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L-R: Chuck Sanders, Chelsea Sullivan, John York (Chair)

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.

Hnilica Lecture

Cohen Lecture

Frontiers In Biochemistry Seminar Series: The Stanley Cohen Lecture
Dale Wigley, FRS, Imperial College, London, “Structure and Mechanism of the INO80 Chromatin Remodelling Complex,” Tuesday, May 1, 2018




Armstrong Lecture

The Biochemistry Student Association and Department welcomed Dr. Zhijian “James” Chen to present The Richard Armstrong Lecture, as part of the Frontiers in Biochemistry Seminar Series, on March 16, 2018. Professor Chen is from UT Southwestern and is a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. Thank you to all who attended! This visit happily coincided with the PhD defense of past-Armstrong Lab member Michael Goodman, thus providing an occasion for the gathering of past Armstrong Lab members with the Armstrong family and Armstrong colleague Ralf Morgenstern of the Karolinska. Pictured are Drs. James Chen and John York with BSA Representative Katie Rothamel, along with Drs. Yi Ren and Manny Ascano who acted as mentoring hosts with the BSA.








Armstrong Lecture Archive