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Message from the Head
Jack Kaplan, Ph.D., F.R.S.

During the last several decades there have been a series of dramatic advances in the way basic biomedical research is carried out. We are now able to produce large quantities of single proteins and determine their structures at atomic resolution, we can mutate these proteins and modify their properties, in cells or, following advances in eukaryotic genetics, in the living mouse, we can also determine how such a protein interacts with others in the cell, and how this information is transferred through signaling processes to other cells in the organism. Through advances in imaging technologies we can follow the details of such processes in living cells. We now also have a greater appreciation of how the basic metabolic pathways are altered in a number of disease states. We are able to determine how the development and death of cells is programmed via interactions among their constituent systems. This broad range of strategies and approaches will enable us to understand how the healthy organism functions and is protected from the myriad of onslaughts our environment provides.

These advances in our knowledge form the underpinning necessary to being able to understand disease processes, such as cancer, infection and neuronal degeneration, and will enable us to treat or prevent such diseases. Members of the Faculty of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics are actively engaged in each of these specific areas.

There are about 24 current Faculty and over the next several years we will be growing. The recruitments will strengthen the established scientific areas of interest in the Department and provide additional diversity at this exciting interdisciplinary interface. Our Departmental strengths represent a significant commitment to the development of a fundamental area of biomedical research and scholarship at UIC, in the College of Medicine. We encourage everyone who is interested in joining our Faculty, Graduate Student Program or our research endeavors, to contact us. The Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics at UIC is an exciting scientific environment in one of the most vibrant urban centers in the US. We are passionate about the science we do and these pages communicate to you the depth and breadth of our interests.