At Nebraska’s premiere biochemistry program, we develop the world’s next great scientists and researchers, right here at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Biochemists are fascinated by the inner workings of cells, whether human, animal, plant, or microbe. We are passionate explorers who discover how macromolecules function in fundamental biological processes like growth, signalling, and metabolism.

We offer a rigorous and comprehensive program that prepares our students and postdoctoral fellows for future success. We feature award-winning professional advisers and incomparable mentorship opportunities that get students into the lab.

Our students work hand-in-hand with internationally recognized scholars and researchers on projects that pose exciting questions and solve real-world problems.

Our mission is to provide exemplary education and training in biochemistry that prepares our community for tomorrow's challenges in agriculture, bioenergy, biomaterials, and human health.

The Biochemistry Department pursues excellence by promoting the following Core Values:

  1. Research excellence, integrity, and collaboration
  2. Foundational and innovative education
  3. Quality mentoring, professional development, and training
  4. Science literacy through outreach and community engagement
  5. Culture of equity, inclusion, and diversity
faculty looking at Molecular Mechanisms of Disease images on computer screen

Follow your curiosity, and make a real impact in the following areas:

  • Structural and Chemical Basis of Protein Function
  • Metabolism and Metabolic Engineering
  • Molecular Mechanisms of Disease
  • Plant and Microbial Biochemistry and Biotechnology
  • Computational and Systems Biology

Awards for Excellence

The Department of Biochemistry faculty is doing compelling, innovative work. Their instruction, mentorship and successes are integral to turning students’ curiosity into fruitful results. We boast 24 highly accomplished full-time faculty and 3 affiliated faculty members in both education and research as evidenced by local, national, and international awards for excellence. Recognition includes:

  • North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture, with Certificates of Recognition for Contributions to Students, University-wide Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Awards
  • Awards by the Sigma Xi for Excellence in Research
  • Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Fellow of the American Society for Plant Physiology
  • Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors
  • Education Fellow of the American Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Jefferson Science Fellow

Find out more about our people and their expertise...


Dr. Donald Becker

Dr. Donald Becker is the Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Director of the Center for Biological Chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Dr. Becker’s research involves studies of proline metabolism, redox enzymology, redox regulation of proteins and gene expression and substrate channeling in enzymes. The overall goal of his research is to understand how proline metabolism impacts cellular processes that are critical in human health and disease. Dr. Becker joined the UNL faculty in 2003 and is a Charles Bessey Professor of Biological Chemistry and a member of the Redox Biology Center. He also directs the NIH T32 Molecular Mechanisms of Disease Predoctoral Training Program.

N202 Beadle Center

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Academic Advisor

Dr. Erin Sayer

Dr. Erin Sayer is a Professor of Practice and the Academic Advisor and Recruiter for Biochemistry working with the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) students and a subset of our Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources students. Dr. Sayer has been at the university since 2002.  She spent over a decade as the Coordinator for Pre-Professional Advising and most recently was in the School of Biological Sciences before she joined Biochemistry. 

N208 Beadle Center

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Academic Advisor

Tegan Brooks

Tegan Brooks is an academic advisor for Biochemistry students who want to focus on Computational and Systems Biochemistry. Tegan has been with the university since 2021, and with the Statistics Department since mid-2023. She also advises Statistics & Data Analytics and Data Science in CASNR.

HARH 340 - East campus

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Academic Advisor

Katie Forrest

Katie Forrest is an Academic Advisor for Biochemistry working with College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) students. Katie has been at the university since 2018 and spent three years in the department of Animal Science and the College of Engineering before joining the CASNR Dean’s Office at Nebraska.

NEU 247 - East campus

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