Biochemistry (Ph.D.) Program Details

Degree Requirements

    ❱   Required coursework
    ❱   Qualifying or comprehensive examination
    ❱   Graduate School writing proficiency requirement
    ❱   Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement
    ❱   Dissertation  
    ❱   Final oral examination/Dissertation defense

Research Areas & Interests 

Faculty Research Interests

 A sampling of research interests

  • Intermediary metabolism: hormones including signal transduction, biochemical pathways, and their regulation
  • Cellular and molecular biology and cancer metastasis
  • Human molecular genetics, anticancer agents, and cell biology
  • Molecular basis for aging and sexual reproduction
  • Analysis of connective tissue protein gene expression.
  • Human immunogenetics; genetic epidemiology of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and diabetes
  • Cellular immunology and immunogenetics
  • Natural Killer cell and lymphokine-activated killer cell activity 
  • Genetics of asthma, allergy, and immunology
  • Characterization of viral diseases, viral replication, and viral genetics
  • Parasitology; antibody responses to malaria and selected bacterial pathogens
  • Molecular biology and medical bacteriology
  • Sociological basis or areas dealing with biostatistics and genetic epidemiology
  • Epigenetic-based biomarkers for cancer detection and to explore epigenetic alterations in cancer for novel therapeutic angles
  • Characterization of anthranilate synthase and related chorismate-utilizing enzymes from bacteria

Program of Study*


BIOC 170   General Biochemistry

BIOC 203   Biochemistry Laboratory

BIOC 216   Practical Biochemistry

BIOC 211   Orientation to Research

BIOC 201   Seminars in Biochemistry**

BIOC 272   Metabolic Regulation

BIOC 240   Advanced Enzymology 

BIOC 270   Molecular Biology

BIOC 208   Protein Structure and Function

BIOL 430    Biostatistics

BIOC 205   Directed Research

**Note: A total of 5 credit hours of the seminar course must be completed.


A sampling of elective courses

CHEM 278   Physical Chemistry

CHEM 243   Organic Chemistry

CHEM 231   Analytical Chemistry


*Courses included in the sample program of study are subject to change. Students should consult with their programs regarding their required program of study. 

Admission to Candidacy 

Students are admitted to formal candidacy by the Graduate School when they have completed the required coursework, passed the qualifying or comprehensive examination, submitted an approved topic for research, and been recommended by the Department. Candidates must also have satisfied the Graduate School writing proficiency requirement and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement.

Graduate Funding 

Admitted students may be eligible to compete for Graduate School competitive awards, which provide tuition remission and a stipend during the academic year. Additionally, graduate research or teaching assistantships may be available at the department level. Research assistants and teaching assistants work no more than 20 hours a week under the program's direction, usually in support of faculty research (research assistants) or in support of assigned courses (teaching assistants). Please see the Funding website for more detailed information.