You’ll have access to world-class facilities for your courses or thesis-based research, including our state-of-the art Life Sciences Center at Gateway Park, Biomanufacturing Education and Training Center, and its 3,500-square-foot vivarium.
WPI’s coursework-based MS degree in biochemistry can be designed as a full-time or part-time program for targeted, in-depth investigations in advanced topics in modern biochemistry. Our flexible plan of study and individualized advising helps you tailor the program to your interests and career goals.
In collaboration with a program advisor, you will select courses from biochemistry, chemistry, and related disciplines. Advanced topics you can explore include regulation of gene expression, membrane biophysics, and functional genomics. You can supplement your studies with high-level undergraduate courses, as well as courses in engineering, business, mathematical sciences, and more.
You can choose a thesis option, consisting of high-level original research, or a non-thesis option with additional coursework. Hands-on research and lab work will also be an integral component of many of your courses.
Chemistry research in the Burdette group occurs at the interface of synthesis, metal ion homeostasis & signaling, cell biology and photochemistry. The group is developing molecular tools that will facilitate efforts to map cellular metal ion signaling pathways, and understand the pathologies of neurodegenerative diseases. Of particular interest is the development of photocaged complexes that are capable of releasing zinc in a light-dependent manner in biological systems. These tools are designed and synthesized to optimize the temporal and spatial control of zinc release.
Robert E. Dempski
Our research focus is to combine biochemical and biophysical techniques to investigate the structure and function of two classes of membrane proteins. In the first instance, we are investigating the mechanism of a zinc transporter, hZIP4. This protein has been implicated in the initiation and progression of pancreatic cancer. Despite the central role of this protein in cellular homeostasis, the mechanism of cation transport is not well understood. Secondly, we have been investigating the molecular determinants that help to define the functionality of opsin proteins.
What makes a particular material efficient at converting sunlight to electrical or chemical energy? Conversely, what makes a material a poor energy converter? The Grimmgroup is motivated by quantifying and controlling the bulk and surface properties of solar energy conversion materials. As a research group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, we seek an atom- and bond-level understanding of material properties.
George A. Kaminski
I am a computational physical chemist. My research is in the areas of force field building and applications. Special attention is given to creating polarizable force fields for organic and biophysical systems, including proteins and protein-ligand complexes. I teach classes in physical, computational and general chemistry. Simulations of proteins is very important in biomedical research because proteins play crucial role in a large number of biological phenomena, both benign and harmful.
Anita Elaine Mattson
Research in the Mattson Group is a combination of catalyst design, methodology development, and complex molecule synthesis. Our catalyst design program is focused on the synthesis and study of new families of non-covalent catalysts, including boronate ureas and silanediols, that are able to promote new reactivity patterns. The catalyst design and associated reaction development programs are currently geared toward the synthesis of enantioenriched nitrogen and oxygen heterocycles that frequently appear in naturally occurring bioactive compounds.
Carissa Perez Olsen
Membranes are composed of hundreds of distinct kinds of phospholipids, and the types of lipids that are found within a membrane bilayer impact its biophysical properties including its fluidity, permeability and susceptibility to damage. Our primary interest is in understanding the mechanisms that control the phospholipid composition and that preserve the membrane over time. We use stable isotope tracing strategies and mass spectrometry to quantify phospholipid abundance and dynamics in the model organism, C. elegans.
Suzanne Frances Scarlata
We are interested in learning how small molecules in the blood stream can cause cells to react in specific ways, such as growing, dividing or migrating. While there are many agents that can stimulate or inhibit cell behavior, we are most interested in the ability of certain hormones and neurotransmitters to activate a family of proteins called "G Proteins". G proteins can simulate an enzyme called phospholipase Cbeta (PLCbeta). Activation of PLCbeta raises the level of calcium in the cell, which changes the activity of many other proteins.