University of Vermont

A Closer Look at

The Biochemistry Major

Offered by: Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arts and Sciences, and Medicine


Overview

Biochemistry is the science that unifies chemistry and biology to provide a fundamental understanding of the chemical and physical processes occurring in all living organisms. It also serves as a foundation for many other disciplines, including microbiology, cell biology, genetics, and pharmacology. Owing to the DNA sequencing of the human genome and other exciting developments, the opportunities in biotechnology available to students today rival those associated with the semiconductor revolution in the latter part of the last century. Students pursuing the biochemistry major are well positioned to pursue graduate medical or veterinary school upon graduation. Alternatively, students with a biochemistry degree are competitive as technologists in industry or academia.


What Will I Study?

Students enrolled in the cross-college Biochemistry program received the B.S. degree, and take a core set of basic courses in chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics in their first two years. During that time, they also fulfill college distribution requirements in the humanities, fine arts, communication , and information technology. Advanced courses in biochemistry, chemistry, and molecular biology occupy the last two years of the major, along with a wide variety of electives from biological science departments across the campus. Biochemistry is a "hands on" discipline, so students are strongly encouraged to participate in undergraduate research during their last two years.


Exciting Research Opportunities

The program strongly encourages and facilitates undergraduate research in the NIH- and NSF-sponsored projects that make up the research programs of program faculty. These span a diverse array of scientific questions and focus areas, including the molecular basis of plant development, the structure and function of enzymes that interact with DNA and RNA, and the biochemical basis of human diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, autoimmunity disorders, and cardiovascular disease. Student engaged in undergraduate research work at the bench right next to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars. They attend seminars and colloquia to hear prominent visiting speakers, and have the opportunity to see their work published in scholarly journals. receive additional training that would position them for a career in business management, patent law, or bioinformatics.


Looking to the Future

Our graduating biochemistry majors will be ideally situated to pursue a broad range of scientific careers as researchers, professors, physicians, and dentists. For students whose career interests do not include graduate work to the Ph.D or professional school, the biochemistry degree is also outstanding training for careers in the rapidly growing biotechnology industry. With a biochemistry degree as foundation, a student could receive additional training that would position them for a career in business management, patent law, or bioinformatics.


Core Requirements

  • Calculus
  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Genetics
  • General Biochemistry
  • Physical Chemistry

Advanced Electives

  • Plant Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Advanced Genetics Lab
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics of the Cell Cycle
  • Developmental Molecular Genetics
  • Molecular Endocrinology
  • Molecular Cloning
  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Bioinoformatics
  • Macromolecular Structure of Proteins and Nucleic Acids
  • Nutritional Biochemistry
  • Toxicology


Faculty and Area of Expertise

Co-Directors
Christopher Francklyn, Ph.D. Biochemistry
Christopher Landry, Ph.D. Chemistry

Program Faculty
Erik Bateman, Ph.D. READING UNIVERSITY
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Christopher Berger, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
Molecular Biophysics
Jeffry Bond, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
John Burke, Ph.D.MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
William Currier, Ph.D. PURDUE UNIVERSITY
Botany
Margaret Daugherty , Ph.D.WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
Biochemistry
Sylvie Doublié, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, CHAPEL HILL
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Stephen Everse, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-SAN DIEGO
Biochemistry
Greg Gilmartin, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Joel Goldberg, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Chemistry
Scott Gordon, Ph.D.CARNEGIE MELLON
Chemistry
Jean Harris, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Botany
Nicholas Heintz, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT
Pathology
Douglas Johnson, Ph.D. PURDUE UNIVERSITY
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Joanne Knapp, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-DAVIS
Animal Sciences
Willem Leenstra, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Chemistry
George Long, Ph.D.BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY
Biochemistry
Barbara Lyons, Ph.D.CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Biochemistry
Jose Madalengoitia, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
Biochemistry
Dwight Mathews, Ph.D.INDIANA UNIVERSITY
Chemistry
Scott Morrical, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
Biochemistry
Kentaro Muakami, Ph.D.HOKKAIDO UNIVERSITY, JAPAN
Biology
David Pederson, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Karen Plaut, Ph.D.CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Animal Sciences
Mary Tierney, Ph.D.MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Botany
Paula Tracy, Ph.D.SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY
Biochemistry
Susan Wallace, Ph.D.CORNELL UNIVERSITY
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Gary Ward, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-SAN DIEGO
Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Judith Van Houten, Ph.D.UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Biology
Jim Vigoreaux, Ph.D.OKLAHOMA UNIVERSITY
Biology

Last modified September 10 2007 04:11 PM

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