The Department of Biochemistry at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India is a basic science department, actively involved in teaching, training and research, involving over 300 students each year, each at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Students in the department include those in undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD courses. Undergraduate courses taught include MBBS, BSc nursing, post-basic BSc nursing and various allied health science courses. The department innovates constantly to teach students in these courses as effectively as possible, to enable them to comprehend the relevance of biochemistry in their fields and to be able to apply this knowledge in their future work as health care professionals. Nurture and academic support of students through their course are also important inputs of the teaching program.

Training programs comprise MD and PhD courses in Biochemistry. These are maintained at high academic and professional standards. The third major activity in the department is research. Areas of work deal with medical conditions of relevance for India. Studies carried out deal with both basic science and clinical aspects of the conditions concerned; the aim is to contribute to a better understanding of such problems, which is essential to tackle them more effectively.


The Department of Biochemistry at Christian Medical College was started around 1956-57, as a part of the then Department of Chemistry in the institution. Professor S.C. Devadutta was the first head of this new department. In 1963, it became an independent Department of Biochemistry under the leadership of Professor Mary Dumm. It moved to its present location on the college campus in 1966. Both Professors Devadutta and Dumm were responsible for the early work that helped establish the department. Teaching of undergraduates began from the very start of the department. Recognition for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) course was obtained in 1964 and that for the Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Master’s (MSc) courses in 1967. The MSc course was discontinued by the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University in 2011.