We warmly remember
our friend and colleague Dr. Paula Castagnet who passed away
this fall after a long battle with cancer. She was a devoted
teacher, student mentor and a dedicated scientist. She will be
deeply missed. Dr. Castagnet joined the department as an
Associate Professor in 2005 and played a pivotal role in the early
development of the major. We are all thankful for having had
the opportunity to work and play with such a wonderful person.
From the Peliska lab:
Dr. Peliska's postdoctoral mentor, Dr. Stephen Benkovic of Penn
State University recently received the
National Medal of Science.
This is the highest award given by the US government (administered
through the National Science Foundation) recognizing
individuals for their important contributions to science and
Steve also received the
2011 National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences
which is "Awarded
for innovative research in the chemical sciences that in the
broadest sense contributes to a better understanding of the natural
sciences and to the benefit of humanity."
Congratulations to this outstanding scientist!
You can watch a brief video about his accomplishments
Biochemistry II, BIOL/CHEM
406 will feature a research-oriented lab this semester where
students will apply the skills they learned in last semesters
Biochemistry I lab.
Students and Graduates
a 2011 AMU graduate in Biology and Mathematics and a minor in
Chemistry is pursuing his Ph.D at the Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine.
Makandiwana Shoniwa, a 2011 AMU graduate in Biology with a
minor in Chemistry is pursuing her Ph.D in Biochemistry and
Molecular Biology at SUNY Upstate Medical University.
Michael Assibey, a 2011 AMU graduate in Biology is attending
the Florida Institute of Technology as a graduate student in
Biotechnology (Molecular Biology).
Matthew Mullally, a 2011 biology graduate is attending the
University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry.
Josephine Vowels, a 2011 graduate in Biology is attending
law school at the Catholic University of America.
a 2009 AMU graduate with a major in Biology and a minor in
chemistry, is currently attending the Michigan State College of
Human Medicine MD program. Andrew was involved in research in
the Peliska lab.
a 2009 AMU graduate with a major in Biology and a minor in
chemistry, will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Biochemistry ay Boston
University starting in the fall. Anthony was involved in
research in the Peliska lab. Anthony recently sent us this
My degree in
Biology from Ave Maria University, in conjunction
with recommendations from Ave's distinguished science
professors, has proven invaluable to my recent acceptance
into Boston University's School of Medicine Department of
Biochemistry PhD program. Utilizing the most recent advances in the
scientific equipment and methods yet ever set in the backdrop of
veritatis splendor, Ave Maria University's Biology
program prepared me beyond my wildest expectations in the practice
of science. Thank you!
Thank you Anthony and congratulations!
will be graduating with a degree in
Biology and a minor in chemistry. He participated in research
in the Peliska lab. Phillip will be attending the University
of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry starting in the fall.
He is a recipient of a prestigious US Army Dental Health
a 2009 AMU graduate in Biology and a minor in chemistry will be
attending Indiana School of Dentistry in the fall. Dan
participated in research in the Peliska lab.
Su Li Lee, a 2006 graduate in Biology &
Philosophy with a minor in Chemistry, was recently awarded her
second Masters degree in Psychology. Su Li holds a Masters
degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Sussex and
a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from the Institute for the
Psychological Sciences in Washington, D.C. Su Li is continuing
her work towards a Doctoral degree at the IPS.
Department of Biology and Chemistry is pleased to announce
the introduction of a new Biochemistry major.
Chemistry and biology have long been considered separate
disciplines, each applying its own technology and method to
solve problems within their respective fields. The
boundaries between the chemical and biological sciences are
rapidly dissolving as scientists increasingly use chemical
tools and concepts to explore mechanism, structure and
function in complex biological systems at the biochemical,
genetic and organismal level. Interdisciplinary approaches
toward tackling important biological problems are the
hallmark of science in the 21st century.
these interdisciplinary challenges comes need to expose the
student and future scientist to a broad background in
chemistry, biophysics, genetics and molecular biology. The
Biochemistry major at AMU will provide this rigorous and
modern introduction to the chemical and biochemical sciences
in an environment that incorporates both classroom teaching
and independent research. Together, these pedagogical
strategies foster the development of independent thinking
skills, complex problem solving skills, and the technical
skills characteristic of the effective scientist.
our goal is to provide pre-professional training to those
interested in pursuing graduate studies or embarking on a
career in the biological, chemical or medical sciences.
Graduates should be highly competitive in the chemical,
pharmaceutical and biotechnology marketplace. In this
regard, we can point to our already strong record in placing
Biology graduates in top-tier graduate, medical school,
dental school programs and industry/ academic research
positions. While this is an important practical goal, we also
recognize that the natural and chemical sciences are not
simply technological disciplines, but are truly liberal arts
with which we seek to know truth for its own sake.
Fostering a proper
appreciation of the role the sciences play in our understanding
the world around us, while providing students with the
practical skills for a
future career is at the heart of our educational philosophy.
The program faculty are
dedicated teachers and scholars, each with their own
independent research programs in areas such as mechanistic enzymology,
drug discovery and design, the development of artificial
protein receptors, and vesicle transport.
Serious students are provided with the opportunity to
participate in these research efforts alongside the faculty
mentor. The department is well equipped to handle the
demanding needs of the teaching and research labs.
Students are exposed to hands-on experience of leading edge
techniques in the biochemical sciences such as
nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry,
and capillary gas chromatography as well as modern methods
in areas like protein purification, molecular biology, organic synthesis and
Please browse our
website and see what opportunities are available to you in the
Biochemistry major at Ave Maria
University. If you have any questions concerning our
program, or would like to visit our labs, feel free to
contact us to schedule an appointment.
A. Peliska, Ph.D.
Department of Biology and Chemistry