Department of Biochemistry

Welcome!

Bruce Nicholson photo
Bruce Nicholson, Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman

In the Department of Biochemistry at UTHSCSA, we work at the interface between molecular structures and cell, tissue, and organ function to probe the essential molecular mechanisms of life and disease. Research in the labs of our 23 primary faculty, 8 research faculty, and 11 adjunct and cross-appointed faculty (described under the faculty link), spans many disciplines, including:

  • Cancer Biochemistry
  • Cell and Endocrine Signaling
  • Computational Biochemistry, Bioinformatics
  • Enzymology and Metabolic Regulation
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Neurobiological Mechanisms
  • Proteomics and Metabolomics
  • Structural Biology

Our faculty have made seminal contributions to many of these areas, and include a member of the Institute of Medicine, two Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the current president of the American Mass Spectrometry Society and past presidents of the American Society for Biochemists and Molecular Biologists and the American Society of Parasitologists.

The technically complex nature of the molecular and biophysical studies conducted within the Department demands sophisticated instrumentation which is housed in several core facilities, each of which operates under the guidance of an internationally recognized expert. These are located in close proximity, facilitating their multifunctional use and providing a truly unique collaborative environment within the Department. Traditional strengths in structural biology within the department have been recently expanded to include a vigorous program in drug discovery, providing the means for potential translation of our discoveries to bedside applications. Currently, facilities located within the department include:

  • Macromolecular Interactions - Analytical Ultracentrifugation, SPR, ITC, SAXS and DLS
  • Mass Spectrometry - Proteomics/Metabolomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • High Throughput Screening for Drug Discovery
  • NMR Spectroscopy/Fragment-based Screening
  • X-ray Crystallography

In addition to its research mission, the faculty in Biochemistry, which includes several Distinguished Teaching Professors, is dedicated to the training of future scientists at the postdoctoral, graduate, and professional student (both medical and dental) level. The department hosts the Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry Track, which trains students to become independent investigators using biophysical and chemical methods to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying cellular processes.

As part of the training program, the Department offers an excellent seminar program, including the popular Horowitz Distinguished Seminar series where the students choose and invite the speakers. Travel awards are also available within the Department, and we host an annual retreat where awards are made to the most outstanding student and postdoctoral fellow presentations.

On behalf of the faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students in the Department, I invite you to get in touch with us -- we will be happy to visit with you. Our contact information can be found in the People and the Department Contacts sections on this webpage.

Sincerely,

Bruce J. Nicholson, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair