Areas of Research

Sponsors of research in the Department of Chemistry include government agencies (NIH, NSF, DOE, DOD), private foundations (Ellison Medical Foundation, Smith Family Foundation, the Petroleum Research Fund, Sloan, Dreyfus), and corporations (Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Bristol Meyer Squibb, 3M). The research being conducted is recognized by many honors and awards for the faculty and their research groups and spans the breadth of chemistry. The research conducted in the Department is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative. It is facilitated by state of the art instrumentation and facilities, including the Life Science and Engineering building (dedicated in 2005).

Biochemical Research ExcellenceBiological Chemistry
Biological chemistry
research focuses on protein structure, peptide chemistry and biomodel systems, and bioinorganic chemistry (Karen Allen, John Caradonna, Xin Chen, Sean Elliott, Mark Grinstaff, Pinghua Liu, Deborah Perlstein, Tom Tullius, Adrian Whitty). Within biological chemistry, biophysical chemistry explores the connections between physical chemistry and the chemical function of biological molecules. Protein folding, nucleic acid structure, biological electron transfer, and macromolecular dynamics are some of the topics investigated by this group of researchers, using both experiment and computation (John Caradonna, Sean Elliott, Rosina Georgiadis, Mark Grinstaff, Pinghua Liu, Björn Reinhard, John Straub, Tom Tullius). Although most chemists use analytical chemical methods in their work, the research of some faculty focuses on the development of methods for the analysis of biological activity and detection of biological molecules (Sean Elliott, Rosina Georgiadis, Björn Reinhard).
Computational Research Excellence 

Computational & Theoretical Chemistry
The active areas of research in theoretical and computational chemistry and biophysics include quantum dynamics, photo-ionization and electron-molecule scattering theory, classical statistical mechanics of dynamical processes in liquids, and protein structure and dynamics (David Coker, Tom Keyes, John Straub).

Inorganic Research ExcellenceInorganic Chemistry
Research in inorganic chemistry spans the continuum from small molecule systems to metalloproteins, from the investigation of the reactivity properties of synthetic complexes to the use of metal-based reagents for probing protein-DNA interactions (John Caradonna, Linda Doerrer, Sean Elliott, Pinghua Liu, Tom Tullius).
Physical Research ExcellencePhysical Chemistry
Physical chemistry
ranges from the development of analytical methods for environmental contaminants and biomaterials to measurement of the ultrafast reactions of excited molecules in the gas and fluid phases, with a strong emphasis on spectroscopic methods (Rosina Georgiadis, Björn Reinhard, Larry Ziegler). Specialty areas include materials science, nanotechnology, and photonics and photochemistry (Xin Chen, Linda Doerrer, Mark Grinstaff, John Porco, Björn Reinhard, Larry Ziegler).
Organic Research ExcellenceSynthetic Organic Chemistry
The organic chemistry group emphasizes the synthesis of complex natural and unnatural molecules of biological significance with an emphasis on the development of new synthetic methodologies. Isolation of bioactive natural products and synthesis aimed at drug discovery and development and medicinal chemistry are other important areas of research. Newer areas of research are related to utilization of parallel and combinatorial synthesis methods in complex molecule synthesis. (Aaron Beeler, Ramesh Jasti, Jim Panek, John Porco, Scott Schaus, John Snyder).