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

A comprehensive study on the structure of the vimentin protein

John Voss, Ph.D.The Voss lab, together with the FitzGerald lab of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy, published a comprehensive study on the structure of the vimentin protein. The article, “Completion of the vimentin rod domain structure using experimental restraints: a new tool for exploring Intermediate Filament assembly and mutations” appeared August 8th in Cell: Structure. The work includes description of vimentin’s linker 1-2 region, which has thus far eluded structural determination. The Voss and FitzGerald groups used a combination of EPR spectroscopy and molecular modeling to describe linker 1-2 and unite the separate elements of the vimentin rod domain into a single experimentally-based model.

The paper can be found here »


Luis Carvajal-Carmona named basic science leader at Cancer Center

Luis G. Carvajal Carmona, Ph.D.Associate Professor Luis Carvajal-Carmona has been named associate director for basic science at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, reflecting the cancer center’s growing emphasis on improving cancer health equity and overcoming disparities in its 19-county catchment area.

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Department of Defense grant will support novel bladder cancer treatment research

Kit S. Lam, M.D., Ph.D.Kit Lam, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, and a research leader at the NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, has received a $4.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study ways to improve immunotherapy treatment in patients with locally advanced and metastatic bladder cancer.

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UC Davis launches center to advance genome-editing tools

David Segal, Ph.D.UC Davis today announced the launch of a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research center dedicated to helping the nation develop safe and effective genome editing tools to treat patients with both common and rare diseases.

The Center’s leadership includes David Segal, professor of biochemistry and molecular medicine, and faculty member in the UC Davis Genome Center.

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