About the program

One of the most important fields in science today, biochemistry draws on all sciences to explore the living world and causes of disease at the molecular level. Our program is one of only a few that is accredited by the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

Why study biochemistry at Roanoke?

Prospects / Biochemistry is the study of the molecular structures and chemical reactions that make life possible. As such, biochemistry is crucial for understanding the biotechnology industry, medicine, and the other health-related sciences.

Research / Biochemistry students are encouraged to test their ideas through research from their very first courses-often using the type of advanced equipment that other schools reserve exclusively for graduate students.  In addition, all biochemistry faculty have active research programs investigating meaningful topics from genetics to basic metabolism to diseases such as tuberculosis.   Students in these programs gain valuable experience investigating real world problems while working one on one with faculty.

Support / Our biology and chemistry faculty not only teach, they know their students personally, as well as their students' potential and life goals. So when it comes time for that internship, med school, or grad school application, our faculty are there to suggest, advise, and write individualized recommendations that set students apart from the competition.

Experience biochemistry

Students experience biochemistry firsthand through research, internships, and trips to medical schools and chemical firms. Biochemistry students have the opportunity to work with faculty on many important topics:

  • estrogen and androgen signaling pathways
  • the effects of hormones on gene expression
  • molecular mechanisms controlling cell shape
  • the origins and evolution of meiosis, enzymes important in metabolism and chemotherapy
  • mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in disease causing organisms
  • the purine biosynthetic pathway in archaea.

Learn more  

What's next?

Professional and graduate studies / Students majoring in this field often go on to pursue a professional degree in one of the medical fields. Others continue with graduate study in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry. Learn more.

Career / Biochemical studies prepare students for important careers that have a vital impact on medicine, food safety, environmental concerns, and industry. Learn more.

Program Requirements

View program requirements.


Putting Classroom Knowledge to Work

Putting Classroom Knowledge to Work

Samantha Strickland '08 has not only given herself a competitive edge on her graduate school applications, but also developed some ideas about what areas of research she might pursue later in her career.

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Upcoming EPIC Events

04/16/15, Noon, C. Sarisky

See EPiC Calendar for more events.


About Us

Our department is located in Trexler Hall. 

(540) 375-2441
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Chemistry News

October, 2013  Dr. Ben Huddle, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, has received the Gene Wise Award from the American Chemical Society's Virginia Blue Ridge section.  This award, which is typically given every three years, recognizes the contributions that Dr. Huddle has made to chemistry throughout his career.  Dr. Huddle is the first Roanoke College faculty member to receive this award and may well be the first from a smaller college to be recognized.

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