Message from the Interim Chair
Susan Hayflick, M.D.
Interim Chair, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Chair, Molecular and Medical Genetics
Biochemistry underpins many of the basic biomedical sciences, from molecular genetics to immunology and pharmacology. Biochemists identify the molecular players in cellular function and their mechanisms of action. Students in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology come to learn, in atomic detail, about the molecular interactions common to basic life processes, and the techniques that illuminate the molecular underpinnings of normal physiology and the diseased state. Our faculty are experts in the methods of molecular genetics, protein biochemistry, enzymology, x-ray crystallography, mass spectrometry and electron microscopy. Application areas range widely from the genetic causes of cancer, to protein synthesis and modification, to cell communication, signal transduction and the metabolic pathways of parasites, viral cell entry, and to the fundamentals of bio-molecular structure and dynamics.
The department plays a very active role in the training of future generations of physicians and scientists, as instructors in the basic science curriculum of the OHSU Medical School and in Ph.D. programs. Research trainees enter through one of several campus-wide graduate programs: Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Neuroscience, or the MD-PhD Program, while those interested in bridging to/from Physics, Math and Computation can enter through Quantitative Bioscience & Biomedical Engineering.