Chair’s Message -  Department of Biological Sciences

Dear Prospective Students, Current Students, Alumni and Friends,

As the new Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, I welcome you to our website. I am delighted to provide insight on the impact this department and university are having on our students. This year continues to be an exciting time for us as the number of majors in the department continues to increase. In the last 5 years, the student numbers in our majors have grown more than 60%. Thus, my top priority is to enhance our resources in order to augment the fast pace of growth, and provide quality learning opportunities for all of our students.

The department is dedicated to establishing the fundamental knowledge of life sciences all the way down to the molecular level. Our research- and teaching-intensive faculty members are committed to providing superior education to students in order to become successful global citizens. Inquiry-based hands-on research and data analysis help students to understand the natural world they live in, even if they choose not to pursue science or research careers after graduating. Our research-intensive faculty members also provide training opportunities in our graduate programs in biotechnology, brewing science, cancer biology, cell biology and biotechnology, cell and molecular biology, in which students devote longer and sustained periods of time to novel discoveries.

The Department of Biological Sciences is honored to host the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute's SEA-PHAGES program which offers students an authentic research experience during their freshman year. These students isolate, purify, and characterize their own novel bacterial viruses from a variety of samples. They also have the opportunity to visualize their viruses using advanced microscopic techniques and characterize their genomes based on sequencing.  Further, these trainees annotate these genomic sequences using bioinformatics tools to identify genes and gene functions. Finally, students are invited to present their findings in conferences. The year-long research experience has been so rewarding that we have expanded it to all 82 freshman students this year.

If you are a prospective undergraduate student, I encourage you to examine our coursework and laboratory offerings which make our biology, biomedical sciences, environmental science, microbiology, and medical laboratory science curricula so outstanding. Our new BS degree program in Biomedical Sciences continues to draw students who are interested in crafting a personalized degree in the health concentration of their choice.  

Finally, I invite all the alumni of our department to tell us where you are now and what made your education "one-of-a-kind" at USciences. Drop us an email at bio­ Whether you are a current student, an alumnus, or a friend of our department, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We have many events and activities happening throughout the semester.

I look forward to engaging with many of you in the near future.

Warm Regards,

Shivendra Sahi, PhD