Welcome from the Chair


A very warm welcome to the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (BMB) at the Brody School of Medicine.

Our Department has a fine history in medical education, research, and service. The faculty and staff contribute to the mission of the Brody School of Medicine in several ways. We are involved in the education of medical, graduate and dental students in the classroom and in the laboratory; we carry out research at the vanguard of biomedical science and by doing so we train the next generation of research scientists; and we serve the medical school, university, along with the local, state, national and international medical scientific communities.

Our teaching efforts are central to the success of incoming medical and dental students, where we provide significant foundational instruction in medical and dental biochemistry and the molecular basis of medicine. On the research student side, we teach a plethora of classes, ranging from molecular biochemistry and regulation of metabolism, to topics in cancer biology and physical biochemistry. We are particularly adept at teaching state-of-the-art molecular biology and bioanalytical/biophysical techniques.

Our research programs cover myriad areas of basic and translational research, defining fundamental molecular mechanisms of disease ranging from cancer and neurodegeneration, to infectious diseases, and therapeutic target discovery and development.  This is not an exhaustive list. Faculty members are acknowledged both nationally and internationally as experts in their respective research fields and publish in leading journals. Accordingly, many are called upon to be journal reviewers, serve on journal editorial boards and grant review panels.

Extramural research funding has been competitively awarded to our faculty from a variety of federal, state and private agencies including, but not limited to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Defense (DOD), and the American Cancer Society (ACS), V Foundation for Cancer Research. Please explore the research interests of our faculty on their individual webpages to learn more about their interests.

While every department at every institution describes themselves as a ‘family’, I can’t think of a better word to describe OUR department. Our size, not too big, not too small, engenders a sense of collegiality, respect and friendly interaction that is genuinely quite rare to find. We wonderfully work well within ourselves and likewise we work well with other departments, both basic research and clinical at the Brody School of Medicine.

It is a unique place. Please don’t hesitate to contact me, or any faculty member, to chat about your interests.


Dr. John Cavanagh
Professor and Chair