Chemical Biology

Chemical Biology

Our faculty and students are on the front line of this exciting field, developing new techniques and integrating modern chemical methods to understand biological problems at the molecular level. Recent technological breakthroughs present spectacular new opportunities to address problems in pharmacology, cell biology, structural biology, and medicine. State-of-the-art facilities in structural biology make the University of Minnesota an excellent choice for the biological chemist who wishes to correlate detailed molecular structure with biological function. Some of our research encompasses:

  • synthesizing potent bioactive molecules including anti-cancer compounds and natural products;
  • developing chemical methods for synthesis of small molecules, peptides and small proteins, engineering designer proteins;
  • mimicking metalloprotein active sites and examining reactivity of model complexes; 
  • using a combination of biochemical, inorganic, and synthetic organic chemistry to study how these fascinating catalysts function at the molecular level;
  • conducting single cell, organelle, and molecule analysis; 
  • studying the redox properties of enzymes; 
  • designing novel bioactive nanomaterials; 
  • conducting in-situ neurochemistry; 
  • performing theoretical and computational studies of the structure, reactivity, and dynamics of biomolecules in solution;
  • modeling enzymatic catalysis;
  • using fluorescence, IR, Raman, EPR, and NMR spectroscopies to study exciting problems and protein-RNA interactions, HIV, membrane-bound proteins, and metalloproteins;
  • conducting in vitro selection (SELEX) to obtain new diagnostic and therapeutic agents;
  • developing and using new methods for proteomic analysis;
  • determining the structure of proteins via NMR methods;
  • studying the mechanisms of DNA damage and repair;
  • creating new protein-based therapeutics; and
  • developing new methods for super resolution microscopy.

Chemical Biology Interface Training Grant

The National Institutes of Health Chemical Biology Interface Training Grant allows first-rate students to grow into accomplished professionals both in their primary area of interest (e.g., synthetic/mechanistic organic and inorganic chemistry, molecular biology, mechanistic enzymology, medicinal chemistry) and in a complementary field by cross-discipline research interactions and experiences. Pre-doctoral trainees for this training grant program are selected from a pool of graduate students who have been recruited by the Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics, and Medicinal Chemistry departments. 

Faculty

portrait of Professor Edgar Arriaga
Edgar A. Arriaga
Professor, Chemistry
Office
323 Smith Hall
portrait of Professor George Barany
George Barany
Professor, Chemistry
Office
435 Smith Hall
portrait of Ambika Bhagi-Damodaran
Ambika Bhagi-Damodaran
Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Office
468B Kolthoff Hall
portrait of Professor Michael Bowser
Michael Bowser
Professor, Chemistry
Office
7-134 Hasselmo Hall
portrait of Professor Erin E. Carlson
Erin Carlson
Associate Professor, Chemistry
Office
341 Smith Hall
portrait of professor Mark Distefano
Mark Distefano
Professor, Chemistry
Office
668C Kolthoff Hall
portrait of Professor Renee Frontiera
Renee Frontiera
Associate Professor, Director of Chemical Physics
Office
233 Smith Hall
E-mail
portrait of Professor Jiali Gao
Jiali Gao
Professor, Chemistry, Chemical Physics
Office
241A Smith Hall
E-mail
portrait of Professor Gunda Georg
Gunda Georg
Regents Professor, Head, Medicinal Chemistry
Office
452 717 Delaware St SE
E-mail
Professor Timothy Griffen
Timothy Griffin
Professor, Biological Sciences
Office
7-144 Molecular & Cellular Biology
portrait of Professor Daniel Harki
Daniel Harki
Associate Professor, Medicinal Chemistry
Office
2-139 Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building
Professor Carrie Haskell-Luevano
Carrie Haskell-Luevano
Professor, Medicinal Chemistry
Office
B-102 Weaver-Densford Hall
portrait of Professor Christy Haynes
Christy Haynes
Associate Department Head, Professor Chemistry & Chemical Physics
Office
243 Smith Hall
portrait of Professor Thomas Hoye
Thomas Hoye
Professor, Chemistry
Office
422 Smith Hall
E-mail
portrait of Professor John Lipscomb
John Lipscomb
Professor, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, & Biophysics
Office
5-122 Nils Hasselmo Hall
portrait of Professor Valérie Pierre
Valérie C. Pierre
Associate Professor, Chemistry
Office
237 Smith Hall
portrait of Professor William Pomerantz
William Pomerantz
Associate Professor, Chemistry
Office
328 Smith Hall
E-mail
portrait of Professor Lawrence Que Jr
Lawrence Que Jr.
Regents Professor, Chemistry
Office
343 Smith Hall
portrait of Professor Theresa Reineke
Theresa Reineke
Professor, Chemistry
Office
239 Smith Hall
portrait of Professor Joseph "Joe" Topczewski
Joseph Topczewski
Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Office
568B Kolthoff Hall
portrait of Professor Natalia Tretyakova
Natalia Treyakova
Professor, Medicinal Chemistry
Office
2-147 Cancer & Cardiovascular Research Building
portrait of Professor Donald Truhlar
Donald Truhlar
Regents Professor, Chemistry, Chemical Physics
Office
247 Smith Hall
portrait of Carston Wagner
Carston R. Wagner
Professor, Medicinal Chemistry
Office
2-220 Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building