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St. Bonaventure University's biochemistry program receives national accreditation through 2027

Jan 14, 2021 |

ASBMB logoThe biochemistry program at St. Bonaventure University has been approved for accreditation by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) through 2027.

"This is great news, and national recognition of the quality of our programs,” said Dr. Xiaoning Zhang, professor of biology and director of St. Bonaventure’s biochemistry program. “Accreditation for a full seven-year term by such a prestigious professional organization speaks to the high-value training and education we provide our students."

Founded in 1906, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is one of the largest molecular life science societies in the world. Accreditation by ASBMB is recognition that a program upholds the highest standards of quality and innovation in biochemistry and molecular biology education.
St. Bonaventure’s biochemistry program received provisional three-year ASBMB accreditation in 2018. The granting of accreditation for a full seven-year term is particularly noteworthy, said Zhang.
“A seven-year accreditation is very significant. It is only granted to programs that provide sufficient evidence to meet all the standards established by professionals in the field. These include things such as facilities and equipment, lab safety, diversity and inclusion, faculty and curriculum,” said Zhang. “It underscores their confidence in our program for the next seven years.”
Accreditors cited two “particularly noteworthy” aspects of St. Bonaventure’s biochemistry program: its attention to working safely during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of its safety training, and its extensive laboratory experience for biochemistry majors.
Rich and diverse involvement in authentic research is a hallmark of St. Bonaventure’s program, said Zhang.
“Our biochemistry program curriculum includes a one-year research requirement, with additional research opportunity options. Students also present their research as their senior capstone in a formal setting. In addition, biochemistry majors are eligible for summer research scholarships and may also be invited to apply for an endowed Worden Award, a monetary grant supporting mentored research during their senior year,” said Zhang.
“A 4.0 grade point average doesn’t necessarily secure a job or a seat in graduate school anymore,” she added. “Today, professionals are looking for college graduates who have invested themselves in academics, research and STEM outreach. We provide the opportunity for students to acquire that full package.”
Accreditation is “a direct result of Dr. Zhang’s hard work and dedication to St. Bonaventure and to the biochemistry program,” said Dr. David Hilmey, professor of chemistry and dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. “Our biochemistry program is of the highest quality and full national accreditation from ASBMB underscores the excellence that our students experience. Dr. Zhang’s teaching, research, and mentorship of our students has led us to this great accomplishment.”
Accreditation is an endorsement of the efforts of many at the university, said Zhang.
“I am grateful for the work that everyone has put in to make our program stand out at the national level. This puts us on track for the next seven years, and I am very excited and optimistic for the future of our program,” she said.
Biochemistry majors are the “real winners here,” said Zhang, adding events of the past year underscore the need for science education and the opportunities for students.
“The record-speed development of COVID vaccines by scientists is a strong testimonial for how science can save lives. Biochemistry and molecular biology play a central role in this exciting discovery process,” she said.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2020, St. Bonaventure was named the #2 regional university value in New York and #3 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.

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