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Message from the Chair

Benjamin Tu, Ph.D.
Benjamin Tu, Ph.D.


Graduate School: University of California-San Francisco

Postdoctoral Training: UT Southwestern Medical Center

The Biological Chemistry (BC) Graduate Program brings together students and faculty with diverse interests in biochemistry and molecular biology, as well as natural products and drug discovery.

The BC Program focuses on the proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules that control cell and organismal function, with an emphasis on in vivo significance and discovery-based approaches.

For example, student work includes:

  • Deciphering how important enzymes and macromolecular machines carry out their cellular functions
  • Investigating the emerging connections between metabolism and various cellular processes
  • Elucidating biochemical mechanisms relevant to cancer and host-pathogen interactions
  • Identifying small molecules and natural products with novel biological activities or therapeutic potential

Students interested in the BC program take the graduate core course and electives focused on molecular mechanisms. The Program offers weekly works-in-progress seminars and journal clubs that enhance training in critical thinking, chemical and biochemical techniques, and a broad scientific knowledge.

Annual Retreat

In our yearly retreat, participants 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.

It is our goal to provide a rigorous, stimulating, and enjoyable training experience for students in preparation for the next phases of their careers.

Meet Our Faculty