Why Biochemistry?

Master biochemical and molecular biological techniques. Discover the practical applications of biochemical research to Medicine, Agriculture, Industry and Biotechnology. Unravel how living systems function in normal and disease states. These opportunities and more are available to you when you choose Biochemistry at the University of Saskatchewan.

What is Biochemistry?

“Biochemistry seeks to explain life in chemical terms. The basic goal of the science of biochemistry is to determine how the collections of inanimate objects that constitute living organisms interact with each other to maintain and perpetuate life.  Although Biochemistry yields important insights and practical applications in medicine, agriculture, nutrition and industry, it is ultimately concerned with the wonder of life itself."
Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, Second Edition

Career Opportunities

Research: A variety of technical positions are available in academia (e.g., universities), industry (e.g., biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies), government laboratories (e.g., agricultural and food agencies and police forensic laboratories) and healthcare system (e.g., hospitals). Teaching: Biochemists are involved in teaching at high schools, universities and technical colleges. Communications:Some biochemists work as science writers for textbooks and prepare technical reports for industry. Business: Biochemists play an important role in the management, sales and marketing in science-based companies, such as pharmaceutical firms. Regulatory/Law: Many biochemists are employed by regulatory bodies such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration, to develop government policies and patent law. A Stepping Stone...Biochemistry provides excellent preparation for students considering studies in a wide variety of disciplines, including graduate studies and research (M. Sc. and Ph. D), medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nutrition, veterinary medicine, education and law.

The U of S Advantage

Outstanding Faculty: The Department of Biochemistry has 17 faculty members with expertise in nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates, enzymology, metabolism, cell biochemistry, plant biochemistry and structural biology.  Their research interests encompass topics such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, infectious diseases as well as, bioethanol, nanotechnology, structural studies of proteins by NMR and X-ray crystallography, and cell cycle in plants.  Funding for research is obtained competitively from CIHR, NSERC, SHRF and other funding agencies.  The wealth of expertise in the Department of Biochemistry is enriched by the affiliation of professors who are members of other colleges and departments (e.g., Chemistry, and Plant Sciences), centres (e.g., Saskatchewan Cancer Centre) and research agencies {e.g., Canadian Light Source (CLS), the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), and Plant Biotechnology Institute (PBI)} located on the university campus. These affiliated professors participate in the teaching and training of undergraduate and graduate students. Research Facilities:In 2012, the research laboratories of the Department of Biochemistry will be relocated to the newly renovated Health Sciences Building with state-of-art research facilities. The University of Saskatchewan is a home to several high-impact research centers that include the VIDO, PBI, Saskatchewan Cancer Center, Saskatchewan Structural Science Center, Agricultural and Ag-Food Canada and dozens of biotechnology firms within Innovation Place.

The city of Saskatoon is the proud home of two of Canada’s largest investments in science infrastructure, the CLS and the newly opened International Vaccine Center (InterVac).

Saskatoon is at the cutting edge of medical and agricultural research. Biochemistry is a core discipline within all these pursuits. The concentration of these research institutions on the campus, together with our own university laboratories provide our students unique research opportunity and advantage.  Many of our graduates find employment at these organizations, and elsewhere.

Choose Your Program!

Biochemistry is a core life science discipline that provides students with fundamental knowledge in the diverse areas of science and research.  Individual students programs vary with courses ranging from animal and plant metabolism, molecular and cellular biochemistry to biotechnology and bioinformatics.

A Major in Biochemistry

Students majoring in biochemistry can choose from one of the following degrees: B. Sc Three-Year, B. Sc. Four-Year and B. Sc. Honours.  A student may choose to combine the Biochemistry Program with courses from other departments and colleges to complete a degree program that is either diverse or specialized.  Double Honours program with Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Physics or other programs may be arranged. Interdisciplinary programs with biotechnology and biomolecular structure studies are also available.

Getting Involved!

Join the Biochemistry Students Association and participate in various activities to enrich the student experience. These include a career night, tutorial sessions, mentoring and social events.  Meet, interact and socialize with fellow students and professors.