Biochemistry Faculty Director: Peter Burgers, Ph.D.
Research in biochemistry utilizes the concepts and approaches of chemistry to understand the molecular basis of biological processes. Fundamental chemical principles and techniques are used to understand the stability and specificity of macromolecular interactions as well as their mechanisms of action in processes such as DNA replication, signal transduction and gene regulation. The complexity of the biology makes the application of chemical principles challenging for the biochemist.
The focus of much biochemical research is on the molecular description of biological processes. Receptor-ligand interactions, macromolecular stability and assembly, as well as the mechanisms of enzyme catalysis, are of particular interest, since these are central to the function and regulation of all biological systems. Studies of the kinetics, energetics and dynamics of these interactions and the structures of the macromolecules involved provide the main experimental avenues that often are combined with theoretical approaches to obtain a molecular description of important biological processes.