Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is threefold: research, teaching, and service.  Our strong emphasis on discovery of new knowledge in the biomedical sciences is borne out by the extramural funding attained by the faculty.  Research productivity is measured by publication of original articles in refereed journals and invited review articles in journals and books.  Invitations to speak at national and international meetings and at other universities serve as another indication of our faculty’s research expertise as does service on editorial boards of scientific journals.  Graduate student involvement in research publication is a major priority.  The Department invests heavily in research instrumentation and maintains core facilities for use by Departmental investigators.

Teaching is a second mission.  Teaching includes formal classroom courses, involving both lecture and discussion formats, practical training in the laboratory, and development of communication skills for oral and written presentation of scientific findings.  Formal classroom teaching occurs in both the School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Studies.  In the School of Medicine curriculum, courses 1, 2, and 4 of Module I have major contributions from Departmental faculty as do courses 1, 2, 4, and 11 of Module II and small-group mentoring for Modules I, II, and III.  These courses form a critical underpinning for subsequent courses in the basic and clinical sciences.  In the School of Graduate Studies curriculum, Departmental faculty teach in Interdisciplinary Courses 111-119, which present basic concepts in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, and statistics.  These courses are a requirement for graduate students in all five basic science departments.  Other important components of the teaching program are the advanced topics courses in biochemistry and molecular biology, cancer biology, and neurosciences, as well as the Departmental journal club and seminar series, in which scientists from both inside and outside LSUHSC-S present research seminars of interest to the entire biomedical community. 

Service is a third Departmental mission.  Faculty members serve scientific societies and grant funding agencies at the national level by holding offices, participating on grant review panels, and reviewing manuscripts submitted to journals.  Faculty members also serve on the committees and hold the offices that are essential for the mission of the Health Sciences Center.  Service at the Departmental level includes recruitment of faculty, admission of graduate students, and maintenance of a variety of research facilities for the benefit of both Departmental members and those of other departments.  Finally, Departmental members render professional services to the state, parish, and local communities by participation in teaching activities, serving on boards and committees, judging science fairs, and providing professional consultation.

Stephan N. Witt, PhD.
Professor and Head