The Department of Biochemistry of the University of Nairobi, a department in the Faculty of Science and Technology, Chiromo campus was founded in 1967 initially as two Departments: The Department of Medical Biochemistry and the Department of Veterinary Biochemistry to service the then Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Veterinary Sciences respectively. Prof. C. Gregolin (1967-1970) was the pioneer Chairman of Department of Medical Biochemistry and was very instrumental in grounding the basic foundation and infrastructure of our current Department. In the following span of nine years, three Professors, C.S. Rossi (1970-1971), L. Galzina (1971-1974), and L. Sartorelli (1974-1975) were at the helm of the Department as chairmen until 1975. Besides, Prof. R. Udail (1967- 1972) and Dr. V.B. Mbaya (1972 -1977) headed the Department of Veterinary Biochemistry. In 1977, the two Departments were merged to form the Department of Biochemistry under the leadership of Prof. G. Maina (1977-1983), the first African chair of the Department of Biochemistry. Later, Professor R. Njogu served as a chair for the next six years (1983-1989) and afterwards handed the mantle to Prof N. Olembo (1989 – 1992), Prof. D. Makawiti (1992 – 2002), Prof. J. Mukuria (2002 – 2006), Prof. P.K. Kinyanjui (2006 – 2015), and Prof. E. Muge (2015-2021) and currently by Dr. G. Juma from 2021 todate. In the Department is physically present in Chiromo Campus has been administratively managed from the Faculty of Health Sciences since its inception. Currently the Department is hosted in the Faculty of Science and Technology since July, 2021 following the University restructuring process that involved consolidation of Academic Departments and programmes. It was through this restructuring process that the Centre of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, CEBIB, which was initially the brain child of the department finally merged with the Department.

The first undergraduate students in the Department were enrolled in early years of 1970s with BSc Biochemistry being the only pre-gradaute program for the department. Biochemistry developed as a discipline from a strong Chemistry basis and the approach to teaching and research coming from that perspective. Initially, undergraduate students who wished to pursue Biochemistry enrolled in the university as chemists or biologists in their first year of study and then subsequently transit on merit to second year to study Biochemistry. This arrangement continued until the year 2008 when the programme was reviewed and the first cohort of direct entry students enrolled. This exposed more students to Biochemistry as a discipline and resulted in more students opting for Biochemistry as one of the major undergraduate BSc degrees in the University. However, other students from either Chemistry or Biology programmes have to-date continued to enroll into the programme. Initially, the programme focused on pure biochemistry, but with the advent of molecular biology and recombinant DNA technology, which impacted tremendously on the way research in Biochemistry was performed the programme was revised in the year 2008 to include these and other aspects to increase its market attractiveness and to keep pace with the evolving research. The postgraduate training in the department started with PhD Biochemistry and later with MSc in Biochemistry in 1986. The department currently offers postgraduate training in various fields of specialization covering Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of plants, animals and microbes. We also offer postgraduate courses in bioinformatics and Biotechnology both at Masters and Doctorate levels since 2013, Currently, all the 6 postgraduate programmes offered in the department have attracted large number of both local and international students and are considered among some of the university highly valued flagships programmes.  Today, the department of Biochemistry fulfills a key role of teaching and research in the Faculty of Science and Technology and has established itself as the leading Biochemistry Departments in the Kenyan Universities in producing well-trained students and for its high-quality research output. The department is also a very critical Service Department for students in other three faculties including Health Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture. The department has a current enrolment of close to 450 students with  26 academic members of staff,  2 adjunct faculty, 17 technical, 3 administrative and 2 support staff. Some of the international acclaimed and notable alumini of the department include Prof Mabel Imbuga, Prof Nyandieka, The late Prof Tumbo Oeri Prof R.Njogu, the late Prof Makawiti, the late Prof Maina, Prof Omwandho, Prof Laila Abbubakar among many others.