Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is an established basic science department that plays a major role in the research and education missions of Thomas Jefferson University. The overall goal of the Department is to make basic and translational discoveries that impact our understanding of the biological sciences and human health and to train the researchers, educators and health care professionals of the future.

The Department’s research programs cover a diverse range of areas from cell signaling, transcription and programmed cell death to understanding diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration and AIDS. Areas of particular strength include cell signaling and receptor biology, protein trafficking, DNA replication and repair, transcription and translation, protein and nucleic acid structure and function, and mechanisms involved in disease. The Department also coordinates several major areas of education including the Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology PhD program in the Jefferson College of Biomedical Sciences and the training of first-year medical students in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College and first-year pharmacy students in the Jefferson College of Pharmacy.  

Recent Departmental Highlights

Dr. Mazo received the Michael and Melina Pellini Award for Innovation in the Biomedical Sciences. This award is given annually to a SKMC faculty member in recognition of exceptional research accomplishments that have “led to new concepts or approaches to experimentation or patient care.” Dr. Mazo’s award broadly recognizes his contributions to the field of epigenetics and is specifically for elucidating mechanisms that connect replication of the genome to gene expression.

Dr. Kirino received the SKMC Early Career Investigator Award for Distinguished Achievement in Biomedical Research. This award is given annually to a faculty member for outstanding research carried out “in basic and/or clinical/translational research within the first ten years of his/her initial faculty appointment.” Dr. Kirino’s award is for elucidating molecular mechanisms used by small regulatory RNAs to control cellular processes.

Dr. Ronner received the SKMC Career Educator Award. This award is given annually in recognition of “outstanding contributions to education in academic medicine both within his/her institution and to education in his/her field over a career.” Dr. Ronner also received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Education. This award is for faculty who “demonstrate superior effectiveness as a teacher, devote significant time/effort to teaching over a sustained period of time, or for faculty who demonstrate major contributions to an educational course, clerkship or program of training.”