Biological Chemistry at Penn State Chemistry

Biological Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry, Penn State University

The Department of Chemistry at Penn State is one of the premier chemistry departments in the nation. Currently, there are 16 faculty members whose work is at the core or is related to biological chemistry. With an excellent record of generating external support for research and a commitment to cutting-edge interdisciplinary work, Penn State Biological Chemistry has become a leader in many of the most significant areas of Biochemistry, Chemical Biology, and Biophysical chemistry.

We accept students from a diverse range of training programs and with very different research backgrounds, including but not limited to Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology, and Physics. Before applying, we encourage you to review the departmental website (Please see: and give attention to the research descriptions of each faculty member. Our admission decisions are based on all aspects reflected in the complete application package.

Admitted graduate students are supported through a combination of research assistantships, teaching assistantships and fellowships. Once admitted, we support our students in the pursuit of outside fellowships including those offered by US governmental organizations as well as those offered through international governments and private organizations. Our department has an outstanding record of publishing with our graduate students and placing them in outstanding positions

Deadline: January 15, 2016
Electronic Application Portal:
Test Requirements: GRE General scores; TOEFL scores for non-native speakers of English. Test scores are only one aspect of the application package.

Faculty (please click names for linked webpages):
Philip C. Bevilacqua: RNA enzymology, in vivo RNA folding
Amie Boal: X-ray crystallography, Metalloenzymes, Protein engineering
J. Martin Bollinger Jr: Mechanisms of redox metalloenzymes and metallocofactor assembly
David Boehr: Biological NMR, Protein structure
Squire J. Booker: Biochemistry, Enzymology, Protein chemistry
Paul Cremer: Ligand-receptor binding at lipid membranes, Ion specific effects on protein folding (hofmeister chemistry)
John H. Golbeck: Spectroscopic dynamics of photosynthesis
Chris Dolan Keating: Artificial cells, Liquid-liquid phase separation for intracellular compartmentalization, Reactions in crowded and compartmentalized biomimetic media
Carsten Krebs: Spectroscopic and kinetic studies on the mechanisms of iron-containing enzymes
Tae-Hee Lee: Single molecule methods, Single molecule fluorescence/force microscopy/spectroscopy (FRET, super resolution, and optical tweezers), Nucleosome biophysics, DNA replication mechanisms
Manuel Llinas: Malaria parasite metabolism and biochemistry
William G. Noid: Statistical mechanics of unfolded proteins
Edward O’Brien: Theory and computation of molecular and cellular processes
Scott Philips: Bioorganic chemistry, Bioinspired organic chemistry
Scott Showalter: Biological NMR, Intrinsically disordered protein
Xin Zhang: Chemical biology of protein folding and cellular stress


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