About us

Edward Voorhees established the Department of Soil Chemistry and Bacteriology in 1901, the first department of agricultural microbiology in the country and the progenitor of the current Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology. The Biochemistry component of the department had its genesis at the School of Agriculture as the Department of Agricultural Biochemistry in 1925 under Dr. Walter C. Russell. In 1965, the Departments of Agricultural Microbiology and Agricultural Biochemistry were merged to form the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology.

Today the department carries on this rich heritage in both disciplines using state-of-the-art techniques and instrumentation. The research that is conducted in the department focuses on environmental aspects of microbiology (heavy metal and chlorinated hydrocarbon transformations, blue-green bacteria, antibiotic residues and biomass degradation) and biochemistry/toxicology (endrocrine disrupters, lead's mechanism of action, dioxins effects, genomics and proteomics). It is, however the current faculty's intellectual prowess that continues to make new discoveries that will solve problems of the 21st Century.