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Our Department

Elisar Barbar analyzing lab data on a computer with two graduate students in her lab.

Pictured here are Ph.D. student Patrick Morar, Post-Doc. Kayla Jara and Professor & Department Head Elisar Barbar.

Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics!

We are home to celebrated faculty and high-achieving students who are united in the goal of "revealing how life works for the benefit of all." It is our mission to be a diverse, inclusive community that serves students, our professions and the public through innovative education, individualized advising, holistic mentoring and cutting-edge molecular life science research that creates knowledge and solves real-life problems.

We are community driven.

The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at Oregon State was formed in 1967 through a merging of biochemists and biophysicists from the chemistry department and what was formerly the Department of General Science. The department came to prominence in the mid-1970s, primarily on the strength of biophysical discoveries on the structure of chromatin, carried out in the laboratories of Ken van Holde and the late Irvin Isenberg. Under the current leadership of Elisar Barbar, our department has maintained leadership both in molecular biophysics and in the most central areas of biochemistry.

We are innovative.

Enrolling more than 350 students each term, we offer the only undergraduate program in the State of Oregon leading to a B.S. degree in biochemistry and biophysics as well as a degree program in biochemistry and molecular biology. Nearly 70% of all BB majors participate in research during their time at OSU and they are highly successful in their applications to medical and dental schools, graduate school, pharmacy and other professional schools. We also offer a complete graduate curriculum with about 30 students enrolled in Ph.D. and M.S. degree programs.

We are collaborative.

We draw strength from students and colleagues from other departments, colleges and centers. Several of our tenured and tenure-track faculty hold primary appointments in the Linus Pauling Institute, which studies micronutrients and antioxidants in relation to human health. Our faculty are frequently sought from around the university and the scientific community for our strength in many arenas of biochemistry and molecular biophysics, including structural biology, enzymology, metabolic regulation, signal transduction, protein chemistry, gene expression, epigenetics, cell cycle control and cell movement and adhesion.

We value diversity, equity and inclusion

Diversity in people, ideas and perspectives promotes excellence at all levels. As a department, we actively seek out ways to achieve equal representation and stand committed to building a welcoming and inclusive environment for our students, faculty and staff.

Learn more about our values 

We're involved in outreach

Quality science education benefits the world as a whole. Our faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students are always looking to inspire new learners by collaborating to host training workshops, conferences and events for members of the international scientific community as well as Oregon teachers, students and the general public.

Learn more about BB outreach 
Explore our free educational resources  

Job announcements

The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics (Corvallis campus) is currently hiring.

The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics invites application for a full-time (1.0 FTE), 9-month, tenure-track (annual) Assistant Professor position in neurodegenerative and/or infectious diseases. For full consideration, apply by October 25th, 2023.

The Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics invites applications for a full-time (1.00 FTE), 12-month, fixed-term Instructor position. Reappointment is at the discretion of the Department Head. For full consideration, apply by December 7, 2023.