All courses with numbers of 09-700 or higher are full-semester graduate courses for 12 units. Some courses (typically 9 unit) with lower numbers also count for graduate credit and those are also listed. The department also offers some half-semester graduate courses marked as 6 units (typically 09-600 numbers). Note that 12 units is equivalent to what may be familiar as a 4 credit course at other universities. Chemical Research (09-861) units may vary from 0 to 48 units for Ph.D. students at different stages in the program.
- 09-543 Mass Spectrometry: Fundamentals, Instrumentation, and Techniques
- 09-560 Molecular Modeling and Computational Chemistry
- 09-603 Mathematical Analysis for Chemistry
- 09-604 An Introduction to Chemical Kinetics
- 09-611 Chemical Thermodynamics
- 09-612 An Introduction to Quantum Chemistry
- 09-620 Global Atmospheric Chemistry: Fundamentals and Data Analysis Methods
- 09-614 Modern Optical Spectroscopy
- 09-700 Introduction to Chemical Research
- 09-701 Quantum Chemistry I
- 09-702 Statistical Mechanics and Dynamics
- 09-703 Advanced Statistical Mechanics
- 09-704 Chemical Kinetics
- 09-705 Chemosensors and Biosensors
- 09-707 Nanoparticles
- 09-708 Quantum Chemistry II
- 09-709 Molecular Quantum Chemistry
- 09-710 Chemistry and Sustainability
- 09-711 Physical Organic Chemistry
- 09-712 Communication Issues in Scientific Research
- 09-714 Advanced Organic Chemistry
- 09-715 Physical Chemistry of Macromolecules
- 09-716 Bioactive Natural Products
- 09-717 Organotransition Metal Chemistry: Principles and Applications
- 09-718 Bioorganic Chemistry: Nucleic Acids and Carbohydrates
- 09-719 Bioorganic Chemistry: Peptides, Proteins and Combinatorial Chemistry
- 09-720 Physical Inorganic Chemistry
- 09-721 Bioinorganic Chemistry
- 09-722 Oxidation and Inorganic Chemistry
- 09-723 Proximal Probe Techniques: New Tools For Nanoscience And Nanotechnology
- 09-724 Environmental Chemistry
- 09-725 Transition Metal Chemistry
- 09-731 Radiochemistry
- 09-732 Nuclear Chemistry
- 09-733 Chemistry and Light
- 09-734 Chemical Approaches to Energy Conversion and Storage
- 09-735 Applied Topics in Macromolecular and Biophysical Techniques
- 09-736 Transition Metal Catalysis for Organic and Polymer Synthesis
- 09-737 Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Development
- 09-741 Organic Chemistry of Polymers
- 09-742 Physical Chemistry of Polymers
- 09-745 Polymer Rheology
- 09-746 Linear Viscoelasticity
- 09-751 NMR Techniques, Instrumentation and Signal Processing
- 09-752 Advanced Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
- 09-801 Special Topics in Physical Chemistry
- 09-802 Introduction to Biophysical Chemistry
- 09-803 Chemistry of Gene Expression
- 09-811 Special Topics in Organic Chemistry
- 09-821 Special Topics in Inorganic Chemistry
- 09-831 Special Topics in Nuclear Chemistry
- 09-841 Modern Spectroscopy
- 09-851 Independent Study
- 09-852 Special Topics in NMR Spectroscopy
- 09-861 Chemical Research
- 09-871 Doctoral Dissertation
- 09-911 Graduate Seminar
- 09-931 Graduate Teaching I
- 09-932 Graduate Teaching II
This course is intended for students of chemistry, biological sciences and material science who are interested in understanding fundamentals, instrumentation and techniques used in mass spectrometry. RRKM theory, ionization techniques, various scan modes (SIM, SRM, MS-MS,?) and basic interpretation are covered. The operating principles of various ion sources, mass analyzers and detectors are covered. Applications are focused in the area of proteomic analysis such as protein identification and peptide sequencing using MALDI and electrospray ionization. Hyphenated techniques such as GC-MSn, LC-MSn and CE-MSn are covered. This course may use a NSF funded Internet based Virtual Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, remote control of mass spectrometers from the classroom as well as a real mass spectrometry laboratory. Prerequisites: 09-214, 09-345 or 33-341, and 15-100 or permission of instructor.
Computer modeling is playing an increasingly important role in chemical research. This course provides an overview of computational chemistry techniques including molecular mechanics, molecular dynamics and both semi-empirical and ab initio electronic structure theory. Sufficient theoretical background is provided for students to understand the uses and limitations of each technique. An integral part of the course is hands on experience with state-of-the-art computational chemistry tools running on graphics workstations. Prerequisites: (15-111 or 15-200) and 09-344 and 09-345.
This course surveys those techniques of mathematical analysis that are most relevant to chemical applications. Topics include multidimensional calculus, differential equations, integral transforms, and linear algebra. This course is meant as a mathematical primer for courses in quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and kinetics. Examples are taken from each of these subject areas.
Rate laws and reaction mechanisms. Solving kinetics problems using the Laplace transform method. Transient and steady-state methods. Potential energy surfaces and reaction paths. Basic concepts of statistical mechanics and theories of reaction rates. Bimolecular and unimolecular reactions. Reactions in solution. Prerequisite: 09-603 or permission of instructor.
A focused course on chemical thermodynamics. The basic thermodynamic functions will be introduced and discussed. The formal basis for thermochemistry will be presented. Single component phase equilibrium will be considered. The thermodynamic basis of solutions will be developed and applied to separation methods. The fundamental basis of chemical equilibrium will be developed and applied to a wide variety of reactions. Finally, a few special topics such as self-assembled systems will be presented. Prerequisite: 09-603 or permission of instructor.
Introduction to quantum principles. The main topics to be covered include Schroedinger equation, particle in a box, the harmonic oscillator, and rigid rotor. Applications to vibrational, rotational, and electronic spectroscopy. Prerequisite: 09-603 or permission of instructor.
This is a course exclusively in optical methods, both time resolved and steady state. In addition to methodology, spectral interpretation in terms of group theory will be discussed. The time-dependent formalism of quantum mechanics will also be introduced. Molecules in gas phase and condensed phase will be discussed. Frequent use will be made of the current literature. Background consisting of undergraduate physical chemistry is assumed.
The existing 9-unit course comprises three units, the first being introductory meteorology, the second stratospheric chemistry and ozone depletion, and the third being global tropospheric chemistry. This course is taught in alternate spring terms (odd years). Evaluation is dominated by one exam (in meteorology) and two projects (nominally in stratospheric and tropospheric chemistry, optionally both stratospheric) which are presented as short (15 minute) talks, with two page written summaries required of individuals in group projects. A 12 unit version would include a final paper in addition to these projects.
A survey of the areas of research and problems currently being investigated by the faculty of the Department of Chemistry. Fundamental concepts in Transition Metal Chemistry are reviewed in this course followed by presentations of results obtained in current research that is based on these concepts. The class covers coordination numbers and stereochemistry, electronic structure, physical properties, and aspects of chemical reactivity of transition elements and their complexes. In lectures and class discussions, we identify general problems pursued in transition metal chemistry, discuss the choice and relevance of the questions posed by researchers, present modern methods and techniques used to answer the questions and the type of information that can be obtained using these methods. Special emphasis is given to examples drawn from supramolecular chemistry, molecular materials, and mineralogy.
Introduction to quantum mechanics. The main topics to be covered will include wave packets, interference, the uncertainty principle, Ehrenfest's theorem, the Schroedinger equation and its solution for finite and infinite square wells and barriers, the harmonic oscillator, the rigid rotor, the hydrogen atom and time-independent perturbations.
Application of statistical mechanics to chemical systems. Calculation of Themodynamic functions, phase transitions and chemical equilibrium. Calculation of transport properties of gases and liquids. Elementary theory of chemical kinetics.
Quantum statistical mechanics: ideal Fermi and Bose systems. Structure and dynamics of classical liquids. Monte Carlo and Molecular dynamics computer simulations. Brownian dynamics and time-correlation function formalism. Modern theories of chemical reactions.
Rate laws. Analysis of linear chemical networks by Laplace transform and matrix formalism. Transient and steady-state methods. Stability of chemical systems. Theories of reaction rates. Molecular energetics. Applications to reactions in solution, electrolytes, electron and proton transfer reactions, heterogeneous systems.
Chemosensors and biosensors rely on "recognition" and "signaling" elements to transduce a molecular-scale binding event into an observable signal. Students in this course will be introduced to current research and technology for detecting chemical and biological analytes in a variety of contexts, including environmental testing, biological probing and medical diagnostics. Recognition elements ranging from small organic molecules to antibodies will be presented, while various detection modes, including fluorescence, gravimetric and colorimetric, that illustrate different signaling elements will be discussed and compared. Issues to be addressed include sensitivity, selectivity and efficiency. Each sensor will be analyzed in terms of the physical chemistry, organic chemistry and/or biochemistry underlying its function.
This course discusses the chemistry, physics, and biology aspects of several major types of nanoparticles, including metal, semiconductor, magnetic, carbon, and polymer nanostructures. For each type of nanoparticles, we select pedagogical examples (e.g. Au, Ag, CdSe, etc.) and introduce their synthetic methods, physical and chemical properties, self assembly, and various applications. Apart from the nanoparticle materials, other topics to be briefly covered include microscopy and spectroscopy techniques for nanoparticle characterization, and nanolithography techniques for fabricating nano-arrays. The course is primarily descriptive with a focus on understanding major concepts (such as plasmon, exciton, polaron, etc.). The lectures are power point presentation style with sufficient graphical materials to aid students to better understand the course materials. Overall, this course is intended to provide an introduction to the new frontiers of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Students will gain an understanding of the important concepts and research themes of nanoscience and nanotechnology, and develop their abilities to pursue highly disciplinary nanoscience research. The course should be of interest and accessible to advanced undergraduates and graduate students in fields of chemistry, materials science, and biology as well. Students enrolled in this course should be comfortable with introductory chemistry and physics. Prerequisites: For 09-507: 09-105, Introduction to Modern Chemistry and 09-106, Modern Chemistry II. For graduate version: undergraduates require permission of instructor.
Time-dependent processes. Evolution of quantum states. Interaction of radiation with matter: the physical basis of chemical spectroscopy. Density matrix and coherence. Magnetic resonance. Time-domain spectroscopy. Energy transfer and relaxation.
Theory of the electronic structure of molecules. Hydrogen molecule. Valence bond and molecular orbital theory. Hartree-Fock approximation. Electron correlation. Configuration interaction. Many-body perturbation theory.
This course aims to educate students in the foundations of systematic leadership for building a sustainable world. Many sustainability challenges are associated with commercial chemicals and with operational modes of the chemical enterprise. For scientists, effectiveness in solving the technical challenges and redirecting cultural behavior is the defining substance of sustainability leadership. The course aims to challenge students to analyze and understand the root causes of unsustainability, especially in the technological dimension, to imagine a more sustainable world and to begin to define personal leadership missions. Students will be introduced to sustainability ethics as the foundation stone of transformative sustainability leadership, to the Collins "Sustainability Compass" and "Code of Sustainability Ethics" and to the Robért/Broman "Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD)"as powerful guiding tools. The Collins "Bookcase of Green Science Challenges" organizes the technical content. It systematizes the major chemical sustainability challenges of our time: clean synthesis, renewable feed-stocks, safe energy, elemental pollutants, persistent molecular toxicants and endocrine disruptors. Focal areas will be the technical, toxicological and cultural histories of elemental and molecular pollutants and endocrine disruptor (ED) science—EDs represent the single greatest sustainability challenge of everyday chemicals. The graded substance will take the form of take-home work. Students will primarily read key books and articles and will summarize and personally evaluate the material in essay assignments. The course is intended for upper level undergraduates and graduates. There are no other prerequisites. The class is limited to 25 students.
The study of the structure and reactivity of organic molecules from a physical and theoretical standpoint. Introduction to molecular orbital theory and the study of mechanisms of pericyclic, electron-transfer, photochemical and heterolytic reactions by the use of physical methods such as kinetics, isotope effects, substituent effects and spectroscopic methods.
The design and presentation of scientific plans and results to the scientific community are very important aspects of the work of any chemist, who needs to disseminate the results of research by publishing papers and to write research proposal to raise funds. This course will cover skills that are important for the design and writing of scientific documents, such as research reports, papers and research proposals. The course will also cover aspects of responsible research conduct in recording the results of lab experiments. The organization and presentation of data and research ideas for communication to the scientific community will be discussed. Students will learn about the scientific review process to which original manuscripts and proposals are subjected. Students enrolled in the course will be evaluated based on the quality of writing of a short original proposal in the format specified for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship as well as for their participation in class discussions and in review of proposals written by others. This mini-course is intended for graduate students in Chemistry in their first three years in graduate school. Undergraduate students who plan to apply for an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship will be able to enroll in the course. Postdoctoral fellows are welcome to audit the course.
This course will expose the students to modern methods of organic chemistry including insights into the basis and mechanisms of chemical reactions. Topics include but are not limited to: spectroscopic analysis and structure determination, synthetic methods, organic reaction mechanisms, physical organic chemistry, Frontier molecular orbital (FMO) theory. Other topics and the extent of coverage will be determined based on the interests of the class. Upon completion of the course students should be able to design reaction schemes and evaluate the suitability of modern reagents towards synthesis of complex organic molecules and determine their structures from spectral data.
This course addresses the fundamentals of polymer science with the emphasis on physicochemical consequences of chain nature of macromolecules and on the behavior of polymers in condensed state (polymers as soft condense matter). The topics to be covered include: chain structure and molecular weight; molecular weight distribution; step growth and addition polymerization mechanisms; chain conformation and behavior of polymers in solution; concentrated solutions and phase separation behavior; rubber elasticity; introduction to polymer viscoelasticity and rheology; mechanical behavior of polymers; glass transition and crystallization; multicomponent polymeric materials; liquid crystalline polymers; polymers at surfaces and interfaces; self-assembly and nanostructure formation in synthetic and biological systems; conducting and semiconducting polymers. Graduate students taking the course for 12 units will be required to write a term paper on a selected topic.
This mini-course is aimed at students with an interest in natural products research. Natural products are used as active components in medicinal products, as model compounds for further development into medicinally active drugs, as ingredients in food and for flavor and fragrances, among other very useful and interesting applications. An overview of the structural variety and activity of natural products will be presented along with their isolation and structural determination. Overall, the course will offer an introduction to the work that is customary in natural product research. This course will cover: Strategies to select the plant or marine material for study; main groups of natural products derived from plants; representative natural products derived from marine organisms; preparation of extracts and selection of active fractions, screening strategies; separation and purification of active components; bench-top bioassays and chemical assays and structure elucidation (especially 2D-NMR spectroscopy) Student's performance will be assessed by weekly assignments on the topics discussed in lecture and by two exams.
The first half of the course focuses on the fundamentals of structure and bonding in organotransition complexes and how these rules can be used to explain, and predict, chemical reactivity. The latter half of the course covers applications, and more specifically, homogenous catalysts for industrial processes and organic sythesis.
This course will introduce students to new developments in chemistry and biology, with emphasis on synthetic and functional aspects of nucleic acids and proteins, and their applications. Later in the course, students will get to explore some of the ongoing research in functional genomics. Prerequisites: 09-217 and 09-218
This course will introduce students to new developments in chemistry and biology, with emphasis on synthetic and functional aspects of proteins, peptides and small molecules. Basic concepts of bioorganic chemistry will be presented in the context of the current literature and students will have the opportunity to learn about the experimental methods that are used. An introduction to combinatorial chemistry in the context of drug design will also be presented. Prerequisites: 09-217 and 09-218
This course develops the principles of magnetochemistry and inorganic spectroscopy. Electronic absorption, magnetic circular dichroism, resonance raman, NMR, EPR, Mössbauer, magnetization and x-ray methods will be introduced with application toward the determination of electronic structures of transition metal complexes.
This course addresses the basis for the selection and regulation of metal atoms and ligand systems and the interactions with their corresponding protein environments. The chemistry of catalytic processes in metalloenzymes, and atom transfer and electron transport in metalloproteins will be reviewed. The array of physical methods required for study will be introduced, with application toward the determination of electronic and molecule structure and enzymatic mechanisms.
The roles of metal complexes in oxidation processes (inorganic, organic, biological) will be presented. Special attention will be given to processes involving the activation of molecular oxygen from a mechanistic viewpoint. The electronic structures of metal complexes of dioxygen and its reduced species, superoxide, peroxide and oxide are reviewed, as are the relationships between electronic structure and oxidation reactivity.
Proximal probe techniques are revolutionizing physical and biological sciences, owing to their ability to explore and manipulate matter at the nanoscale, and to operate in various environments (including liquids). Proximal probe techniques rely on the use of nanoscale probes, positioned and scanned in the immediate vicinity of the material surface. Their development is often viewed as a first step towards nanotechnology, since they demonstrate the feasibility of building purposeful structures one atom or one (macro)molecule at a time. This course is designed for the students of chemistry, biology physics and engineering, who are interested in the fundamentals of proximal probe techniques and in their applications in various areas, converging into a rapidly developing, interdisciplinary field of nanoscience. It will provide thorough physical background of such basic techniques as Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), and Near-Field Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM) and of their variants.
Environmental pollutants are common consequences of human activities. These chemicals have a wide range of deleterious effects on the environment and people. This course will introduce students to a range of major environmental pollutants, with a particular focus on persistent organic pollutants. We will use chemical principles including thermodynamics, kinetics, photochemistry, organic reaction mechanisms, and structure-activity relationships to understand the environmental fate of major classes of pollutants. The transport of chemicals through the environment and their partitioning between air, water, soil, and people will be described. The major environmental reaction pathways (oxidation, photolysis, hydrolysis, reduction, metabolism) of common pollutants will be explored. This will provide students with the necessary knowledge to predict the chemical fate of environmental pollutants, and improve their understanding of the environmental impacts of their everyday chemical use and exposure. Specific topics include water quality, photochemical smog, organic aerosols, atmospheric chemistry and global climate change, toxicity of pesticides, and heterogeneous and multiphase atmospheric chemistry. Prerequisites: Organic Chemistry I (09-217 or 09-219) Co-requisites: Thermodynamics (09-214, 09-345 or 09-347 or 33-341 or 27-215 or 24-324 or equivalent) OR with permission of instructor.
Fundamental concepts in Transition Metal Chemistry are reviewed in this course followed by presentations of results obtained in current research that is based on these concepts. The class covers coordination numbers and stereochemistry, electronic structure, physical properties, and aspects of chemical reactivity of transition elements and their complexes. In lectures and class discussions, we identify general problems pursued in transition metal chemistry, discuss the choice and relevance of the questions posed by researchers, present modern methods and techniques used to answer the questions and the type of information that can be obtained using these methods. Special emphasis is given to examples drawn from supramolecular chemistry, molecular materials, and mineralogy.
Introduction to nuclear systematics and properties, nuclear transformations, radioactivity, nuclear reactions, fission, interactions of radiation with matter, experimental techniques and applications. This course offers a general survey suitable for chemists, biologists, physicists and engineers.
Nuclear models; radioactive decay processes; nuclear reactions: theory and experiment; nuclear processes as chemical probes: Mössbauer effect, angular correlations, hyperfine interactions.
This course covers the optical and electronic processes in inorganic and organic molecules found in modern "organic" optoelectronics. After an introduction into the field of optoelectronics we will look at the molecular structure of small molecules and polymers commonly employed as chromophores for such applications. It is the objective of this course for the student to understand the electronic structure of these molecules from electrochemical and spectroscopical techniques. The last part will emphasize the fabrication and characterization of organic LEDs, solar cells, photodetectors, chemical sensors, electrochromic devices etc.
Solar energy and electrical energy from renewable resources need to be stored to resolve intermittency issues. Energy can be stored through charge transfer, changes in chemical bonding, or in electric polarization. This course will introduce students to general aspects of energy-storage technologies using these strategies, integrating scientific and engineering perspectives to discuss thermodynamics, mechanisms of energy storage, and fundamental aspects of efficiency, capacity, and power delivery. Then we will explore current and experimental technologies, covering supercapacitors, batteries, and water-splitting catalysts. By the end of the course, students will be able to apply chemical principles to understand energy-storage technologies and gain knowledge of important classes of these systems.
Applications of physical chemistry are widespread. Physical chemical principles are fundamental to the methods used to sequence human genome, obtain high resolution structures of proteins and complex nucleic acids e.g., ribosome, and further provides the framework to predict how molecules fold in 3-dimension, how the different domains interact (inter- and intra-molecular interactions) to perform biological functions. The principles that were discussed in theory in undergraduate physical chemistry classes, will be applied in order to understand the molecular structures and dynamics in nucleic acids and proteins, and to more advanced molecular motors. In the last decade major advances have been made through single-molecule studies that provide finer details of macromolecules in action. This course aims to teach and apply physical chemistry as related to biological problems. Prerequisites: 09-214 or 09-345 or 09-347 AND 03-121 or 03-231 or 03-232, or permission from the instructor.
Transition metal catalysts are invaluable in small molecule and polymer synthesis. The course will begin with a brief overview of organometallic chemistry and a discussion of fundamental organometallic reactions. Following this, a survey of some selected topics for the formation of small molecules and polymers will be presented. Some topics to be highlighted include: (1) Hydrogenation (2) Palladium Catalyzed Cross-Coupling (3) Epoxidation (4) Olefin Metathesis (5) Olefin Polymerization.
Modern medicine is increasingly practiced at the molecular level. Biomedical research provides fundamental knowledge about the mechanisms by which diseases arise and progress, leading to strategies for curing the disease (or at least alleviating the symptoms). Organic chemistry is the study of molecular structures and reactivity, so it is well positioned and, in fact, essential to the development of new drugs to either improve existing treatments or allow treatment of emerging or orphan diseases. This course will introduce students to the concepts, strategies and methods involved in the discovery and development of new drugs, from the standpoint of organic chemistry.
A survey of synthesis and reactions of high polymers, kinetics and mechanisms of step-growth and chain-growth polymerization via radical, ionic and coordinate intermediates, polymers for special applications (biomedical, ceramic, microelectronic, information storage).
An advanced graduate course that applies statistical mechanics to the study of the equilibrium and dynamic properties of polymers. The structure and dynamics of single polymer chains, solutions and bulk polymers are discussed.
Course contents include basic concepts (forces, displacements, stress, tensor, strain, etc.), linear and nonlinear elastic solids, linear viscous fluid, linear viscoelastic fluid and solid and certain topics in nonlinear viscoelastic behavior. Emphasis is on concepts, illustrated with examples based on the properties of real materials.
The mathematical model for linear viscoelasticity is developed and compared with the behavior observed for polymeric materials. Emphasis is on the interpretation of experimental results in terms of fundamental material properties and discussion of the latter in terms of molecular concepts for a variety of amorphous and crystalline polymers.
This course is intended for students of chemistry, biology and physics who are interested in deeper understanding of the instrumentation and signal processing in NMR spectroscopy and imaging. The introductory part deals with the basic ideas behind high resolution NMR in liquids. The second part of the course is devoted to the description and brief analysis of major components of the NMR instrument. The third and last part is devoted exclusively to the digital processing of the NMR signals by computers. The relations between the time domain and the frequency domain are thoroughly discussed and the principles of manipulation of spectra by a computer are given.
This course discusses nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy using the language of spin quantum mechanics, density matrix and product operator formalisms. Coherence tranfer and phase cycling protocols are analyzed with a view at practical applications in homo- and hetero-nuclear multidimensional spectroscopy and rotating frame experiments. Relaxation and population transfer processes are discussed and its implications for the elucidation of molecular structure are emphasized. Examples stemming from molecular biophysics will be presented.
09-801 Special Topics in Physical Chemistry
All biological processes are governed by the same thermodynamic and kinetic factors that control chemical reactions. This course will introduce students to how fundamental concepts and cutting-edge techniques from physical chemistry are being applied to improve our understanding of modern biology. Chemistry 09-802 is an introductory class on macromolecular organization, chemical kinetics, and thermodynamics with emphasis to biological applications. Topics of interest will be entropy, free energy, kinetics of complex biological reactions, the non covalent forces that determine protein and nucleic acid stability (the hydrophobic effect, electrostatic interactions and the hydrogen bond), the folding and misfolding kinetics in solution. Issues of particular interest will be allosteric mechanisms; ligand binding and finally single-molecule techniques will be discussed. (No prior knowledge of any single-molecule techniques is needed).
Prerequisite: One semester of undergraduate physical chemistry or general physics. Any experience in biochemistry will be helpful, but not mandatory.
This course examines the chemical basis of biological reactions required for the propagation of genetic information stored in DNA and the organic chemistry principles behind the structure and function of nucleic acids. Main topics of lectures and class discussion will include the chemical and biochemical syntheses, properties and analyses of natural and modified nucleic acids to investigate cellular processes such as transcription, RNA splicing, other RNA regulation and translation; an introduction to the enzymatic strategies that accelerate these chemical reactions and a comparison of protein enzymes, ribozymes and other nucleic acid based enzymes in contemporary chemistry and biology. Students will learn to critically evaluate current scientific efforts that examine various aspects of chemistry and biological chemistry, the relationship between the structure and function of biomolecular systems, propose experiments to examine biological chemistry research problems and communicate these ideas and participate in scientific discussions and debates.
This course emphasizes the use of modern optical methods in the study of molecular properties and reactivity. Basic topics such as the use of group theory in the analysis of vibrational, rotational and electronic spectra are covered in detail. In addition, recently developed techniques such as time-resolved and nonlinear spectroscopies are discussed as are applications of optical methods to problems in chemistry, biology and materials science.
Recent advances in chemistry discussed by graduate students.