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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology offers a program of study leading to the Master of Science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. The major purpose of the M.S. program is to provide the student with a strong biochemical background that can serve as a basis for further graduate or professional study. Graduate study with faculty in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology leading to a Doctor of Philosophy degree is available through the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Program.

Major research interests of the department are grouped into three interrelated areas: molecular structure and function, molecular genetics, and the application of magnetic resonance (MR) to biomedical research. Specific research projects deal with the structure and function of membranes, proteins and enzymes, nucleic acids, chromatin structure and function, molecular genetics, nucleotide metabolism, and the use of MR to study biochemical phenomena.


Applicants must fulfill the requirements for admission established by the School of Graduate Studies. A bachelor’s degree in the biochemical, biological, or chemical sciences, including course work in organic chemistry, physics, and calculus, is generally required. In addition, letters of recommendation are an important admission consideration.

Degree Requirements

Qualification for the Master of Science degree requires a candidate to fulfill the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, to complete departmental course work, and to submit an acceptable research thesis.

Summary of Course and Thesis Requirements

1.Biochemistry lecture sequence (BMB 750 and 752). A grade of B must be obtained in each quarter of these courses. If a B is not obtained, the student may repeat the course (or courses) once. A repeat of BMB 750 and/or 752 must be completed within a year of the quarter in which the deficiency occurs.

2.Research Perspectives (BMB 702).

3.Research Ethics (BMB 703).

4.Graduate seminars: a total of 6 credit hours of graduate-level seminars in biochemistry or other departments.

5.Two additional 700-level courses: these may include 700-level courses from other departments.

6.The student and his or her thesis advisor will have the responsibility for selecting advanced courses and seminars suited to each student’s program needs and interests.

7.The thesis must be based on hands-on research. BMB 899 (or BMB 699) must be taken each quarter the student performs laboratory research. The thesis advisory committee must be made up of at least three faculty from the Department of Biochemistry. The student will orally defend the completed thesis and present a departmental seminar on his or her research.


Gerald M. Alter, Ph.D., Protein structure and dynamics
Steven J. Berberich, Ph.D. (Interim Chair), regulation of cell proliferation, oncogenes
Julian G. Cambronero, Ph.D., Leukocyte cell signaling, molecular basis of chemotaxis
Michael Leffak, Ph.D., DNA replication in human cells, and its relationship to inherited disease
Daniel T. Organisciak, Ph.D., visual biochemistry, membrane function, neuronal lipid metabolism
Lawrence J. Prochaska, Ph.D., energy-transducing membranes, cytochrome oxidase
Nicholas V. Reo, Ph.D., Cellular metabolism; NMR-based metabolomics
Robert A. Weisman, Ph.D. (Emeritus), in vivo magnetic resonance, positron emission tomography

Associate Professor
Madhavi Kadakia, Ph.D., Characterization of p63 and p73 responsive gene expression using DNA microarray
John V. Paietta, Ph.D., (Graduate Program Director) molecular genetics, gene expression

Assistant Professors
Oleg Paliy, Ph.D., host-pathogen interactions; intestinal microbiology; systems biology
Yong-jie Xu, M.D. Ph.D., molecular mechanism of the DNA replication checkpoint

Research Assistant Professors
Guoqi Liu, Ph.D.,
Michael Markey, Ph.D., Molecular genetics of tumor suppressors including genomics based approaches

Adjunct and Joint Faculty
Patrick B. Dennis, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor, regulation of ribosomal biosynthesis and breakdown
Rajesh Naik, Ph.D., adjunct professor,
Paul G. Seybold, Ph.D., professor (chemistry), chemical carcinogens, physical biochemistry

Voluntary Faculty
Darrell E. Fleischman, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor, photobiology

Graduate School
E344 Student Union
Voice: (937) 775-2976
Fax: (937) 775-2453
E-mail: wsugrad@wright.edu
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