Faculty research programs in Biochemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park emphasize fundamental approaches to molecular aspects of biological systems.
Biophysical chemistry/molecular biophysics/bioanalytics is a particular strength, including biomolecular NMR (Dayie, Fushman, Orban) and X-ray crystallography (Beckett , Herzberg, LaRonde, Paukstelis), biomolecular small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS/SANS) (Dayie, Fushman), computational methods (Fushman), kinetic and equilibrium analysis of biomolecular interactions (Beckett), and fluorescence approaches (Kahn). Faculty apply these approaches to problems of biological and biomedical importance that include molecular mechanisms of allosteric regulation (Beckett), regulation of gene expression (Kahn), RNA processing (Dayie, LaRonde, Paukstelis), translation (Dayie, Dinman, LaRonde), ubiquitin-mediated signaling pathways (Fushman), cell-cell communication (Fenselau), SNP’s associated with human diseases (Herzberg), drug design (Herzberg), protein-protein interactions in virulence (Beckett), membrane channels (Colombini), nanobiotechnology (Kahn, Paukstelis), and DNA recombination and repair (Julin). Chemical biology and bioorganic chemistry benefit from the environment of a chemistry department with active research in nucleic acid biochemistry (Dayie, Kahn, LaRonde, Paukstelis, Winkler), ubiquitination and other post-translational modifications (Fushman), and protein glycosylation and glycoprotein function (Poulin, Wang). Most projects are carried out by one or a few graduate students, undergraduates, and postdoctoral researchers, so there is constant contact among faculty and students. Biochemistry groups benefit from connections with many other programs on campus, including Chemical Physics, Biophysics, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Bioengineering.