Why Biochemistry?

My mom always told me that when I was younger my favorite word was why. Years later in my third year of college, not much has changed. I remember in middle school learning about the digestive system and wondering how the “stomach juices” broke down proteins and how the “pancreas juices” broke down fats. In high school I became hooked on chemistry and I was absolutely sold on biochemistry when I learned about the Krebs Cycle and I had more questions at the end of the metabolism unit than at the beginning.

 While I am most interested in the study of metabolism within biochemistry, other fields such as structural biochemistry have grown immensely in the past few decades. The field also intersects with molecular biology, cell biology, biophysics, and many other fields that intersect at the molecule/cell level.

Early in my college career, I looked into the courses that were offered for the biology major, the chemistry major, and the biochemistry major. I realized that the biochemistry major offered the best of both the chemistry and the biology worlds. While biochemistry can be most simply defined as the chemistry of life, there are countless fields that contribute to this study.I also feel that the biochemistry major is the best undergraduate paths to take in my pursuit of a medical degree. It has been incredibly helpful to be able to understand how things work at both the “bottom up” and “top down” level. After all, biochemistry is where chemistry and biology meet at this interface.

Throughout my biochemistry classes and electives as well as my experience in a research lab, I have gained a better understanding of not only how things work, but how these results are obtained. I am able to search for and understand primary literature relating to a variety of fields of study as well as design and execute independent research with the realistic expectation that everything may not work on the first try. Going into medical school, I feel that I will be adequately prepared for the challenging courses ahead as well as motivated to take on challenges such as getting on a clinical research project. Studying biochemistry at Muhlenberg has been one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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