Interactive and Cross-disciplinary. The department blends chemistry and biochemistry with focus in nanoscience on biomaterials, which resonates with a broad spectrum of scientists and engineers in the biological sciences, engineering and physics. Grounded in traditional subfields (analytical, bio-, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry), research in the department extends from biophysics and catalysis to environmental and nuclear chemistry, and onto computational and theoretical chemistry. Nationally recognized, award-winning faculty instruct students and provide them with research opportunities that lead to their independent careers. In addition, vigorous collaborative interactions with nearby national labs (including NIH, NIST and the FDA) illustrate the scientific community’s confidence in research conducted by investigators in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Education. The educational program entered by undergraduates is designed to bring them closer to their career direction early in their program. Students who have taken one year of chemistry in high school enter a program that summarizes much of what they have learned at a modestly higher level in one semester, rather than the traditional two, and then takes them through organic chemistry to a course that fills in the gaps not adequately treated previously in a context that also broadens their laboratory experiences. Students whose emphasis is in biochemistry can enroll in relevant courses a semester earlier than is traditional.
Research is a vital component of the department’s graduate programs, and undergraduate research is strongly encouraged. Both undergraduate and graduate students have impressive credentials, and the department’s programs enable them to enter positions in top educational programs or with leading employers. The new $23M chemistry Teaching Wing aids the department’s teaching and research missions with state-of-the-art facilities for instruction and synthetic research, and further reconstruction is ongoing. In addition, the recently opened G. Forrest Woods Memorial Atrium provides a meeting place for students and an attractive venue for departmental gatherings and for interactive events in the chemical sciences. The teaching and research facilities in the Bioscience Research Building, which opened in 2007, further enriches bio-inspired chemical sciences at Maryland. The Department’s external committee of advisors includes distinguished representatives from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Our rapidly growing network of scientists and allied institutions continues to place Maryland at the leading edge of research in the chemical sciences.