Careers and VT Biochem Alumni
Wondering what you can do with your Biochemistry degree after graduation?
Our B.S. Biochemistry degree program is accredited by our professional society, the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). The department gives a certification exam each year so that students can earn a certified degree from the ASBMB, which is a valuable credential for students as they embark upon their careers. The careers listed above were highlighted by ASBMB, as career paths for biochemists.
While many of our alumni have become medical doctors, veterinarians, or have earned a PhD, there are also many who are working in the chemical or biotechnology industry, or in a variety of other careers. Below is a small sample of VT-Biochem alumni who have diverse careers; all got started with a B.S. in Biochemistry:
Amy Adams, Clinical Project Manager at Leidos Health
David Ackerman, DVM, Veterinarian
Virginia Ackerman, Principle Consultant, Custom Regulatory Services (Bioregulatory affairs)
Jim Buckmaster, CEO Craigslist
Ryan Burnette, PhD, Director, Biosafety & Biosecurity Programs
Bil Clemons, Professor of Biochemistry, Cal Tech
Patricia Erickson, PhD, Professor of Biology, Salisbury University
Ray Hetherington, Technical Service Manager at Hexpol Compounding
Chase Hetzel, Management Consultant, Huron
Rachel Kerwin, PhD, Postdoc at Michigan State University working on plant specialized metabolism
Sierra Suarez Friend, Intern at Abshire-Inamori Leadership Academy Intern at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)
Pyae Hein, PhD, Scientist, Dragonfly Therapeutics
Adrienne Helbock, Forensic Chemist
Ray Miller, Senior Global Product Manager at GenScript
Steven Murphy, D. O., Orthopedic surgeon
Jamille Robinson, M.S., Product Formulator and Owner at Phoenix Deep Rooted LLC
Nathan Saucier, MD, Interventional Nephrologist
Tyler Stewart, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Julie Ta, Business Operations Leader, Genentech
Christina Tise, MD, Stanford Medical Genetics Residency program
Anh Tran, Senior Research Associate at Novozymes Biologicals, Inc.
Molly Wilson, CALS Recruiting Coordinator, Virginia Tech
Marcus Wilson, Pharm D., Co-Founder and President of Health Core
Anita Yang, PharmD Candidate at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
Scroll down to see in depth Alumni Profiles:
Dr. Bil Clemons, PhD
Dr. Bil Clemons attended Virginia Tech in 1995 as an undergraduate where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. As an undergraduate, he was able to gain research experience in the lab of Dr. Walt Niehaus working on enzymes from Cryptococcus. Dr. Clemons attributes the fundamental training that he received in our department to his preparedness for graduate school which allowed him to thrive. During his graduate work, his work contributed to the solving of the first atomic resolution structure of a small ribosomal subunit.
Currently, Dr. Celmons is a Professor of Biochemistry in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. His lab has three major focuses: (1) the exploration of all aspects of the tail-anchored protein targeting pathway through structural characterization the proteins involved in both yeast and the more complicated human systems, (2) understanding the connection between the amino-acid and nucleotide sequence of an integral membrane and its expression level, and (3) researching chemical reactions that involve glycans at the membrane, specifically peptidoglycan biosynthesis and N-linked glycosylation.
Dr. Clemons says this of his time at Virginia Tech, “Biochemistry at Virginia Tech prepared me with a strong foundation in the tools I would need to pursue a successful academic career. Being a Hokie is central to my identity and I’m proud to wear my colors worldwide. I’m extremely grateful for the dedication the faculty showed to inspire and support my budding ambitions.”
Mr. Wyatt Chockett, MS MBA
Mr. Wyatt Chocklett graduated from Virginia Tech with a Masters in Biochemistry in 2009 from the lab of Dr. Pablo Sobrado. While at Virginia Tech, he received the 2009 Virginia Academy of Science Award for Outstanding Student Research, the 2009 James F. Earhart Scholarship to present at the American Chemical Society National Meeting, as well as contributed to two publications in ACS Biochemistry and Proteins & Proteomics. After Virginia Tech, Mr. Chocklett pursued a MBA from Wake Forest University. His current position is the Chief Operating Officer at the Doctors Hospital of Sarasota in Florida.
Mr. Chocklett describes his experiences at Virginia Tech, “My experience at VT challenged me in many ways and has been invaluable to my career. I was challenged to completely immerse myself in the subject. I was able to pursue research that interested me, while also being exposed to world class faculty and facilities. I learned how to critically think, manage my time and priorities, and work in teams. Most importantly, I learned how to communicate to a variety of audiences in a way that was meaningful, yet easy to understand. After a few bumps my first year, I dedicated myself to helping launch the study of flavin monooxygenases in the Sobrado laboratory. Soon after my second year, Dr. Sobrado encouraged me to follow my passion and helped prepare me for business school. I'm truly grateful for the exposure and support I received in just a few years at VT.”