Biochemistry and Neuroscience Graduate Program

Biochemistry and Neuroscience is an interdepartmental program administered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with research support through the Institute of Arctic Biology.

The program provides an academic basis for advanced research in molecular aspects of biology, especially relating to terrestrial and marine environments at high latitudes. We offer the Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Neuroscience as well as a concentration in this area under the Chemistry M.S. degree. The program is small and benefits from UAF's libraries, laboratory space, computer facilities, and strong emphasis on research.

A broad range of biomedical research experiences are available including molecular and cellular neuroscience, proteomics, protein structure-function and molecular toxicology. The arctic environment provides additional research opportunities in environmental biochemistry, adaptations and molecular genetics.

UAF faculty and affiliate faculty at collaborating institutions provide a rich academic environment encompassing both research and comprehensive course offerings. Students with career interests in biotechnology, pharmaceutical sciences, environmental health, genetics and biomedicine are encouraged to apply. Students are normally accepted with financial support (fellowships, research assistantships and/or teaching assistantships) along with tuition waivers.

Alaska presents rich opportunities for biochemical and neuroscience research. Plants and animals living in the Arctic have evolved remarkable genetic and biochemical adaptations to the region's characteristic low temperatures and low-angle solar illumination. Scientists have barely begun understanding such adaptations, and so many fascinating research problems exist in this area.

Students in the Ph.D. program are required to take graduate courses, complete a research-based thesis, and pass comprehensive and final oral examinations. Students are encouraged to take a wide range of courses. Thesis research is undertaken in collaboration with a thesis advisor who also chairs the student's graduate advisory committee. The committee helps advise the student on scientific and academic matters, oversees the various graduate exams, and approves the thesis. The major advisor and committee are chosen during the student's first year as a graduate student.

Students are generally supported throughout their appointments, either by teaching assistantships in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, or by a research assistantship. The latter are funded by grants from the state or federal agencies secured by our faculty.

Our intended learning outcomes for students in biochemistry and neuroscience are:

  • Graduates attain a level of technical ability and knowledge to function as professionals in their discipline.
  • Masters graduates have performed research using technical and problem solving skills to contribute to their field.  Doctoral graduates demonstrate that they can independently identify a problem and devise appropriate methods for its solution, contributing original knowledge to that field. 
  • Communication/presentation skills are consistent with professional standards.   
  • Graduates obtain employment or continue education in the field following graduation.  

Study Biochemistry and Neuroscience at UAF - Apply today! 

Biochemistry & Neuroscience Graduate Program Coordinator

Kelly Drew
Office: 104 Irving Building
Phone: 907-474-7190

Biochemistry and Neuroscience Poster

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