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Small classes. Innovative work. State-of-the-art labs. Top-notch instruction. These are distinguishing characteristics of the biochemistry major at Union.


(USA Today College Guide 2017)

T his academic discipline integrates chemical, cellular and molecular approaches to the study of biological processes. Biochemistry plays a critical role in the practice of science and in the world at large. It is through biochemistry that scientists have achieved breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, diabetes, obesity, addiction, Alzheimer's and many other diseases that affect humans, animals and even plants. Biochemistry also informs and complements emerging areas of research in proteomics, genomics, bioinformatics and genetic engineering.

In studying biochemistry at Union, you will develop a deep and thorough understanding of the inner workings of cells, including study of proteins, DNA/RNA and other biomolecules. Working in small classes and labs taught only by faculty with Ph.Ds, and by conducting undergraduate research side-by-side with our faculty, you will gain the skills needed to advance further in this field.

Research facilities

The cornerstone of our facilities is the Biochemistry Suite in the Peter Irving Wold Center. With its emphasis on interdisciplinary study, this suite is home to collaborative faculty-student Wright Biochemistry Research Laboratories that provide the resources for cutting-edge work in biochemistry and molecular biology.

"I enjoy studying biochemistry at Union because it is a fusion of sciences. I feel very prepared to take my knowledge and apply it to myriad of positions. I am passionate about healthcare, so I hope to achieve a Masters in Public Health."
- Jenna Pradhuman

The four research labs are situated alongside areas that house equipment such as PCR machines for the replication of DNA, a cold room for purification of proteins, and culture facilities for growing and storing cells. These facilities allow students to engage in research that culminates in presentations at the annual national Experimental Biology Meeting and publications with faculty. The suite also houses the Kane Biochemistry Teaching Laboratory, which features state-of-the-art biomolecular research equipment and a 3D projector for the display of molecules.

Specials learning opportunities

As part of your academic program in biochemistry, you may choose to pursue our term abroad in Sicily, where you will engage in research with scientists and graduate students at the National Research Council in Palermo.


Union biochemistry majors have gone on to pursue graduate work in biochemistry, molecular, and cell biology, as well as in medicine, dentistry and other allied health professions. Graduates can be found doing research in such fields as biomedicine and forensics at foundations, in government and corporations. The analytical skills developed by our biochemistry majors also have contributed to their success in such diverse areas as law and financial services.

Meet some of our faculty

Brian Cohen

Brian Cohen

Senior lecturer
Ph.D., Albany Medical College
Special interests: Molecular and cellular endocrinology

Kristin Fox

Kristin Fox

Professor of chemistry
Ph.D., Cornell University
Special interests: Programmed cell death in a simple multicellular fungus

J. Stephen Horton

J. Stephen Horton

Professor of biology
Ph.D., University of Toronto
Special interests: Molecular genetics of fungal development

Joanne Kehlbeck

Joanne Kehlbeck

Associate professor of chemistry
Ph.D., Columbia University
Special interests: Molecular recognition events that control biological events

After Union

Physician, Jackson Memorial Hospital

Research Associate, Berg Diagnostics

Ph.D. Program in Chemistry, Purdue University

Analyst, Surveyor Capital

Veterinary school, UNC-Chapel Hill

Educator, Teach for America