The Way Life Works
A person has many trillions of cells in their body and at any given time, there are thousands of biochemical reactions taking place within those cells, even when the body is asleep. There are so many important jobs to be done – you are truly never at rest!
Your heart rate speeds up after you hear a loud noise. Your eyes are able to see what’s around you. Your blood sugar level lets you know whether you should break down that fuel and use it now, or whether you should store it in your muscles for later. How do these signals have meaning inside of us? Biochemists study these reactions and many more.
Understanding biochemical processes is a crucial step in problem-solving some of the world’s greatest challenges – disease, hunger, pollution. The success of vaccines to mitigate illnesses like smallpox, influenza, and coronavirus are examples that show how important it is to have a deep understanding of how diseases work and how they can be targeted.
The Northeastern biochemistry program explores how cell structure, chemical bonds and energy transformations impact our understanding of the mechanisms of life and provide a strong foundation for a host of impactful careers in the life sciences.
Integrates molecular biology and biochemistry in the cellular context. Focuses on the organization and function of eukaryotic cells, including the regulation of nuclear structure and gene expression, signal transduction, protein synthesis and growth, cellular energetics, the cytoskeleton and cell motility, cell division, and cell death. Emphasizes the scientific methodologies and approaches that underlie discovery in cell biology.
Focuses on mechanisms of inheritance, gene-genome structure and function, and developmental genetics and evolution. Examples are drawn from the broad spectrum of plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Topics and analytical approaches include transmission genetics, molecular biology and gene regulation, DNA molecular methods, quantitative and population genetics, bioinformatics, genomics, and proteomics.
Introduces protein chemistry in the context of molecular medicine. Discusses analytical methods used to elucidate the origin, structure, function, and purification of proteins. Surveys the synthesis and chemical properties of structurally and functionally diverse proteins, including globular, membrane, and fibrous proteins. Discusses the role of intra- and intermolecular interactions in determining protein conformation, protein folding, and in their enzymatic activity.
After their sophomore year, undergraduates can take an accelerated path towards earning their masters degree in less time. Biochemistry majors can enroll in three PlusOne Programs: Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, and Chemistry.
PreMed & PreHealth
Our PreMed and PreHealth Advising program offers personalized expertise to COS students pursuing careers in health careers. This comprehensive program includes application guidance, workshops and presentations, course mapping and more.
Biochemistry research is interdisciplinary by nature, and there’s a broad array of laboratory research opportunities to explore here on campus, as well and nationally and internationally. Learn more about your research options for co-op, summer research, and more!
Magnify your Learning with Co-op
Starting around sophomore year, Northeastern’s unique co-operative education program allows biochemistry students to explore different pathways and potential careers both locally and around the globe. Hear what previous biochemistry students had to say about their experience with the program:
Brian Cortese, Biochemistry’19
“There’s a lot more to it than just learning the bench and the skills, it’s about how to think, it’s about meeting new people, and it’s really all about the mentorship that will help you reach your potential long term.”
Zoe Bishop, Biochemistry Major
“My first co-op PI was on the admissions board for Harvard Medical School– talk about friends in high places! He’s helped me make important decisions, and I’m very thankful for that level of mentorship.”
Kalil Menezes, Biochemistry Major
Co-op took me to Belgium where I spent weekdays in the neuroscience lab and weekends making unforgettable memories with friends.