Student Chapter of ASBMB Welcomes Undergraduates, Provides Valuable Resources


Biochemistry undergraduates have a new and improved student organization to join this year, as the Undergraduate Biochemistry Student Organization (UBSO) has morphed into a student chapter of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

The organization’s first meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22 in Room 1116 of the Hector F. DeLuca Biochemistry Building (420 Henry Mall). The UW­–Madison Chapter of ASBMB will give students numerous resources, such as career path exploration and peer-to-peer networking. Sam Tesch, the president of the student organization, says it can help students meet others in their major to get advice on course selection and study groups.

Group photo of ASBMB student chapter members ice skating
One of the social events last year was ice

“We often don’t realize how great it can be to meet other like-minded students,” Tesch says. “In ASBMB you can meet your peers, as well as explore research opportunities and career paths.”

The organization also hosts a professional school panel, where they bring in a medical student, a pharmacy student, a doctoral student, among others, to talk to the organization. There is also a career fair each year where students meet with individuals who work in various industries.

This coming year, the organization looks to hold more outreach events, volunteer opportunities, and even socials. Tesch adds that a mission of ASBMB — a national organization that unites scientists in biochemistry and molecular biology, publishes journals, and hosts conferences — is to provide knowledge to the community so they are looking forward to meeting that goal.

“The student chapter of ASBMB is open to all biochemistry majors but also all life sciences majors across campus, from genetics to microbiology,” he says. “Come join us to meet your peers, learn how others have navigated getting research experience in labs, and more.”

Meeting schedule — all meetings will be held at 6 p.m. in Room 1116 of the Hector F. DeLuca Biochemistry Building:

  • Thursday, Sept. 22 — Kickoff meeting
  • Thursday, Oct. 6 — Tips for getting into a research lab
  • Thursday, Nov. 3 — Advising meeting with undergraduate student services coordinator
  • Thursday, Nov. 17 — Graduate school panel
  • Thursday, Dec. 1 — Social event

The UBSO was around for more than a decade but its leaders decided last year to become a student chapter of ASBMB. Biochemistry professor Mike Cox, the organization’s faculty advisor, believes it allows the students access to numerous resources. Undergraduate Student Services Coordinator Kendra Gurnee also advises the group.

“The national organization of ASBMB is trying to get student chapters and give them resources like educational materials, student programs at their annual conference, and fellowships,” Cox says. “For undergraduates in Biochemistry it establishes a connection with their department and fellow peers early on because students typically don’t take a biochemistry course until their junior year after taking their pre-requisites. By joining they can gain that really helpful peer network.”