Biochemistry is the application of chemistry to the study of biological processes at the cell and molecular level. It is both a life science and a chemical science that explores the chemistry of living organisms and the molecular basis for the changes which occur in cells. It emerged as a distinct discipline in the early 20th century when scientists combined biology, chemistry and physiology to investigate the chemistry of living organisms.
Biochemistry has practically served as the foundation for understanding all biological processes and also provided explanations for the causes of many diseases in humans, animals and plants. The knowledge and methods developed by biochemists are applied to all fields of biological science, medicine, agriculture and many chemical and health related industries. There are many areas of science which require the understanding in principle of Biochemistry. These include neurochemistry, bio-organic chemistry, clinical chemistry, food biochemistry, physical biochemistry, molecular genetics, biochemical pharmacology, toxicology and immunochemistry.
The Department of Biochemistry is one of the seven Departments in the School of Biological Sciences. Students who come to the department are required to take certain foundational courses from other departments in the School of Biological Sciences and School of Physical Sciences in the first and second years. The third and fourth years are committed to the training of students in fundamental as well as advanced concepts in biochemistry. The training comprises lectures and laboratory sessions. Successful candidates at the end of the fourth year are awarded a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Biochemistry.
The department is also committed to bioscience research as part of its contribution to the University’s agenda of strengthening the government’s socio-economic programmes and also to improve its scholarly methods. The three major areas of departmental research activities are:
- Biochemistry of Food and Nutrition
- Cell and Biomolecular Structure and Function
- Pharmaceutical Biochemistry and Biochemical Toxicology
Students of the department are members of the Ghana Biochemistry Students Association, a viable national association that comprises biochemistry students from the public universities.