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Information for Applicants

The Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Structural Biology is an interdepartmental graduate training program that stresses biochemical, structural, and computational approaches to solving complex biological problems.

Modern biochemistry encompasses a wide variety of molecular experimental methods. These include classical biochemical techniques ranging from organic synthesis to enzyme kinetics, modern proteomic and molecular biological techniques, cell biological techniques, such as advanced imaging with light and electron microscopes, and biophysical techniques such as fluorescence, Raman, infrared, circular dichroism, and absorption spectroscopy. Structural biology techniques include Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and computational biology. Stony Brook is recognized internationally in NMR for the development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which is widely used in medicine. The high-resolution structures derived from these approaches represent the blueprints for understanding enzyme catalysis, cell signaling and transport, gene expression and regulation, and numerous other cellular processes. Advances in instrumentation and computational analysis have laid the groundwork for structure determination of proteins discovered through genome sequencing efforts, and have opened up structural studies of membrane proteins and large complexes of proteins and nucleic acids.

Generally, students applying to the BSB program have undergraduate majors in biochemistry, chemistry, biology, physics, or related areas, but students also come from other disciplines. The faculty has trained a number of graduate and postdoctoral students who are members of minority groups.

The program includes faculty members from a number of departments at Stony Brook University and from Brookhaven National Laboratory. Together with the Graduate Program in Molecular and Cell Biology, the Graduate Program in Biochemistry and Structural Biology broadly covers graduate research in the biochemical sciences at Stony Brook. Only candidates working toward the Ph.D. degree are admitted.

The BSB program was too new to be ranked in the 2010 National Research Council (NRC) survey, the most authoritative survey of graduate programs. However, the sister Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) program, which has many of the same faculty, was rated very highly. Only 17 out of 85 universities rated had programs with higher average R ratings, and only 6 universities had better rankings in the Northeast.


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