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Research Areas

The Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology consists of research faculty working in three main areas of research; microbiology, biochemistry, cancer biology.

The department has traditionally maintained a strength in the area of microbiology in order to support an undergraduate microbiology major. The undergraduate major has yielded a curriculum that serves as an intellectual foundation for a large segment of the biochemistry faculty. Whereas the Biochemistry Group shares a common theme of protein structure and function, a large number of the research-active faculty examine proteins that mediate key cell functions of bacteria and parasites.

Microbiology: The department has traditionally maintained a strength in the area of microbiology in order to support an undergraduate microbiology major. The undergraduate major has yielded a curriculum that serves as an intellectual foundation for a large segment of the biochemistry faculty. Whereas the Biochemistry Group shares a common theme of protein structure and function, a large number of the research-active faculty examine proteins that mediate key cell functions of bacteria and parasites. In addition, the support facilities for microbiology and parasitology research and training are readily available (e. g. Animal Research Facility, Electron Microscopy Facility, Microbiology Prep Room). Thus, we have established an environment in which microbiologists can interact and quickly develop their careers. Given recent federal and private funding interests in microbial genomics, microbial diversity, antibiotic resistance, bioremediation, extremophiles and host/pathogen interactions, it makes good sense to continue to hire microbiologists and parasitologists in the future. Thus, a secondary underlying theme in building and maintaining an active group of biochemists is to identify research interactions within the realm of molecular microbiology and parasitology.

Structure, Function and Dynamics of Biomolecules: We are a group of biochemists engaged in different aspects of protein structure and function to understand important biological processes at the molecular level. Indeed it is an exciting time for biochemists in general, because the recent explosion of genomic data has identified novel genes whose products must be characterized with respect to their structure, function and physical association with other cellular components. The current research topics being addressed here at BGSU all utilize typical preparative and analytical tools including site-directed mutagenesis, HPLC for rapid high-yield protein purification, analytical ultracentrifugation, absorption spectroscopy of redox centers, and structural determination by NMR. In collaboration with the biologically-oriented chemists in the Chemistry Department, we are developing a new research unit, the Center for Biomolecular Sciences, to foster collaborative research activities between faculty and students in both departments.

Northwest Ohio Plant Biotech Consortium: In response to one of the recommendations from OBOR, at the regional level, faculty members from three universities (BGSU, UT and MUO) have come together to form the 'Northwest Ohio Plant Biotech Consortium' recently funded by the OBOR Investment Fund program ($340,000). Funds transferred to Bowling Green were used to purchase two much-needed plant growth chambers which are now being used to raise transgenic plants and conduct experiments. As a result of the sucess of this initiative, an Ohio-Wide Plant Consortium has been organized. OBOR has announced the release of $100,000 which will fund up to five collaborative projects (applications due Feb. 1999) between state supported institutions in Ohio.