Biochemistry and You

Broadly speaking, biochemistry is the study of the chemistry of living systems. In our department, there are a number of ways in which we try to do that.

On the one hand, we study things at a small scale and ask questions about what happens inside a cell. This is molecular biochemistry. We ask questions about the structure of large molecules found in cells, such as muscle fibres and starch, or outside cells, such as lung surfactant or the matrix that holds many cells together. We also want to know about the genes that encode these molecules and how those genes are regulated in, for example, zebrafish and sea urchins.

A different perspective is offered by physiological biochemistry. In bodies such as our own, cells are organized into tissues, such as the heart, the liver, the kidneys, and muscles. Understanding the complex interplay between tissues is important for good health and well-being. We ask questions about diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, which are important health issues for us here in Newfoundland. We ask questions about the food that we eat, about cholesterol, fats and amino acids, and how the body responds and regulates itself in response to different diets.

We invite you to read the webpages of our individual faculty members to see how we study biochemistry here in Newfoundland.