A common fascination with the inner workings of a cell brings biologists and chemists together in the overlapping fields of biochemistry and molecular biology. The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) major is excellent preparation for doctoral-level professional training (M.D./D.O./D.D.S./veterinary) which requires an understanding of life at the molecular level. Students who complete the BMB major will also be exceptionally well prepared for post-graduate study (Ph.D./M.S. programs) in most biological fields. In addition, the extensive laboratory and research components of the program will prepare students for entry-level health sciences and research positions in industry or academia.
While chemists might be interested in the details of the metabolic pathways that supply the energy needs of the cell, biologists might be interested in the mechanism by which information is stored and utilized by the cell. A chemist might be interested in the details of protein structure; a biologist might be interested in the organization of the genetic material. The Aquinas BMB major trains students to appreciate and approach biological questions from both perspectives.
The BMB major is jointly sponsored by the Departments of Biology and Health Science and Chemistry. In their first two years, students take a set of core courses designed to provide a solid background in chemical, physical, and biological principles. In their final two years, students take advanced courses in chemistry and biology, including specialized BMB courses. Hands-on laboratory work is emphasized throughout the program.
Nearly every required course includes a significant laboratory component in which concepts from lecture are actively demonstrated and students are exposed to modern laboratory techniques. Students capitalize on their laboratory experience in their final year in which all BMB students complete a closely mentored independent research project.