OGI School of Science and Engineering
The student population is divided equally between men and women and between individuals of U.S. and international origin.
BMB graduates succeed in careers with the world's leading universities and corporations.
The Location and Community
Programs of Study and Degree Requirements
The Ph.D. program in BMB allows the graduate student more extensive research, study, and expertise in a chosen field. A comprehensive examination and a Ph.D. dissertation and its defense are required. Ph.D. candidates take three required courses in biochemistry, choose three other core courses depending on the particular interest, and select from available student seminars and research projects.
The thesis option M.S. is a research degree that requires satisfactory completion of 44 credits, 20 of which are in graded courses (including required courses) and 8 or more in advanced courses, and a written thesis based on independent research. The thesis M.S. degree can be completed in two years of full-time study.
The nonthesis M.S. requires satisfactory completion of 44 credits, 28 of which are in graded courses and 16 derived from an experimental research project. Three courses (12 credits) in biochemistry are required, after which students choose from a list of advanced courses depending on the specific interest. Student seminars are offered in metallobiochemistry, molecular biology and biochemistry, and ion transport. The experimental research project is typically a specific contribution to a larger project, providing students with extensive hands-on experience in biochemical and molecular biological techniques. The nonthesis M.S. degree can be completed in one year of full-time study.
Facilities & Resources
Research sites combine expertise across disciplines and scales and can be found anywhere from the Columbia River to a molecular-scale process such as manganese catalases. Current research in biochemistry and molecular biology includes analyzing the chemistry of copper-containing enzymes, spectroscopy of copper proteins and biological metal complexes, anaerobic analysis of Bacillus subtilis, and the mechanism of antimicrobial peptide biosynthesis.
Expenses and Aid
How to Apply
Who to Contact
Office of Graduate Education
• Ninian J. Blackburn, professor; Ph.D., Dundee (Scotland), 1975. Structure and function of oxidase and oxygenase metalloenzymes; spectroscopy of metal sites in proteins with emphasis on EPR, EXAFS, absorption edge, and FTIR spectroscopies; coordination chemistry and biochemistry of copper; biochemistry of metal trafficking in cells.
• Thomas M. Loehr, professor emeritus; Ph.D., Cornell, 1967. Metallobiochemistry; role of transition metal ions in metalloenzymes; molecular and electronic structures of metal-ion active sites; chemistry of O2 metabolism; mechanisms of O2 activation by metalloproteins; metal-oxygen intermediates in enzymatic catalysis.
• Pierre Moënne-Loccoz, assistant professor; Ph.D., Paris, 1989. Structure-function relationships within proteins; metallo- and heme-proteins; spectroscopic studies of enzyme-active sites and their cofactors; reaction intermediates within catalysis.
• Michiko M. Nakano, research associate professor; Ph.D., Tokyo, 1976. Anaerobiosis of Bacillus subtilis; oxygen-controlled gene regulation; two-component signal transduction system; transcriptional activation; nitrate/nitrite reductases; flavohemoglobin; anaerobic electron transport; nitric oxide signaling.
• Martina Ralle, research scientist; Ph.D., Bonn, 1993. Metallobiochemistry; structure-function analysis of metalloenzymes; spectroscopic characterization of copper transporters such as Wilson's and Menkes disease protein, using extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (EXAFS); cloning, overexpression, and characterization of proteins involved in copper transport in the mammalian cell.
• L. E. L. (Bets) Rasmussen, professor; Ph.D., Washington (St. Louis), 1964. Temporal sampling in elephants and the molecular mechanisms involved in their chemoreception.
• Matthew S. Sachs, associate professor; Ph.D., MIT, 1986. Mechanisms of translational and transcriptional control that regulate the expression of the Neurospora crassa arg-2 and Saccharomyces cerevisiae CPA1 genes; translational control of human proto-oncogenes; fungal genomes.
• James W. Whittaker, associate professor; Ph.D., Minnesota, 1983. Electronic structures and dynamics of metalloenzyme active sites; spectroscopic and computational approaches to biomolecular structure; metalloenzyme mechanisms; enzyme engineering; biology of metal ions.
• Gebretateos Woldegiorgis, associate professor; Ph.D., Wisconsin-Madison, 1976. Regulation of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I; regulation of long-chain fatty acid transport and oxidation in mammalian cells; regulation of cell metabolism and signaling by long-chain acyl CoA esters; mitochondrial ion transport and bioenergetics.
• Peter Zuber, professor; Ph.D., Virginia, 1982. Regulation of prokaryotic gene expression and development in response to stress; signal transduction; regulation and mechanism of peptide antibiotic biosynthesis; regulation of genetic competence in Bacillus subtilis.