Undergraduate students play an important role in pursuing research so as to increase our understanding of the molecular basis for life at both the cellular and organismal level. As part of our honors programs, students have the opportunity to pursue an independent research project known as an honors thesis in a faculty member’s research laboratory. This presents an excellent opportunity to put knowledge into practice towards uncovering new behavior that has yet to be reported and in building skills to pursue a wide variety of career options post-graduation.
Using a wide variety of approaches, both experimental and computational, our research uncovers the structure and function of macromolecules such as proteins, DNA, RNA, lipids and carbohydrates. Our research laboratories are well equipped to undertake innovative research using physical techniques such as NMR and fluorescence spectroscopy, cell biological techniques such as light microscopy, biochemical techniques such as protein purification and activity assays along with molecular biological techniques capable of genetic manipulation. In addressing problems using these multidisciplinary approaches from chemistry to genetics, we continue to pave the way towards answering important biological questions about how life is capable of sustaining itself.
Anyone interested in the life sciences will find something that appeals to them in Carleton’s Biochemistry program, since Carleton offers courses ranging from microbiology, to organic chemistry, to molecular genetics. Many of these courses also have hands-on laboratory components, which have been good opportunities to get to know people in your program. I really value the balance of both biology and chemistry courses throughout the degree, on top of the great research opportunities made available to students. With such a broad range of subject areas covered, it is definitely a challenging program and one that requires effective time management skills. Carleton professors are approachable and fair, and are willing to help students make the most of their learning experience.
Nigel Tan, Third-year Biochemistry student