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Organic Chemistry

Organic chemistry research at Northwestern University covers many scientific areas, both those traditionally associated with the field and in areas that impact other disciplines. These research areas range from the synthesis of bioactive small molecules to the formation of functional extended polymers or nanostructures, and from understanding how light waves interact with organic matter to exploring the chemistry of proteins, cells or living organisms. As such, faculty and students within the organic chemistry division have diverse research interests that intersect with many of the most pressing issues and needs facing modern society. Whether it be developing new medicines to treat disease or inventing useful materials for solar energy conversion or environmental remediation, the organic chemistry division is dedicated to conducting forward-looking research and training the next generation of scientific leaders.

Organic Chemistry Research Areas:

chemical biologyChemical Biology 

Molecular mechanisms of action, design and syntheses of bioactive small-molecules • neurodegenerative diseases • proteomics • bioorganic chemistry • natural product bio- synthesis and discovery • cell adhesion

Farha, Gianneschi, Kelleher, Mrksich, Nguyen, Scheidt, Silverman, Stupp, Thomson

organic nanotechnology materialsOrganic Nanotechnology & Materials

Supramolecular chemistry • mechanostereochemistry • molecular recognition • self-assembly • functionalized and mechanized molecules • metal-organic frameworks and porous organic materials • artificial photosynthesis

Dichtel, Kalow, MalapitMrksich, Nguyen, Stoddart, Stupp, Wasielewski

physical organic chemistryPhysical Organic Chemistry

Electron donor–acceptor systems • photochemistry • molecular electronics • surface chemistry of graphene and polymer nanocomposites • self-assembled monolayers • mass spectrometry

Dichtel, Kalow, MalapitNguyen, Wasielewski

Total Synthesis and Method DevelopmentTotal Synthesis & Method Development

Natural product synthesis • alkaloids • polyketides • polycyclic molecules • organocatalysis • asymmetric catalysis • organometallic chemistry • polymers • new reaction discovery and development

Dichtel, Kalow, Malapit, Marks, Nguyen, Scheidt, Thomson