Biochemistry

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry focuses on the chemistry of living systems, such as how molecules interact to form cells and tissues, and the chemistry of various life processes such as metabolism, digestion, reproduction, and energy flow.

The interface between chemistry and biology offers exciting opportunities for study and research in an interdisciplinary arena. It is one of the most active areas of current scientific progress and the main driving force behind the biotechnology revolution. The biology and chemistry departments collaborate in the teaching and administration of the biochemistry major. Students see how the tools and concepts of these two disciplines are used to ask and answer fundamental questions related to the molecular basis of life processes.

Students interested in topics such as cloning, the mechanism of drug action, DNA fingerprinting, structure/function relationships of biological macromolecules, hormonal regulation of physiological processes, metabolic pathways, mechanisms of enzyme catalysis and similar topics will find much of interest.

Specific goals for students in this major include:

  • development of a knowledge of the function of living organisms at the molecular level and the relevance of chemical and biological principles, and their interplay, in reaching this understanding;
  • development of laboratory skills that allow research questions in biochemistry to be pursued;
  •  participation in faculty-mentored research projects at various stages of the student’s education, culminating in the senior project;
  • preparation for careers in biotechnology and health and graduate work in biochemistry or molecular biology.

Working in Biochemistry
Characteristics and Skills Necessary for Success

  • Interest and skills in laboratory work
  • Careful, creative problem solver
  • Good communication skills, both orally and in writing
  • Capable of critical observation
  • Effective goal setter
  • Ability to interpret data
  • Ability to adapt to change

Click HERE for a table on Career Areas, Employers, and Strategies for Employment

Sample Job Titles

Anesthesiologist
Biomedical Engineer

Biological or Medical Scientist
Chemist
Chemist or Material Scientist
Clinical Biochemist
Forensic Scientist
Laboratory Analyst
Physician or Surgeon
Physician Assistant
Quality Control Technician
Research Assistant
Scientific Publishing
Teacher-Chemistry
Technical Writer
Veterinarian

Learning More About Biochemistry

  • Visit the Career Services office and check out our Career Resource Library
  • Visit the SLU Biochemistry website learn more about Careers in Health there
  • Check out Biochemistry course descriptions in the Catalog
  • Talk with a professor in Biochemistry about the major.
  • Perform an informational interview with a professional in the field. 
  • Get connected with SLU alum in the field through SAINTSLink, participate in Shadow-a-Saint or complete an Internship.

Additional Resources

Related Majors and Minors at SLU
Biology
Chemistry
Conservation Biology
Biology- Physics Combined
Neuroscience