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Biochemistry

The Biochemistry major is an interdisciplinary program offered jointly by the Biology Department and the Chemistry Department. Biochemists study the chemical processes that occur in living cells as well as the structure and function of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids.

  • About the BioChem Major

    Biochemistry Program TileThe Biochemistry major at Saint Francis University gives students a solid background in the fundamental principles of chemistry and biology. Students learn cutting edge science and how to apply their knowledge to solve problems through critical thinking. Biochemistry graduates find employment opportunities in the fields of pharmacology, bioinformatics, cancer biology, biophysics, immunology, and genetics. Students will graduate ready to enter the workforce directly into research or to pursue further study in graduate or professional school.   

  • Research in Biochemistry

    Biochemistry ResearchOur students conduct research starting as early as their freshman year.  Students have the option of continuing an existing research project in Biochemistry or start their own project with the help of faculty in the Biology Department or the Chemistry Department.

    Below are some existing Biochemistry research projects and the faculty mentors.

    • Molecular mechanism of deer velvet antler induced cell proliferation by the PI3/AKT signaling pathway. Faculty: Dr. Irene Wolf
    • Cytochrome c electrochemistry: Investigating the function of proteins in the electron transport chain. Faculty: Dr. Rose Clark
    • Use of a-crystalline and caffeine to prevent cataracts. Faculty: Dr. Balazs Hargittai
    • Specificity of mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) binding to mitochondrial DNA. Faculty: Dr. Michele Hargittai
    • Model Compounds of hydroxylamine oxidoreductase. Faculty: Dr. Edward Zovinka
    Student Successes

    Our Biochemistry graduates have gone on to become the someone they were meant to be. Some chose to continue their education in graduate school and others got started in their careers after graduation. Below are a list of the places our recent graduates have gone:

    Medical:
    Mayo Clinic

    Graduate Schools:
    University of Pittsburgh
    Penn State University
    John Hopkins University
    University of West Virginia

    Employment:
    NIH
    Inspection, Monitoring & Development Office at McCandless Township Sanitary Authority
    Mobility Coordinator at University of West Indies

    Job Outlook

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job prospects for biochemists will grow by 19% between 2012 and 2022. During the same time period, job growth for other life, physical, and social science occupations is projected to be 10% (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections Program ). Biochemists hold positions in diverse fields, such as the pharmaceutical research and development, cosmetic industry, government and private medical research, food safety, agricultural research, and law firms.

    American Chemical Society (ACS) Accreditation

    ACS Logo

    The Saint Francis University Chemistry Program has been approved by the American Chemical Society to offer ACS certified degrees. An institution with an ACS-approved program in chemistry is committed to providing  a broadly based and intellectually challenging experience in chemistry. The ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT) carefully evaluates a chemistry department’s program with respect to its breadth and depth, the qualifications of the chemistry faculty, the adequacy of the facilities, condition of instrumentation, access to current chemical literature, and opportunities for a meaningful research experience. An academic institution whose chemistry department meets the guidelines for ACS approval is placed on a nationally recognized list of approved chemistry programs. For more information, visit American Chemical Society.