Our Mission is to conduct world-class research in biochemistry and molecular medicine. To excel in undergraduate, graduate and medical education, and to serve the university through leadership in forums committed to graduate and professional school admissions and curriculum.

The research interests of the departmental faculty are focused in the fundamental molecular aspects of cell biology, gene expression, cancer biology, membrane biology, glycobiology, neurobiology, muscle physiology, human genetics, chemical and structural biology, molecular imaging and drug development. In addition to innovative research activities, faculty are involved in the teaching and training of medical and doctoral students.

At the Davis Campus, the department maintains laboratories at Tupper Hall, the Genome Building and in the Department of Chemistry. At the Sacramento Campus, the department maintains laboratories at the Oak Park Research Building, Research I and III Buildings, and the MIND Institute.

The department’s primary research funding comes from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and a wide variety of Private agencies.

The department’s teaching focus includes, Lower Division courses, Graduate courses, and Professional courses for medical students.

Department News

UC Davis awarded new CRISPR grant to test novel approach to cancer treatment

Kit S. Lam, M.D., Ph.D.UC Davis researchers have been awarded $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the first part of a project to develop a novel approach to deliver genome editing machinery to genes responsible for a rare form of familial cancer.

Kit S. Lam, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine in the School of Medicine, and R. Holland Cheng, professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology in the College of Biological Sciences, aim to demonstrate that CRISPR, a technology that allows alteration of DNA sequences to modify gene function, can be successfully packaged and delivered to target cells in a living animal.

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2019 OCERN Research Award

2019 OCERN Research AwardClick to enlarge

Congratulations to Jeremy Chien, recipient of this year's OCERN Research award of $50,000. Dr. Chien will use the funds to work on ways to improve the effectiveness of ovarian cancer treatments. He's pictured here with Gina Dayton, ovarian cancer survivor and event organizer.

A new target for triple-negative breast cancer?

Hongwu Chen, Ph.D.Early-stage breast cancer can be curable, but one type presents major treatment challenges: triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). “Triple negative” means these tumors lack the receptors for estrogen, progesterone and HER2, so TNBC patients don’t have access to important targeted therapies, such as Herceptin or Tamoxifen.

“TNBC is actually many different kinds of cancer,” says Hongwu Chen, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine and a Cancer Center researcher. “Some of them are very aggressive and are more likely to relapse after treatment.”

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