniel Wesenberg and Huanyu Zhu who received honorable mentions for the highly competitive NSF GRFP award. Congratulations on your recognition.

  • Biochemistry Seminar

    Nozaki Memorial Lecture
    Michael Summers, Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County
    Insights into the Mechanism of HIV-1 Genome Selection and Packaging

    When: Friday, May 14, 12:00 PM. E-mail for Zoom link...

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.

Dr. Brian Coggins

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Brian Coggins is course director for the main undergraduate biochemistry class, which he teaches to 350-450 students per year. Outside the classroom, he designs and develops new methods and resources for biochemical education. Dr. Coggins received his undergraduate degree and PhD from Duke, where he worked with Pei Zhou to develop more efficient techniques for protein NMR data collection. 

Recent News

After his former PhD student, Alex Broussard, serendipitously discovered the role of the enzyme GALE in mucus secretion, Dr. Michael Boyce's lab embarked on a new area of exploration. Read more  

We celebrate Jane Richardson. She helped solve 2 of the roughly first 20 protein structures and is the "mother" of the ribbon diagram—a standard representation of protein structures. Read more

We celebrate Dr. Lorena Beese. She uses X-ray crystallography to derive hi-res, 3D protein images that, combined with different scientific analyses, address cancer biology questions to develop therapeutic agents for cancer treatment and other diseases. Read more



We celebrate Dr. Maria Schumacher. Her lab has determined the molecular mechanisms of important biological systems by understanding those involved in protein-nucleic acid interactions in relation to microbial pathogenesis. Read more