Chemistry & Biochemistry

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department—with outstanding faculty, students, and support staff—is among the leading departments in research at BYU. We’ve had remarkable success in many areas, including calorimetry, macrocycles, cancer therapy, and chromatography. One of the reasons for our research progress is highly qualified graduate students. While our programs do require coursework, they are primarily research-based. We offer exceptional research opportunities in many areas. Our research groups also often include cross-disciplinary collaboration with faculty and students in biology, botany, engineering, and physics, as well as with other areas in chemistry. Students leave prepared for professional careers in industry, government, and education.Below, you’ll find video interviews with grad students and basic info on the program. For more details and to apply, visit the department page and BYU Graduate Studies.

Research Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

    Analytical Chemistry

    Students in analytical chemistry explore topics using instrumentation to investigate areas such as pharmaceutical development, new materials, methods for cancer detection and environmental pollution sampling and testing. Analytical chemists also engage in development, testing and characterization of new instrumentation.

    Areas of Emphasis

    ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY, MINIATURIZED MASS SPECTROMETRY, MATERIAL AND SURFACE ANALYSIS, SPECTROSCOPY, MICROFLUIDIC DEVICES

    Associated Faculty
    Daniel E. Austin
    David V. Dearden
    Paul B. Farnsworth
    Steven R. Goates
    Jaron C. Hansen
    Milton L. Lee
    Matthew R. Linford
    Adam T. Woolley

  • Biochemistry

    Biochemistry

    Research in the biochemistry area addresses several questions relating to cell division, proliferation and death, protein turnover in specific diseases or with calorie restriction, protein folding and protein complex assembly, mechanisms involved in cancer, viral transmission and sequestration in HIV/AIDS, metals in biological processes, including iron homeostasis in disease, better molecular and bioanalytical probes to screen therapeutics or pathogen presence, identification of serum biomarkers diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, or for predicting complications of pregnancy or to provide a blood test for endometriosis.
    Areas of Emphasis

    BACTERIAL GENETICS, CELL SIGNALING, CLINICAL CHEMISTRY, IMMUNOLOGY, VIROLOGY, PROTEOMICS

    Associated Faculty
    Emily A. Bates
    David M. Belnap
    Gregory F. Burton
    Allen R. Buskirk
    Steven W. Graves
    John T. Prince
    Daniel L. Simmons
    Barry M. Willardson

  • Inorganic Chemistry

    Inorganic Chemistry

    Metals and the materials made with them are at the center of this discipline. Students research in the frontiers of nanomaterials, metaloproteins, and selective binding agents.

    Areas of Emphasis

    BIOINORGANIC CHEMISTRY, MACROCYCLE–BASED ION CHROMATOGRAPHY, NANOMATERIALS, SEPARATIONS

    Associated Faculty
    Roger G. Harrison
    John D. Lamb
    Richard K. Watt

  • Organic Chemistry

    Organic Chemistry

    This area extends into the creative sphere of building new compounds, which have biomedical applications. One project has worked to develop new antimicrobial agents that cause fewer side effects.

    Areas of Emphasis

    DESIGN OF NOVEL PROTEINS USING UNNATURAL AMINO ACIDS, NEW SYNTHETIC METHODS, GLYCOLIPID IMMUNOLOGY, MODIFICATION OF NATURALLY OCCURRING NUCLEOSIDES, PROTEIN FOLDING AND STRUCTURE, THEORETICAL STUDIES OF ORGANIC REACTION MECHANISMS, TOTAL SYNTHESIS OF NATURAL PRODUCTS

    Associated Faculty
    Merritt B. Andrus
    Steven L. Castle
    Daniel H. Ess
    Young W. Ham
    Matt A. Peterson
    Joshua L. Price
    Paul B. Savage

  • Physical Chemistry

    Physical Chemistry

    Physical chemistry is concerned with how molecular and crystal structure affects the properties of matter and the details of chemical reactions. Students in this area work with state-of-the-art spectroscopy systems, low temperature calorimeters, and quantum chemical calculations.

    Areas of Emphasis

    CALORIMETRY, NANOMATERIALS, COMPUTATIONAL CHEMISTRY, CHEMICAL DYNAMICS & KINETICS, STATISTICAL MECHANICS OF NANOSCALE SYSTEMS, SPECTROSCOPY, ULTRAFAST SPECTROSCOPY & DYNAMICS, STRUCTURE-FUNCTION RELATIONSHIPS AT INTERFACES

    Associated Faculty
    Matthew C. Asplund
    Juliana Boerio-Goates
    James E. Patterson
    Eric T. Sevy
    Brian F. Woodfield

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