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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 M.S. program provides 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 microarrays and 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, microbial systems biology, and the use of MR to study biochemical phenomena.


Applicants must fulfill the requirements for admission established by the Graduate School. 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 Graduate School, to complete departmental course work, and to submit an acceptable research thesis.

Summary of Course and Thesis Requirements

1. Biochemistry lecture sequence, Molecular Biology I and II, (BMB 7500 and 7520). 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 7500 and/or 7520 must be completed within a year of the quarter in which the deficiency occurs.

2. Research Perspectives (BMB 7020).

3. Research Ethics (BMB 7030).

4. Graduate seminars: a total of 5 credit hours of graduate-level seminars in biochemistry or other departments.

5. Two additional 7000-level courses totaling 5 hours: these may include 7000-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 8990 (or BMB 6990) 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.

8. The student must have a thesis committee selected and hold a meeting of the committee by the end of their first year in the program.


Steven J. Berberich (Chair), Role of p53, Mdm2, and MdmX in cancer
Gerald M. Alter(Director, Biomedical Sciences Program), In vivo protein structure and dynamics, Replication Protein A
Julian G. Cambronero, Signal transduction in blood cells, normal and leukemic
Michael Leffak, DNA sequences and protein at eukaryotic replication origins
Daniel T. Organisciak, Retinal light damage, cell death, and antioxidants
Lawrence J. Prochaska, Energy-transducing membranes, cytochrome C oxidase
Nicholas V. Reo, Carbohydrate metabolism, NMR, peroxisome proliferators

Associate Professor
Madhavi P. Kadakia (Co-Graduate Program Director), Characterization of p63 and p73 responsive gene expression using DNA microarray
John V. Paietta (Co-Graduate Program Director), Gene regulation in Neurospora

Assistant Professors
Heather A. Hostetler, Nuclear receptor regulation and energy homeostasis
Oleg Paliy, Microbial physiology and genetics, systems biology, transcriptomics and proteomics, genetic network, engineering
Yong-Jie Xu, Molecular mechanism of the DNA replication checkpoint

Research Assistant Professors
Guoqi Liu, DNA replication, instability of repetitive DNA sequences in neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases
Michael P. Markey, Molecular genetics of tumor suppressors, genomic-based approaches for identifying transcriptional targets of RB and p53
S. Dean Rider, Jr., Chromatin remodeling enzymes and regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes

Adjunct and Joint Faculty
Patrick B. Dennis (Assistant Professor, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, WPAFB), Development of biological sensors using novel proteins
Darrell E. Fleischman (Associate Professor), Cyclic nucleotides, biophysical aspects of photosynthesis
Rajesh R. Naik (Professor, WPAFB), Interfacing biomaterials with (nano)materials for addressing aerospace applications
Paul G. Seybold (Professor of Chemistry), Chemical carcinogens, physical biochemistry

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