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Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry

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Choose Saint Rose for Your Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry

Biochemistry students study the chemistry of life, including the regulation of metabolism, the molecular basis of genetics, chemiluminescence, and the methods by which drugs affect organisms.

The biochemistry major is an excellent choice for pre-medical, pre-dental, and pre-veterinary students; for graduate study in biochemistry, biology, or chemistry; and for students who are interested in careers ranging from allied health professions, biochemical research in government and industrial laboratories to careers in forensics or the chemical or pharmaceutical industries.

The science faculty at Saint Rose is deeply committed to the success of our students. Our faculty teach both lecture and lab, increasing contact hours between students and faculty. We offer research opportunities, both on campus at Saint Rose and through internships at surrounding labs in the Capital Region. Saint Rose gives researchers many opportunities to excel. We support student travel to conferences to present research, award summer research grants to undergraduates, publish an annual Undergraduate Research Journal, and hold an all-College undergraduate research symposium each spring.

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Program Highlights

  • Our rigorous science curriculum prepares students for graduate school and a future career.
  • We offer various options for conducting rewarding undergraduate research on campus with Saint Rose faculty or off-campus in a credit-bearing internship at locations around the Capital Region.
  • Students have the opportunity to publish research in the Journal of Undergraduate Research and present research at the Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  • Biochemistry and forensic science majors enjoy use of our facilities and equipment, including a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, comparison microscope, fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer with attenuated total reflection (ATR) attachment, UV-VIS spectrometer, gas chromatograph (GC), atomic absorption spectrometer, and high-performance liquid
    chromatography (HPLC).

Our Well-equipped Facilities

Biochemistry and forensic science majors enjoy use of our facilities and equipment, including a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, comparison microscope, fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer with attenuated total reflection (ATR) attachment, UV-VIS spectrometer, gas chromatograph (GC), atomic absorption spectrometer, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

Co-Curricular Experiences

A very active student-run science club (Natural Science Association, NSA) provides students interested in science with an opportunity to participate in science activities during weekly meetings. The Doctors’ Guild, our alumni organization, provides a network to exchange information, connect with alumni and faculty, and foster professional contacts.

Curriculum and Internships

Valuable research opportunities are available both on campus at Saint Rose and for internship credit at labs in the Capital Region.

The department also offers support for student travel to conferences, awards summer research grants, publishes an annual Undergraduate Research Journal, and holds an all-College undergraduate research symposium each spring.

Course Requirements

  • Use and understand chemistry terminology.
  • Effectively use statistical methods for evaluating and interpreting data.
  • Understand the relationship between chemical structure and reactivity.
  • Solve quantitative problems relevant to chemical processes.

Saint Rose has provided me with enough knowledge in the sciences to apply my major of biology to the real world. I’ve learned to think like a scientist, and as the years went on, I saw the potential of applying my education to the field of medicine.

I am currently applying to medical school as well as dental school, so I can use what I’ve learned at Saint Rose for the betterment of others.”

Eric Szillus II ‘21

BS Biology

Under the guidance of Dr. Zeeh, Saint Rose granted me the necessary skill set to flourish in my current program. Dr. Zeeh, along with the other professors in the department, helped me tap into my passion and ensure that I would succeed in achieving my goals.

Saint Rose gave me the foundation and support I needed to feel prepared in taking the next step in building my career as a scientist."

Caitlin Miller '19

Ph.D. candidate, Department of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Meet Our Physical and Biological Sciences Faculty

Our faculty are great scholars, but your success is their top priority. That’s why Saint Rose has been named a top 25 college for professors who excel at teaching undergraduates by U.S. News & World Report for the second year.
Sarah Alvaro Associate Professor of Chemistry

My research interests range broadly within the field of analytical chemistry, including environmental chemistry, food chemistry, and forensic chemistry. When working with students in my research, I like to find out what interests them and, together we design a viable research experience around that interest. My students regularly present research posters at Saint Rose’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, and some students have presented posters at the local American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Sigma Xi induction ceremony.

Brad Bauer Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry

My research interests include computational and theoretical chemistry. I use molecular dynamics simulations to study properties of various aqueous solutions and interfaces at the atomic/molecular level. I have published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and have presented at national and regional conferences of the American Chemical Society. I like to incorporate highly motivated undergraduate students into my research projects. These students have presented their findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at The College of Saint Rose, and also at meetings of the Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society and the Albany Chapter of Sigma Xi.

Paul Benzing Assistant Professor of Environmental Science

Philip M. Crim Assistant Professor of Biology

My research has revolved around plant physiology and ecology, with a more recent focus on terrestrial woody plants. Broadly, I am interested in the conservation of woody plant species, especially via ex situ cultivation, as well as gaining a better understanding of difficult species complexes such as oaks, willows, brambles, and hawthorns.

Sarah AlvaroAssociate Professor of Chemistry

My research interests range broadly within the field of analytical chemistry, including environmental chemistry, food chemistry, and forensic chemistry. When working with students in my research, I like to find out what interests them and, together we design a viable research experience around that interest. My students regularly present research posters at Saint Rose’s Undergraduate Research Symposium, and some students have presented posters at the local American Chemical Society Undergraduate Research Symposium and the Sigma Xi induction ceremony.

Brad BauerAssociate Professor of Physical Chemistry

My research interests include computational and theoretical chemistry. I use molecular dynamics simulations to study properties of various aqueous solutions and interfaces at the atomic/molecular level. I have published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and have presented at national and regional conferences of the American Chemical Society. I like to incorporate highly motivated undergraduate students into my research projects. These students have presented their findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium at The College of Saint Rose, and also at meetings of the Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society and the Albany Chapter of Sigma Xi.

Paul BenzingAssistant Professor of Environmental Science

Philip M. CrimAssistant Professor of Biology

My research has revolved around plant physiology and ecology, with a more recent focus on terrestrial woody plants. Broadly, I am interested in the conservation of woody plant species, especially via ex situ cultivation, as well as gaining a better understanding of difficult species complexes such as oaks, willows, brambles, and hawthorns.

Kevin Gannon Assistant Professor of Physical Science

Kelly Hallstrom Assistant Professor of Microbiology

I earned my bachelor’s in biology at Clark University, where I was first introduced to academic research under the guidance of enthusiastic and supportive mentors. It was this experience that made me want a career where I, too, could teach and mentor students. After a few years as a technician in a cancer biology lab, I pursued graduate studies at UMass Medical School and earned my Ph.D. in biomedical sciences. As a result of my previous experiences, I am interested in the ways in which environmental changes affect microbial growth and physiology. I have taught and mentored students at the graduate and undergraduate levels and find that research and teaching are best when paired together. I am also committed to science outreach and communication in the community and enjoy finding ways to incorporate science communication skills in the classroom.

Brian Jensen Professor of Biology

My academic background is diverse. I am currently interested in how organisms cope with environmental stressors. I have worked in labs that focused on teleost reproduction and development, adipogenesis in a mammalian cell line, and ischemia reperfusion in mammalian lungs. Students in my lab are currently determining the physiological effects of the toxin carbaryl on zebrafish development.

Patrick Jokiel Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry

I teach first and second semester organic chemistry, lecture, and laboratory and an upper-level laboratory course in organic chemistry. In addition to the organic chemistry offerings, I also teach a course in medicinal chemistry. I include my students in my research which includes the synthesis of heterocyclic organic molecules via transition-metal catalyzed oxidative C-H amination. Two Saint Rose students have been awarded summer research grants to work on these projects. My research students have also presented posters on their work at the undergraduate research symposium here at the College of Saint Rose, at the annual meeting of the Albany chapter of Sigma Xi  and at the annual undergraduate research symposium hosted by the Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society.

Kevin GannonAssistant Professor of Physical Science

Kelly HallstromAssistant Professor of Microbiology

I earned my bachelor’s in biology at Clark University, where I was first introduced to academic research under the guidance of enthusiastic and supportive mentors. It was this experience that made me want a career where I, too, could teach and mentor students. After a few years as a technician in a cancer biology lab, I pursued graduate studies at UMass Medical School and earned my Ph.D. in biomedical sciences. As a result of my previous experiences, I am interested in the ways in which environmental changes affect microbial growth and physiology. I have taught and mentored students at the graduate and undergraduate levels and find that research and teaching are best when paired together. I am also committed to science outreach and communication in the community and enjoy finding ways to incorporate science communication skills in the classroom.

Brian JensenProfessor of Biology

My academic background is diverse. I am currently interested in how organisms cope with environmental stressors. I have worked in labs that focused on teleost reproduction and development, adipogenesis in a mammalian cell line, and ischemia reperfusion in mammalian lungs. Students in my lab are currently determining the physiological effects of the toxin carbaryl on zebrafish development.

Patrick JokielAssistant Professor of Organic Chemistry

I teach first and second semester organic chemistry, lecture, and laboratory and an upper-level laboratory course in organic chemistry. In addition to the organic chemistry offerings, I also teach a course in medicinal chemistry. I include my students in my research which includes the synthesis of heterocyclic organic molecules via transition-metal catalyzed oxidative C-H amination. Two Saint Rose students have been awarded summer research grants to work on these projects. My research students have also presented posters on their work at the undergraduate research symposium here at the College of Saint Rose, at the annual meeting of the Albany chapter of Sigma Xi  and at the annual undergraduate research symposium hosted by the Eastern New York Section of the American Chemical Society.

Rebecca Landsberg Associate Professor of Biology

My research focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of the precerebellar system. This essential system is found in the brainstem and functions to regulate balance, posture, and motor control by relaying information from the central nervous system to the cerebellum. I also focus on understanding how exposure to teratogens, such as alcohol, during gestation impacts the development of the precerebellar neurons.

Steven Strazza Professor of Chemistry

Keith Sturgess Associate Professor of Physics

I gained leadership experience through a 23-year career as an officer in the U.S. Army in the Field Artillery from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel. As an Army physicist, I worked at the Army Research Laboratory on foliage and ground-penetrating radar design and testing. I have attended a number of workshops on innovative techniques for improving student performance and understanding in undergraduate physics courses, to include peer instruction, workshop physics, and studio physics. I use physics education research to inform my classroom presentations, and I am open to working on any physics problem that a student is interesting in investigating.

Ann Zeeh Professor of Biology

My teaching interests include genetics, cell biology, principles of biology, human heredity, and my research interests include antibiotic resistance in our environment, human traits influenced by androgen sensitivity, and HIV resistance in humans, Internships and fieldwork.

Rebecca LandsbergAssociate Professor of Biology

My research focuses on investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of the precerebellar system. This essential system is found in the brainstem and functions to regulate balance, posture, and motor control by relaying information from the central nervous system to the cerebellum. I also focus on understanding how exposure to teratogens, such as alcohol, during gestation impacts the development of the precerebellar neurons.

Steven StrazzaProfessor of Chemistry

Keith SturgessAssociate Professor of Physics

I gained leadership experience through a 23-year career as an officer in the U.S. Army in the Field Artillery from Lieutenant to Lieutenant Colonel. As an Army physicist, I worked at the Army Research Laboratory on foliage and ground-penetrating radar design and testing. I have attended a number of workshops on innovative techniques for improving student performance and understanding in undergraduate physics courses, to include peer instruction, workshop physics, and studio physics. I use physics education research to inform my classroom presentations, and I am open to working on any physics problem that a student is interesting in investigating.

Ann ZeehProfessor of Biology

My teaching interests include genetics, cell biology, principles of biology, human heredity, and my research interests include antibiotic resistance in our environment, human traits influenced by androgen sensitivity, and HIV resistance in humans, Internships and fieldwork.

Career Outlook 

Students have done internships and fieldwork at:

  • RNA Institute at University at Albany
  • Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health
  • Albany Pine Bush Preserve
  • New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center
  • Office of Forensic Services, New York State Division of Criminal Justice
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

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