Greetings from the Head
Welcome to the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Here you will find over 60 affiliated faculty 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 achieve these goals we specialize in structural biology (crystallography and NMR), enzyme kinetics, metalloenzymes, CRISPR-based gene editing, molecular biology, and cell biology. Our subjects span the spectrum of life on earth, including extremophiles, phages/viruses, parasites, model organisms, plants, animals and humans.
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 funding to exert even greater impact on the their areas of biological interest.
Our goals are realized through research, education and service. Faculty and Staff specialize in these activities according to their talents and experience. But a defining characteristic of academia is the synergy between these divisions, because of the many ways in which research informs teaching, teaching informs research, and both support service and vice versa. Discipline based teaching and education research are revealing novel strategies for classroom education that 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. 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.
Chris West, Ph.D.
Professor and Head