Biochemistry is a central basic discipline to all branches of Biology/ Life Sciences. It deals with the chemical nature, function, structure, energetic and pathways of synthesis and degradation of simple to complex biological and/or cellular molecules to understand the various aspects of cellular and molecular functions in development, health and disease with applications in Biotechnology and Medicine.
The Department of Biochemistry at the University of Hyderabad, with 13 faculty having on an average of 4-5 years postdoctoral research experience in some of the world’s premier laboratories, offers primarily M.Sc Biochemistry, a two year post graduate degree and Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy) in Biochemistry. The faculty have earned several National and International distinctions in terms of fellowships and awards. It is one of the most vibrant and visible Departments among the Indian Universities, be that in terms of its location, the competition for admission to the M.Sc Programme, student to faculty ratio, teaching experience of the faculty, publications, extra mural research grants/ support the faculty generates from National and International Organizations, and in terms of infrastructural facilities. In addition, the faculties are able to forge collaboration in the new and interdisciplinary research areas such as Nanobiology, Medical Biotechnology, and Systems Biology etc. On an average 40-50% of our students are qualified in their first attempt of national entrance examinations conducted by CSIR, UGC, ICMR, etc., for research fellowships and for higher studies abroad. The Department attracts several distinguished scientists/ researchers from abroad who are ready to lecture or give seminars on cutting edge research areas in modern Biology.
Grants and Infra Structural Facilities: In addition to various extramural research grants, the department, the School and the University is supported by some core grants sanctioned by FIST (Funds for Infrastructure) by DST, New Delhi, CREBB (Center for Research on Education in Biology and Biotechnology) by DBT, New Delhi, PURSE (PROMOTION OF UNIVERSITY RESEARCH AND SCIENTIFIC EXCELLENCE), by DST, New Delhi, CAS (Center for Advanced Studies) and UPE ( University potential for Excellence) by UGC, New Delhi that helped to obtain facilities such as high speed and ultra centrifuges, spectrophotometers, deep freezers, orbital shakers, PCR machines, CO2 incubators, versa doc, Phosphor imager, Bioplex microarray, HPLC, fluorescence and inverted microscopes, ELISA Readers, etc. in addition to several high end general facilities such as proteomics, metabolomics, genomics, confocal and transmission microscopes, CD spectrometer, atomic force microscopy that are available in the School of Life Sciences or in the Central instrumentation Facility of the University of Hyderabad. More recently the Biochemistry Department has also been sanctioned DST-FIST level-1 for 5 years and UGC-SAP-DRS-1 for 5 years. New infrastructure will be added to the Departmental facilities with DST-FIST funding. UGC-SAP-DRS-1 is in the thrust area “Protein interactions,protein homeostasis in development and disease”.
Programmes of Study
M.Sc. Biochemistry: Students admitted to M.Sc have to carry out a course work of 4 semesters that include various courses: Intermediary Metabolism-1, Biophysical Chemistry, Computer Applications in Biology, Genetics, Microbiology (I semester), Intermediary Metabolism II, Enzymology, Molecular Biology I, Structural biology (II Semester), Basic Immunology, Molecular Biology II, Bioenergetics and Biomembranes (III Semester), Nutritional and Clinical Biochemistry (IV Semester). In addition, the Department also offers elective courses such as Endocrine Biochemistry, Biostatistics, Neurochemistry, Molecular Virology, Genomics and Proteomics (III semester) and Immunochemistry, Protein Phosphorylation and Signal Transduction, Genetic disorders, Protein-DNA interactions (IV Semester). In the first three semesters the students have a lab course on Biochemical techniques and have to carry out a project work in the second year (in the III and IV Semesters) that has to be defended before the Departmental Faculty. M.Sc examinations include three internal tests and a final test in each of the courses. While attendance of 75% is a must in each course, successful completion requires a minimum of 40% marks finally in each course.
Ph.D. Biochemistry: Successful completion of Ph.D requires the students have to clear the course work of 12 credits, attend and participate in the journal club meetings, submit half yearly research reports before the doctoral committee members and have to submit the research work that requires to be defended in the presence of Departmental and School Faculty in the form of a pre Ph.D seminar prior to submission of their thesis. After submission of thesis and on receipt of the reports from external examiners, the candidate has to also defend his/her thesis after the reports before an external examiner. The Department also has recognized institutes such as the CDFD, NIN, NIAB, LVPEI, DRILS, as external institutes for Ph.D.
Admission to M.Sc and Ph.D Programmes: Candidates who have passed B.Sc with a minimum of 60% marks in aggregate of Science subjects with Chemistry or Biochemistry as one of the subjects are eligible to apply for the admission to M.Sc Biochemistry. However, the selection is based on their performance in the written examinations conducted at the National level. The paper consists of two sections: Part A and Part B consisting of 25 and 75 objective type of questions respectively with multiple choices. Questions are drawn from various areas of Biology and Chemistry from the degree level. Part A will consist of 25 analytical questions, and Part A marks will be taken into account to break the tie, if any among candidates.
Students having a Masters degree in Biochemistry or in a closely related area with at least 55% marks or an MBBS degree with a minimum of 55% marks and are qualified for a Junior Research fellowship (JRF) in any of the National Entrance Examinations like CSIR/UGC, ICMR, and DBT-A etc.., or selected directly for SRF- by any of the Ministries of Science and Technology (DST, DBT, CSIR, ICMR etc.,), Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship holders, and also DST- Inspire Junior Research Fellowship Awardees are eligible to apply for Ph.D admission. However, the selection is based on their performance in an interview.
With the help of various research grants, the Department is maintaining numerous research facilities such as high speed and ultra centrifuges, spectrophotometers, deep freezers, orbital shakers, PCR machines, CO2incubators, versa doc, Phosphor imager, Bioplex microarray, HPLC, fluorescence and inverted microscopes, ELISA Readers, etc. in addition to several high end general facilities such as proteomics, metabolomics, genomics, confocal and transmission microscopes, CD spectrometer, atomic force microscopy that are available in the School of Life Sciences or in the Central instrumentation Facility of the University of Hyderabad.