Biochemistry PhD Program

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MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR

Blake Hill, PhD

 

Blake Hill, PhD

Professor of Biochemistry
Director, Graduate Program in Biochemistry

 

Amazing discoveries in biomedical research rely on Biochemistry. Name your favorite scientific discovery in biology and it likely derived from biochemical investigations. DNA replication, GPCR signaling, DNA structure, PCR, CRISPR/Cas9, Next Gen DNA sequencing, Proteomics, other "omics": These amazing advances were made by biochemists that developed a deep understanding of the underlying mechanism behind these processes to revolutionize our thinking. At MCW Biochemistry, you will hone your critical thinking skills to solve complex problems by dissecting them into fundamental, indivisible components. You will also learn outstanding communication and presentation skills. Such critical thinking and presentation skills are useful in a wide variety of careers including scientific research. We invite you to explore the exciting, NIH-funded research of our faculty that seeks to understand the basis of a host of human illnesses from diabetes, cancer, neurodegeneration, inflammation, heart, lung, and metabolic diseases. Come join our family and see why research from MCW Biochemistry is featured in textbooks!​

rbhill@mcw.edu
(414) 955-5885

  • About
  • Students
  • Curriculum
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees
  • Faculty

IDP Graduate Program in Microbiology and ImmunologyAbout

 

Translational Science will be explored through team-based learning with class discussion of assigned cases. At the end of the course, the students will describe and analyze the use of appropriate clinical and translational research techniques, evidence based medicine and outcomes research methods, identify gaps between basic science knowledge and clinical practice for specific clinical questions pertinent to their area of research, propose the steps needed to apply basic science knowledge to outline possible experiments that are feasible and compliant with regulatory and ethical issues and identify significant clinical questions/hypotheses that would benefit from translational research programs.

 

 

Amber BakkumAmber Bakkum

abakkum@mcw.edu
Mentor: Blake Hill, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2012
Previous Education: Carthage College (Kenosha, WI), BA, Physics, Mathematics
Research Interest: My research interest is how an amino acid sequence specifies a 3D fold and how that sequence can further specify quaternary structure through protein interactions.

 

Dani BauhanDani Bauhan

dbauhan@mcw.edu
Mentor: Matt Scaglione, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2016
Previous Education: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, BS double major in Biology and also Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Research Interest: My research will focus on how the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway plays a role in the regulation of protein aggregation in neurodegeneration, and ultimately ways that this pathway can be targeted with small molecules to potentially treat these diseases.

 

 

Andrew BeckerAndrew Becker

abecker@mcw.edu
Mentor: John Park, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2016
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, major in Human Biology with a Dietetics emphasis, minor in Chemistry
Research Interest: Over the last decade, metabolic reprogramming has emerged as a new hallmark of cancer. I am interested in further investigating cancers ability to alter its bioenergetics that allow it to continually proliferate and metastasize in diverse nutrient conditions.

Caci DishmanCaci Dishman

adishman@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Volkman, PhD
Year Entered MCW:  
Previous Education: University of Michigan, BS, Biophysics
Research Interest:

 

John EgnerJohn Egner

jegner@mcw.edu
Mentor: Blake Hill, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2013
Previous Education: Carthage College, Kenosha, WI; Major: Biology and Neuroscience, Minor: Chemistry and Physics
Research Interest: My research project is aimed at understanding how the two mitochondrial outer membrane proteins Fission protein 1 (Fis1) and Mitochondrial dynamics protein of 51 kDa (MiD51) interact to modulate the GTPase mechanoenzyme Dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) in stress-induced mitochondrial fission. I also am discovering new molecules that bind Fis1 by NMR screening of chemical libraries.

 

 

Christopher GoetzChristopher Goetz

cjgoetz@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Smith, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2015
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, BS, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Minor in Spanish
Research Interest: Understanding the mechanisms by which bromodomains and sirtuins modulate epigenetic function. Drug discovery and the development of novel chemical probes to answer biological questions and for use as potential therapeutics.

 

Holly HaverHolly Haver

hhaver@mcw.edu
Mentor: Matt Scaglione, PhD
Year Entered MCW:  2016
Previous Education: BS in Chemistry with a Biochemistry concentration from St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI
Research Interest: I am interested in structural/functional biology and enzymology. In the Scaglione lab, I will be exploring the structure and function of the ubiquitin conjugating enzyme Ube2w in order to understand its physiological purpose.

 

Kelsey KalousKelsey Kalous

kekalous@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Smith, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2014
Previous Education: Concordia University, Mequon, WI: Major: Vocal Music, Minor: Natural Science
Research Interest: Current research interests include determining the effect of oxidative posttranslational modification on the enzymatic activity of sirtuin deacylases.

Adam KanackAdam Kanack

akanack@mcw.edu
Mentor: Matt Scaglione, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2013
Previous Education:
Research Interest:

Andrew KleistAndrew Kleist

akleist@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Volkman, PhD
Year Entered MCW:  
Previous Education: Duke University, BS, Biology
Research Interest: Structural biology and drug discovery, G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) structure, signaling, and biased agonism at GPCRs, Chemokine and chemokine receptor biology as it relates to cancer pathogenesis

 

Darcy KnaackDarcy Knaack

dknaack@mcw.edu
Mentor: Daisy Sahoo, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2016
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin – Madison, BS in Biology
Research Interest: Reducing communication discrepancies between researchers, physicians, and hospitalized patients through translational medicine and research.  

 

James MillerJames Miller

jamiller@mcw.edu
Mentor: Nancy Dahms, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education: Brigham Young University, BS, Biochemistry
Research Interest: Mannose 6-phosphate receptors, Lysosomal storage diseases, and Fabry disease

Murtaza NagreeMurtaza Nagree

mnagree@mcw.edu
Mentor: Jeffrey Medin, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education:
Research Interest:

Robyn OldhamRobyn Oldham

roldham@mcw.edu
Mentor: Jeffrey Medin, PhD
Year Entered MCW:
Previous Education:
Research Interest:

Michael OlpMichael Olp

molp@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Smith, PhD
Year Entered MCW:  
Previous Education: Washington University- St. Louis, AB, Chemistry
Research Interest: Biochemistry, Chemical Biology

Sarah ProudfootSarah Proudfoot

sproudfoot@mcw.edu
Mentor: Daisy Sahoo, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2014
Previous Education: Alma College (Alma, MI); Major: Biology, Minor: Chemistry
Research Interest: I am studying the complex, exciting field of cardiovascular disease. My research aims to use structure-function studies to uncover new ways of improving cholesterol excretion, thereby preventing build-up of atherosclerotic plaque in arteries.

Sarah RiuttaSarah Riutta

sriutta@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Volkman, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2013
Previous Education: Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI; BS, Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Research Interest: My interest in structural biology has lead me to work on structure-function studies of the chemokine CCL20. This protein interacts with a GPCR, CCR6, and together, this pair plays a key role in psoriasis disease progression.

Stephanie SantarriagaStephanie Santarriaga

ssantarriaga@mcw.edu
Mentor: Matt Scaglione, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 
Previous Education: University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Molecular Biology
Research Interest: My research project is to understand mechanisms by which Dictyostelium resists protein aggregation.

Becky SchillBecky Schill

rholme@mcw.edu
Mentor: Daisy Sahoo, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2012
Previous Education: DePauw University - Greencastle, IN. BA-Major: Biochemistry.  Minor: Philosophy
Research Interest: We are interested in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good" cholesterol. Recently it has become clear that following oxidative modification of the particle, HDL can become "dysfunctional". My thesis work focuses on modification of HDL by reactive aldehydes and how these modifications impact HDL's cardio-protective functions, particularly in macrophages. 

Freidrich SeewaldFreidrich Seewald

fseewald@mcw.edu
Mentor: John Corbett, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2015
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Kenosha, WI; Major: Biology, Minor: History
Research Interest: Saturated free fatty acid toxicity in pancreatic b-cells.

Josh StaffordJosh Stafford

jstafford@mcw.edu
Mentor: John Corbett, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2013
Previous Education: Harding University, BS in Biochemistry​
Research Interest: I am interested in understanding how environmental factors, specifically viral infection, can cause β-cell damage leading to the induction of autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes. I am examining the dichotomous roles that the inflammatory mediators IL-1 and nitric oxide can play in promoting both β-cell damage while also protecting against virally mediated cell death.

Aye Myat ThinnAye Myat Thinn

athinn@mcw.edu
Mentor: Jieqing Zhu, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2013
Previous Education: Undergraduate Degree: North Central College, IL, Biochemistry
Research Interest: My research focus is to better understand the allosteric regulation of the large-scale conformational rearrangements upon integrin activation with the goal to develop therapeutic agents with great efficacy and safety.

Monica ThomasMonica Thomas

mothomas@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Volkman, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 
Previous Education: University of Utah, BS,
Research Interest: Structural and Computational Biology, Structural basis of protein function in homeostasis and disease, and Immunology

Matt WaasMatt Waas

mwaas@mcw.edu
Mentor: Rebekah Gundry, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2013
Previous Education: Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, WI, Biomolecular Engineering
Research Interest: Our lab focuses on the differentiation of human stem cells into cardiomyocytes. I am interested in the various ways that we can apply mass spectrometry to provide us with information about cell surface proteins to improve this process

Michael WedemeyerMichael Wedemeyer

mwedemeyer@mcw.edu
Mentor: Brian Volkman, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2015
Previous Education: Milwaukee School of Engineering, Milwaukee, WI, BS, Biomolecular Engineering
Research Interest: My interests include chemokine-GPCR structural interaction and chemokine signal transduction. Chemokines are the body’s most elegant system for orchestrating directed chemotaxis of immune cells. I am currently engineering these proteins to act as a homing system for cellular therapies.

Chay Teng (Zoe) YeoChay Teng (Zoe) Yeo

chayyeo@mcw.edu
Mentor: John Corbett, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 2015
Previous Education: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, BS in Biochemistry
Research Interest: Our lab is interested in understanding β-cell damage mediated by cytokines (i.e. IL-1) as an early event in the development of type 1 diabetes. IL-1 stimulates nitric oxide production in β-cells, and nitric oxide has been known to play both damaging and protective roles in β-cells. My research project focuses on identifying the protective mechanisms mediated by nitric oxide in β-cells.

Fabian YuFabian Yu

fpyu@mcw.edu
Mentor: Jeffrey Medin, PhD
Year Entered MCW: 
Previous Education:
Research Interest:

Curriculum

 

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Admissions

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Those interested in pursuing education and research within the Department of Biochemistry should pursue admission through either the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences (IDP) and/or Neuroscience Doctoral Program (NDP) as well as the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD).

After completion of the first year curriculum of that program, students who choose to complete their dissertation work with faculty of the Biochemistry Department will have the opportunity to continue their graduate studies by selecting from among a wide range of courses that are offered within the Biochemistry Department as well as other programs at MCW. Courses to be taken are based on the student's interests in consultation with the student's dissertation committee.

The Department of Biochemistry offers diverse research opportunities leading to a PhD for students interested in doing biomedical research at a molecular level.

A Bachelor’s degree (either completed or in the process of completing) is required for admission to any MCW graduate program. Applicants will ideally have a 3.0 or higher grade point average (GPA), as well as quantitative and verbal reasoning GRE scores at or above the 50th percentile (3.5 or higher writing score). Personal statements and letters of recommendation from professors, advisors, research supervisors, etc. who know you well are highly regarded in the admission process. Prior research experience is also strongly considered.

The MCW Graduate School operates on a rolling admissions basis. However, applications accepted by the priority application deadline of December 15th will receive first priority for admission the following Fall. Students are admitted once per year.

TUITION AND FEES INFORMATION

If you have questions regarding tuition or your account, please contact the Office of Student Accounts, at (414) 955-8172 or mcwtuition@mcw.edu.

PhD Students

All full-time PhD students receive a full tuition remission, health insurance and stipend.

2017-2018 Stipend: $29,136.00

The following fees are covered by the tuition remission:

  • All Students Fee (Fall & Spring Semesters Only): $40.00
  • Graduate Student Association (GSA) Fee: $35.00
  • Tuition Per Credit - Fall, Spring & Summer Semesters: $1,250.00

Masters, Certificate & Non-Degree Students

Students seeking financial aid for MPH, MS or MA degree programs, visit the Financial Aid Office website.

  • Tuition Per Credit - Fall, Spring & Summer Semesters: $1,010.00
  • Master’s in Medical Physiology Tuition: $42,000/year
  • Continuation: $225.00
  • Audit - Per Class: $100.00

Current MCW Employees

Tuition Course Approval Form - Human Resources (PDF)

Late Fees

There will be a $250 late registration fee for anyone not completing registration by the date indicated on the schedule each semester. There is also a $250 late payment fee for tuition not paid on time according to the Tuition Payments policy in the Student Handbook.

Late payment fee is in addition to any late registration fee.

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Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences General CAMPUS CONTACT INFORMATION

Mailing Address:
MCW Graduate School
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226


(414) 955-8218
(414) 955-6555 (fax)
gradschool@mcw.edu

Department of Biochemistry

(414) 955-8435
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