Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

The Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics Department’s goal is to instill a thorough knowledge of modern biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, and biophysics, while at the same time awakening the student’s imagination to the diverse and exciting research areas represented by our faculty. The academic and research activities, as well as the many opportunities for interaction among students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty, help to shape an outstanding and cooperative research and training experience.

The department plays a major role in the teaching of the following modules of the Integrated Clinical Sciences for 1st year Medical Students: Foundations of Medicine; Cells, Blood & Cancer; and Gastrointestinal. Several MD, Ph.D. students conduct research in departmental laboratories. The department also welcomes MD students to conduct research during the summer or during term under the direction of selected mentors.

Each year 10-20 undergraduates from the University of Virginia join laboratories in the department to carry out primary research, often resulting in undergraduate thesis. Research is carried out both in the summer and during term.

Statement of Diversity and Inclusion:

The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics seeks to provide an environment in which all people are able to thrive in their educational endeavors, their professional development, and in their pursuit of new knowledge.  We recognize that many people face barriers on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, gender identity, disability, religion, age, and other factors that have prevented their full participation in the discipline of science.  These barriers have also artificially minimized the scientific contributions of some and elevated the contributions of others.  We are committed to individual and systemic change that will continue to improve the environment in which education and research are conducted.  We are committed to promoting diversity and removing barriers, and we have a commitment to understand and heal the legacy of harm which has arisen from our collective history, both on a local level and in the world.

We enthusiastically participate in several initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, including the UVA Summer Research Institute Program (, the UVA Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team (, UVA Women in Medical Sciences (, the UVA Mentoring Institute (, the UVA Diversity Consortium programs, as well as the national meetings hosted annually by SACNAS ( and ABRCMS (



Apply to the Program

Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics at UVA offers a comprehensive personalized program that incorporates didactic and practical training. Qualified students are admitted for work leading to the Doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. Students typically come to the department following entry through the Biomedical Sciences graduate program but there are other avenues of entry such as the M.D./Ph.D. program.

More Information

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Thomas Edward Thompson, Harry F. Byrd, Jr. Professor Emeritus and former Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, died on November 16th, 2021, at the Martha Jefferson House in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Support Our Mission

Every researcher is dedicated to better results for patients. Your contribution, whatever its size, can help ensure we are able to offer the best care based on advanced medical research.