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      The Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is an integral part of the National Yang-Ming University (NYMU) School of Life Sciences. The pursuit of excellence, the dedication to research, and the spirit of collegiality are hallmarks of the Institution. In addition, the Institute is committed to excellence in life sciences, medical, dental, as well as graduate education in NYMU. Programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in biochemistry
and molecular biology are offered. In both teaching and research, the Institute emphasizes the integration of the classical biochemical science with the most modern academic disciplines, including molecular biology, cell biology, developmental biology, structural biology, and bioinformatics.

 

History

     The Institute of Biochemistry  and Molecular Biology was established in 1982 in the then newly founded National Yang-Ming Medical College. In 1994, when the National Yang-Ming Medical College was granted university status by the Ministry of Education and renamed The National Yang-Ming University with Schools of Medicine, Medical Technology, Life Sciences and the Center for General Education, the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology became one of the component Institutes of the School of Life Sciences.

      The Institute started out offering only the Master's program. The Ph.D. program was launched five years later in 1987. Since its founding, the Institute has grown from 12 faculty members and 7 students to 34 faculty members and more than 200 students. To reflect the expanding nature of teaching and research areas carried out by the faculty, the Master students are at present divided into three groups, including Biochemistry, Structural Biology, and Bioinformatics groups; the Ph.D. students are grouped into Biochemistry, and Molecular Medicine groups. However, the master program will be integrated into one Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program and the Ph.D. program will be divided into three subprograms including Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Genomic Science and Molecular Medicine in the summer 2006. 

      Research achievement by our faculty over the years is well-recognized. Several faculty members have been winners of the Outstanding Achievement and Meritorious Awards by The National Science Council, Distinguished Academic Achievement Award from the Ministry of Education, and Ching-Ling Research Foundationˇ¦s Award for Research Excellence. Recently, Dr. Yan-Hwa Wu Lee has been elected as a member of the Academia Sinica.

      The alumni of the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology have exceeded 480, more than 83 of which received the Ph.D. degree. Our graduates are pursuing teaching and research careers in academic and research institutions, governmental agencies, and hospitals, as well as in the biotechnology industry.

 

Research

     The Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology currently has 18 full-time and 16 adjunct faculty members. These faculty members supervise active research programs in the research areas of biochemistry, molecular biology, and molecular medicine that are well supported by grants from the National Science Council, the National Health Research Institute, and other funding organizations.

      Research topics are far-ranging and include enzymology, molecular microbiology, lipid metabolism, prokaryotic gene regulation, cell cycle control, regulation of cell differentiation, apoptosis,signal transduction, gene regulation during development, mechanism of aging, pathogenesis of cardiovascular diseases, pathogenesis of viral hepatitis, mitochondrial diseases, molecular cancer biology, cancer glycobiology, screening for anti-cancer agents, functional genomics, chemical biology, cellular and molecular medicine, and  proteomic researches.

 

Teaching

      The Institute provides comprehensive curricula in general chemistry, analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry to medical, dental, nursing, medical technology, and undergraduate life sciences students. The goal of teaching is to help students develop skills that allow them to continue teaching themselves through their careers. Individually designed courses are provided for students from different departments and tailored to their career needs in academic and clinical medicine.

     The M.S. and Ph.D. programs are well-balanced and can be individually tailored to meet every student's interests and needs. Students can acquire a thorough and diverse background in contemporary biochemistry and molecular biology related subjects, develop imaginative and logic thinking, and get fully prepared for a career in related academic or industrial fields. The breadth of research interests within the Institute gives students an excellent opportunity for graduate training in most cutting-edge areas.

      In recent few years, the Institute of Biochemistry  and Molecular Biology has also actively participated in several interdisciplinary graduate training programs at NYMU, including the Bioinformatics (Masterˇ¦s) Program, the Structural Biology (Masterˇ¦s and Ph.D.) Program,  and the Molecular Medicine (Ph.D.) Program. These programs provide students opportunities to master in these modern disciplines.  

 

Facilities

      The Institute of Biochemistry  and Molecular Biology occupies three floors of the Traditional Medicine Building at NYMU. The 3,600 square meters of modern laboratory space are equipped with instruments required for contemporary biochemical, molecular and cell biology studies. Shared equipments include centrifuges, VIS/UV spectrometers, lyophilizers, sonicators, fluorescent microscopes, and so on. One of the branches of NYMU Instrumentation Center is located in the same building; ultracentrifuges, scintillation counters, and a PhosphoImager are free to use. Facilities such as FACS and confocal fluorescent microscopes are also available for a modest usage fee. In recent few years, the NYMU carried out a Program for Promoting Academic Excellence of Universities (sponsored by the Ministry of Education) entitled ˇ§Genome-based Biomedical Research for the 21st Centuryˇ¨. One of the research cores of this program, the Proteome Research Center, is based in the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The center is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including the most modern two-dimensional gel electrophoresis systems, automatic gel excision and in-gel digestion systems, as well as Q-TOF and MALDI-TOF MASS spectrometers. This makes the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology most suitable for conducting functional genomics and proteomic studies.     

      The Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at NYMU resides in a nurturing environment for biomedical research. The NYMU has traditionally been a research-oriented institution; faculty members among institutes and departments maintain close interaction and communication. The nearby Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) provides opportunities for collaboration in medicine-oriented studies. In fact, the NYMU-TVGH team is renowned for its research achievements in hepatitis and hepatoma, as well as in health-care-related genomic research.

 

Perspectives

      The Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at NYMC is proud of its development over the past decades. Powered by the enthusiasm of the members, the Institute is determined to excel. Taking advantages of the most modern facilities and the strong collaboration with TVGH, Academia Sinica, and the industry, the Institute is certainly emerging as one of the leading biomedical and biotechnology research centers.

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