Biochemistry, Structural, and Stem Cell Biology Theme (BSSB)

The BSSB Program provides training opportunities in a multitude of contemporary areas of basic and translational research. Our goal is to prepare our students for independent research careers in academic research institutions and industry. Our students have access to a large pool of mentors from across UAB with expertise in varied research areas, specializing in:

  • understanding the chemistry of life (biochemistry),
  • a mechanistic understanding of life at the molecular level (structural biology), and
  • the study of self-renewal, differentiation, and regeneration of cells (stem cell biology).


BSSB training incorporates hands-on experience in state-of-the-art methodologies to study a wide array of biological and pathobiological processes. Our research programs are challenging and contemporary, and teach both laboratory skills and communication techniques vital to presenting research in oral or published form. Our goal is to teach the skills, implant the inspiration, encourage imagination, and nurture the dedication essential for our graduates to become world-class researchers.

Why should you join the BSSB Theme at UAB?

Our theme leaders and mentors are intimately involved in training students to achieve their potential, both in the classroom and in experimental settings. Our faculty are leaders in their respective fields but also have a passion for training the next generation of scientists. Research conducted by our students and faculty provides the groundwork for a fundamental understanding of a diverse array of biological and pathobiological processes — supporting the development of novel treatment options for human diseases and provides novel molecular tools for research and medicine.

Where will this degree take you?

Our primary goal is to train our students for a future career in science and in academic and industry research. We also prepare students for alternative careers such as teaching, science policy, and science writing.

Welcome 2017 BSSB Incoming Students

Morgan Davis, Spring Hill College
Nathalia Melo, Depauw University
Gunars Osis, University of Florida
Samuel Smith, Samford University
Kaysaw Tuy, Bradley University
Jun Wang, Georgetown University
Carson Zois, Eastern Michigan University

BSSB Theme Contacts

Theme Director

Theme Director

Dr. Thomas Ryan
(205) 996.2175
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Theme Co-Director

Theme Co-Director

Dr. Chad Petit
(205) 975.3398
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