Developed jointly by the biology and chemistry departments, the major in Cell Biology/Biochemistry at Bucknell is truly interdisciplinary in nature. It provides students with a rigorous scientific education in addition to a strong background in the liberal arts. The 16 faculty members in the program offer a modern understanding of their research areas and technologies, such as genetic engineering, nucleic acid, immunology, enzymology, biomembranes, and artificial membrane systems.
The curriculum consists of 6 required courses in Chemistry, 5 required courses in Biology, one interdisciplinary laboratory course, 2 courses in Mathematics, and 2 courses in Physics. In addition there are 3 electives, chosen from an extensive list of courses in the Biology and Chemistry departments. To add to the breadth of the program, students choose one course from an approved list of courses in the humanities and social sciences.
Reflecting the strong emphasis placed on undergraduate research by both the chemistry and the biology departments, most students in the cell biology and biochemistry program participate in research, either during the academic year or during the summer months. By working with faculty mentors, students learn techniques such as recombinant DNA, purification of nucleic acids, protein purification and analysis, and cell culture. The students also are exposed to the process of science through regularly scheduled seminars in cell biology and biochemistry.
The Biology and Chemistry departments are located in adjacent halves of a modern building, which ideally meets the interdisciplinary needs of the program. Most of the faculty who participate in the program are housed on the second floor of this building. The Rooke Chemistry building contains ample laboratory space for teaching and research. The Biology Building adjoins Rooke Chemistry, with the cell and molecular biology laboratories on the same floor as the biochemistry laboratories. By bringing together the faculty and sharing the instrumentation from these two departments, Bucknell gives students in this program excellent support for their undergraduate work.
A B.S. degree in Cell Biology/Biochemistry offers students excellent preparation for careers in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacology, bioengineering, and allied health professions. It also is an excellent foundation for students preparing for entrance into Ph.D. programs in cell and molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, immunology, or neuroscience as well as Ph.D./M.D. programs in medically related fields.