Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Reno, NV

Department of Biochemistry
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia Street/ MS 330
Reno, Nevada 89557-0046

Phone: (775) 784-6031

The University of Nevada, Reno, is a constitutionally established, land-grant university. The University served the state of Nevada as its only state-supported institution of higher education for almost seventy-five years. In that historical role, it has emerged as a doctoral-granting university that focuses its resources on doing a select number of things well. UNR offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including selected doctoral and professional studies, that emphasize those programs and activities that best serve the needs of the state, region, and nation. By fostering creative and scholarly activity, the University encourages and supports faculty research and the application of that research to state and national problems. The University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.

The Department has a multiple mission that requires the balancing of service teaching in biochemistry with the needs of high-achieving undergraduate majors in biochemistry (265 students), a growing Ph.D. graduate program (25 students) in biochemistry, and of highly competitive research programs. The Department has administrative responsibility for the support and resource management for the interdepartmental Graduate Faculty of Biotechnology and Cell & Molecular Biology (6 students and 15 faculty members).

The Location and Community
The University is an integral part of the thriving Reno-Sparks metropolitan area. Its 255-acre campus of rolling hills features a blend of ivy-covered buildings, sweeping lawns, and functional, progressive architecture. The academic atmosphere is filled with rich surroundings for the cultural and intellectual development of the student. Beyond the University, the Reno-Sparks area lies prominently in an attractive natural setting. Bounded on the west by the majestic Sierra Nevada range and on the east by a rolling basin and range province, Reno-Sparks benefits from a comfortable climate. Marked by generally cool and dry weather, the area is a haven for those who love the four seasons. Recreational activities are easy to find, as students can drive in one day to the well-known ski areas of Lake Tahoe and the historic Western realm of Virginia City.

Programs of Study
The mission of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is to provide strong educational programs for undergraduate, graduate and professional students, to conduct high quality research in biochemistry, molecular biology and biotechnology, and to effectively transmit scientific knowledge to the general public.

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology integrates the molecular life sciences from the most basic biology-chemistry interface to molecular genetics and bioinformatics. The disciplines of the molecular biosciences involve the use of sophisticated analytical, biochemical, and genetic technologies to examine the activities of living systems, focusing on the structures and roles of macromolecules in complex biological systems.

Faculty members in biochemistry function as research project managers and principal investigators of their own individual programs whose success require them to be innovative and interactive with other scientists. The faculty member designs the individual research programs, and there is little to no administrative direction applied to their choices of research activities.

Each faculty member is expected to direct an active research program or be involved in other scholastic activities involving the training of doctoral and masters-level graduate students as well as undergraduate students studying in genetics and biochemistry. In addition, each tenure-tract faculty member is expected to be effective in formal classroom teaching, to provide service to the department’s research and academic functions, and to maintain research/teaching funding to sustain their laboratory programs.

Facilities & Resources
Research at UNR's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology utilizes state-of-the-art approaches to recombinant DNA technology, gene transfer methodologies, chromosome analysis, microscopy, electrophysiology, biochemical isolation and analysis of proteins and nucleic acids and crystallography much of which is conducted at the Protein Core Facility.

The UNR's Life & Health Science library and the Savitt Medical library are an important educational resource for students and faculty. Strategically located in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources and between the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's Howard building and the College of Medicine, the UNR Science Libraries are two of the largest collections of science and medicine resources in Nevada. In addition, hundreds of scientific journals are available online to UNR graduate students and faculty.

Expenses and Aid
Nevada residents pay registration fees only; nonresidents pay tuition in addition to registration fees. Part-time tuition (1-6 credits) is $166 per credit, and full-time tuition (7 credits or more) is $4,937. The registration fee is $137.50 per credit.

Financial Aid:
Fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and federal work-study opportunities are available. All graduate students holding an assistantship are considered Nevada residents for tuition purposes. Nonresident tuition is waived only for the duration of the assistantship. To be eligible, students must be admitted to a degree-granting program and be in good academic standing, have an overall GPA of at least 3.0, and be continuously enrolled in at least 6 graduate-level credits throughout the duration of the assistantship.

Housing/Living Expenses:
A room in the residence halls ranges from $3,990 to $4,990 per academic year, depending on location. Meal plans range from $2,595 to $3,395. A listing of off-campus housing-including rooms, apartments, and houses-is also available.

How to Apply
The minimal University requirements include the completion of a baccalaureate degree, a minimum total undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 for a master's program (3.0 for a doctoral program), and the completion of all required prerequisite course work. The Graduate School requires applicants to submit the completed application, the $60 nonrefundable application fee ($40 for returning students and UNR alumni), and two official transcripts from the registrar's office at every postsecondary school attended.

Who to Contact
Department of Biochemistry
University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia Street/ MS 330
Reno, Nevada 89557-0046

Phone: (775) 784-6031

The Faculty
• Judith Airey, Research Associate Professor; Ph.D., Nevada, 1991. Calcium release systems in striated muscle: regulation and expression.

• Gary Blomquist, Professor and Chair; Ph.D., Montana State, 1973. Insect biochemistry; lipid metabolism; biosynthesis of sex pheromones; comparative biochemistry.

• Dayue Duan, Associate Professor; M.D., Hunan Medical (China), 1982; Ph.D., McGill, 1996. Cardiac electrophysiology/pharmacology and molecular biology of ion channels.

• William Gerthoffer, Professor; Ph.D., West Virginia, 1978. Regulation of smooth muscle contraction and contractile protein phosphorylation; mitogen-activated protein kinases and cytokine gene regulation; regulation of actin filament dynamics by small stress proteins.

• Burton Horowitz, Professor; Ph.D., USC, 1985. Molecular physiology; structure-function relationships of ion transport proteins deduced by site-directed mutagenesis; genetic regulation of ion transport proteins.

• Claus R. Tittiger, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Queen's at Kingston, 1994. Regulation of isoprenoid biosynthesis in beetles and enzymes involved in pheromone biosynthetic pathways.

• William Welch, Professor; Ph.D., Kansas, 1968. Role of cations in enzyme structure and function; structure-function relationships of biological molecules.

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