Faculty & Research > Research > Biological


Research in biological chemistry is directed at understanding the underlying molecular structures, chemical transformations and molecular interactions which govern the function of living systems. A number of faculty in Chemistry at the University of Virginia are engaged in work with a biological or biochemical focus, utilizing the full range of chemical tools. There are three interdisciplinary focuses: Biophysical, Bioorganic, and Bioanalytical. Biophysical research in the Bryant, Bushweller, Cafiso, Columbus, Grisham, and Mura labs is directed towards the molecular function and dynamics of proteins and nucleic acids, using methods such as NMR spectroscopy and crystallography. Bioorganic research in the Bushweller, Chruma, Fraser, Geysen, Macdonald and McGarvey laboratories uses the tools of synthetic chemistry to understand biological systems and design new pharmaceuticals. The Bioanalytical laboratories of Hunt, Landers and Venton are applying new analytical methodologies for the development of medical diagnostics, to discover new immunotherapies and to understand the chemical basis of behavior.