About the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
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 the site to learn more about the teaching and research activities of the school.
Professor Rosemary O'Connor, Head of School.
You are very welcome to the web site of the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology at University College Cork. 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).
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 the school is 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 programme for undergraduates is centred on educating each student in the fundamental elements of biochemistry, 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 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 Science, Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds and Genetics degree programmes. At postgraduate level the school is the anchor school for the MSc in Biotechnology and the MSc in Molecular and Cell Biology. Staff of the school also contribute to the teaching of wide variety of degree programmes in the College of Medicine and Health including; Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medicine and Nursing.
Research in the School of Biochemistry and Cell Biology is directed by Principal Investigator’s (PIs) and 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: Bioanalysis and Proteomics, Cancer Biology, Cell Signalling and Trafficking, Molecular Genetics, Neurobiology and Translational Control. The School prides itself on its high quality publication record, high level of innovation and commercialization, 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 is:
- to serve the people of the community, the province and the nation through the provision of the highest standards of education and training in the broad biochemistry area and
- to pursue biochemical research that will further the scientific knowledge of mankind and lead to improvements in human and animal 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
University College Cork (UCC) was founded as Queen’s College Cork in 1845 to provide university-level education to the province of Munster (Ireland’s southernmost province). It now has more than 20,000 full-time students in fields as diverse as Medicine, Science, Engineering, Law, Business and Humanities and more than 1,600 staff. The student body is quite diverse, with almost 3,000 overseas students studying here from some 98 countries. UCC prides itself especially on the quality of its graduate education and research activity, notably in biomedical, molecular and cell biology, food and environmental research. It has one of the highest research grant incomes of Irish Universities and consistently performs well in international rankings placing it consistently in the top 2% of universities worldwide. UCC increased its standing in all ranking systems in 2013. The University has an especially beautiful campus within walking distance of the City Centre and with more than 3,000 student beds available nearby in modern purpose-built student accommodation. The University’s main sports centre is the Mardyke Arena which includes gyms, squash courts, 25m swimming pool and many other facilities. UCC also has a wide range of student clubs and societies.
Cork City is listed as one of the top ten places to visit in the world according to the Lonely Planet guide which says Cork “has always had an unshakeable self-confidence and innate sense of pride” - a description which is equally applicable to UCC itself.
Cork City is just the right size to feel at home quickly, and yet has all the character of a cosmopolitan city. The city and surroundings have a population of approximately 250,000 with an international airport and ferryport nearby and they are well-connected to the national rail, motorway and bus networks. Cork has always been a major centre for the arts in Ireland but, since its designation as European City of Culture in 2005, the city has upped its game significantly. The calendar of major festivals hosted in Cork throughout the year caters for all tastes, with events in performance and visual arts, choral singing, comedy, film, folk music, jazz, literature, writing, and traditional music, to name but a few.
Cork is also the gateway to some of the most scenic areas of Ireland. County Cork is a short car journey from the city, with stunning coastline, pristine beaches and rolling countryside .