April 1, 2023 — For Matthew S. Gentry, Ph.D., working in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology is like being a subcellular mechanic. If cells and tissues are the engine, then scientists are the ones striving to decipher how it works, what is broken and how to fix it to get the car back on the road.
“We provide the foundation for discovery in the molecular life sciences,” said Gentry, who joined the UF College of Medicine as chair of the department of biochemistry and molecular biology in August. “We look at everything from the atomic level to the entire organism and everything in between. At the atomic level, we are determining what proteins do, what fats do, what sugars do and what nucleic acids do. Once you understand how those four entities interact and can define how the cell functions, you can identify what goes wrong in a disease and start to develop therapeutic targets.”
With three main pillars of focus, support from UF and UF Health leadership and a new chair in place, the department of biochemistry and molecular biology is poised to grow its interdisciplinary research endeavors, train the next generation of scientists and build upon its culture of collaboration and innovation.
“We strive to conduct world-class science, publish in top-tier journals, increase the grant portfolio to a top federally funded department and attract trainees who want access to leading-edge research facilities to collaborate and complement each other,” Gentry said. “We want to do that in a way where we challenge each other while still being supportive, having an inclusive environment where we all bring our ideas to the table.”
Learn more about the department of biochemistry and molecular biology’s three best-in-class research pillars below.