Prospective Students in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
We are pleased that you are considering a major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
at the University of Nevada, Reno. This major will prepare you for a successful
career in one of the fastest-growing fields in modern science. I would like to take
this opportunity to tell you more about the major, the career paths it leads to,
and why you should choose UNR and our program.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is the study of the processes of life at the
molecular level. A biochemist seeks to understand the details of how cells grow,
divide, and communicate with each other. We investigate the biochemistry of all
kinds of living things: humans, other animals, plants, insects, microorganisms.
Understanding these processes enables the development of new treatments for disease,
leads to better crop production and provides innovative ways to control insect pests
and pathogens. Becoming a biochemist requires a combination of classroom instruction
in the chemistry, biology and physics of living organisms, with hands-on training
in modern laboratory research.
As a student in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, you will receive
an excellent education: all courses offered by the department are taught by full-time
faculty, who receive an average rating of 9.4 out of 10 on student evaluations on
national surveys. We provide not only classroom and laboratory instruction but also
close mentorship from faculty advisors and senior students. Four of our faculty
have won awards highlighting their teaching abilities.
All of our seniors spend two semesters working in a research laboratory on a thesis
project highlighted by an end of the year poster exhibit, a unique feature of our
program. Even before their senior year, many of our students will have become active
members in our research laboratories, or will be part of our iGEM (International
Genetically Engineered Machine competition) team, competing against undergraduate
researchers from prestigious national and international institutions.
Our program is designed to meet the needs of students with many interests. Many
of our graduates go on to professional school (medical, dental and pharmacy schools
are popular choices) and we have designed our program to exceed the coursework necessary
for preparation for these careers.
A number of our graduates go on to pursue PhD and MS degrees in scientific research,
while others seek immediate employment in biotechnology or other science-related
fields. You may be aware that some of UNR’s programs have been cut or condensed
due to budget constraints. Please be assured that the Department of Biochemistry
and Molecular Biology, and the graduate and undergraduate programs remain intact.
All faculty will stay the same; all courses will stay the same; your advisors will
stay the same and your experiences in the department will be as strong as ever.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my ten years as chair of a Department that offers outstanding
undergraduate opportunities to our students and look forward to another 10 years
of growth. It has been a pleasure to watch our undergraduates mature into outstanding
future scientists, physicians, dentists, pharmacists and other careers in the life
sciences. I welcome you to consider our major.
Professor and Department Chair