The discipline of 'Biochemistry' in Europe and the USA arose early last century largely out of that of 'Physiology'. As researchers in that period began to investigate details of the chemical basis to physiological phenomena, so (chemical and physical) techniques were developed to further these investigations. Indeed many of the internationally renowned departments of biochemistry were initially designated 'departments of physiological chemistry'. Witness for instance the internationally regarded 'Department of Physiological Chemistry' at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the 'Institute fur Physiologische Chemie' in Munich, Germany.
In Australia the first departments of biochemistry (some of which were closely affiliated with that of physiology), were located in the major cities of Sydn~y, Melbourne and Adelaide. Interestingly, in this context the author was one of the first (post)graduate students of the Biochemistry Department at the University of Queensland when it was built/established in 1962.
In Canberra, a Department of Biochemistry was one of several departments set up in the 1953-1954 period following the formal establishment of the John Curtin School of Medical Research; other departments set up there included Medical Chemistry, Physiology, Microbiology and Experimental Pathology. That department however was established solely to carry out research supported by research-only staff and postgraduate students. At that time no undergraduate teaching in biochemistry was carried out at the ANU - until the
Department-of Biochemistry in the now Faculties, was established.
As this document shows, what has evolved over the past thirty three years is a Department that has earned a widely-recognised national and international reputation in many areas of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology.
Foremost in this evolution has been the very high quality and dedication of both academic and general staff over these years together with major contributions from many excellent undergraduate and postgraduate students.