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Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Biophysics

Revealing how life works

Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Biophysics

Revealing how life works

RNA and protein DNA sequencing.

Our internationally recognized Biochemistry and Biophysics graduate program is a highly interdisciplinary teaching and research program with about 30 graduate students and 25 faculty. Our faculty and students frequently collaborate with scientists from the Colleges of Agriculture, Forestry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering; the Departments of Chemistry and Nutrition; and other applied sciences across campus and beyond. The biochemistry and biophysics graduate program has a cutting-edge experimental focus on solving significant research questions on myriad molecular mechanisms underlying life and disease and creating marketable innovative technologies.

Our master’s and Ph.D. students are mentored and trained by faculty experts in several areas of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, including structural biology; enzymology; metabolic regulation; signal transduction; protein chemistry; gene expression; epigenetics; bioinformatics; cell cycle control; and cell movement and adhesion. Graduate students can pursue computational training and research at the Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing and use the facilities at the Linus Pauling Institute. In addition, researchers have access to facilities that include confocal and laser dissection microscopy, flow cytometry, X-ray crystallography, NMR, mass spectrometry and analytical centrifugation.

The biochemistry and biophysics department is committed to graduate education and research, and offers financial support to all Ph.D. students. Biochemistry and Biophysics doctoral students receive a generous 12-month stipend, a full tuition waiver and a medical insurance plan that includes dental and vision coverage. In addition, several of our students have been awarded fellowships from the university or funding agencies such as the American Heart Association (AHA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Our graduate students enjoy tremendous success, finding employment in academia, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as national labs and research institutes.

Justin Hall in garden holding daughters in arms

"To some extent, larger departments don’t have the same intimacy and ability to have candid conversations where you’re really chasing science in a way that is purely about science. The Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics trained us not to be timid about the science."

Justin Hall (Biochemistry & Biophysics Ph.D, '10), Principal Scientist at Pfizer.

Meet our students and alumni

Deep dive into key COVID-19 protein is a step toward new drugs, vaccines

Biochemists have taken a key step toward new drugs and vaccines for combating COVID-19 with a deep dive into one protein’s interactions with SARS-CoV-2 genetic material.

Dancing through genres, biochemistry/biophysics student wins Science Magazine’s Dance Your Ph.D. contest

Heather Masson-Forsythe, a fifth-year graduate student in the College of Science, is a winner in the 13th annual Dance Your Ph.D. contest organized by Science Magazine in the newly created COVID-19 category. "I think the arts in general are really, really valuable on their own but also to communicate science, and as someone who really loves dance, I think it’s one of the best ways to communicate," she said.

Researchers get closer to gene therapy that would restore hearing for the congenitally deaf

Biochemists at Oregon State University have found a key new piece of the puzzle in the quest to use gene therapy to enable people born deaf to hear.

OSU alum awarded for studies in children's health

Andres Cardenas (10', '15) has received funding to spend the next five years studying the impacts of prenatal and early childhood environmental stressors on children’s health and development.

Brittany Lasher selected as 2020 Mathews Fellow in biochemistry

The College of Science is proud to announce that Brittany Lasher, a first-year biochemistry and biophysics Ph.D. student, has been selected as the 2020-21 Christopher and Catherine Mathews Graduate Fellow.