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.
Julian H. Lewis, PhD 1915, the first African American to hold both an MD and a PhD, conducted groundbreaking research on race and blood typing that led to his hallmark book, Biology of the Negro (1942). His book was a precursor to the field of anthropathology and is credited with changing many people’s perspectives on race. Lewis was also the first African American to teach at the University of Chicago, where he was a noted expert in immunology.