Department of biochemistry and Molecular biology
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Philip Howe, PhD
Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at MUSC.
Since its creation in 1969, the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has been committed to the investigation of exciting problems in the biological sciences and to the training of future scientists through a broad and intensive graduate program. At present, the Department employs over 150 individuals including 37 full-time faculty members, their co-workers and supportive secretarial and business staff. The following research areas are represented in the activities of the departmental investigators: gene structure and function, gene regulation, molecular evolution, molecular basis of cancer chemotherapy, the kinin system and vascular pathophysiology, RNA structure and function, molecular toxicology, signal transduction, lipid second messengers, lipid synthesis, lipid biochemistry and metabolism, hormone structure fuction, molecular spectroscopy and enzyme dynamics, biochemical genetics, structure of glycoproteins and the biochemistry of reproduction, vision and aging. Multidisciplinary approaches are being applied in most of these research areas, thus providing graduate students with numerous opportunities to obtain a versatile training in modern molecular biology and biochemistry. Among the agencies that provide research support to the Department are the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, SC EPSCoR, and the American Cancer Society as well as industrial firms such as Glaxo-Wellcome, Merck and Company and many more.
Research and teaching facilities of the department are housed on the fifth and seventh floors of the Basic Science Building. In addition, the Department has research and office space in the Thurmond Biomedical Research Center and The Hollings Cancer Center. The fifth floor of the Basic Science Building has recently been completely renovated into state-of-the-art facilities for the Biochemistry Department. The Basic Science Building provides services to approximately 90 scientists belonging to five departments within the College of Medicine. Interactions between these departments are facilitated via interdisciplinary seminars and journal clubs, collaborative research efforts, and the joint teaching of courses for the Colleges of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, and Pharmacy. Facilities available for use by the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology include an auditorium, conference and seminar rooms, shared instrument/equipment room, dark rooms, and other necessary research needs such as a warm and cold room. These services are located on the seventh floor and have been added or duplicated on the newly renovated fifth floor. The Basic Science Building also houses experimental animals in the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources. Animals are also housed in the Thurmond Biomedical Research Center so our researchers have, close at hand, the professional and technical staff of Laboratory Animal Resources to provide needed information and care of their research animals. The University's Biotechnology Resource Laboratory on the second floor provides services for investigators requiring DNA sequencing, peptide synthesis, and gas-phase protein sequencing. We are fortunate to have on the first floor of the building the Office of Research and Development. Their staff provides information and assistance in identifying extramural funding opportunities for faculty and students. We feature a Graduate Student Research Seminar (includes all students in the Department, i.e. MCBP, etc.) once a month, and the departmental faculty research seminars monthly. These seminars have been very successful as our students have the opportunity to present their research findings and at the same time, learn about the research being conducted by the faculty in the Department, ask questions regarding their research, and exchange information. Library services for students, faculty and staff are available at the Health Affairs Library on the MUSC campus.