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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

Mid-twenties, around age 25


At what age is the brain considered to be fully mature?


JIM SHORTER and his lab have published two articles detailing ways to combat AIDS by targeting HIV in semen. Penn News Release
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SERGEI VINOGRADOV was awarded a R24 Resource Center Grant for Enabling widespread use of high resolution imaging of oxygen in the brain. Penn Medicine News Release
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JEREMY WILUSZ was named a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar to support his work on circular RNAs.

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KIM SHARP provided the artwork for the July 7, 2015 cover of Science Signaling.
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MITCH LEWIS and KRISTEN LYNCH are Interim Co-chairs for the department

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A paper from the OGISO LAB, Apoptosis Inducing Factor (AIF) and its family member, AMID, are rotenone-sensitive NADH: ubiquinone oxidoreductases (NDH-2) has been published online in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

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mark your calendar
The Departmental/BMB Graduate Group Retreat is November 12-13, 2015 at Skytop Lodge in the Poconos.

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2015 Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania