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About the Major

While courses in biology and chemistry introduce students to the life sciences, the Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Program offers scientific grounding for those planning to pursue graduate study or enter the health professions. Through laboratory work and research, students receive practical, hands-on training with opportunities to collaborate with professors on projects that lead to publication in research journals and presentations at scholarly conferences.

Students Will Learn To:

  • Evaluate the scientific literature and other forms of professional communications in biochemistry and molecular biology
  • Solve problems at the interfaces of chemistry and biology using scientific reasoning
  • Communicate fundamental concepts of biochemistry and molecular biology to both expert and layperson in writing and oral presentations

A Sampling of Courses

Biochemistry students in the lab

Biological Chemistry

A survey of the chemical and physical nature of biological macromolecules, including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates; biochemistry of enzyme catalysis; bioenergetics and regulatory mechanisms. Principles and techniques of experimental biochemistry, focusing on isolation methods and techniques for analyzing structure and function. This course satisfies the second semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement for post-graduate Health Professions programs, however, this course might not also satisfy a Health Profession program’s requirement for a course in Biochemistry.

Explore these select courses:

A thematic course exploring five fundamental features of all biological systems, including structure and function, information flow, energy and matter, interactions, and evolution. Most ecosystems on Earth are shaped by plant life. While it may not seem like it, plants constantly do the same things we do: search for nutrients, secrete hormones, and defend themselves. In this course, we will explore the incredible adaptations plants use to survive and grow, compare these to adaptations of animals, and examine how plants provide the foundation for both ecosystems and human society.

Exploration of the central principles and theories of chemistry including stoichiometry, thermodynamics, equilibrium, reaction kinetics, and molecular structure and bonding. For students intending to pursue post-graduate work in the Health Professions, this course satisfies the first semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement.

A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of quantum chemistry. Topics include the fundamental postulates of quantum mechanics, the nature of the chemical bond, and applications of molecular quantum mechanics including spectroscopy and computational electronic structure methods.

A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of thermodynamics and kinetics. Topics include statistical and classical thermodynamics, prediction of the direction and extent of chemical reactions, equilibrium, chemical kinetics, catalysis, and reaction rate theory.

The advanced study of biochemical pathways in living organisms, with emphasis given to gene regulation and metabolism of four major macromolecules: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. Includes in-depth discussion of contemporary developments in molecular biology and comprehensive training in molecular techniques. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory.

Meet Our Faculty

Max Majireck

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Director of Biochemistry/ Molecular Biology

mmajirec@hamilton.edu

organic chemistry, natural products, medicinal chemistry and chemical biology

molecular biology; molecular evolution; genome structures; and bioinformatics

Rhea Datta

Assistant Professor of Biology

rdatta@hamilton.edu

gene regulation; patterning and morphogenesis; transcription factors and DNA-binding; regulatory DNA; developmental genetics; molecular biology; embryology; eye development

cellular neurobiology and neuroethology; measurement and detection of neurotransmitters; isolation and identification of novel chemical messengers; cellular metabolism in the nervous system

Ryan Martinie

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

rmartini@hamilton.edu

biochemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, enzymology, and natural product biosynthesis

Natalie Nannas

Associate Professor of Biology

njnannas@hamilton.edu

Genetics, molecular and cellular biology, bioethics, meiotic and mitotic chromosome segregation, spindle dynamics, fluorescence microscopy and live imaging

Adam Van Wynsberghe

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Associate Dean of Students for Academics

avanwyns@hamilton.edu

physical chemistry, biophysical chemistry, and theoretical chemistry

Michael Welsh

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

mwelsh@hamilton.edu

biochemistry and chemical biology

Careers After Hamilton

Hamilton graduates who concentrated in biochemistry/molecular biology are pursuing careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Director, U.S. Regulatory Affairs, Pfizer Foundation
  • Clinical Fellow, National Cancer Institute
  • Plastic Surgeon, New York University Medical Center
  • Neurosurgery Resident, Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Senior Operations Analyst, Baxter Healthcare
  • Pediatric Cardiologist, Hasbro Children’s Hospital

Explore Hamilton Stories

Students in Prof. Max Majireck's chemistry lab

Combating Heart Disease Through Chemistry

Life-threatening diseases could become easier to detect thanks to a Hamilton student-faculty research team and its partnership with an internationally recognized biomedical research institute here in Utica.

Hamilton College students attended ABRCMS 2022

ABRCMS Conference Attendees See Science Beyond the Classroom

After two years of supporting virtual conference attendance, ROOTS — Hamilton’s Society for Students of Color in STEM — took 14 members to the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minoritized Students (ABRCMS) in Anaheim, Calif. The trip, which took place from Nov. 8 to 12, came at no fee to students, thanks to funding from the Dean of Faculty’s Office and a grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

From left to right: Bri Padilla ’25, Will Burns ’24, Naima Akter ’24, Prof. Natalie Nannas, and Kayli Franco ’25 in the biology research lab.

Nannas, Students Replicate Genetic Anomalies

Genetic inheritance might seem straightforward enough. Middle schoolers around the country learn the formulaic predictions of Punnett Squares, and for the most part, the science appears cut-and-dry. Chromosomes passed on through sperm or eggs have a 50-50 shot at inheritance. Right?

Contact

Department Name

Biochemistry / Molecular Biology Program

Contact Name

Max Majireck, Program Director

Office Location
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323

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