biochemistry and molecular biology professor and student
Lena Haddad ’15, right, is shown with her Chapman mentor, molecular biologist Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith, Ph.D. The rigorous undergraduate program recently earned a top accreditation honor. (File photo)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program Receives Prestigious Accreditation The honor benefits undergraduates aiming for graduate school.

Chapman’s biochemistry and molecular biology program has earned accreditation by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). Nationally fewer than 100 institutions have received the prestigious accreditation.

The biochemistry and molecular biology program at Chapman University has earned accreditation by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) for the maximum period of seven years. Nationally, fewer than 100 institutions have received the distinction.

A Benefit for Students

Most importantly, the new honor is helpful to the program’s undergraduates applying to graduate school. With accreditation, students in the program are eligible to sit for the ASBMB Certification Exam, which provides them the opportunity to demonstrate their competitiveness with peers from across the nation.

“The accreditation proves that we meet national standards in education, including curriculum, the facilities and equipment needed, the faculty expertise needed, breadth and depth of biochemistry knowledge, and an inclusive, supportive learning environment,” says Nicolai Bonne, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry and leader of the accreditation effort.

The achievement reflects the growing culture of excellence in the sciences at Chapman, says Jason Keller, Ph.D., interim dean of Schmid College of Science and Technology.

“Accreditation from the ASBMB is well-deserved recognition of the incredible work of the students and faculty in the biochemistry and molecular biology program at Chapman University,” Keller said. “Over the past decade, Chapman’s program has emerged as an academically rigorous major with a strong focus on student-faculty research. Its alumni have gone on to top medical and dental schools, won competitive awards to support their graduate research and brought their impressive skills to a range of industry challenges. It is wonderful to see this excellence recognized by the ASBMB.”

Among those students is Chapman’s first Rhodes Scholar, Vidal Arroyo ’19.

Top Notch Facilities a Plus

In their report, ASBMB committee members particularly noted the program’s excellent teaching and laboratory facilities in the Keck Center for Science and Engineering, the Grand Challenges Initiative in the Schmid College of Science and Technology, and the University’s focus on diversity.

Bonne led the successful application process along with program co-directors Marco Bisoffi, Ph.D., and Elaine Schwartz, Ph.D. Among the challenges was meeting the reviewing committee’s demand for tightly written curriculum summaries.

“Our faculty are excellent at employing active learning strategies, and I felt it important to describe our great efforts thoroughly. With only 250 words available, describing the strategies used in so many courses was tricky,” he said.

Professor Emeritus Michael Griffin, Ph.D., established the biochemistry and molecular biology program at Chapman in 2008. Griffin was delighted by the accreditation news.

“It is nice to receive a professional acknowledgment that our program is rigorous, relevant and respected, having met all criteria of the ASBMB. Many thanks to Dr. Bonne for finding the time and sustainable effort to tackle this,” Griffin said.

Read about Chapman’s biochemistry and molecular biology students and alumni >>

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