About Us

Welcome to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Stavros Lomvardas, PhD

Stavros Lomvardas, PhD

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the webpage of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S). Members of our department are located on three Columbia University Campuses: the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC), the Zuckerman Mind, Brain, and Behavior Institute on the Manhattanville Campus, and the School of Arts & Sciences at the Morningside Campus.

Our faculty applies the full spectrum of contemporary biophysical, biochemical, and computational technologies to study fundamental biological mechanisms in a wide range of model organisms. Areas of expertise include structural biology, molecular neuroscience, developmental biology, virology, RNA biology, chromatin biology and genomics, adaptive immunity in CRISPR-Cas9 systems, and molecular evolution. Despite having such wide range of interests, our faculty and trainees have extensive collaborations that maximize our scientific synergy and bolster the sense of community and belonging among members of the department.

The scientific contributions of our faculty have been recognized by numerous international prizes and awards, including three Nobel Prize winners: Eric Kandel (Physiology, 2000), Richard Axel (Physiology, 2004), and Joachim Frank (Chemistry, 2017). Moreover, 11 members of our department are members of the U.S. National Academy of Science. With an exquisite group of junior faculty, i.e., Assistant Professors Sam Sternberg, Anthony Fitzpatrick, Anna-Lena Steckelberg, Anum Glasgow, and Ya-Cheng Liao, we are confident that our Department will continue to produce exciting, rigorous, creative and inspiring science for years to come.

As a newly appointed Chair of this historic Department, I seek to build upon a legacy of scientific excellence while expanding our intellectual and cultural diversity and improving the sense of equity and inclusion for all our members. After all, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia pioneered a culture of inclusion from the 1940s, when it became the home department of Barbara W. Low, an X-ray crystallographer that rose to scientific eminence in a male-dominated world. With the generous and continuous support of our benefactors, Roy and Diana Vagelos, I envision that our department will foster a new generation of pioneers and laureates from diverse backgrounds, including groups that have been marginalized in biochemistry and molecular and biophysics. In the process, we will train and educate new generations of students and postdocs that will make paradigm shifting discoveries and will experience the joy of doing transformative science in a safe and supportive environment.  Please join us in this journey!  

Stavros Lomvardas, PhD
Roy and Diana Vagelos Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
Irving Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and Neuroscience