Lycoming College announces new biochemistry major

Lycoming College has added a new major in biochemistry to its program offerings as part of its ongoing commitment to curricular innovation. Available beginning with the 2018-19 academic year, the new program places Lycoming in the company of the best liberal arts and sciences colleges in the nation, and will enable Lycoming to broaden its curriculum, faculty, and coursework, to better attract, retain and graduate exceptional students.

A lab-based science that marries biology and chemistry to explore the chemical processes related to living organisms, the new course of study will teach students to use chemical knowledge and techniques to solve biological problems, to understand how life works, and to increase our understanding of disease.

Students declaring a major in biochemistry will take courses in biochemistry, as well as general, organic, and physical chemistry, introductory biology, genetics, calculus, and physics. Biochemistry majors will also choose two electives from advanced chemistry and biology courses, and complete a capstone experience. The major will utilize newly designed and constructed laboratory space in the Heim science building.

Biochemistry is a popular path to pre-health careers, including admission to medical school, but people with a background in biochemistry also pursue careers in pharmaceuticals, biomedical research, agriculture, and forensic crime research. They often find themselves working alongside policy makers and engineers, as well as people from a plethora of other related fields.

“Chemistry is often called ‘the central science,’ and we see this in the wide variety of careers and graduate schools our alumni enter,” said Charles Mahler, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry. “Biochemistry is central to the science of life, and Lycoming’s biochemistry major will help prepare our students to do even more amazing things as scientists, physicians, researchers, and health professionals.”

Funding for the new major was established by Peter and Joyce Lynn, through the Peter ’69 & Joyce Lynn Endowed Program in Biochemistry. The Lynns’ passion for philanthropy and interest in STEM education has influenced their support of several significant college initiatives, including the addition of the Lynn Science Center— the multi-curricular facility named after the couple for their leadership gift to the building.

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