A common concern for the life and composition of the cell brings biologists and chemists together in the field of biochemistry-molecular biology.
The vast and complex array of chemical reactions occurring in living matter and the chemical composition of the cell are the primary concerns of the biochemist. Life processes occurring at the molecular level, including the storage and transfer of genetic information and the interactions between cells and the viruses that infect them, are the investigatory concerns of the molecular biologist.
Throughout the Biochemistry-Molecular Biology program, students encounter and work with the sophisticated techniques and equipment that allow them to penetrate what one scientist refers to as "the boundaries between what we know and what we do not know, between our current understanding and what we are seeking to understand." At UCSB, students learn not only in the classroom, but also in the laboratory. There they actively engage in research with faculty and routinely interact with graduate students and postdoctoral research fellows. A continuing series of seminars conducted by outside researchers, as well as seminars on advanced topics conducted by department faculty, supplement the curriculum.
Major, General, and Career Information
From the Department Website:
The Biochemistry-Molecular Biology major is excellent preparation for graduate study leading to the master's and Ph.D. degrees in most of the biological sciences. Biochemistry-Molecular Biology students gain entry into graduate programs in major universities without needing to make up deficits in either course work or understanding.
Students interested in research careers can take advantage of the department's many exciting laboratory experiences in areas such as recombinant DNA, immunology, pharmacology and medical microbiology. These laboratories, along with the biochemistry laboratory, help students prepare for a variety of laboratory-related positions with major universities, government research institutions, and private firms which specialize in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and biomedical diagnostics.
The Biochemistry-Molecular Biology major is also excellent preparation for medical, dental, pharmacy, or veterinary schools where an understanding of biology at the molecular level is fundamental. Students interested in the health sciences and related professions can take advantage of the University's excellent health science advisory system located in Cheadle Hall. They can seek advice and support from the beginning of their studies in biology to their entrance into health sciences graduate programs and professional schools.
Students interested in teaching biological sciences or conducting research at the university should plan to complete a Ph.D. degree. Students interested in teaching at the community college level should pursue graduate work at least through the master's degree. Teaching at the junior high or high school (secondary) level requires the California single subject teaching credential. Students considering this last option should discuss their plans with the credential advisor in UCSB's Graduate School of Education early in their academic careers.
Resources and Professional Associations
The American Institute of Biological Sciences
The American Institute of Biological Sciences is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) scientific association dedicated to advancing biological research and education for the welfare of society.
Cellular & Molecular Biology Online
Lists common professional organizations for cell and molecular biologists. Most society web sites provide information about associated publications, meetings, membership and careers.
Scholarly Societies Project
The ultimate site for professional biology associations, national and international.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
This association is committed to outreach, networking opportunities, and providing resources to help advance careers in the field.