Biochemistry explores the chemistry that underpins all biological processes. Building on research advances, Biochemistry uses a variety of tools and approaches to open up new frontiers and address field-bending issues of biological significance with ever-increasing accuracy and detail.

Biochemistry began here even before the founding of Vanderbilt University with lectures being given in the Medical Department of the University of Nashville in 1851, and with the Department of Biochemistry starting under that name in 1925. Through its history since then the Department has flourished under the direction of five chairmen and currently has 20 primary faculty and a Ph.D. program. The offices and laboratories are in Light Hall, the Robinson Research Building, the Preston Research Building, and Medical Research Building III (see maps), administratively part of the School of Medicine. Ph.D. degrees have been granted in the Department since 1926.

Over the years, faculty in the Department of Biochemistry have received considerable recognition, including receipt of major University awards, election to the National Academy of Sciences, and a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (Stanley Cohen, 1986). Although formal ratings of biochemistry departments are not made, the Department of Biochemistry in 2014 received more funding from the National Institutes of Health than any other Biochemistry Department in the nation. We are proud of our history and current status, and we strive towards continued excellence in research, training, and service in the field of biochemistry.

We invite queries regarding graduate studies, postdoctoral training, and faculty positions. Welcome to our website.

Cohen Lecture

Drs. Cortez and John and Sally York welcomed Dr. Paul Modrich to present The Stanley Cohen Lecture, as part of the Frontiers in Biochemistry Seminar Series, on March 17, 2017. Thank you to all who attended – the audience was standing-room only – both to hear our great speaker and to honor our esteemed Emeritus Faculty Member, Dr. Cohen. Pictured are Dave Cortez, Paul Modrich, Sally York (former trainee of the Modrich Lab), and John York.



Armstrong Lecture

The Biochemistry Student Association and Department welcomed Dr. Sharon Hammes-Schiffer to present The Richard Armstrong Lecture, as part of the Frontiers in Biochemistry Seminar Series, on February 24, 2017. Thank you to all who attended. Pictured are members of the Armstrong Family (Mary, Katie, Andy, Brad), Department Chair John York, BSA President Lorena Infante-Lara, BSA Secretary Monica Bomber, and Dr. Sharon Hammes-Schiffer.