Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

The BMB doctoral program is designed to provide a comprehensive knowledge base along with the research and training experience necessary for the development of independent investigators in various areas of biochemistry and molecular biology. There are approximately 45 students in the BMB doctoral program, with 4-8 students graduating each year with a PhD degree. BMB provides training for both research-based and education-oriented careers, with the average time to the degree of being five and a half years. BMB's primary goal is training future scientists and educators to apply critical reasoning skills to solve problems in modern experimental biology and the classroom.

In the BMB doctoral program, students will learn how to perform novel and fundamental research in biochemistry and molecular biology in a laboratory under the mentorship of an advisor, which is a major requirement of this PhD doctoral program. The student is expected to be trained, during the PhD training, to think critically, communicate effectively and independently perform research. This training is crucial for the success of students in their future professional workplaces, including academia and industry. Graduates from our doctoral program are highly successful in acquiring post-doctoral employment, with several excelling in jobs in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Some go directly into faculty positions at area colleges, but most do post-doctoral work at highly-regarded institutions around the country.

Research Interests

Major research areas in the BMB doctoral program includes: Molecular biology of cancers, cellular signaling, endocytosis and trafficking, cellular communications/gap- and tight-junctions, tumor glycobiology, microbial metabolomics, biomarkers for detection and prognosis of cancer, cancer therapies, cancer stem cells, tumor microenvironment and cancer metastasis.

Molecular Biology of Cancers: This research focused to investigate the tumor-associated genes; cancer diagnostics, cancer vaccines; monoclonal antibodies, genetic engineering of antibodies.

Cellular Signaling, Endocytosis and Trafficking: This research is focused on understanding the basic mechanisms, and pathways that control the movement of receptors, proteins and lipids from point to point within the cell.

Cellular Communications/Gap- and Tight-Junctions: This topic of research is focused on analyzing the role and mechanism of tight junctions in different cancers.  

Microbial Metabolomics: This research is focused on understanding the functional implications of microbiomes.