Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

MS and PHD

Program Information

Program/Department Chair: Peter Rotwein

Program length: Five Years

Admit by cohort:

Authorized Award(s): MS and PhD

Minimum number graded credit hours: 14/term

Minimum acceptable GPA: 3.0 GPA

Program Purpose Statement 

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) carries out fundamental research on mechanisms of disease at atomic and molecular levels of resolution. Our faculty use a range of scientific approaches to assess protein structure and function, to evaluate interactions of receptors with their ligands, and transporters with their cargo, to dissect the biochemical properties of signal transduction networks and transcriptional pathways that influence cell fate and function, and to investigate the essential properties of disease-causing viruses and protozoan pathogens. In addition, a new graduate level track in molecular biophysics and structural biology will provide opportunities for students seeking to learn more physical and quantitative approaches to solving fundamental biomedical research problems.


Student Learning Outcomes Statements 

All of our graduates will be able to:


Research Skills and Techniques
  1. Perform cutting-edge research on a wide variety of biochemical and molecular problems
  2. Accurately and professionally present their research in seminar format
  3. Analyze, discuss and create theoretical framework using the most recent primary literature
  4. Design, facilitate and execute research projects in accordance with the scientific research method


Research Environment
  1. Understand and comply with current policies on the rights of research subjects, copyrights, ethics, malpractice, data ownership and use of animals, hazardous materials and rDNA.
  2. Maintain a safe workspace, adhere to lab safety regulations and display responsible conduct in research
  3. Prepare documents and literature for research funding
  4. Show the ability to evaluate and critique their own research as well as the research of others


Communication Skills
  1. Produce written documents appropriate for publication, progress reports and thesis
  2. Accurately and professionally present their research in seminar format
  3. Defend research findings in an examination environment
  4. Demonstrate the ability to constructively mentor, teach and support others
  5. Present research findings to the public in terms understandable to those without knowledge of the biomedical sciences


Teamwork/Networking skills
  1. Develop and maintain good working relationships with colleagues, supervisors and administrative staff at the institution
  2. Establish new connections within their field of research by attending seminars, meetings, symposiums or conferences.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to effectively listen and give constructive feedback to others
  4. Professionally communicate through email and written correspondence
  5. Show leadership skills and effective team management


Career Management
  1. Show a desire and ability for continued professional growth
  2. Create and maintain a professional CV and/or biosketch
  3. Understand their field of research and employment opportunities within it
  4. Efficiently manage their own schedule, arriving on-time to meetings, classes and other scheduled events