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Biological Chemistry Ph.D. Program

Students interested in joining the Biological Chemistry Ph.D. program must apply to the Basic Biomedical Sciences umbrella program.

Basic Biomedical Sciences Umbrella Program; First-year students complete a core curriculum with: Core Course, 2+ Laboratory Rotations; Responsible Conduct of Research Training in Integrity, Ethics, and Excellence. Second-year students take a qualifying exam to enter the Ph.D. program: Collaborative and Cross-Disciplinary

About the Biological Chemistry Program

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The Biological Chemistry Graduate Program at UT Southwestern provides state-of-the-art training and educates students to make significant research contributions in biochemistry and molecular biology. Their research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms by which proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules regulate cell and organismal functions. Graduates aim to discover the molecular basis of life processes that may reveal novel strategies for improving human health and well-being. The program places an emphasis on conducting rigorous, discovery-based research.

What to Expect

Students learn theory and techniques related to the molecular mechanisms that control the functions of proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules.

Students benefit from working collaboratively across disciplines to solve complex health challenges – a hallmark of a UT Southwestern education.

Faculty members are actively engaged in research topics such as gene regulation, RNA-mediated processes, enzymology, post-translational modifications, cellular metabolism, cancer biology, and drug discovery.

Krystal Johnson

“Despite being large in numbers, UTSW still feels like a small community where you can walk down the hall to take advantage of a colleague’s special reagent or tool and have access to a broad range of experts in one place.”

Krystal Johnson

Arturo Casas, Jr.

“Faculty and students' diversity in scientific thought processes and the program's open and collaborative environment, mixed with cutting-edge research at UTSW, fosters excitement when it comes to answering complex biochemical questions.”

Arturo Casas, Jr.

Jugal Mohapatra

“I really appreciate the transparency and flexibility of our program, and the various opportunities that it provides in regard to collaborations and presentation of our work to the scientific community. ”

Jugal Mohapatra


Going Beyond Lab Research

In addition to offering extensive training in laboratory research, the Biological Chemistry Graduate Program student experience fosters a culture of diversity and collaboration.

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  • Advanced Coursework

    Students can take additional courses on modern methods in protein analysis, the role of enzymes in disease, as well as the drug discovery process in biotech and pharma.

  • Journal Clubs

    Students participate in faculty-mentored Journal Clubs that cover a broad range of topics in Biochemistry and related fields.

  • Works-In-Progress Seminars

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

  • Annual Symposium

    In our yearly symposium, students present their work and learn about exciting research developments from their fellow colleagues. These events bring together members of the BC Program and Organic Chemistry Program to facilitate collaborations and exploration of the interface between chemistry and biology. Our faculty will be actively engaged in these activities and provide valuable feedback to students in guiding their research projects.

Meet the Director

Benjamin Tu, Ph.D.

Graduate School: University of California-San Francisco
Postdoctoral Training: UT Southwestern Medical Center

“Through a variety of training activities and interactions with fellow colleagues and faculty, students in the Biological Chemistry Graduate Program experience and learn how to do good science.” Read Dr. Tu’s full message.

Benjamin Tu, Ph.D.

Contact the Graduate School

Lisa Gardner, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean

Phone: 214-648-0718

Lisa Gardner, Ph.D.

Stuart Ravnik, Ph.D.

Associate Dean

Phone: 214-648-0733

Stuart Ravnik, Ph.D.

Arnaldo Diaz Vazquez, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

Phone: 214-648-2527

Arnaldo Diaz Vazquez, Ph.D.

Deborah Evalds

Administrative Coordinator

Phone: 214-648-0007

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