This major, jointly sponsored by the chemistry and biology departments, focuses on the rapidly expanding field of DNA research and biochemistry. Majors are directly involved in research projects, either on campus or at approved off-campus laboratories. Dickinson faculty members maintain active research programs in both fields, so students learn up-to-date techniques from active practitioners.
The biochemistry & molecular biology (B&MB) program at Dickinson is a rigorous course of study focusing on the junctions between the chemical and biological sciences. Students explore a wide array of topics, including gene regulation, protein structure and function, intermediary metabolism, genetics, developmental genomics, medical biochemistry, and thermodynamics. The program is interdisciplinary, requiring coursework in both the chemistry and biology departments, as well as a capstone research experience. Recent student projects have included investigations of:
- Molecular regulation of carcinogenesis
- Protein-nuleic acid complexes using newly constructed nucleic acid probes
- Virus-yeast interactions using cutting-edge DNA microarray technology
- Motility of cells using confocal laser microscopy
- Plant biochemistry and the biosynthesis of toxic secondary metabolites
- Synthesis of nanoscale chemical structures and organic molecules
The goal of the program is to train students broadly in the biochemical sciences, to provide students with practical laboratory-based research experiences, and prepare them to succeed in graduate or professional schools.