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biochemistry and biophysics
Ben Black image

red dots identify
centromere location
on chromosome

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. Today, the Department’s faculty carry out research that combines cutting-edge technologies with impactful biology to gain a mechanistic understanding of biology at levels that can be translated to practical benefits in medicine and clinic.

The Department faculty engage in collaborations across the Perelman School of Medicine, as well as the Schools of Arts and Science, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the adjoining Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), to partner expertise in physical biochemistry and structural biology with the strength of exceptional colleagues across many disciplines.

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histone acetyltransferase complex

The Department is the home of the Eldridge Reeves Johnson Research Foundation which offers advanced physical instrumentation and instruction for faculty, students, and postdocs. Faculty are also active in the teaching and training of PhD and medical students through the many graduate programs of the Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) and the Medical School.


BEN GARCIA has been awarded the Biemann Medal by the American Society for Mass Spectrometry - one of the highest honors that the society awards, given in recognition of significant achievement in early stages of a career. Read more 

Congratulations to BEN BLACK, Professor in the department, for being the recipient of the inaugural Dean’s Innovation Award in recognition of his outstanding and creative research!

RONEN MARMORSTEIN received a $2.5 million dollar grant for the creation of a state-of-the-art cryogenic electron microscopy facility. Read more

co-workers determine how JADE1 facilitates histone acetylation.
Read more.

JOSH WAND and co-workers use high pressure NMR to study behavior of the lac repressor.
Read more.

KENJI MURAKAMI and co-workers identify Def1 as a factor that enhances initiation of Pol II transcription. Read more.

JEREMY WILUSZ and co-workers demonstrate that depletion of splicing factors increases the steady-state pool of circular RNAs. Read more.

In a collaborative effort published
in Nature Communications,
and RONEN MARMORSTEIN present a comprehensive profile of histone acetylation marks and the mechanisms used to generate them.
Read more.

NICOLAI DOLIBA and FRANZ MATSCHINSKY uncover new mechanisms of glucolipotoxicity in type 2 diabetes. Read more.

KUSHOL GUPTA and GREG VAN DUYNE use crystallography to shed new light on the mechanisms of Listeria bacteriophage integration. Read more.

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Tenure-Track Assistant Professor Position Open. More information