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Division of Chemical & Biological Sciences



Research teams in this Division conduct fundamental and applied studies of how to control and manipulate chemicals and biological materials.  This means we are developing new catalysts that enable more efficient chemical reactions, studying how solvents, like water, affect chemical reactions, looking at how molecules diffuse on surfaces or through tiny pores, and discovering new ways to convert plants to biofuels.

Developing new instruments is also at the heart of our research.  Understanding Nature's fundamental building blocks requires us to be able to see things at tiny length scales and fast time scales.  We are at the cutting edge of developing tools and methods for understanding what drives biological and chemical processes; we are leaders in the fields of mass spectrometry, solid state NMR, Raman spectroscopy and single particle analysis.    

Recent research has led to improved processes for biodiesel production.  Research in our Division also led to the invention of multiplexed capillary electrophoresis, a technique that is key for DNA sequencing and was central to the Human Genome Project; all 7 billion people on Earth have been impacted by this technique.


Our Mission

To make possible fundamental discoveries about biological and chemical processes and to develop new, more efficient methods of chemical energy conversion.