M.S., M.P.S. and Ph.D.


Graduate studies in biochemistry reflect the College’s interests in microbial, insect, bio-based fuel, and plant biochemistry. After completing a one-year sequence in general biochemistry, students select advanced courses from a range of offerings in chemistry, organismal biology and molecular biology. Advanced courses in biochemistry are available both at ESF and Syracuse University.

A wide variety of research topics are available ranging from plant physiology to biotechnology. Selective research topics include microbial and algal production of biologically active natural products and their importance in cell biology (BOYER, GINER); chemical communication and recognition between organisms (WEBSTER); marine algal toxins (BOYER); trace metal/nitrogen physiology of symbiotic plants and algae (BOYER); the structure/function of natural biopolymers (NOMURA, WINTER); metabolic and protein engineering (NOMURA); and global gene expression studies of biopolymer-producing bacteria (NOMURA). Also, the use of microorganisms for the production of specialty chemicals including polysaccharide interconversions, and the application of bacterial and fungal enzymes and peptides in the bioremediation of environmental problems are explored.

Biochemistry courses:

  • FCH 530 Biochemistry I
  • FCH 531 Biochemistry Laboratory
  • FCH 532 Biochemistry II
  • FCH 650 Plant Biochemistry

Prospective graduate students are strongly encouraged to contact any professor whose research is of interest!

Current Research Interests

  • harmful algal blooms (Boyer)
  • microbial uptake of heavy metals (Boyer)
  • cyanobacteria toxins (Boyer)
  • antibody and gene-based biosensors (Boyer)
  • genetic engineering of bacteria to produce biodegradable polymers (Nomura)
  • fatty acid biosynthetic enzymes (Nomura)
  • biodegradable biopolymer (Nomura)
  • natural insecticides from plants (Giner)
  • antiviral sterols from marine sponges (Giner)
  • biomimetic synthesis (Giner)
  • aquatic organic chemistry (Hassett)
  • global carbon and sulfur cycles (Kieber)
  • Biobased polymers (Stipanovic), (Nomura)
  • biochemistry of coral reef food webs (Teece)
  • bioenergetics (Teece)
  • insect pheremones (Webster)
  • steriochemical specific synthesis (Webster)

Faculty and their Specialties

Follow the links immediately below for detailed descriptions of research of any professor. Many other useful links are found just below the listing of faculty.

Financial Support

Selected applicants to the graduate program will be offered a full tuition waiver and a 12 month stipend that will cover their living expenses, and the costs of books and fees. Students are supported primarily as research assistants rather than teaching assistants, and as a result they have more time to devote to their research.

Request an Application to the Graduate Program:

Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210
(315) 470-6595

If you want more information, please follow this link to a brief form.

Biochemistry Graduate Students

Current Students

Only currently registered students appear—new student names are added at the start of the academic year.

Dominique DerminioDominique Derminio

FCH Environmental Chemistry

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Boyer

Joshua HarrisJoshua Harris


Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Nomura

Alex LevineAlex Levine


Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Nomura

Ashley PirovanoAshley Pirovano

FCH Biochemistry

Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Newman
Undergraduate Institute: Marymount Manhattan College (Biology)

Graduate Research Topic
Ashley is studying the plant growth enhancement using endophytic bacteria.

Ryan ScheelRyan Scheel


Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Nomura
Undergraduate Institute: SUNY-ESF (Biology)

Graduate Research Topic
Genetic engineering of Escherichia coli for the production of biodegradable polymers.

Joseph ShoytushJoseph Shoytush


Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Nomura

Research/Professional history and details can be found on LinkedIn

Graduate Research Topic
Regulatory mechanisms and genes involved in uptake and utilization of acidic amino acids in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1

Jeremy SullivanJeremy Sullivan


Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Boyer


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