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Message from the Chair

Ashani Weeraratna

Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where we’ve been making basic science discoveries that advance public health and training future researchers and leaders since the founding of the School of Public Health.

Public health can have impacts at the scale of millions, but it rests on fundamental understandings of health that reach down to the level of molecules. The ongoing and critical impact of basic biochemical and molecular research on the treatments and practices that are used in global health care cannot be ignored. A prime example is the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID, the basic science for which was recently awarded a Nobel Prize.

In BMB, we aim to understand and explore the vast connections between biochemistry and molecular biology and health and medicine. Our unique position allows us to integrate our basic biology research with the other departments in the School of Public Health, and indeed across the University. Our faculty’s connections in the School of Medicine let us take our basic research and help translate it into valuable applications impacting human health, while our connections within the Bloomberg School let us explore and extend the public health implications of our findings. As chair, my goal is to further extend our integrations across Hopkins.

If you want to explore these connections, we invite you to join us. Our master's, doctoral, and postdoctoral programs offer opportunities to advance your career, whether you are looking for a class-based curriculum to build the foundation of a career in biomedical fields in medicine, science, industry, and beyond, or to train in the lab to investigate these topics and push our knowledge further.

BMB was my first foray into graduate education over 30 years ago, when I took classes here as a technician in the Oncology Center at Johns Hopkins. Those classes laid the foundation of what has become a life-long endeavor. I will strive to make sure we continue to provide excellent support and training to the students who walk through our doors today. Our faculty and staff put a priority on recruiting talented, motivated students, and providing them with effective teaching and mentoring so that they can excel. One of my goals is to ensure that BMB continues to be a department that fosters collaboration, encourages diversity, and embraces inclusion of all people.

I invite you to explore our website and learn more about our programs, check out research highlights, or meet our faculty.  

All my best,

Ashani Weeraratna
E.V. McCollum Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, Cancer Biology