Combine your interests in the biological and physical sciences by becoming a biochemistry major at Saint Michael's College.

The biochemistry curriculum at Saint Michael's College combines small class size, excellent faculty, and personal attention with the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience with a variety of techniques and instrumentation, and to conduct research or independent study with a faculty mentor.   

A bachelor's degree in biochemistry prepares you for employment in academic, industrial, and government laboratories or for further study in graduate or professional schools, including forensics, medicine,  pharmacy, and many other allied health programs.


Our program emphasizes the relationships between the structure and function of living things, and the health and medical connections to those relationships.

As a Biochemistry major, you will start with the biology and chemistry courses that provide the background necessary to study biochemistry.  Those courses include Ecology and Evolution, Molecular Genetics, Cell Biology, General Chemistry, and Organic Chemistry.  In the Biochemistry sequence, you will learn about the four major categories of structures that make up biological systems--peptides/proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and lipids. Then you will go on to study biological membranes, enzymes, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and topics in nutrition.

In your Senior Seminar, you will research a biochemistry topic in great depth.  You have two options to present your research:  prepare a major report on the topic, or develop a research proposal based on the topic (modeled after the process whereby scientists procure funding for research).  For examples of recent Biochemistry senior projects, go to Seminar Projects.

Biochemistry Learning Outcomes

Sample Four Year Plan for Biochemistry Majors*

First Year
Fall Spring
BI 151 Introduction to Ecology & Evolution BI 153 Introductory Cell Biology & Genetics
CH 110 General Chemistry I CH 117 Organic Chemistry I
MA 150 Calculus I MA 160 Calculus II
First Year Seminar Liberal Studies course
Fall Spring
BI 225 Cell Biology BI 223 Molecular Genetics
CH 210  Organic Chemistry II CH 208  General Chemistry II 
PY 210 College Physics I PY 211 College Physics II
Liberal Studies course Liberal Studies course
Fall Spring
CH 325 Biochemistry I CH 327 Biochemistry II
CH 302 Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics CH 215 Integrated Chemical Analysis**
Junior Seminar Biology laboratory course**
Liberal Studies course Elective
Fall Spring
CH 410 Chemistry Senior Seminar CH 410 Chemistry Senior Seminar
Electives Electives

The scheduling of courses should be discussed with your academic advisor during the first year.  For students planning to study abroad, it is particularly important to plan the subsequent years during the first year.

* For students who enroll in the fall of 2018.

** Biochemistry majors can choose between Integrated Chemical Analysis and an upper level Biology laboratory course.

Christina Chant, PhD

Associate Professor of Chemistry
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Contact Professor Chant

Cheray Hall 204
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Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University, 2002 -  Chemistry (Biophysical Chemistry)
B.S., SUNY College at Plattsburgh, 1996 - Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry (dual major)

Postdoctoral associate, University of Vermont, 2002-2005 -  Structure and function of catalytically-active RNA molecules

TAAP program for alternative licensure in teaching, 2008 - Middle-level science endorsement

Areas of Expertise:

Protein structure and stability, biophysical chemistry, computational protein design, applications of molecular biology in a protein lab, ribozyme folding and function, environmental chemistry, chemistry education in middle grades, chemistry education for non-science majors

 Courses I Teach:

  • General Chemistry I and II
  • General Chemistry I and II labs
  • Integrated Chemical Analysis (ICA)
  • Organic Chemistry I lab
  • Physical Chemistry I
  • Physical Chemistry I lab
  • Biochemistry I lab
  • Senior Seminar

Dagan Loisel, PhD

Associate Professor of Biology

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Cheray Hall 312
Box 283
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Postdoctoral degree, The University of Chicago, Department of Human Genetics
Ph.D., Duke University, Department of Biology & University Program in Genetics
B.A., Colby College, magna cum laude

Areas of Expertise

  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Genetics
  • General Biology 

Courses I Teach

  • Introduction to Health Science
  • Fundamentals of Genetics
  • Immunology and Parasitology in Genetics

Mark Lubkowitz, PhD

Biology Department Chair, Professor of Biology
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Cheray Hall 313D
Box 283
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Post-Doctoral fellow in plant developmental genetics, The University of California: Berkeley
Ph.D., Microbiology, The University of Tennessee
B.S., Biology, Washington and Lee University

Area of Expertise:

I study how molecules are transported across membranes in plants and how these processes affect seed germination and overall distribution of sugars in plants.

Courses I Teach:

  • BI153: Introductory Cell Biology and Genetics
  • BI205: Biological Communications
  • BI247: Plant Biology
  • BI325: Molecular Biology

Workshop Materials:

Alayne Schroll, PhD

Professor of Chemistry, Leavy Family Chair in Chemistry, Biochemistry Program Director
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Cheray Hall 202
Box 277
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Ph.D. University of Minnesota
B.A. Russell Sage College

Areas of Expertise:

Biochemistry/bio-organic chemistry.  My research involves synthesizing novel sulfur and selenium containing molecules for studies that compare the redox chemistry of the sulfur and selenium in analogous structures. The study of the redox properties of the molecules contributes to the development of a deeper understanding of the antioxidant and mechanistic roles that sulfur and selenium may play in naturally occurring molecules.


Courses I Teach:

  • Biochemistry I and II
  • Chemistry Senior Seminar
  • Organic Chemistry labs

Students who graduate from our program have a wide variety of career options. Upon graduation, they are qualified to move directly into jobs in industrial, government, and academic laboratories and are prepared to apply for admission to many healthcare professional programs, including medical, nursing, and pharmacy schools.

Our students are also well prepared for graduate studies in biochemistry and, with additional electives, for graduate studies in biology and chemistry. Our graduates get advanced degrees in fields such as biochemistry, organic chemistry, pharmacy, pharmaceuticals, forensics, and science teaching. 

Recent Biochemistry graduates are currently in graduate programs at:

  • University of New Haven (forensics)
  • New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Dartmouth College (biochemistry)
  • Albany College of Pharmacy
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (nursing)
  • Washington University (bioethics)
  • University of Vermont (biochemistry)


We can help you identify and apply for student research grants on the state and national level. Many of our students who are awarded these grants work one-on-one with a faculty member during the academic year and during the summer months on campus.

You can also conduct research through programs with other institutions such as Lafayette College, UMass Amherst, UVM and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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