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 Yokoyama Lab

Lab Spotlight

The Yokoyama Lab is researching enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of bacterial and human cofactors, antibiotics, and anticancer agents, and the fungal cell wall targeted by FDA-approved antifungals. Their studies have elucidated many novel enzyme activities, have led to peptide discoveries that rescue cofactor deficiency disease, and have opened up new possibilities for genomics-guided antibiotic exploration.

Recent News

Nature Communications has published two papers in a row by Yang Lab graduate students, Trieu Le and Son Le, respectively. The first discovered an activation gate that controls lipid and ion transport through TMEM16 proteins and the second uncovered the molecular mechanism of TMEM16A chloride channel desensitization....

After a competitive process, Megan Kelly is awarded a prestigious NIAID F30 grant. Read More

To help our first year students feel at home, they were welcomed with their first, of many, social gatherings.

See all the photos from this year's thrilling competition. Look Now