model of molecular structure

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Chair’s Welcome

Philip Howe, Ph.D.Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. Established in 1969, the department is committed to increasing our understanding of the biochemical and molecular bases of normal and abnormal cellular processes, and to educating highly qualified scientists who, through research, education, and service, will continue to provide new insights in the biological sciences. With 25 faculty members conducting research in a variety of areas, the department provides cutting-edge curricula and innovative research opportunities.

The research areas of our faculty include:

  • Gene structure, function, and regulation
  • Molecular evolution and genetics
  • Signal transduction
  • RNA structure and function
  • Lipid biochemistry and metabolism
  • Protein structure, folding, and dynamics

Multidisciplinary approaches are being applied in most of these research areas, providing graduate students with numerous opportunities to obtain a versatile training in modern molecular biology and biochemistry. In addition, the department is home to a major research program in Lipidomics & Pathobiology.

Thank you for your interest in our department and for visiting our website. We welcome your inquiries.

Philip H. Howe, Ph.D.

Department Highlights

  • Dr. Joe Delaney was awarded the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute's Discovery Award to research copy number alterations in understudied Black women's ovarian cancers. He was also awarded the Hollings Cancer Center's Pre-Clinical Concept Award to research the Combination Of Autophagy Selective Therapeutics (COAST) in serous ovarian cancer. 
  • Christian Jones, graduate student in Dr. Joe Delaney's lab, was awarded a T32 graduate research fellowship under Dr. Traktman's Cellular, Biochemical and Molecular Science Training Program. 


  • Barrows JK, Fullbright G, Long DT. BRCA1-BARD1 regulates transcription through BRD4 in Xenopus nucleoplasmic extract. Nucleic Acids Res. 2021
  • Delaney JR, Patel CB, Bapat J, Jones CM, Ramos-Zapatero M, Ortell KK, Tanios R, Haghighiabyaneh M, Axelrod J, DeStefano JW, Tancioni I, Schlaepfer DD, Harismendy O, La Spada AR, Stupack DG. Autophagy gene haploinsufficiency drives chromosome instability, increases migration, and promotes early ovarian tumors. PLOS Genetics. 2020

  • Shai White-Gilbertson, Ping Lu, James S. Norris, Christina Voelkel-Johnson. Genetic and pharmacological inhibition of acid ceramidase prevents asymmetric cell division by neosis. J Lipid Res. 2019 was highlighted in a special Journal of Lipid Research virtual issue titled "Solving the enigma of the sphinx, one sphingolipid at a time". Link:
  • CuitiñoMC, Pécot T, Sun D , Kladney R, Okano-Uchida T, Shinde N, Saeed R, Perez-Castro A, Webb A, Liu T, Bae S, Clijsters L, Selner N, Coppola V, Timmers C, Ostrowski M, Pagano M, Leone G. Two distinct E2F transcriptional modules drive cell cycles and differentiation. Cell Reports. 2019.
  • Clijsters L, Hoencamp C, Calis JA, Marzio A, Handgraaf SM, Cuitino MC, Marzluff WF, Rosenberg BR, Leone G, Pagano M. Cyclin F controls cell cycle transcriptional outputs by directing the degradation of the three activator E2Fs. Mol Cell 2019.
  • Oleinik N, Kim J, Roth BM, Selvam SP, Gooz M, Johnson RH, Lemasters JJ, Ogretmen B. Mitochondrial protein import is regulated by p17/PERMIT to mediate lipid metabolism and cellular stress. Sci Adv. 2019
  • Chakraborty P, Vaena SG, Thyagarajan K, Chatterjee S, Al-Khami A, Selvam SP, Nguyen H, Kang I, Wyatt MW, Baliga U, Hedley Z, Ngang RN, Guo B, Beeson GC, Husain S, Paulos CM, Beeson CC, Zilliox MJ, Hill EG, Mehrotra M, Yu XZ, Ogretmen B, Mehrotra S. Pro-Survival Lipid Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Metabolically Programs T Cells to Limit Anti-tumor Activity. Cell Rep 2019