The overall mission of the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology (BBMB) is to investigate and understand the molecular mechanisms underlying biological processes as explained by the principles of chemistry and physics. Synergistic programs in teaching and research accomplish this mission. Undergraduate and graduate instruction emphasizes the fundamental relationships among the chemical, physical, and biological sciences. Basic research is the hallmark of the departmental mission, providing the knowledge that is essential for continual progress in the applied agricultural- and biomedical sciences. These two aspects of the mission are merged by involvement of students at all levels in primary research activities, and by a teaching approach that strives to promote rigorous and critical thought.
The research mission of the Department is focused in related areas that encompass biochemistry, biophysics, molecular and structural biology. The Department of BBMB produces novel discoveries that are highly significant to the worldwide biomedical and agricultural research efforts. The faculty are funded by the major federal competitive funding agencies and publish in journals with the highest international impact. The Department also seeks to integrate its basic experimental research activities directly with State of Iowa industries.
Student learning is of paramount importance in the Department’s program design. The teaching mission includes broad contribution to the physical- and life sciences training programs at Iowa State University. BBMB faculty teach graduate and undergraduate courses in biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology, and interdisciplinary programs, emphasizing the ways that biological mechanisms are founded on chemical and physical principles. Students are prepared to pursue professional careers in a variety of academic and industry environments, and to serve society as broadly educated individuals. Undergraduates are also engaged in discovery-based learning by participating directly in the primary research activities of the Department.
The Department has a significant outreach mission in frequent and open communication with the public of Iowa. Basic research contributes significantly to this mission by providing the knowledge on which society can draw in the future to meet challenges dictated by limited global resources. Additionally the Department’s outreach mission includes direct efforts to stimulate economic development within the State of Iowa, by bringing basic research results to bear on applied research and development.