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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
    Career Opportunities

    BiochemistWhat can you do with a Biochemistry degree?

    Cosmetics Industry: Create safe and long lasting products.
    Medical Field:  Attend medical school or test patient samples.
    Food Industry:  Develop healthier foods and ensure food safety.
    Work in industry: Multiple opportunities from cleaning oil spills to developing biodegradable products.
    Pharmaceutical industry:Drug development or research in different diseases.
    Law: Advising on scientific evidence or work with Patent law.
    Publishing: Review or write scientific works. 
    Government: Advise on scientific issues, improve public health (NIH), or ensure food quality (FDA).
    Agriculture: Develop environmentally friendly pesticides, or engineer crops able to withstand the changing environment.
    Sales & Marketing: Ensure scientific accuracy within ads. Work in sales to appropriate audiences.

    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 Indie

    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.