Dr. Patricia (Tricia) Kiley
Professor and Chair
HF DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Complex
The Department in Brief…
Our location. In 2012, the department moved to its new home on Henry Mall in the Hector F. DeLuca Biochemical Sciences Complex. The complex, which houses the Departments of Biomolecular Chemistry and Biochemistry, consists of three buildings, two research facilities and a teaching and administrative building, all connected by skywalks. The Department of Biomolecular Chemistry laboratories reside in the Biochemical Sciences Building, which features modern laboratory and office space. The department administrative office and teaching laboratory are located in the renovated 1912 and 1937 Biochemistry Building. Within both buildings are many conference rooms, auditoriums, and teaching spaces, which allow for interaction and collaboration amongst faculty, students, and staff from across campus. A tremendous feature of our research space is its openness—large glass windows in the atrium, in labs and in the beautiful lunchrooms help keep us connected to the rest of the busy campus, and the open flow of the labs help keep us connected throughout our work days to our fellow colleagues.
Our research mission. As part of the school of Medicine and Public Health, our research focuses on understanding the molecular underpinnings of biological processes, particularly as it relates to human disease. Research in the department spans a broad range of questions and methodologies, including DNA replication, chromatin structure, gene expression, protein and membrane trafficking, cell signaling and metabolism, cancer, embryogenesis, and pathogenesis. Fundamental mechanisms are studied in a variety of model systems, including bacteria, yeast, flies, worms, frogs, rodents, and human stem cells. State of the art technologies are employed in these studies, which address both basic and translational issues in biology. The breadth of science combined with the collegial and collaborative environment provide an exciting and interdisciplinary setting in which to conduct research.
During the last four years three new faculty have joined the department as assistant professors, contributing to the exciting vitality of the department. Dr. Peter Lewis examines the epigenetic mechanisms that drive normal development and can cause cancer when mis-regulated. His lab is part of the Epigenetics Theme within the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery (WID). Dr. Feyza Engin’s research explores type-1 diabetes as a result of the destruction of beta cells caused by an immune response. Dr. Heidi Dvinge studies the mechanisms of RNA splicing, and the role of mis-regulated RNA processing in cancer.
Our teaching mission. Our faculty are actively engaged in teaching biochemistry at multiple levels (medical students, graduate students and undergraduate students). We teach human biochemistry to medical students in a new integrated Medical School curriculum. We teach biochemical research techniques to undergraduate students both as part of a course and as individual mentors for undergraduate research projects. We teach graduate students across the spectrum of biochemistry and are proud of our world-class graduate program in biochemistry (Integrated Program in Biochemistry) that we jointly lead with the department of Biochemistry. The excellence of, and dedication to teaching by our faculty is reflected in numerous Chancellor’s and Dean’s Teaching Awards.
Professor and Chair
Department of Biomolecular Chemistry