Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Penn State Science
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Message From The Department Head

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Scott Selleck

Welcome to our new website and to our community!  We are a group of more than 50 faculty, together with students, postdoctoral fellows and dedicated staff, working to advance our fundamental understanding of molecules, cells, and organisms.  Our research interests span the behavior of single molecules to the behavior of individuals.  We think it to be a broad and exciting intellectual arena, central to the successful quest for answers to the pressing problems we face in energy, food production, and health care.  We are dedicated to furthering fundamental understanding, while seeking ways this knowledge addresses the challenges the modern world faces.

Equally important to our research is our commitment to teaching and preparing our students for a lifetime of learning and scholarship.  BMB hosts and participates in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs as well as professional Master's in Biotechnology and a Master's of Forensics.  Regardless of the program, we fully engage the concept of Penn State as a student-centered research University.  We further recognize that factual knowledge is not all that needs to be conveyed, but hands-on experience in science as well.  We offer many opportunities to work in research laboratories, for our students to gain some of the most valuable knowledge we can convey, that the world is changed by individuals working hard on important problems.

There are many new endeavors in BMB, reflected in part by our newly designed website.  We have a number of building and renovation projects underway or in the final planning stages.  Last year saw the completion of an $18 million renovation of North Frear, a beautiful 1938 laboratory building that now houses both BMB and Biology faculty, including the Center for Gene Regulation and Plant Biology groups.  Upgrades and lab renovations are planned for the adjacent and connected building, South Frear, that will provide new space for the Energy Frontiers Research Center, recently funded with a $22 million grant from the Department of Energy.  The departmental offices in Althouse laboratory are also being gutted and updated, slated to be finished this Fall.  We look forward to having this new space for our departmental home.

We are heavily involved in recruiting new faculty, both for BMB, and together with other departments and colleges at The Pennsylvania State University.  As Head of BMB, I have been asked to Co-Chair, along with Dr. Daniel Notterman, Associate Vice President for Research and Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Medicine at Hershey Medical Center, the search for a large group of faculty within the framework of Systems and Computational Genomics.  This cooperative endeavor, spanning multiple colleges and their departments, recognizes the central role of genomics approaches to the life sciences and the importance of interdisciplinary teams in modern research.

Please feel free to peruse our website, learn about our research, educational programs, sponsored symposia, and invited seminars.  There are a lot of great things going on in BMB, and many more in our future!

Best wishes,

Scott B. Selleck

Professor and Department Head of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology