Organic chemistry is at the core of much of the cutting-edge research presently being pursued in such diverse areas as materials, biology, and medicine. Research in organic chemistry in the Department emphasizes these interdisciplinary opportunities, particularly at the biological-chemical interface. Some of the research topics currently being pursued in the Department include synthesis of complex natural and unnatural compounds, mechanistic studies on metal toxicity in biological systems, synthetic and mechanistic aspects of organometallic chemistry, isolation and characterization of biologically active natural products, characterization and mechanistic studies on biological receptors, development of new catalysts, and promoters, development of probe molecules for the study of the function of biological membranes, and synthesis of polymeric inorganic-organic hybrid materials for use as biosensors, drug delivery vectors, and other biotechnology applications. Many of the above research opportunities involve the interaction of two or more research groups, thereby allowing interdisciplinary approaches to the study of important problems. Students in organic chemistry benefit from a curriculum featuring courses in reaction mechanisms, synthesis, and spectroscopic techniques, as well as specialized offerings on selected topics in synthetic, bioorganic, and organometallic chemistry.
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