Biological Chemistry Ph.D. Program

About the Biological Chemistry Program

The Biological Chemistry Graduate Program provides state-of-the-art training in biochemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, and molecular biology. The courses are designed to prepare students to make significant research contributions at the interface of chemistry and biology. Students benefit from working collaboratively across disciplines to solve complex health challenges – a hallmark of a UT Southwestern education.

The Biological Chemistry Graduate Program is designed to train students in the theory and techniques related to the molecular mechanisms that control cellular activities. Faculty members are actively engaged in research topics such as gene regulation, RNA-mediated processes, enzymology, protein interactions, cellular metabolism, and synthetic organic chemistry.

An exclusive Chemistry Training Track is offered within the program. Chemistry Track students take a separate chemistry core curriculum in the first year and fulfill special chemistry requirements to complete their degree.

Students interested in joining the Biological Chemistry Ph.D. program must apply to the interdisciplinary umbrella program within the Division of Basic Science. First-year students complete a core curriculum that includes a core course, three or four laboratory rotations, and training in the responsible conduct of research. Students who perform satisfactorily in the first semester core course qualify to enter the Biological Chemistry Graduate Program.


Training is provided through a variety of experiences:


Each student presents a seminar on his/her own research annually and is required to attend this seminar series on a weekly basis.

Journal Clubs

All students are required to participate in a weekly faculty-mentored Journal Club that covers a broad range of topics in Biochemistry and related fields.

Attention Undergraduates

Undergraduates are encouraged to apply for the Frank and Sara McKnight Undergraduate Prizes in Molecular Sciences. Cash prizes are awarded to senior undergraduate students for outstanding research in each of three categories: chemistry, biophysics or computational biology, and biological chemistry.