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Welcome From the Chair

headshot of Dr. Celia Schiffer

The fields of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology are rapidly expanding, driven by new technology and integrated multidisciplinary approaches that transform how we think about complex biological and biomedical problems.  We generate high-quality and high quantities of data that require experimental and computational methods to reveal fundamental mechanistic insights and develop new therapeutic paradigms. 

Our Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology at UMass Chan Medical School fosters an inclusive, collaborative community where pioneering research illuminates the molecular mechanisms that govern basic biological processes, with an emphasis on integrative strategies at the interface with chemistry, math, engineering and physics.

I encourage you to check out the outstanding research of our faculty who are leveraging cutting-edge structural, chemical, and genomic technologies to define new mechanisms in a broad variety of disciplines, including epigenetics, cell and developmental biology, neurobiology, cancer, and infectious disease, with many of us translating our discoveries to medicine.

You will find that we achieve our innovative science by enabling and empowering the next generation of biomedical researchers; and firmly believe that with a diverse and inclusive scientific culture our science thrives permitting novel discoveries to be realized. 

I warmly welcome you to join our community as a student, postdoc, educator, collaborator, colleague or benefactor during this transformative time.  Together we are more than the sum of our parts and will have a lasting impact. 

Celia A. Schiffer, PhD.
The Arthur F. and Helen P. Koskinas Chair and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology

Vice Chairs:

headshot of Dr. Dannel McCollum
Dannel McCollum, PhD.
Vice Chair for Faculty Advancement & Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology

Dr. McCollum has served as Vice Chair since 2019and works to support faculty advancement by promoting recognition of faculty achievements and by guiding faculty through the promotion and tenure process.

Read Dr. McCollum's Statement about Faculty Advancement 

headshot of Dr. Mary Munson
Mary Munson, PhD.
 Vice Chair of Diversity & Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology

Dr. Munson has served as Vice Chair since 2021 and works to develop, implement and analyze diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the department. She is also Assistant Vice Provost in the Office of Health Equity where she works to increase diversity in faculty recruitment, hiring and retention. She also co-leads the Investigator Career Advancement Program (iCAP).

Read Dr. Munson's Departmental Values Statement  

headshot of Dr. Sean Ryder
Sean Ryder, PhD.
Vice Chair of Outreach & Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology

Dr. Ryder has served as Vice Chair since 2021. He is motivated to develop a sense of mutual understanding, respect, and friendship between the world class scientists that work in our department and the community that supports our work. He oversees the department’s Outreach Office.

Read Dr. Ryder's Outreach Mission Statement