Research in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Please see the Faculty Directory for more information on each faculty member's research focus and current publications.

Research Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Professor Tong in the lab

    Analytical Chemistry at SDSU

    The Analytical Chemistry Group at SDSU is led by faculty members with expertise in each of five major areas of analytical instrumentation and methodology: separations (Chris Harrison), mass spectrometry (Dale Chatfield), electrochemistry (Diane Smith), and laser spectroscopy (William Tong).

    These groups have a diverse range of interests coupled with these specialties:

  • Biochemistry Chemistry
  • protein design illustration

    Biochemistry at SDSU

    Research in the Biochemistry group -- our fastest growing division in SDSU Chemistry and Biochemistry -- presently includes studies of the following.

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • molecular modeling

    Inorganic Chemistry at SDSU

    The inorganic chemistry research program at SDSU includes investigations in environmental chemistry, the synthesis of optically active organometallics, and the characterization of bioinorganic compounds. Much of this work is carried out as part of a broader emphasis on organometallic chemistry that bridges the traditional divisions of inorganic and organic chemistry. Below is the list of current researchers in inorganic chemistry at SDSU.

  • Organic Chemistry
  • molecular modeling

    Organic Chemistry at SDSU

    The study of organic chemistry at SDSU spans the development of new methodologies, synthesis of organometallic and organoboron compounds, and combinatorial chemistry. Research groups in this area at SDSU are listed below.

    • B. Mikael Bergdahl: asymmetric total synthesis of natural products, organometallic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry and chiral synthesis with the emphasis on catalysis and asymmetric induction.
    • Thomas Cole: boron/organometallic chemistry; computational organic chemistry.
    • Douglas Grotjahn: organometallics and bioinorganic chemistry.
    • Jeffrey Gustafson: Asymmetric catalysis, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology
    • Byron Purse: unnatural nucleosides, fluorescent probes, medicinal chemistry, self-assembly, molecular recognition
    • Ratnasamy Somanathan: bioorganic synthetic chemistry; macrocyclic synthesis.
  • Organometallic Chemistry
  • researcher at lab bench

    Organometallic Synthetic Chemistry at SDSU

    At SDSU, the organic and inorganic chemistry programs work closely together, united by a shared interest in the synthesis of organics in conjunction with main group or transition metal elements. The principal researchers in this area at SDSU are listed below.

  • Physical Chemistry
  • researcher at lab table

    Physical Chemistry at SDSU

    Physical Chemistry is the study of those fundamental laws that govern the behavior of all molecules. This usually means no company manufactures the particular experimental apparatus we need, and we spend a lot of time designing, building, testing, and fixing our equipment, and sometimes carrying out computational studies in the meantime. Or telling anyone who will listen just how important physical chemistry is. Faculty research in physical chemistry at SDSU is carried out by the following.

    • David Pullman's group, studying chemistry at solid surfaces using ultrahigh vacuum technology and computational methods;
    • Bill Tong's group, pioneering the application of non-linear spectroscopy to a wide range of chemical analytes, including biochemicals;
    • Andrew Cooksy's group, investigating the properties of reactive chemical intermediates in combustion, interstellar chemistry, and biochemistry;
    • Karen Peterson, studying the spectroscopic properties of NO and its intermolecular forces.

Consult the following resources for additional information on research in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Search for research interests and subject area experts among the faculty: