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About Us

Professor in lab
Gerald Hart in the Laboratory

Welcome to the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Here you will find over 60 affiliated members (core, emeritus, adjunct, research) that are leading innovative research at the cutting edge of many disciplines. As researchers and educators, we have a passion for investigating and explaining the mysteries of life from biochemical, molecular and structural perspectives. That is, we thrive on digging down to the basic molecules of life – metabolites, lipids, chromosomes, RNAs, proteins, the myriad modifications of proteins, etc. – to understand the inner workings of integrated processes like cell differentiation, proliferation, motility, death, and the signaling pathways that mediate them. To help achieve these goals we employ specialized methodologies such as crystallography, NMR, enzymology, CRISPR-based gene editing, molecular biology, genetics, mass spectrometry and bioinformatics. Our subjects span the spectrum of life on earth, including extremophiles, phages/viruses, parasites, model organisms, plants, animals, and induced human pluripotent stem cells.

We are one of many nodes that investigate Life Sciences at the University of Georgia. We are interconnected with Chemistry for its analytical and synthetic traditions and Genetics for its precision access to the blueprint of life, and Microbiology, Infectious Disease, Plant Biology, Cellular Biology and Pharmaceutical Sciences for their emphases on different life forms and experimental traditions. Our Faculty who focus on parasitology, glycobiology, bioinformatics, biofuels, stem cells, molecular medicine, plant cells, cancer biology, and developmental biology are also affiliated with Centers, Alliances, and Institutes. Our multilayered affiliations and multidisciplinary integration enable groups to build critical mass to attract more students and resources to exert even greater impact on their research fields.

Our greatest strength, and identity itself, resides in our people – the approximately 500 undergraduate majors, 70 graduate students training for their Ph.D. degrees, 20 post-doctoral fellows, 40 research and administrative staff, and 40 primary faculty members. You will find us in classrooms all over campus and in our research labs in Davison Life Sciences, Coverdell, and the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center and Center for Molecular Medicine buildings. Here we realize our aspirations in research, education and service, subscribing to the cross-fertilization of ideas that flow from the synergy of our missions. Our flipped classroom and problem- and case-based teaching strategies and education research programs are advancing the frontiers of student learning. Making new discoveries and enlightening students, whether in the classroom or in the research lab via undergraduate or dissertation projects, excite us more than anything else.

There may be a place for you with us – short or long term! Please explore our web pages to learn about our faculty and their laboratories, research opportunities, seminars and symposia, faculty and student successes, award opportunities, our classroom teaching, our history, and relevant links to the outside world. Feel free to contact any of us, including myself, for more information about what we do and how we can help you.


west signature

Chris West, Ph.D.

Professor and Head

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Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.