Biochemistry and Biophysics

Advisory Committee: Professors Bishop, Goutte (Chair), Hansen, Loinaz, and O'Hara†; Associate Professors Carter, Jaswal, Jeong*, and Purdy; Assistant Professors Edwards, Jeong, Ragkousi, and Wu Orr.

*On leave 2022-2023. †On leave fall semester 2022-2023. ‡On leave spring semester 2022-2023.

The Program in Biochemistry & Biophysics (BCBP) is grounded in the idea that interdisciplinary training in the physical sciences leads to the deepest and most innovative understanding of living systems. Advances in understanding biological phenomena have often come directly from the development of tools from chemistry and physics, such as the use of radioisotopes and fluorophores, or the custom chemical synthesis of DNA strands. The field of molecular biology was born in the 1930s and 40s when many of the giants, including Bohr and Schrödinger, of the earlier quantum revolution turned their attention to biology, specifically, in the words of Gunther Stent, to “the physical basis of genetic information.” Today, biochemistry and biophysics continue to lead the way in scientific developments and discoveries. The rapid development of lipid-encapsulated mRNA vaccines against SARS CoV-2 is a true physics-chemistry-biology success story.

The BCBP Program began with two majors in 2012, and now averages 26 majors a year. The goal of our curriculum is to build foundations in chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, and computer sciences so that students are well equipped to take a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the molecular components and forces that drive living systems. The BCBP Program includes 12 participating faculty members from the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics who are committed to supporting the education and individual development of BCBP students in the classroom and beyond. The 12 faculty research labs that participate in the BCBP program engage in research projects that use experimental tools from biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and computer sciences to explore and explain living systems. These research labs provide extensions of the learning and training in the classroom, and welcome students as trainees and collaborators.

Contact Information

Visit our Faculty & Staff page for a full listing of our department

Catherine A. Stillerman

Academic Department Coordinator
205A Science Center

Caroline E. Goutte

Chair 2021-2022
B218 Science Center