Centers & Institues

The Department of Chemistry houses a number of collaborative, interdisciplinary and interdepartmental research laboratories, groups, centers and institutes.

Computational Science (CSci) is an emerging interdisciplinary field that uses computer simulation to solve problems in scientific and engineering disciplines. It is recognized by nearly all national scientific societies as a third way of advancing knowledge coequal with the traditional methods of theory and experimentation. In-silico simulations and modeling afford the opportunity to "see" the unattainable phenomena that are too small (atoms and molecules), too large (galaxies and the universe), too fast (photosynthesis), too slow (geological processes), too dynamic (urban systems and climate), too complex (automobile engines), or too dangerous (toxic materials). As such, CSci allows researchers in the physical, biological, geographical, geological and engineering sciences to visualize complex phenomena, to explore solutions to challenging problems, and to understand the vast amount of data produced through scientific experiments, medical records, and instrumentation. The UC CSci Institute is an initiative in interdisciplinary research and education. The main goals of the Institute are (1) to be an interdisciplinary research center for computational sciences and (2) to be an education center for future generations of researchers equipped with critical skills needed to conduct research in tomorrow's environment. Current Chemistry Department members of the UC CSci Institute are Professors Thomas Beck, Ruxandra Dima and George Stan. Ongoing research in our groups involves studies of biological ion channels, the modeling of mechanical proteins, and protein folding and transport in constrained environments. We have ongoing collaborations with researchers in the UC medical school, the Departments of Mathematics and Physics, and individuals at other institutions.

The goal of the Hoke S. Greene Laboratory of Catalysis is to enhance the understanding of the fundamentals of catalytic phenomena. The lab's historical emphasis begin with reactions involving catalysis by soluble transition metal carbonyls and their derivatives. Such catalysis is involved in the commercial synthesis of at least three commodity chemicals (acetic acid, vinyl acetate, and butyraldehyde) and is also of critical importance in the metalloenzyme chemistry of living organisms. More than 100 publications have resulted from the efforts of this laboratory since its inception in 1971. Nowadays, catalysis research focuses on enzymes, and the Greene Laboratory will soon be looking to find a new Director and Greene Chair holder.

The primary purpose of the interdisciplinary Polymer Research Center is to respond to the very broad-based need for an understanding of polymeric materials. The faculty of the Center are drawn from the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering, and Materials Science. They carry out a wide variety of research projects in collaboration with students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars. An extensive curriculum of approximately twenty courses on polymers is presently being offered, and this list is being augmented by additional courses under development.

The Rieveschl Laboratories encompass the R. Marshall Wilson Mass Spectrometry Facility as well as the Mass Spectrometry activities of faculty members Joe Caruso and Pat Limbach. The Wilson Facility offers a wide range of basic and advanced mass spectrometry services to the University community. In addition, the Wilson Facility and the Caruso and Limbach laboratories are engaged in cutting-edge collaborative research involving ICP-MS, FTMS, and microchip-MS.

One of the newest developments in the Department is the collection of talent in the field of Biomedical Chemistry. The well-funded and equipped research programs of Profs. Iyer and Smithrud focus on activities related to drug design, drug delivery and structure-activity relationships.

Metals in various chemical forms (chemical compounds) are important to all biological systems, including human life. Metallomics is a chemical analysis process that fully characterizes the different forms of a metal in a particular sample type, such as the different forms of the elements manganese or iron that might exist in a red blood cell. The UC/Agilent Metallomics Center of the Americas contains approximately $900,000 worth of state-of-the-art equipment, which is used to enhance research in the area of metals and nonmetals analysis.

More information on the UC/Agilent Metallomics Center

Faculty and students also are members and participants in other University-wide Research Programs, Centers and Institutes.