Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago. Our Department offers training for careers in biochemistry and molecular biophysics. Research encompasses all areas of modern biochemistry, including but not limited to the following topics: protein engineering, RNA catalysis, error biology, microbiology, stress response, DNA recombination, epigenetics, molecular immunology, cytoskelelton, ion channels and membrane biophysics, and protein and RNA folding. In addition to more traditional biochemical approaches, techniques employed in the department include but are not limited to NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, single-molecule techniques, computational approaches, display technology, electron paramagnetic resonance, and small angle X-ray scattering. Our Department is distinguished by its intellectual rigor and collaborative style. The interdisciplinary nature of the Department is further accentuated through the Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, which brings together biological and physical scientists to pursue common research goals, and through NIH-sponsored training programs in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Chemical Biology.
Biochemist Donald F. Steiner, SM’56, MD’56, discovered proinsulin, the first “pro-hormone” and precursor to insulin. The 1965 finding led to the synthetic production of human insulin, markedly improving therapy for diabetes sufferers, and laid the groundwork for improved understanding of how other proteins in the body are made.