About Biochemistry

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 out of a book and 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 maintain a top-tier academic program through cutting-edge curricula, high-quality research programs and the continued success of our graduates.

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. Paul Black

Dr. Paul N. Black is the Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Director of the Center for Biological Chemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, as well as the Charles Bessey Professor of Biological Chemistry. He has led the department since 2008. His research primarily focuses on the components and mechanisms governing exogenous fatty acid transport across a biological membrane and how this process is linked to acyl chain flux and lipid remodeling.

N202 Beadle Center

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Academic Advisor

Dr. Erin Sayer

Dr. Erin Sayer is an Associate Professor of Practice and the Academic Advisor and Recruiter for Biochemistry working with Arts and Sciences 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

Karlin Walmsley

Karlin Walmsley is an Academic Advisor for Biochemistry working with Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources students. Karlin has been at the university since April, 2019.  She spent three years as an academic athletic counselor at the University of Louisiana - Monroe before she joined Biochemistry at Nebraska. 

60E Filley Hall - East Campus

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