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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Message from the Chair


Pierre Coulombe, PhDI welcome this opportunity to comment on the mission of our department, and to share how special it feels to be part of this community.

In 2008, after 16 years on the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine faculty, I was presented with the opportunity to succeed Dr. Roger McMacken as the E.V. McCollum Professor and Chair of Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) at the Bloomberg School.

Simply put, this opportunity was too good to pass for many reasons. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is widely acknowledged to be the finest degree-granting institution for research and training in public health in the world. Since its founding in 1916, the School has focused on pioneering research both at the bench and in the field, and on the application of new knowledge to educate scientists and practitioners, and ultimately to protect populations from illness and injury. This history and focus were compelling to me. Given the exciting mission and unique expertise of the BMB department, the wonderful atmosphere prevailing in the department, and the support provided by the School to help foster the growth and maturation of BMB, my decision was an easy one to make.

There are several interrelated research foci in BMB, including DNA damage and repair, stem cells, cellular stress, regulation of gene expression, epigenetics, post-translational modifications, and protein quality control pathways, and their applications to aging, reproduction, neurodegenerative disease, cancer, infection and inflammation, novel therapeutic mechanisms, biomarkers and drug discovery. Since 2008, we have added nine new faculty members, with six of them at the assistant professor level. The tightly interwoven education and research aspects of our mission, along with the dedication and congeniality of our faculty and students, make this department an intellectually challenging and forward looking environment to be part of. Whether staff, student, trainee, or faculty, all BMB’ers are committed to working together in the pursuit of excellence.

A high priority for faculty and staff alike is to recruit a diverse group of highly motivated, talented trainees among our ranks, and to attend to their needs and aspirations as we teach, mentor and work with them. Elsewhere on this site you can learn about opportunities for education and training at the master’s (MHS, ScM), predoctoral (PhD) and postdoctoral levels, as well as our outreach efforts.

BMB is fully integrated with the broader fabric of the Bloomberg School, the School of Medicine and the School of Arts and Sciences. Our Department and School are located within the East Baltimore campus of Johns Hopkins University, which also houses the School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Through formal and informal mechanisms, we constantly interact and share ideas and facilities with leaders and researchers throughout the School and University. The willingness to help one another, formally and informally, is what defines Johns Hopkins University.

I thank you for your visit. This site was designed with you in mind. Do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions and comments via our CONNECT campaign.

Pierre A. Coulombe, PhD
E.V. McCollum Professor and Chair
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health