Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at Penn State College of Medicine
The Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology strives to marry the increasingly powerful tools of genomics and computational biology with the classic approaches of biochemistry and molecular biology to reveal fundamental processes of biology and to convert those discoveries into treatments that improve the well-being of patients.
As chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, I continue to build on the existing strengths of the current faculty, who have made significant contributions in recent years in epigenetics and chromatin structure, DNA metabolism and carcinogenesis, carbohydrate chemistry, structural biology and cell-cell communication and signaling.
Since I arrived four years ago, we have added a new genomics and systems biology program to our department and expanded the Genomics Core in the institution to allow high-density sequencing and enhance the capacity for genome-wide transcription analysis.
We have also expanded our imaging core to provide unparalleled dynamic analysis of individual cells. We have recruited new faculty who have enhanced our expertise in genomics and systems level analysis of biological problems, particularly as related to human disease. We plan to continue to expand the department by hiring additional faculty with interests in the new areas of biochemistry and molecular biology afforded by the rapid expansion of technical capabilities and the new discoveries in basic biology.
This is an exciting time to be involved in biomedical research. The explosive growth in performance of instruments of genomic, proteomic and metabolomic analysis, coupled with increased sophistication in computational methods, has provided molecular biologists with an unprecedented ability to identify genetic and environmental factors that influence susceptibility to diseases and to predict the likely outcome of various treatment options. Accordingly, we have never been better positioned to convert the basic science that emerges from our labs into treatments that can affect the well-being of patients. As part of Penn State College of Medicine, the faculty in our department are well positioned to understand the needs of the clinicians and to transfer successes in our research laboratories back to the clinic. We are fortunate in having close association with clinicians in the College of Medicine and with clinical programs, such as the Center for Pharmacogenetics, the Penn State Cancer Institute, the Penn State Health Heart and Vascular Institute, the Penn State Neuroscience Institute, the Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and the Penn State Institute for Personalized Medicine. We will continue to work closely with our clinical colleagues to push the frontiers of medical science both to acquire fundamental understanding of biological processes and to develop new tools for diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
James Broach, PhD
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department Chair
Penn State College of Medicine
More about Biochemistry & Molecular Biology @ Penn State
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Spotlight
Dr. James Broach Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. James Broach, distinguished professor and chair, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, has received a Yeast Genetics Meeting Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in the field of yeast genetics and outstanding community service.
The award was presented at the Yeast Genetics Meeting, part of The Allied Genetics 2016 Conference, held July 13 to 17, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.
2016 Research Recognition Awards Recipients Named
The Third Annual Research Recognition Awards Ceremony was held on Tuesday, May 10 following the Dean’s Spring Lecture in Junker Auditorium. The Research Recognition Awards honor the outstanding research achievements of College of Medicine investigators by highlighting individuals who have distinguished themselves in several areas of research.
Among those honored were, from the Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Department, Karam El-Bayoumy, Ph.D., who was part of the Collaborative Research Award; Keith Cheng, Ph.D., for receiving 500 or more citations; and James Broach, Ph.D., department chair and director of the Institute for Personalized Medicine, for receiving 1,000 or more citations.