Biochemistry is the study of molecules and chemical reactions found in life. The defining feature of biochemistry is that it uses principles of chemistry to explain biology at the molecular level. Although it’s a relatively new area, less than 100 years old, advances are occurring at a remarkable rate for several reasons.

  • We now understand many central processes of life including the structure of DNA and the flow of information, the unraveling of central metabolic pathways, and the structure and function of many proteins.
  • We understand molecular patterns are common in simple and complex organisms, including plants and animals.
  • We understand the molecular causes of many diseases and this helps diagnosis and treat many health issues.

Understanding biochemical concepts and techniques enables researchers to attack fundamental problems in biology and medicine.

  • How does a fertilized egg give rise to cells as different as muscle, brain, or liver?
  • How do cells communicate in a complex organ?
  • How is the growth of cells controlled?
  • What causes cancer?
  • What is the molecular mechanism of memory?
  • How can genetic engineering be applied?

Career opportunities in biochemistry

Careers in health fields are still abundant, especially as new data leads to better diagnosis and treatment. An undergraduate degree in chemistry with a biochemistry emphasis prepares you for opportunities in human medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and dentistry, as well as the necessary background for graduate programs.

Biochemistry at UW-Platteville

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Bachelor of Science in Chemistry program with an emphasis in biochemistry is ACS-certified and provides you with the appropriate chemistry, biology, and biochemistry background to succeed in undergraduate level positions or in graduate or professional schools.

View the degree requirements for completing a major in biochemistry. Review the four-year plan for the Biochemistry Emphasis in Chemistry and discuss with your advisor.