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The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics is built on a foundation of innovation and excellence in biomedical research. Our faculty bring strength in RNA biology, structural biology and biochemistry, cancer research, genomics, and in yeast genetics and molecular biology.  

The Department offers excellent opportunities for postdoctoral and graduate research training. Our faculty are active in most of the interdepartmental graduate training programs on campus, including Biomedical Sciences, Cancer Biology, Computational Biosciences, Human Medical Genetics and Genomics, Medical Scientist Training (MD/PhD), Molecular Biology, and Structural Biology and Biochemistry.

The close proximity of other basic science and clinical departments on the new Anschutz Medical Campus provides an excellent environment for learning and collaboration, from the most basic questions in biology to research with the potential to have a direct impact on clinical practice.

Mark Johnston, Chair​
Mark Johnston, Chair​

There has never been a better time to be a biological scientist! As a result of stunning advances made over the past two decades in Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, we now know enough about the basis of life to be able to pose deep and important questions about how cells work. And the remarkable tools at our disposal put us in a position conceive and perform incisive experiments to answer those questions. Never before have we had such opportunities to understand the mechanisms of life and the basis of disease!

The University of Colorado School of Medicine provides an outstanding environment for posing and answering these critical questions. Like the Rocky mountains that provide the backdrop for our labs, this is clearly a place on the rise! But more important, the people here are terrific colleagues. They are at the forefront of their fields, excited to be biological researchers at this remarkable time in history. Students, postdocs, professors and staff, working together toward a common goal: to contribute to an understanding how living things work, and how disease can result when things go awry.

Spend some time on our pages and check out the people—biochemists, molecular biologists, genome scientists and geneticists—that make our Department a great place for discovery. Then consider joining us in our quest to learn and understand.


Jeffrey Kieft, PhD, professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, has been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. The academy, which is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, recognizes excellence, originality, and leadership in the microbiological sciences. Over the last 50 years, 2,500 scientists have been elected to the Academy. Fellows are elected through a highly selective, annual, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

Beat Vogeli’s article NOE-Derived Methyl Distances from a 360 kDa Proteasome Complex published in Chemistry- A European Journal was identified as a “Hot Paper” for having results of great significance.

Patrick Cherry and Laura White published a paper about RNA repair enzymes catalyze rejoining of an RNA molecule after cleavage of phosphodiester linkages called, "Genetic bypass of essential RNA repair enzymes in budding yeast."

Jeffrey Kieft​ has been awarded an R01 from the NIH Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Rui Zhao​ was awarded an R01 grant with Heide Ford from the National Cancer Institute, and a CCTRA grant from Cancer Center​

D’Alessandro has been awarded a Challenge Grant from the Crnic Foundation

Bob Sclafani and Jay Hesselberth​ published a paper this month with co-first authors Molecular Biology students, Dan Rossbach and Suzie Bryan, “Localization of Cdc7 Protein Kinase During DNA Replication in Saccharomyces cerevisiae” in G3:Genes, Genomes and Genetics. One of the figures was also highlighted on the Journal’s home page.

James Sikela's song “I Love DNA” was featured in the ASHG Blog​ 

Jeffrey Kieft's research is in the news. Read the Learning from the best article​ on Research Features


  • Friday Research Talks​
    11 AM-12 PM select Fridays
    Light lunch follows
    Everyone welcome!

  • Robert Hodges Retirement Celebration, May 7, 2018

  • Sadler Lecture, Robert Sclafani, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, June 18, 2018​