Research in the department of Biochemistry is inherently interdisciplinary in nature.

We are involved in generating new tools and knowledge that will advance our understanding of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, Drug Discovery, Microbiology, Stress Responses in Plants, Alzheimer’s, Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes. Faculty recruit graduate students from our own PhD and MS programs, as well as students from the Microbiology, Translational Plant Sciences, Genetics, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (GBCB) and Translational Medicine and Biomedical Health (TMBH) graduate programs on campus.

The department of Biochemistry houses the Virginia Tech- Mass Spectrometry Incubator (, the Food Analysis Laboratory Control Center, along with an Agbiotech information resource, Information Systems for Biotechnology.

Faculty Research Areas
David Bevan

Structure and dynamics of proteins and DNA; molecular modeling; computational biology

Dennis Dean

Enzymology and molecular genetics of metallocluster biosynthesis; biological nitrogen fixation

Glenda Gillaspy

Growth control and signal transduction in plants

Richard Helm

Cell-cell communication in model systems; application of mass spectrometry to life sciences research

Peter Kennelly

Control of cellular processes by protein phosphorylation-dephosphorylation; identification of new kinases and phosphatases; evolution of cellular control mechanisms

Michael Klemba

Hemoglobin catabolism by the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum; protein trafficking to the food vacuole

Timothy Larson

Regulation of prokaryotic gene expression

Jianyong Li

Structure-function relationships of proteins involved in tryptophan oxidation pathway in mosquitoes; biochemical mechanism of mosquito chorion formation and hardening

Zachary Mackey

Biological and Biochemical characterization of druggable targets in Trypanosoma brucei

Biswarup Mukhopadhyay

Methanogenic archaea

Daniel Slade

Characterizing the role of outer membrane bound and secreted protieins in bacterial invasion and modulation of host cell signaling.

Pablo Sobrado

Mechanistic enzymology of redox enzymes and drugs discovery

Zhijian Tu

Insect molecular biology, genomics, evolution, and applications of transposable elements

Robert White

Application of stable isotopes and mass spectrometry to biochemistry; biosynthesis and function of coenzymes; archaebacterial biochemistry; prebiotic chemistry

Bin Xu

Receptor-ligand recognition, receptor signaling, novel receptor and therapeutic ligand discovery and engineering

Jinsong Zhu

Signal transduction and gene regulation in insects; genetic control of the mosquito defense reactions against malaria parasites