News Archive



Employment opportunity

We’re hiring!

We are seeking a qualified candidate for our tenure-track Assistant Professor position in Enzyme/Receptor Biochemistry. Please click here for more details. Note, the application deadline is September 17, 2018.


Calendar Changes to Existing Biochemistry Programs and Course Offerings

There are some changes to existing Biochemistry programs and course offerings in the upcoming academic year that you will need to take into consideration when choosing your courses for both the Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 semesters.


  1. In Fall 2018 we will be introducing a new dedicated laboratory course, Biochemistry 2901 Biochemistry Laboratory. (Fall offering only) The prerequisites for this course are Chemistry 1051, Science 1807 and the co-requisite will be ....

Read More


    Congratulations to the following students who have completed their Programs of Study:

    • Jiaur Rahman completed his MSc in October 2017 (Supervisor - Dr. Shahidi);
    • Viswanathan Swaminathan completed his MSc in October 2017 (Supervisor - Dr. Christian);
    • Maaran Sunthamoorthy completed his PhD in Food Science in October 2017 (formerly supervised by Dr. Hoover until his passing and then under Dr. Brown’s supervision);
    • Scott Bray completed his MSc in December 2017 (Supervisor - Dr. Bertolo); 
    • Welaa Al-Jaroudi completed her MSc in February 2018 (Supervisor - Dr. Bertolo).


    We would like to welcome some new students. Na T. Ngo and Lanh V. Nguyen are 

    Read More



    Lifetime Achievement Award

    Congratulations to Dr. Fereidoon Shahidi who was the recipient of the ISNFF Lifetime Achievement Award “As an expression of appreciation and recognition for eminent contributions in the field of nutraceuticals, functional foods, and dietary supplements through original research, leadership, and service.”



    Summer research internship 'life-changing' for science student

    Jevon Marsh would like to see more undergraduate students take advantage of opportunities to study and do research abroad.

    He spent 12-weeks completing a student research position in Germany this summer, an experience he says was “life-changing.”


    September News

    Noteworthy events

    • Congratulations to Nikitha Kendyala Pallegar and her husband, Purvi on the arrival of their beautiful baby boy on July 23rd weighing in at 8 lbs.  Nikitha is a PhD student in Dr. Christian’s lab.  We wish your family lots of fun, love and cuddles.



    June News

    Summer student hiring is now almost complete.  We currently have 19 students funded from various programs working in our research labs.

    Congratulations to Dr. Shahidi who was the recipient of the 2017 MilliporeSigma /Nicholas Pelick-AOCS Research Award ..


    Tender awarded, construction to resume on Core Science Facilty

    Memorial University has awarded the main construction contract for the Core Science Facility to Marco Services Limited.

    The contract, known as CP-3R, is for the remaining work on the building. Construction will resume on the project this spring. It is slated to open for the fall semester in 2020.

    “The development of our new Core Science Facility at Memorial University is the cornerstone of our infrastructure renewal plan and vital for the continued success of our great university,” said President Gary Kachanoski. “Once complete, the core science facility will enhance our ability to recruit and retain world-class faculty who will provide the best education for undergraduate and graduate students.”



    O'Donel High Students visit the Biochemistry Department

    Students from O'Donel High School were hosted by the Department of Biochemistry on Thursday May 18th where they used newly learned skills in protein determination, DNA extraction and DNA interpretation to solve a couple of CSI whodoneit's put together by the Biochemistry  departments student lab staff.  


    Biochemistry prepares for 50th anniversary reunion

    On July 1, 2017, Memorial University will mark a special milestone.

    On that date, the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, which first opened on July 1, 1967, will turn 50 years old. To commemorate, the department is hosting a reunion weekend Sept. 8-10 and hopes to reconnect with many former students, staff and faculty.



    News - February 2017

    Dr. Phil Davis retired at the end of December after a long and illustrious career.  Dr. Davis first came to Memorial in 1968 and during his time here was an undergraduate student, technician, graduate student, faculty member, researcher, and department head.  We wish him a long, healthy, enjoyable retirement.

    Federal funding empowers researchers, brings new equipment

    Drs. Robert Brown and Fereidoon Shahidi, Department of Biochemistry, and Dr. Chris Parrish, Department of Ocean Sciences, secured $211,876 for a facility focused on metabolomic analysis. The CFI funding will provide the research team with high-tech equipment, allowing the team to discover new food supplements, screening methods for diseases and new affordable treatments for diseases.

    You can read the complete story on the Faculty of Science news page.


    University Student Summer Internship Program (USSIP)

    Undergraduate Students, who meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in carrying out a 13 or 16 week, 35 hours per week, research/development work term, under the supervision of a full-time faculty member or regular term appointee, are invited to submit an application to University Student Summer Internship Program (USSIP).  Students are limited to applying to only one department/academic unit at Memorial.  Research awards resulting from Memorial’s 2017-2018 internal competition must be taken up in the Summer 2017 semester.

    Deadline for submission to Research Grant and Contract Services (RGCS):5:00 p.m., February 15, 2017




    NSERC - Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA) 2017-18 Competition at Memorial

    The deadline for applications for the 2017-18 competition is noon, Thursday January 26, 2017. Printed and signed hardcopies of the application, official transcript and the Approval Form for Release of Student Information must also be delivered to Research Grant and Contract Services (Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation, Room IIC-2015) by the submission deadline.

    Board approves senior appointments; VPR search set to begin

    At its regular meeting on Dec. 1, Memorial’s Board of Regents approved the appointments of Dr. Mark Abrahams as associate vice-president (research) pro tempore and Dr. Mary Courage as acting dean, Faculty of Science.

    Both appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2017.

    Dr. Abrahams, who currently serves as dean of science, will replace Dr. Ray Gosine, who was named vice-president (research) pro tempore in October. Dr. Courage, University Research Professor, Department of Psychology, will replace Dr. Abrahams.



    November News

    Campus Food Bank Christmas Hamper
    This year the Campus Food Bank expects to give out about 90 Christmas hampers and are seeking assistance in filling them. All non-perishable donations are greatly appreciated.  The items required for an average size family are listed by clicking here

    Marie Codner has once again placed boxes in the Feltham room and any donation would be appreciated. If you are giving cash and would like a receipt please let Marie know. December 7th is the deadline.

    Congratulations and Welcome

    Welcome to our new graduate students who have joined us this Fall:


    Biochemistry Celebration!

    Our winners’ prize for the Campus Food Bank’s 12 Days of Giving was a donated coffee break.  We again collected the most food of any department participating, an achievement we’ve reached many times before.  .



    Public lecture to discuss effectiveness of multivitamins

    Are multivitamins effective? Are we consuming too many and can they cause harm?

    Those are a few of the questions which will be answered at a free public lecture on the Memorial St. John’s Campus on Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in room IIC-2001.



    Ratnajothi Hoover, R.I.P.

    The Department of Biochemistry mourns the passing of Dr. Ratnajothi Hoover.



    BioMedicine Symposium

    The Department of Biochemistry graduate and undergraduate student summer symposium is changing format this year.  We've joined with some other Memorial programs to put off a two-day research event.   See story for details.


    Course Schedule Changes Fall - Winter 2016-2017

    Please note changes to the 2016-2017 course schedule for Biochemistry and Nutrition majors and minors.  Our offerings on the Self-Service registration pages reflect these changes.  We are also reminding students of the requirement for Science 1807.  See story for details.



    A Texas Fellow!

    Dr. Seán Brosnan was recently inducted as a Faculty Fellow at the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study.  Fellows are selected from top scholars with outstanding professional accomplishments.


    Welcome Back!

    Biochemistry welcomes alumnus Dr Scott Harding back to Memorial University as a new Grants Facilitation Officer in the Faculty of Science.


    June - December 2015 News

    Here's a compendium of many of the activities that occured in the Biochemistry Department during the summer and fall of 2015.

    NSERC - Undergraduate Student Research Awards

    NSERC - Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)  fund summer jobs in research labs here at Memorial, as well as other universities.  The deadline to submit your application is noon January 22.  See story for further details.



    Deferred and Supplementary Exams

    The Biochemistry General Office along with many other of our departmental services will be closed from 10 am Thursday, December 24th until 9:00 am Tuesday, January 5th.  All deferred and supplementary exam applications should be submitted on Tuesday, January 5th.  Students will be given a minimum of 48 hours notice for writing any such exam.  All exams will be written during the first week of classes, (January 6 – 12, 2016).



    Chemistry 2100, 2210 scheduling changes PLUS Science 1807 news

    Chemistry has announced changes to Chemistry 2100 and 2210 scheduling beginning in the 2016-17 academic year.  Science 1807 (or Safety 1000) continues to be a required prerequisite course, affecting Winter 2016 registration .  Please read linked story for further information on these two matters.

    Biochemistry Alumnus first to Cabot Tower

    Congratulations to Ed Durnford, a double alumnus of the department, who won the 2015 Cape to Cabot race on Sunday 17 October.  Congratulations also to faculty member, Dr. John Robinson, who competed and completed the race for the seventh time.


    Biochemistry Alumnus to receive Alumni award

    The Department of Biochemistry congratulates Dr. Jay Kalra, one of our earliest PhD students on receiving this year’s Memorial University Alumni Tribute Award recognizing Outstanding Community Service.


    Science celebrates academic achievement and service

    It was a full house for the recent Dean of Science Awards ceremony and reception on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

    Over 280 students, who represent the top 10 per cent in the faculty, were admitted to the Dean's List, possibly the largest number at one time.


    Memorial facilities to participate in national Science Literacy Week

    Memorial University’s Faculty of Science, Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Library, the Botanical Garden and Let's Talk Science have joined forces with the Johnson GEO Centre and St. John’s Regional Library to host a series of science themed events during the week of Sept. 21st.

    Healthy Eating in 2015?

    The Department of Biochemisry welcomes Dr. Benoît Lamarche, Professor and Chair of Nutrition at Université Laval, to present the second Rusted-Bayley Public Nutrition Lecture on the topic of "What is Healthy Eating in 2015" on tuesday September 15 at 7:00 pm in IIC2001.



    Course Offerings & Changes for 2015-16

    IMPORTANT - there are a number of changes to the department's course offerings in 2015-16.  Please read on to find out more before you choose and register for your Fall courses

    New Online Safety Prerequisite - Science 1807

    Our MUN lab safety course Safety 1000 has a new academic equivalent, Science 1807.  It is the exact same course, just available with two different numbers.  1807 will appear in the 2016-2017 calendar, but is is in effect now as a requirement for certain Biochemistry courses.  See rest of story for details.


    February March April May 2015 News

    Over the winter months a variety of activities occurred in the department, finishing with the biggest event of the year for us, convocation.  Read our story for more information.


    degrees galore

    At Spring Convocation ceremonies, on May 27th and 28th, over fifty undergraduates and four M.Sc. students convocated with their degrees in Biochemistry or Food Science. 

    Three new PhDs

    Three new PhDs in Biochemistry were awarded at Convocation on Tuesday May 26th: Laura McBreairty (R), Matthew Nosworthy (L), and Jason Robinson.  All three were co-supervised by Drs Janet Brunton and Rob Bertolo making this a rare "laboratory family" celebration.  Congratulations all.


    Supplementary Exam Information

    A student who has clear or conditional standing may write a supplementary examination in a course if the final grade obtained is 45-49F and if his or her term mark is at least 50%.

    Deadline to apply for Winter 2015 final exam period is April 29, 2015. 



    Prime Minister's Volunteer Award for Biochemistry Student

    Cody O’Brien, a biochemistry major and avid Let’s Talk Science volunteer, has been named Community Leader (Atlantic) in the 2015 Prime Minister’s Volunteer Awards.


    January 2015 News

    As the Winter semester started we were happy to welcome some new people to the department. See our story for details.

    October - November - December 2014 News

    Fall 2014 was a busy time in the Biochemistry Department and we have much to report.  See our story for details.


    Graduate student awarded an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Travel Award

    Congratulations to Emily Courage, an M.Sc. student under the supervision of Dr. Brown , who was awarded an American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate/Postdoctoral Travel Award for her submitted abstract to the Experimental Biology 2015 conference in Boston, MA in early Spring.

    Graduate Student receives the J. Beryl Truscott Graduate Scholarship

    Congratulations to Kayode Balogun, a PhD candidate in Dr. Cheema’s lab, on receiving the J. Beryl Truscott Graduate Scholarship for the second consecutive time.



    Holiday Wishes from Biochemistry

    The students, staff, and faculty of the department of biochemistry wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday Season, and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year!

    Deferred and Supplementary Exams

    The Biochemistry General Office along with many other of our departmental services will be closed from 10 am Wednesday, December 24th until 9:00 am Monday, January 5th.  All deferred and supplementary exam applications should be submitted on Monday, January 5th.  Students will be given a minimum of 48 hours notice for writing any such exam.  All exams will be written during the first week of classes, (January 5 – 9, 2015).



    Rest in Peace, Sara

    Sara March, an undergraduate student in the Biochemistry (Nutrition) program passed away in a tragic traffic accident on Sunday Nov 2nd.  Students, staff, and faculty in the department extend our condolences to Sara's family and loved ones.


    June - July - August - September 2014 News

    A busy summer in the department has lead to an even busier fall with a new head, new students, new scholarship, and a distinguished service award winner to top it all off!  See our story for full details.


    2014 Biochemistry Summer Symposium - Keynote Speaker

    Dr. Alain Nepveu from McGill University's Biochemistry Department will be the keynote speaker for the 2014 Biochemistry Summer Symposium. Dr. Nepveu's talk will be Wednesday August 13th, 2014 from 12:30-1:30pm at the Suncor Fluvarium.


    Concept design phase of core sciences building nearing completion

    The concept design phase of the new 425,000 sq. ft. core science facility is expected to wrap up in July.

    On June 25th, three concepts will be presented in a Town Hall session to the Memorial community, with the goal of establishing a preferred scheme based on the strengths of each design.


    Canadian Nutrition Society to meet in St. John's

    The Canadian Nutrition Society/Societe Canadienne de Nutrition is holding its 2014 Annual Meeting in St. John's June 5 - 7. 

    May 2014 News

    The department celebrated the May 2014 Convocation by inviting graduates and their families in for a light lunch.  Some departmental awards were given at the event.  See related story for more details, as well as more May news.

    News for February, March, and April 2014

    The winter semester was a time of much activity in the Biochemistry Department.  See our story for work, social, and scholarship news.


    Award for Biochemistry Student

    Biochemistry major, Peter Gregory, was awarded the male AUS swimming student-athlete community service award at the 2014 Subway AUS swimming championship banquet on February 6th in St. John's. 

    January 2014 News

    January started off slowly as the provincial power outages saw a deferred opening at Memorial.  See story for that and other January news.

    December 2013 News

    The department finished a year full of hard work with a well-deserved Christmas break.  See our story for what we did in December before we closed down our labs until January .



    Deferred and Supplementary Exams

    The Biochemistry General Office along with many other of our departmental services will be closed from 10 am Tuesday, December 24th until 9:00 am Friday, January 3rd.  All deferred and supplementary exam applications should be submitted by 5pm Friday, January 3rd.  Students will be given a minimum of 48 hours notice for writing any such exam.  All exams will be written during the first week of classes, (January 6 – 10, 2014).

    See link at "read more" for details.


    November 2013 News

    November saw the appointment of a new department head, Dr. Mark Berry, effective July 1, 2014.  See story for all our November news.

    October 2013 News

    October saw generosity in action in the department.  See story for details.


    September 2013 News

    September was a a very busy month in the department.  See our news story for details.


    August 2013 News

    Our 3rd Summer Student Symposium was a great success.  See our story for news on speakers and prize winners.  Other August news items are also included.

    July 2013 News

    We've two special prizes to highlight this month, see the news story for details


    June 2013 News

    This month we celebrate individual and group accomplishments.


    May 2013 news

    The highlight for the month of May was Spring convocation.  Read about that as well as our other events in the May news article.


    April 2013 News

    April 2013 saw the winding down of the term as exams were written and students looked forward to summer jobs.  See more news here.


    Search for a New Head of Biochemistry

    The search for a new Department Head has commenced anew.  Details and a copy of the job ad for distribution are available upon reading more...

    March 2013 News

    March was a quiet month in Biochemistry as the term wound down and exams approached.  Read about our happenings in the March news article.


    February 2013 News

    Preliminary meetings about space planning in the new Core Sciences Building occurred in February.  This is the beginning of a process that will take some years before we move into our new home.  Read about this and other departmental events in our February news article.


    Christine's Birthday!!!
    Today is Christine's Birthday, drop by and wish her well!!
    January 2013 News

    The start of a new year is a busy time as we welcome back in-progress students, and welcome aboard new ones. See item for a review of our January events.

    December 2012 News
    As the year 2012 ends we reflect on our activities for December. Reports for other months of the year are in our news archive.



    Notice for students who are considering applying for a deferred or supplementary exam
    If you are considering applying for a deferred or supplementary exam, you should come by the Biochemistry Office (SN4006) and do so as soon as possible, and no later than Friday, January 4, 2013.
    November 2012 News
    November saw Fall semester classes end and students preparing for exams, just some of our activities this month.


    October 2012 News
    Our October news round-up lets you know about the busy month we've had here in the department.


    September 2012 News
    September is always a busy month as we start a new academic year. Please see our article to see the events of the month.


    August 2012 News
    Roofing, reunion, rehiring, registration, research, we've got R news and more for August.


    Biochemistry Summer Symposium
    The Biochemistry Summer Symposium will be held August 17, 2012. This event gives graduate students an opportunity to present their work by giving a short talk. Summer students including honours students may display posters on their lab projects. The guest speaker for the event is Dr. George van der Merwe of the University of Guelph. See the schedule linked here.
    July 2012 News
    Summer is a busy time in the Biochemistry Department and we've plenty of items to report on for July.
    Havin' a Time Reunion
    Schedule of events for the Department of Biochemistry section of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Reunion 2012 - Havin' a Time


    Biochemistry seeks a new Head of Department
    The search for a new Head of Biochemistry has begun. Applications for the position are now invited and should be submitted by August 1, 2012. The appointment is expected to take effect on January 1, 2013, or as soon thereafter as is mutually agreeable. Please read the full article for details.
    June 2012 News
    June brought a variety of events to us, happy and sad. See the full article for details.


    May 2012 News
    May is one of our busiest months as we celebrate convocation, welcome new graduate students starting in the Spring Semester, and hire summer students in research labs. See our full report for details.


    April 2012 News
    Our April 2012 news page includes our NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award results for this year, as well as other items of interest from the department.
    New course offering for Spring 2012: Biochemistry 4230 / Biochemistry 6000
    This course is a joint undergraduate and graduate course, titled “Advanced Topics in Lipids and Lipoprotein Metabolism”.
    March 2012 News
    Our March News page highlights a mix of beginnings and endings in the department; such is the life of an academic unit.


    February 2012 Biochemistry happenings
    A number of events occurred in the Biochemistry Department over the month of February. A new face, a returning face, and 40 years of service are all noted in the linked report.
    Presentation of Original Thesis
    Joyce O'Doherty presenting a copy of her deceased Husband's M.Sc. thesis to the department. The late Dr. O'Doherty was one of the first graduate students in the department.


    Awards for two Biochemistry graduates
    Two graduates of Biochemistry have recently received research awards. Danny Wadden, currently an M.Sc. student in the Faculty of Medicine, has received a Janeway Foundation award to study the roles of appetite and hormones in childhood obesity. Dr. René Jacobs, currently Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta, has received one of this year's Future Leader Awards from the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI).
    Happy New Year!
    The Department of Biochemistry welcomes everyone back from the Holidays and extends wishes to all for a productive and prosperous 2012. Students wishing to apply to write deferred or supplementary exams must do so by the end of business hours on Thursday January 5th.



    Closed for the Holidays
    The Department of Biochemistry will be closed from early the morning of Friday, December 23rd and will reopen on Wednesday, January 4th 2012. All deferred and supplementary exam applications should be made as soon as possible after we reopen on January 4th and no later than Thursday January 5th. Happy Holidays, everyone!
    Biochemistry Christmas Events & Holiday Information
    To mark the season, two holiday events - a Christmas Coffee/Carol Sing-along hosted by the department’s General Office, and the department’s annual Christmas Social (including the second annual Graduate Student Society White Elephant gift exchange) will take place this week. The department will close early on the morning of Friday, December 23rd and will re-open on Wednesday, January 4th 2012.
    November News in Review
    November started with a Hallowe'en photo scavenger hunt and ended with three mo-sketeers raising funds for prostate cancer research. It was also the month which saw the passing of former Department Head, Dr. Sailen Mookerjea.


    Sailen Mookerjea (1930-2011)
    The Department of Biochemistry is saddened to announce that our colleague and former Head of Department, Sailen Mookerjea, passed away on 18 November 2011. (Updated)
    Kindness October
    Biochemistry department members participated in charitable giving in October.


    A Nobel prize for dendritic cells
    Immunologist honored for life's work on discovering dendritic cells and investigating how they work
    Dr. Valerie Booth re-appointed to CRC Chair in Membrane Proteins
    Dr. Valerie Booth's re-appointment as CRC (Tier II) Chair in Membrane Proteins has been announced by the Minister of State (Science and Technology).
    Faculty of Science Awards
    Biochemistry students were among those recognised at the annual Faculty of Science Awards ceremony held on Oct 05, 2011.


    Gene transfer agents
    On Oct 5th, Dr. Andrew Lang will present our next seminar on the subject of gene transfer agents in Rhodobacter.
    ScienceM@tters and you...
    ScienceM@tters is a program for science undergrads seeking career guidance and preparation. The deadline for applications is Thursday Sept 22.
    Dr. Sue Ghazala on CBC Radio Noon
    Dr. Sue Ghazala answered questions from listeners on the topic of processed foods on CBC Radio Noon CrossTalk this week.
    New Website
    Biochemistry has joined other departments in the Faculty of Science in unveiling a new look website.
    Summer Symposium 2011
    Nine excellent talks from graduate students and 5 posters from undergraduate summer students were presented at the first Biochemistry Summer Symposium held on 18 August 2011 at the Fluvarium. Timothy Hynes and Luke MacMillan received awards for their posters; and, James Pius and Nicole Smith received awards for their presentations.



    230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

    Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

    Tel: (709) 864-8000