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Biochemistry Research Division

Transverse section of a developing barley grain
Transverse section of a developing barley grain. Immunofluorescence microscopy was performed to image mixed-linkage (1,3),(1,4) beta-D-glucan (imaged here in green). Beta-glucans are important soluble dietary fibers and are abundant components of grain cell walls. (Courtesy of M. Held)

Associated Faculty


  • Michael Held—Plant cell wall biochemistry and biosynthesis, trafficking of plant cell wall polymers
  • Jennifer V. Hines—RNA-targeted medicinal chemistry, structural and chemical biology
  • Justin M. Holub—Chemical biology, protein biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, synthetic biologics
  • Tadeusz Malinski—Nanomedicine, nanobiology, nanosensors, and nanodevices for medical applications
  • Shiyong Wu—Identification of natural and synthetic chemicals and small peptides for chemoprevention, radio-sensitization/protection and improvement of innate immune response


About the Biochemistry Research Division

Biochemical research at Ohio University attempts to unlock the mysteries of living organisms and human disease using state-of-the-art biochemical experimentation. Sophisticated physical, chemical, analytical, genetic and molecular biology techniques are combined to solve critical biochemical problems in both animal and plant systems.

Current research projects within the division include studying the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, understanding the molecular basis of plant cell wall development, and investigating the fundamental nature of protein-protein interactions using chemical tools. In addition, investigators are developing novel methods for biochemical analysis, as well as innovative ribonucleic acid molecules for use as therapeutics and sophisticated nanosensors and nanomedical devices for early diagnosis of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, drug testing and accelerated wound healing.


Each principal investigator in the Biochemistry Research Division maintains a strong, well-funded research program with access to excellent facilities at Ohio University. Moreover, the interdisciplinary nature of biochemical research at Ohio University facilitates collaborations with faculty in other chemistry research divisions and in other departments campus-wide.

Many faculty members in the division conduct research projects that are accessible to students of all skill levels, including undergraduates and master's students, allowing virtually any student interested in research to get hands-on laboratory experience.

Another advantage to our students is that research groups in the Biochemistry Research Division are relatively small, averaging between three to four students per group. The small group sizes allow for enhanced mentoring between the student and his or her adviser, a trademark of Ohio University graduate programs.

Recent graduates in Biochemistry from Ohio University have gone on to exciting scientific careers in academic, government and industrial settings.


The impressive facilities for biochemistry research are housed, along with each investigator's laboratory, in a 15,000-square-foot open-plan research building that was specially designed for biochemical research. Instrumentation onsite and available to students of the program include:

  • Microwave reactor
  • Circular dichroism spectropolarimeter
  • Absorbance/fluorescence plate readers
  • High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) systems
  • Gas chromatography systems
  • Fast-protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) systems
  • ECL/fluorescence imager
  • Thermocyclers
  • Molecular modeling computation software
  • 500 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer
  • 300 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer
  • High-resolution mass spectrometer (LC/MS)
  • Optical and fluorescence microscopes
  • Genomics sequencing facility
  • Scanning electron microscope
  • Isothermal titration calorimeter
  • Microinjection facility

Associated Departments and Institutes