Thomas Jefferson University

Academic Programs

Graduate Students

Faculty in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology are responsible for major areas of the education of graduate students in the Jefferson College of Life Sciences, first-year medical students in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College, and first-year pharmacy students in the Jefferson College of Pharmacy.

The department hosts the PhD Program in Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology.  The program is directed by Edward Winter, PhD and all of the department’s faculty play an active role in it.  Department faculty also participate in the following PhD programs: Cell & Developmental Biology; Genetics, Genomics & Cancer Biology; Immunology & Microbial Pathogenesis; and Neuroscience.

An understanding of biochemistry and molecular biology is an important foundation for students in several natural sciences and health sciences.  Accordingly, department faculty direct the following courses:

For first-year Medical Students
Molecular and Cellular Basis of Medicine (MCBM). Molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, metabolism, and a bit of cell physiology are presented in a clinically relevant, integrated fashion.  Faculty from this department teach about half of all sessions. Course director: Peter Ronner, PhD

For first-year Pharmacy Students
Biochemistry (PHRM 510). Topic: metabolism (taught in close coordination with a course in pathophysiology). Faculty from this department teach about 90% of this course. Course director: Peter Ronner, PhD

Molecular Biology & Cell Biology (PHRM 520). Topics: molecular biology and cell biology (taught in close coordination with courses in biochemistry and medicinal chemistry). Faculty from this department teach about 75% of this course. Course director: Charles Scott, PhD

For Graduate Students
(Course descriptions can be found in the JCBS Catalog.)

Foundations in Biomedical Sciences (GC 550), directed by Dr. James Jaynes
Genetic Information Transfer (BI 525), directed by Dr. Ya-Ming Hou.
Cell Signaling
(GC 665), co-directed by Dr. Philip Wedegaertner.
Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience
(NS 715), directed by Dr. Diane Merry.
Advanced Topics in Metabolism (BI 535), directed by Dr. Gino Cingolani.
Advanced Topics in Protein Function and Dysfunction, directed by Dr. Eric Wickstrom.
Macromolecular Structure Function II
(BI 614), co-directed by Dr. Michael Root and Dr. Charles Scott.

Faculty Honors

Department faculty take their teaching obligations seriously; since 2005, they have received the following honors: Jefferson College of Graduate Studies Fredric Rieders Faculty Prize in Graduate Education, Jefferson Postdoctoral Association Distinguished Mentor Award, Dean's Citation for Significant Contributions to the Advancement of Education at Jefferson Medical College, Jefferson Medical College Freshman Class Faculty Award, Dean’s Award for Faculty Mentoring at Jefferson Medical College, Membership in the Jefferson Medical College Academy of Distinguished Educators, Jefferson Medical College Student Award for Professionalism, Recipient of Portrait Painting as chosen by graduating medical students, Jefferson Medical College Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, Chairpersonship of the Association of Biochemistry Course Directors.

Trainee Awards

Since 2005, trainees in department labs have received the following awards: American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Postdoc Travel Award, American Society for Cell Biology Postdoc Travel Award, Jefferson Postdoctoral Research Symposium Presentation Award, Jefferson Sigma Xi Poster Award, Sigma Xi Grants-in-aid of Research, American Society for Cell Biology Graduate Student Travel Award, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Graduate Student Travel Award.

Teaching Opportunities

If you are at Jefferson and have an interest in obtaining teaching experience or assuming teaching responsibility, regardless of whether you are a graduate student, post-doc, instructor, research associate, or faculty member, please send an e-mail to  There are often opportunities with tutoring and reviewing, and occasionally also with teaching post-baccalaureate students, masters students, graduate students, pharmacy students, or medical students.  The course director with whom you work will mentor and coach you.