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Our School

Welcome to our School

You are very welcome to the website of the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at University College Cork. The heart of the school is its excellent academic, support and research staff who are committed to continually improving the students experience and who strive to push research forward into unexplored molecular and cellular territories. Whether you are a prospective undergraduate or postgraduate student, postdoctoral researcher, staff member or a member of the public, we hope that you will find this site useful and informative. Please explore our site to learn more about the teaching and research activities of the school.

Professor Justin McCarthy, Head of School

The science of Biochemistry grew from the realisation that many of the processes of Biology evident at the macroscopic level in plants and animals such as movement, reproduction and death, arise from molecules and processes that function at the molecular level. Amazingly, living systems such as whales and bacteria, so very different in scale and structure, are made of very similar molecular building-blocks like proteins and nucleic acids which work together in a highly-ordered way to solve the problems of life.

Recent research has identified cellular processes underlying important diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease which has resulted in the new science of Cell Biology. The School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology teaches courses in most areas of molecular life sciences including genetics, protein structure, biomedical science, bioinformatics and cell signalling. The School is particularly research-active in the areas of Proteomics, Genetics and Cancer Biology.

You are invited to explore this site to find out more about our welcoming and dynamic school. You may be interested in becoming one of our undergraduate or postgraduate students, availing of our teaching and research facilities, or following news of our alumni and events.

We also welcome self-funded graduate students and researchers (please contact the Head of School).

About our School

The School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology was established in 2013 and evolved from the Department of Biochemistry, which was established in 1945. The School is one of the most successful life sciences schools in the nation and is committed to excellence in education, training and research.

The heart of our School is in its excellent academic, support and research staff who are committed to continually improving the student experience and who strive to push research forward into unexplored molecular and cellular territories. Our School has internationally recognised researchers in several areas, modern research facilities and a very successful record in research and biotechnology.

Our vibrant educational programmes for undergraduates is centred on educating each student in the fundamental elements of their chosed discipline, in the molecular, genetic, cellular and analytical areas. Embedded in this is a discovery-based laboratory programme aimed at a) training the student in the practical aspects of biochemistry, genetics or biomedical science and b) providing the student with a stimulating and challenging experience in experimental research.

The School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology contributes to internationally recognised teaching and research programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The School offers a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Biochemistry via CK402 Biological and Chemical Sciences. The School also participates at different levels in a number of other degree courses at UCC. In the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science (SEFS) staff contribute to the teaching of Chemistry, Chemistry with Forensic Science, Food Science, Neuroscience, Nutritional Science, and Physiology degree programmes. The School is also highly involved in the management, development and teaching of the Biomedical ScienceChemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds and Genetics degree programmes. At postgraduate level the School is the anchor school for the MSc in Biotechnology, the MSc in Molecular and Cell Biology, HDip in the Design and Manufacture of BioPharmaceuticals and MRes in Biochemistry and Biosciences. School Staff also contribute to the teaching of wide variety of degree programmes in the College of Medicine and Health including; Dentistry, PharmacyMedicine and Nursing.

Research in the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology is directed by Principal Investigator’s (PIs) and our Research Themes spans the biomedical, biotechnological and environmental science areas.  We use all of the modern tools of molecular/cellular biology, protein biochemistry, molecular genetics, signal transduction, immunology, bioinformatics and analytical biochemistry to address fundamental and applied research questions in these challenging areas. 

Our principal research themes are: 

The School prides itself on its high quality publication record, high level of innovation and commercialisation, and its central role interfacing with a variety of other basic science and clinical Schools within the University and the scientific and biotechnological community worldwide.

The School’s research laboratories are located in modern purpose-built accommodation with state of the art facilities in the Western Gateway Building, Biosciences Research Institute and the Analytical & Biological Chemistry Research Facility at the School of Pharmacy.

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is:

  1. To serve the community, the nation and world through the provision of the highest standards of education and training in the broad area of Biochemistry and Cell Biology.
  2. To pursue and disseminate Biochemical and Cell Biology research that will further the scientific knowledge of mankind and lead to improvements in health and welfare. 

The guiding principles for our mission are:

  • To conduct our work and business with the highest standards of professional ethics and integrity
  • Commitment to excellence in teaching and training through continuous development and improvement of educational and training programmes
  • Commitment to excellence in research through discovery, innovation and creative thinking
  • To provide leadership in the broad biochemistry area for the people of the community, the province and the nation
  • To provide a safe, challenging and stimulating work environment
  • To promote professional and personal growth through education, training and development
  • To treat our students and staff with the utmost respect and dignity
  • Operate under policies that are fair and equal to all.

School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology

Scoil na Bithcheimice agus na Cillbhitheolaíochta

University College Cork