- How can exploring the structure of a bacterial enzyme allow us to create new antibiotics?
- How can examining the mutations in a cancer patient’s tumor guide us to improve their treatment?
- How can we develop more effective treatments for genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis by studying the cellular proteins that these diseases compromise?
- How is the information in our genomes ‘translated’ into the extraordinarily complex beings we are?
What do all of these questions have in common? - Answering each of them (and many more) requires us to study the molecules that make up living organisms, to investigate their individual functions and to understand how they work together to create and to sustain life. This is the fundamental goal of biochemistry, the study of the molecules that make up living things and how they function, in health and disease, in systems ranging from single cells to the most complex organisms.
Our undergraduate programs teach students to understand the molecules found in living systems, the tools that we use to study them and how we use our ever-growing knowledge about the biochemical bases of life to address critical issues in human health and many other fields.
Bachelor’s degree programs
Our Major and Honours programs provide a strong background for students aiming for a professional career in biochemistry. The less specialized Liberal program allows students to combine core courses in biochemistry with a breadth component from another discipline (please visit this link (https://www.mcgill.ca/science/student/newstudents/u1/bscprogram) for more details).
Training for the future
The increasingly complex technologies used in the life sciences require solid training in both biology and chemistry. The combination of biochemistry, molecular biology, enzymology and molecular genetics taught in our programs provides the essential background and training needed for careers in the areas of biotechnology, health care and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Our graduates can work in a variety of positions in industry and health. These range from R&D in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, to testing and research in government and hospital laboratories, to management.
Many graduates take higher degrees in research and attain academic positions in universities and colleges or senior positions in industry or government institutions.