Aug 05, 2021  
2011-2012 University Catalog 
2011-2012 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Biochemistry – MS and PhD

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Biochemistry Curricula

Biochemistry Core (all tracks)

  • CH XXX - Graduate Scientific Writing Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 1 Below)

Select either one of the following two courses (Credits: 3)

Total Biochemistry Core Requirement: 12

MS (non-thesis) Track

  • Biochemistry Core Credits: 12
  • Additional 700- or 800-level chemistry or biology courses (must be approved) Credits: 9
    (See Footnote 2 Below)
  • Additional 300-level or above courses (must be approved by advisor) Credits: 6

Total Requirement: 31

MS (thesis) Track

  • Biochemistry Core Credits: 12
  • Additional 700- or 800-level chemistry or biology courses (must be approved) Credits: 3
    (See Footnote 2 Below)

Total Requirement: 32

PhD Track

  • Biochemistry Core Credits: 12
  • Additional 700- or 800-level chemistry or biology courses (must be approved by advisor) Credits: 4
    (See Footnote 2 Below)

Total Requirement: 41


  1. A 700- or 800-level chemistry course may be substituted for the required Graduate Scientific Writing course with approval of the program director.
  2. At least one chemistry or biology lecture course must be at the 800-level, and CH 802 - Research Seminar may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

Faculty – Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Pharmacognosy*

James R. McKee
BS, PhD (Maryland)
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Director, Graduate Programs in Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Pharmacognosy
Phone: 215.596.8847
Research: chemistry of the trihalomethyl group: isonitrile antibiotics, sulfone and sulfonanilide antibiotics

Adeboye Adejare
BS, MS (Iowa); PhD (Ohio State)
Research Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Phone: 215.596.8944
Research: mechanisms of neurodegeneration; drug targeting; pharmaceutical profiling; chemistry of fluoroaromatic compounds

Tilman Baumstark
MS, PhD (Heinrich Heine, Germany)
Research Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Phone: 215.596.7531
Research: RNA pathogens: positive strand RNA viruses, satellites, viroids; assembly of the viral replication complex role of RNA structure and RNA-protein interaction; yeast as a model system to study pathogen replication, recombination, and protein production and drug delivery

Catherine M. Bentzley
BS (St. Joseph’s); PhD (Delaware)
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Phone: 215.596.8581
Research: analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and oligonucleotides using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI); investigation of noncovalent interactions, e.g., peptide/protein complexing with DNA via electrospray ionization (ESI); the rates of enzymatic reactions, such as the digestion of peptides with carboxypeptidase Y, using MALDI and ESI

Edward R. Birnbaum
BS (Brooklyn College); MS, PhD (Illinois)
Professor of Chemistry
Phone: 215.596.8839
Research: calcium-binding proteins and peptides; the use of lanthanide ion luminescence to probe the structure of materials such as zeolites and high-temperature superconductors; spectroscopic properties and coordination chemistry of the lanthanide ions

Michael F. Bruist
BS (Stanford); PhD (Cornell)
Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Phone: 215.596.8530
Research: chemistry of DNA recombination reactions; protein-DNA interactions in site-specific recombination; local DNA strand alignment in the lambda integration reaction; DNA isomerizations that occur during recombination

Ara DerMarderosian
BS, MS (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy); PhD (Rhode Island)
Professor of Pharmacognosy
Research Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Phone: 215.596.8915
Research: isolation and identification of bioactive substances from natural products; phytochemical evaluation of ethnobotanicals; analytical evaluation of nutraceuticals

Peter J. Harvison
BS (Carnegie Mellon); PhD (SUNY, Buffalo)
Research Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry
Phone: 215.596.8979
Research: in vitro and in vivo metabolism of drugs and chemicals; formation and disposition of toxic metabolites; structure-toxicity relationships; application of analytical techniques such as HPLC to metabolism studies

Zhijun Li
BS, MS (Tsinghua, China); PhD (Vanderbilt)
Research Asociate Professor of Biochemistry and Bioinformatics
Phone: 215.596.7539
Research: computational and bioinformatics methods used to generate and analyze three-dimensional structures of protein molecules, and to gain insight into protein sequence, structure and function relationships, by leveraging and combining a broad range of techniques to tackle biological problems in multiple dimensions

Charles N. McEwen
BS (College of William and Mary); MS (Atlanta University);
PhD (University of Virginia)
Houghton Professor of Chemistry
Phone: 215.596.8552
Research: mass spectrometry; development of new sampling techniques and probes to determine molecular mass of solids, especially of biological molecules

Preston B. Moore
BS (Bates); PhD (Boston)
Professor of Chemistry
Director, West Center for Computational Chemistry and Drug Design
Phone: 215.596.7537
Research: molecular interactions within biological systems; computational chemistry; molecular dynamics simulations

Guillermo Moyna
BS (Universidad de la República, Uruguay); PhD (Texas A&M)
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Director, NMR Facility
Phone: 215.596.8526
Research: biomolecular NMR spectroscopy; computational chemistry; computer-assisted rational drug design

Vojislava Pophristic
BS (Belgrade); PhD (Rutgers)
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Chair, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Director, Center for Drug Design and Drug Delivery
Phone: 215.596.8551
Research: computational methods and their application to foldamers, metalloclusters, and small molecules

John R. Porter
BS (Pittsburgh State, Kansas); PhD (Montana)
Professor of Biology
Research Professor of Pharmacognosy
Director, Biology Graduate Programs
Phone: 215.596.8917
Research: production strategies for medicinal natural products through root cultures initiated by Agrobacterium rhizogenes inoculation; genome characterization of the plasmids of Agrobacterium rhizogenes for understanding of the plant-microbe interactions; isolation and characterization of naturally occurring cytotoxins and antimicrobial (antibacterial, antifungal) compounds

Alexander Sidorenko
MS (I. Franko Lviv State University, Ukraine); PhD (National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine)
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Phone: 215.596.8836
Research: design of novel nanostructured materials and biopolymers by applying micro/nanotemplated synthetic methods and self-organization phenomena to fabricate smart surfaces and devices for cellular biology applications in drug delivery, cell adhesion control, molecular electronics, magnetic/optical storage, smart optical devices, etc.

Julian W. Snow
BS (Washington); PhD (California, Santa Barbara)
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: 215.596.8837
Research: thermodynamic properties of drug-red blood cell membrane interactions; thermodynamic properties of the interactions between serum apolipoproteins or model amphipathic helices with model lipid systems

Nathan M. West
BS, PhD (University of North Carolina)
Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Phone: 215.596.7251
Research: synthesis and mechanism of reaction of new organometallic and transition metal catalysts, which will be used to prepare both petrochemicals and fine chemicals; initially this will involve studies with palladium or rhodium catalysts for the carboxylation of C-H bonds

Rodney J. Wigent
BS, MS, PhD (Michigan Tech)
Professor of Chemistry
Dean, College of Graduate Studies
Phone: 215.596.8974
Research: thermodynamic properties of drug excipients; effect of water content on drug release; physical and thermodynamic properties of aqueous electrolyte solutions; environmental factors affecting DNA supercoiling and stability

Randy J. Zauhar
BS/BA (Eastern Washington); MS, PhD (Pennsylvania State)
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Director, Graduate Program in Bioinformatics
Phone: 215.596.8691
Research: computational chemistry; bioinformatics; design of inhibitors against HIV protease and other polymorphic targets; development of computational methods to determine solvation effects in biological molecules; computer-aided drug design

* More information about faculty research activities can be found at each faculty member’s web page.
† Research professors are members of the graduate faculty in other departments.

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