Biochemistry

Biochemistry and biochemical reactions underpin all living and cellular phenomena. Behind every nerve impulse, every calorie consumed, every cell turning malignant, every medicine having its intended effect or side effect is a biochemical process worthy of study.  Research in biochemistry strives to describe biological phenomena at their basic levels. The study of biochemical processes tells us not just why something happens, but importantly how something happens. A number of faculty members in the Biology Department undertake research of a biochemical nature, and some of the areas under active study include:

  • Anderson Lab: How bacterial membrane proteins influence infection by the respiratory pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
  • Atkinson Lab: Effects of metabolic signaling on cytoskeletal dynamics in kidney injury and disease; Mechanisms of RNAi therapeutics in the kidney.
  • Baucum Lab: Identification and characterization of synaptic protein complexes in a brain region called the striatum.
  • Kusmierczyk Lab:  Assembly of multi-protein complexes and cellular mechanisms of protein quality control.
  • Randall Lab: Mechanisms of plant responses to environmental stress (cold and drought).

Biochemistry-related resources in the Biology Department include: HPLC/FPLC; 1D and 2D gel electrophoresis (large scale and "mini"); gas-liquid chromatography; centrifuges and ultracentrifuge; temperature-controlled incubators and platform-shakers for growth of microorganisms; various spectrophotometers (multiwell plate; NanoDrop; standard UV-Vis, fluorescence); gel-documentation system; fluorescence microscopes; biolistic particle delivery (gene gun) for transformation of plants; bath and probe sonicator; hot and cold rooms.