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biochemistry and biophysics
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The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics can be traced back to the founding of the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Medicine in 1765, the oldest in the United States. The Department’s endowed chairs include John Morgan (co-founder of the college) and the illustrious Founding Father, Benjamin Rush – who were both members of the first collegiate faculty in chemistry, anatomy, surgery and medicine pursuing and teaching on "the theory and practice of physick". 

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Today the Department’s pursuits still provide instruction to medical students and are integrated within a single medical school and hospital complex with its unusually collegiate medical fraternity. Faculty research aims to contribute first-principles chemical and physical understanding of biology at levels that can be translated to practical benefits in medicine and clinic. The Eldridge Reeves Johnson Research Foundation within the Department offers advanced physical instrumentation and techniques – plus instruction – for faculty, students, and postdocs. We are well known for bringing innovative approaches, theory and practice, quantum to cellular, to the challenge of understanding molecular mechanism and functions so that they can be brought under control to promote human health and wellbeing.

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The Department is also home to the Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics (BMB) Graduate Group, which expresses the extraordinary collegial nature of this Department, Medical School, and University. This Graduate Group within Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) at Penn opens the door to graduate research choices in biochemistry and biophysics for rotations and completion of research dissertations beyond the department. Members of the Graduate Group are drawn from Departments throughout the Medical School and Hospital, the adjoining Children’s Hospital, as well as the Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Answer to Trivia Question

A lemon


What fruit has more sugar: a lemon or a strawberry?


A high-resolution view of the structure of Hsp104 (heat shock protein 104), a natural yeast protein nanomachine with six subunits, has been acquired by JAMES SHORTER, and colleagues at the University of Michigan. The Shorter lab has been working on Hsp104 for close to a decade as a way to dismantle harmful protein clumps in disease. The team described their findings in Science this week. Read more
RONEN MARMORSTEIN received a $2.5 million dollar grant for the creation of a state-of-the-art cryogenic electron microscopy facility. Read more
gray lineThe Department is pleased to announce the creation of the
RUTH KERIS AWARD FOR DEPARTMENTAL SERVICE "to honor a graduate student, postdoc, staff member, or faculty who has contributed conspicuously to the community spirit of the department or graduate group”. This award honors the work of Ruth Keris and the invaluable imprint she has left on the department, the BMB graduate group, and the University after many decades of service.
gray lineOn March 9, 2017, BEN GARCIA represented the US Human Proteome Organization at FASEB's Capitol Hill Day, wherel he spoke to congress about continued support for scientific research.

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Tenure-Track Assistant Professor Position Open. More information