The proposal to create a Department of Biochemistry was submitted to the University in January of 1961. In September of 1965, the University officially recognized the department and set forth the guidelines for operation and hiring of Dr.Henry Peck. Recruiting of talented scientist included the hiring of John Brewer (1966), Clanton Black & James Travis (1967), Daniel derVartanian, Richard DeSa, Richard Eck & Joseph Mendicino (1968), and John Lee, Jean LeGall, Lars Ljungdahl & Prakash Srivasstava (1969). The department operated within the Robinson Research Building, and eventually recieved support for construction of Fred C. Davidson Life Science Building in 1984.
Dr. Peck continued to head the department and recruit talented faculty, staff and students. Dr. Peck retired in 1991, and passed the leadership to John Wampler who served as Interim Head (1991-1993) until the hiring of J. David Puett: Head (1993-2006). In 1994, the name was changed to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Dr. Alan Przybyla served as Interim Head during the Summer of 2006, when Dr. Stephen L. Hajduk was recruited as Head (2006-2014). Later, Dr. Claiborne V.C. Glover III served as Interim Head (2014-2015) while the committee searched for the current Head, Dr. Christopher West (2015-present).
We thank Dr. John Wampler for providing the following historical documents: